VIDEO: Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero (Alfred Russel Wallace)

British comedian Bill Bailey did a documentary for the BBC about Alfred Russel Wallace, in two episodes:

Peter Raby, who wrote a biography of Wallace, wrote a review for the Journal of Victorian Culture Online, here.

John van Wyhe is more critical in how Wallace is presented, here.

6 thoughts on “VIDEO: Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero (Alfred Russel Wallace)

  1. Pingback: Giants’ Shoulders #60 Part II: The Present | The Renaissance Mathematicus

  2. I found parts of the documentary very interesting, and other parts delightful. But still others were puzzling, in that they seem to contradict other accounts that I’ve read. It’s a much more negative account of Darwin’s attitude to Wallace than I’ve read elsewhere, and seperately, the statement that Wallace “denied God” (19:40 on the first video) contradicts my understanding that Wallace remained a theist of some description throughout his life. My sources on this are not unbiased, but I have not hitherto seen them challenged on this point.

  3. Actually, Wallace was an atheist in the earlier part of his life before he became a spiritualist. For much of the later part of his life when he believed in spiritualism he does not appear to have believed in a god. Rather he seems to have regarded the spirit world as part of the natural world – so the natural world was made up of the world of spirit plus the world of life.

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