Books About Wallace

[Updated April 2023]

A number of books have been written about Wallace's life and work and they are listed below. In my opinion, the two most accurate, well researched and beautifully written general biographies are those by Peter Raby and James Costa. They have different strengths - Raby focuses on Wallace's life, and Costa on his work. Also very good is Wallace's autobiography My Life, which is available for download in the "Literature" section of this website.

A. General Biographies

Armstrong, P. (2019). Alfred Russel Wallace. London: Reaktion Books Ltd. 175 pp.

Beddall, B. G. [Ed.]. (1969). Wallace and Bates in the Tropics; An Introduction to the Theory of Natural Selection. London: Macmillan. 241 pp.

Bryant, W. (2003). Naturalist in the River: The Life and Early Writings of Alfred Russel Wallace. 180 pp.

Bryant, W. (2006). The Birds of Paradise: Alfred Russel Wallace: a Life. 280 pp. [Apparently suggests that Wallace was gay, although the documentary evidence suggests otherwise!]

Carrington-Smith, D. (2022). Alfred Russel Wallace: The Journey of a Lifetime. La Vergne TN: Storixus Media and Publishing. 292 pp.

Clements, H. (1983). Alfred Russel Wallace: Biologist and Social Reformer. London: Hutchinson. 215 pp.

Costa, J. T. (2023). Radical by Nature: The Revolutionary Life of Alfred Russel Wallace. Princeton University Press. 552 pp. [Highly recommended]

Fichman, M. (1981). Alfred Russel Wallace. Boston: Twayne Publishers. 188 pp. [Click HERE for a pdf]

Fichman, M. (2003). An Elusive Victorian: The Evolution of Alfred Russel Wallace. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press. 382 pp. [recommended]

Focher, F. (2006). L'Uomo che Gettò nel Panico Darwin: La Vita e le Scoperte di Alfred Russel Wallace. Torino: Bollati Boringhieri. 242 pp. [in Italian]

Fonfría, J. (2003). El Explorador de la Evolución: Wallace. Tres Cantos, España: Nivola. 312 pp. [in Spanish]

George, W. (1964). Biologist Philosopher; A Study of the Life and Writings of Alfred Russel Wallace. London: Abelard-Schuman. 320 pp.

Hogben, L. T. (1918). Alfred Russel Wallace, The Story of a Great Discoverer. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (Pioneers of Progress Men of Science series). 64 pp.

Hughes, R. E. (1997). Alfred Russel Wallace: Gwyddonydd Anwyddonol. Caerdydd: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru. 208 pp. [in Welsh]

Knapp, S. (2013). Alfred Russel Wallace in the Amazon: Footsteps in the Forest. London: Natural History Museum. 184 pp. [This is a paperback version of Footsteps in the Forest: Alfred Russel Wallace in the Amazon published in 1999]

Lindholm, M. (2022). Barbeint I Amazonas: Historien om Alfred Russel Wallace. Spartacus. 249 pp. [In Norwegian]

Marchant, J. [Ed.]. (1916). Alfred Russel Wallace; Letters and Reminiscences. London & New York: Cassell and Co. 2 vols., 507 pp. [one volume edition published 1916 by Harper & Brothers] [recommended]

Mashad, D. (2010). Alfred Russel Wallace: Pencetus Teori Seleksi Alam dan Garis Imajiner Nusantara. Jakarta: Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia. 284 pp. [in Indonesian]

Mashad, D. (2011). Alfred Russel Wallace: Kiprah dan Karyanya Sebagai Ilmuwan Sosial. Jakarta: Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia. 274 pp. [in Indonesian]

Medina Precioso, J. R. (2021). Alfred Russel Wallace. Córdoba, Spain: Guadalmazán. 545 pp. [in Spanish]

Raby, P. (2001). Alfred Russel Wallace, A Life. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press; London: Chatto & Windus. 340 pp[highly recommended]

Raby, P. (2013). Alfred R. Wallace, L’explorateur de l’évolution. Paris: Les Editions de l'Evolution. 448 pp.  [French translation of Raby's English language biography of Wallace]

Reisse, J. (2014). Alfred Russel Wallace, Plus Darwiniste que Darwin mais Politiquement Moins Correct. Bruxelles: Académie Royal des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique. 214 pp. [in French]

Shermer, M. (2002). In Darwin's Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace: A Biographical Study on the Psychology of History. New York: Oxford University Press. 422 pp.

