The Malay Archipelago,

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Of all the extraordinary Victorian travelogues, The Malay Archipelago has a fair claim to be the greatest - both as a beautiful, alarming, vivid and gripping account of some eight years' travel across the entire Malay world - from Singapore to the western edges of New Guinea - and as the record of a great mind. As Wallace, often under conditions of terrible hardship and sickness, battles through jungles, lives with headhunters, and collects beetles, butterflies and birds-of-paradise, he makes discoveries about the workings of biology that have shaped our view of the world ever since.