strange behaviors

Cool doings from the natural and human worlds

  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

  • Categories

  • Wall of the Dead

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!

Here’s a picture of the house at  149 Lower Blandford Road, Broadstone, Dorset, and here’s the Google map. Wallace built Tulgey Wood  in 1908 and died there five years later.

And finally, click here to see more of the  creatures in jubjub artist David Elliot’s excellent menagerie.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s