Slotten, R. A. (2004). The Heretic in Darwin's Court: The Life of Alfred Russel Wallace. New York: Columbia University Press. 602 pp. [recommended]

Smith, C. H. (2013). Enquête sur un Aventurier de l'Esprit: Le Véritable Alfred Russel Wallace. Paris: Editions de l'Evolution. 299 pp. [in French]

Williams-Ellis, A. (1966). Darwin's Moon: A Biography of Alfred Russel Wallace. London & Glasgow: Blackie. 261 pp.

Wilson, J. G. (2000). The Forgotten Naturalist: In Search of Alfred Russel Wallace. Melbourne: Australia Scholarly Publishing. 263 pp.

B. Scholarly books about specific aspects of Wallace's life and work

Benton, T. (2013). Alfred Russel Wallace: Explorer, Evolutionist, Public Intellectual - A Thinker for Our Own Times? UK: Siri Scientific Press. 224 pp[highly recommended]

Brooks, J. L. (1984). Just Before the Origin: Alfred Russel Wallace's Theory of Evolution. New York: Columbia University Press. 284 pp.

Bueno Hernández, A. & Llorente Bousquets, J. (2003). El Pensamiento Biogeográfico de Alfred Russel Wallace. Bogotá: Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales. 191 pp. [in Spanish]

Bueno Hernández, A. & Llorente Bousquets, J. (2004). L'Evoluzione di un Evoluzionista. Alfred Russel Wallace e la Geografia della Vita. Bollati Boringhieri. 174 pp. [In Italian]

Costa, J. T. [Ed.]. (2013). On the Organic Law of Change: A Facsimile Edition and Annotated Transcription of Alfred Russel Wallace's Species Notebook of 1855-1859. Cambridge, Mass., USA: Harvard University Press. 640 pp. (ISBN 9780674724884). [See a review HERE[highly recommended]

Costa, J. T. (2014). Wallace, Darwin, and the Origin of Species. Cambridge, Mass., USA: Harvard University Press. 325 pp.  (ISBN 9780674729698). [highly recommended]

Hanau, S. (2010). Alfred Russel Wallace und die Entstehung der Modernen Selektionstheorie. GRIN Verlag. 72 pp. [in German]

Loewenberg, B. J. (1957). Darwin, Wallace and the Theory of Natural Selection; Including the Linnean Society Papers. New Haven: Gerald E. Cinamon. 97 pp.

McKinney, H. L. (1972). Wallace and Natural Selection. New Haven & London: Yale University Press. 193 pp.

Peretó, J. [Ed.]. (2008). La lluita per la vida: Charles R. Darwin, Alfred R. Wallace. (Breviaris, Band 20). Spain: Publications Universitat De València. 89 pp. (ISBN: 978-84-370-7131-2) [in Spanish]

Preston, T. [Ed.]. (2013). The Letter from Ternate. UK: TimPress. 94 pp.

Rodríguez, J. M., Ruiz, R., Oliver, C. & Abarca, C. [coordinators]. (2015). Alfred R. Wallace, a Cien Años de su Muerte. México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 102 pp. [in Spanish]

Smith, C. H. & Beccaloni, G. [Eds.]. (2008). Natural Selection and Beyond: The Intellectual Legacy of Alfred Russel Wallace. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 482 pp. [Paperback edition with minor corrections published 2010] [highly recommended] [Click HERE for a pdf]

Smith, C. H. & Derr, M. [Eds]. (2013). Alfred Russel Wallace's 1886-1887 Travel Diary; The North American Lecture Tour. Manchester, UK: Siri Scientific Press. 258 pp. [Click HERE for more information. For a review (pdf file) click HERE]

Smith, C. H., Costa, J. T., & Collard, D. [Eds]. (2019). An Alfred Russel Wallace Companion. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press. 439 pp. [highly recommended]

Souza, Rosa Andréa Lopes de. (2021). A Viagem de Alfred Russel Wallace ao Brasil: uma Aplicação de História da Ciência no Ensino de Biologia. Editora Dialetica. 340 pp. [In Portuguese]

Wyhe, J. van. (2013). Dispelling the Darkness; Voyage in the Malay Archipelago and the Discovery of Evolution by Wallace and Darwin. USA: World Scientific. 405 pp. [replete with misinformation - you have been warned!]

