Press Release: The Malay Archipelago
The Malay Archipelago
The Land of the Orang-Utan and the Bird of Paradise
Alfred Russel Wallace
Preface by Steve Jones
Introduced by George Beccaloni
‘In my estimation he was a very, very great man’
sir david attenborough
Alfred Russel Wallace was, with Charles Darwin, the co-discoverer of the theory of evolution through natural selection, and The Malay Archipelago is celebrated for the impulse it gave to the formulation and first publication of the theory in 1858. This new Folio edition brings together a wealth of pictorial material associated with Wallace and his Malay trip, including Wallace’s own watercolours, never before published alongside his text.
Wallace spent eight years in Southeast Asia collecting beetles, birds and butterflies. The undertaking was phenomenal (14,000 miles of travel, 110,000 insects, 8,000 birds, 500 mammals and reptiles, 5,000 species new to science and the first living birds of paradise), and as Wallace battled through jungles, rivers and mountains, sickness, near-starvation and encounters with headhunters, he made discoveries about the workings of biology that have shaped our view of the world ever since. He was, as David Attenborough puts it, ‘a great scientist, a great man and a tough traveller beyond compare’.
This two-volume edition is the most comprehensively illustrated in print, and includes Wallace’s own watercolours and drawings from his field notebooks and journals, beautiful natural history paintings of birds, insects, butterflies and plants (many only previously published in 19th-century zoological journals), original photographs and colour lithographs of local scenes, paintings and engravings. The text also includes over 60 integrated black and white engravings.
The introduction by Wallace expert George Beccaloni gives a detailed overview of the great scientist’s unusual beginnings and his significance as a proponent of evolution. The preface by geneticist and science writer Steve Jones celebrates Wallace’s passion for biology. The edition also includes the 1858 joint Darwin/Wallace paper, the first public announcement of the theory of evolution by natural selection.
Bound in printed and blocked cloth. Set in Dante. Volume one: 392 pages; volume two: 352 pages. Frontispiece and 32 pages of colour plates in each volume. Maps and over 60 integrated black & white illustrations in total. Blocked slipcase. 9½” x 6¼”.
UK £99.00 US $160.00 Can $199.00 Aus $199.00
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