Alfred Russel Wallace-the Hurstpierpoint connection
I first became interested in Wallace while watching Bill Bailey’s Jungle Heroes on TV and the significance of the Blue Plaque outside Treeps at the end of our High Street became the inspiration for our forthcoming exhibition.
Alfred Russel Wallace died 100 years ago. Like Darwin he came up with the idea of evolution. Unlike Darwin he became the forgotten man. Well respected in his day, his life and work are now being recognised and celebrated again.
Museums around the country will be commemorating the centenary of his death this November. Visit the Natural History Museum Wallace website http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/science-of-natural-history/wallace/events/index.html for more information.
We in Hurst will be staging an exhibition focusing on his connections with the village.
Visit our exhibition in the foyer of the Village Centre, Trinity Road Hurstpierpoint BN6 9UY from 4th November until the end of January 2014to learn more.
Mon; Tues and Wed 0900-1330 Hrs.
Thurs and Fri 0900-1700 Hrs.
Sat 0900-1300 Hrs.
And whenever the Village Centre is open.
Quotation from ”Danny House-A Sussex Mansion through Seven Centuries”
Returning home in 1862 with two birds of paradise for the Zoological Society, Wallace united with Darwin to defend their theory from bitter attacks from creationists. Maybe his un-Christian stance caused his fiancé to abruptly jilt him. Still extremely upset, he arrived in Hurstpierpoint to join his friend Richard Spruce and met Mr Mitten and his daughters. Quite soon they were all placidly botanising together amid the orchids, dyer’s broom and giant cowslips nodding in the woods below” the hill”. He duly wedded Annie, the eldest Miss Mitten, who clearly could cope with “natural selection”. Indeed it was at Treeps, her family home in Hurstpierpoint High Street that Wallace wrote [in 1867-9] his bestselling natural history of “The Malay Archipelago”, dedicating it to the delighted Darwin.