The Species Seekers Quiz: Wallace’s House of Rest
Posted by Richard Conniff on February 15, 2011
After spending a dozen years in the tropics and making his reputation as the greatest field biologist of the nineteenth century, Alfred Russel Wallace later gave this name to the house where he retired:
1. Darwinia, to honor his co-discoverer of the theory of natural selection (though his wife Annie had suggested Wallacea).
2. Umbraculum, from the Latin word for a place of quiet retirement.
3. Tulgey Wood, after a nonsense verse by Lewis Carroll.
4. Birdwing, for his discovery of the spectacular Wallace’s golden birdwing butterfly.
And the answer is:
The worlds of species seeking and nonsense verse were surprisingly interconnected (you can read about it in The Species Seekers, Chapter 13, “A Fool to Nature” ). Wallace was so enamored of Lewis Carroll’s work that, late in life, with his travels to the Amazon and the East Indies far behind him, he named his house Tulgey Wood, after the haunt of the jujub bird and the frumious bandersnatch in “Jabberwocky”:
And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
And finally, click here to see more of the creatures in jubjub artist David Elliot’s excellent menagerie.