Darwin and Wallace: the lost photograph

I’d heard the legend, of course. Every Darwin groupie has. The missing photograph of the two independent discoverers of evolution by means of Natural Selection, Darwin and Wallace, standing side-by-side. Together. In the same frame.

The incorrigible sceptic in me had always dismissed the tale as a myth. Wishful thinking. It never happened. But wouldn’t it be fantastic if it had?

And then, last week, browsing the History of Science section in one of my favourite second-hand bookshops, I chanced upon a collection of Thomas Henry Huxley’s essays, Darwiniana. I picked it up to examine it, and this fell out:

Darwin and Wallace
The legendary missing photograph: Darwin (R) and Wallace (L).

There’s a Pulitzer in this for me, mark my words.

Richard Carter, FCD

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteNewsletterMastodonetc…


  1. Wensleydale cheese wasn't made on a large scale until the end of the 19th century, and it seems unlikely that Wallace could have survived without it. The photo must be a fake.

  2. I'm glad to see this has finally seen the light of day. Just think of the attention it will get and the money it could be sold for. Pulitzer? I think this deserves the big one, the Nobel!

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