Wyhe, J. van. & Rookmaaker, K. (2013). Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters from the Malay Archipelago. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 352 pp.

C. Other Wallace-related books

Brackman, A. C. (1980). A Delicate Arrangement: The Strange Case of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. New York: Times Books. 370 pp.

Browning, W. E. (2021). Stolen Priority: The Case of Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin. Independently published. 217 pp.

Cluysenaar, A. (2008). Batu-Angas; Envisioning Nature With Alfred Russel Wallace. Bridgen, Wales: Seren. 78 pp. [a collection of her poems]

Davies, R. (2008). The Darwin Conspiracy; Origins of a Scientific Crime. London: Golden Square Books. 224 pp.

Daws, G. & Fujita, M. (1999). Archipelago: The Islands of Indonesia: From the Nineteenth-century Discoveries of Alfred Russel Wallace to the Fate of Forests and Reefs in the Twenty-first Century. Berkeley CA: University of California Press. 275 pp.

Ferreira, R. (1990). Bates, Darwin, Wallace e a Teoria da Evolução. Brasìlia: Editora Universidade de Brasìlia. 100 pp. [reprint edition in 2013] [in Portuguese]

Flannery, M. A. (2008). Alfred Russel Wallace's Theory of Intelligent Evolution. Riesel, TX: Erasmus Press. 225 pp. [Flannery is an advocate of 'intelligent design']

Flannery, M. A. (2011). Alfred Russel Wallace: A Rediscovered Life. Seattle: Discovery Institute Press. 165 pp. [Flannery is an advocate of 'intelligent design']

Glaubrecht, M. (2013). Am Ende des Archipels: Alfred Russel Wallace. Berlin: Galiani. 442 pp. [in German]

Hemming, J. (2015). Naturalists in Paradise: Wallace, Bates and Spruce in the Amazon. New York: Thames & Hudson. 368 pp.

Kutschera, U. (2013). Design-Fehler in der Natur: Alfred Russel Wallace und die Gott-lose Evolution. Münster: Lit Verlag. 378 pp. [in German]

Manna, S. J. (2017). Glorious Trees; Alfred Russel Wallace in California. Burson CA: Calaveras History Publishing. 339 pp. [recommended]

Oelze, A. (2019). Wallace. Germany: Schöffling & Co. 262 pp. [fiction]

Oosterzee, P. Van (1997). Where Worlds Collide: The Wallace Line. Ithaca NY & London: Cornell University Press. 234 pp. [recommended]

Reeuwijk, A. (2011). Darwin, Wallace en de anderen: Evolutie volgens Redmond O'Hanlon. The Netherlands: Atlas. 270 pp. [in Dutch]

Reeuwijk, A. (2013). Reizen tussen de lijnen: Dwars door Indonesië met Alfred Russel Wallace. The Netherlands: Atlas-Contact. 280 pp. [in Dutch]

Reeuwijk, A. (2018). Varanen, Orang-oetans en Paradijsvogels: Reizen door Indonesië met Alfred Russel Wallace. Groningen: Uitgeverij Kleine Uil. 286 pp. [in Dutch]

Severin, T. (1998). The Spice Islands Voyage: The Quest for the Man Who Shared Darwin's Discovery of Evolution. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers. 267 pp.

Sirlin, A. (2014). The Evolutionist: The Strange Tale of Alfred Russel Wallace. UK: Aurora Metro Books. 335 pp. [An historical novel]

Sochaczewski, P. S. (2012). An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles: Campfire Conversations with Alfred Russel Wallace on People and Nature Based on Common Travel in the Malay Archipelago. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet. 414 pp.

D. Booklets about Wallace's life & work

Anon. (2015). Discovering Alfred Russel Wallace in Thurrock: the World-renowned Scientist Who Lived in Grays at 'The Dell' From 1872 to 1876. Thurrock Local History Society. 20 pp. [See an electronic copy HERE]

Daniels, B. (2001). Usk: Origin of a Thinker: The Story of Alfred Russel Wallace. Nottingham: Poetry Monthly Press. 36 pp. (ISBN 1-903031-04-4)

Eaton, G. (1986). Alfred Russel Wallace, 1823-1913: Biologist and Social Reformer: A Portrait of His Life and Work and a History of Neath Mechanics Institute and Museum. Neath, Wales: published by the author. 33 pp.

