The Malay Archipelago

The Malay Archipelago Cover

The Malay Archipelago

By Alfred Russel Wallace

John Beaufoy Publishing, Paperback, 9781906780029, 547pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2009


Alfred Russel Wallace's The Malay Archipelago is a work of astounding breadth and originality that chronicles the British naturalist's scientific exploration of Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and New Guinea between 1854 and 1862. An intrepid explorer who earned his living by collecting bird skins, Wallace also cataloged the vast number of plant and animal species that inhabited this unique geographical area. In addition he includes numerous observations on the people, their languages and ways of living and social organization as well as geological insights into the nature and activity of volcanoes and the destructive force of nature. Colorful personal anecdotes based on experiences during his travels also pepper the text. First published in 1869, i]The Malay Archipelago /i] provided some of the initial evidence of the modern theory of evolution. Discursive, captivating, occasionally offensive, but always wonderfully descriptive, The Malay Archipelago remains one of the most extensive works of natural history ever compiled.