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Answer 134. Alfred Russel Wallace wrote the other paper delivered to the Linnaean Society at Burlington House.

¬†It took years for his and Darwin’s theories about evolution to win general acceptance (they still aren’t accepted in the more backward parts of the USA).

Thomas Bell, the Linnaean Society’s president, was present at the fateful meeting, but completely failed to grasp the significance of what he was hearing. At the end of his year in office, he complained that it had not ‘been marked by any of those striking discoveries which at once revolutionize, so to speak, the department of science on which they bear.’ Oops!


Savile Row, home of expensive tailoring, lies just behind Burlington House. After a riotous dinner party in October 1815, Lord Byron and his friend Douglas Kinnaird came lurching along this street, escorting an elderly playwright home to bed.

SheridanThe playwright had lived at No 14 (see photo) for many years. He was quite drunk as Byron and Kinnaird saw him to his front door:

‘Kinnaird and I had to conduct him down a damned corkscrew staircase, which had certainly been constructed before the discovery of fermented liquors, and to which no legs, however crooked, could possibly accommodate themselves.

‘We deposited him safe at home, where his man evidently used to the business, waited to receive him in the hall.’

HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 135. The playwright had been very famous in his day, but had since fallen on hard times. Who was he?

Point Lenana









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