Edwards, F. L. & Beccaloni, G. (2009). Alfred Russel Wallace: The Forgotten Evolutionist. Ikonolux. 32 pp.

Gander, R. [Ed.]. (1998). Alfred Russel Wallace at School, 1830-37. Rustington, W. Sussex. 11 pp.

Ghate, N. (2017).  अल्फ्रेड रसेल वलेस / Alfred Russel Wallace. Mehta Publishing House. 102 pp. [In Marathi]

Green, L. (1995). Alfred Russel Wallace: His Life and Work. Bengeo, Hertford: Occasional Paper No. 4, Hertford and Ware Local History Society. 36 pp.

Griffiths, M. J. (n.d. but 2013). Alfred Russel Wallace During His Stay in Neath 1841 - 1843 and 1845 - 1848. Neath, Wales: Neath Antiquarian Society. 23 pp.

Holmes, J. H. (1913). Alfred Russel Wallace: Scientist and Prophet. New York: Church of the Messiah. 26 pp.

Hughes, N. & Taib, R. (2022). The Quest for the Legendary House of Alfred Russel Wallace in Ternate. City of Ternate & The Alfred Russel Wallace Memorial Fund. i-xviii + 70 pp. [a pdf copy can be downloaded HERE; There is also a Bahasa Indonesia version]

Morris, R. (2018). Alfred Russel Wallace, OM, FRS 1823-1913 and Epping Forest. Revised and enlarged ed. Loughton: Loughton and District Historical Society. 24 pp.

Pires, F. D. de Á. (1963). Seleção Natural; Centenário da Comunicação de Darwin & Wallace Sôbre a Seleção Natural; Conferencia. Rio de Janeiro: Publicações Avulsas do Museu Nacional No. 46. 20 pp. [in Portuguese]

Reynolds, S. J. (2014). The World of Wallace: A History of His Life and the Line. Casuarina, Northern Territory: Occasional Paper No. 24, Historical Society of the Northern Territory. 20 pp.

Russo, A. M. (2023) In viaggio con Wallace: Carnet de voyage a leporello. Fiorina Edizioni. 12 pp.

Sheail, P. [Ed.]. (2014). Alfred Russel Wallace: His Life and Work. Hertford: Hertford Museum. 40 pp.

Wu Tiren (1975). Nanyang Hua yi di Hualesi A. R. Wallace 1823-1913. Singapore. 13 pp. [in Chinese]

E. Children's books

Claybourne, A. (2014). Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. Collins Big Cat, Pearl, Band 18. UK: Collins. 81 pp. [recommended]

Colson, M. (2014). Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace (Dynamic Duos of Science). New York, USA: Gareth Stevens Publishing. 48 pp. (ISBN: 9781482412901) [very inaccurate]

Cottler, J. (1966). Alfred Wallace, Explorer-Naturalist. Boston: Little, Brown. 212 pp.

Denise, A. & Kardinal, J. (2022). The Incredible Adventures of Alfred Russel Wallace in Eastern Indonesia. Bali: SeaTrek Sailing Adventures. 34 pp. [English and Bahasa Indonesia editions]

Dorion, C. (2020). Darwin’s Rival: Alfred Russel Wallace and the Search for Evolution. Somerville MA: Candlewick Studio. 58 pp. [highly recommended]

Hugh-Jones, J. (1981). A Dangerous Paradise: Travels of Alfred Russell Wallace Through South East Asia. Singapore: Longman Malaysia. 56 pp.

Ising, A. L. H. (1873). Wallace's Reizen door den Oost-Indischen archipel : voor jonge lezers bewerkt. Amsterdam: Van Kampen & Zoon. 185 pp. [in Dutch]

Ising, A. L. H. (1874). Wallace's Laatste Reizen door den Oost-Indischen Archipel. Amsterdam: Van Kampen & Zoon. 192 pp. [new edition, 1880: Alfred Russel Wallace in Oost Indië: Met Platen, Van Kampen, 192 pp.] [in Dutch]

Karadog, A. & Smith, A. (2023). Wallace: Bywyd Chwilfrydig Alfred Russel Wallace. Llyfrau Broga Books. 32 pp. [In Welsh]

Phillips, F. (2022). The Second in the World to Discover Evolution: Alfred Russel Wallace. Yeehoo Press. 48 pp. 

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith