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LIFE IN LONDON, 1862–1871—SCIENTIFIC AND
ON reaching London in the spring of 1862 I went to live with my brother-in-law, Mr. Thomas Sims, and my sister Mrs. Sims, who had a photographic business in Westbourne Grove. Here, in a large empty room at the top of the house, I brought together all the collections which I had reserved for myself and which my agent, Mr. Stevens, had taken care of for me. I found myself surrounded by a quantity of packing-cases and store-boxes, the contents of many of which I had not seen for five or six years, and to the examination and study of which I looked forward with intense interest.
From my first arrival in the East I had determined to keep a complete set of certain groups from every island or distinct locality which I visited for my own study on my return home, as I felt sure they would afford me very valuable materials for working out the geographical distribution of animals in the archipelago, and also throw light on various other problems. These various sets of specimens were sent home regularly with the duplicates for sale, but either packed separately or so distinctly marked “Private” that they could be easily put aside till my return home. The groups thus reserved were the birds, butterflies, beetles, and land-shells, and they amounted roughly to about three thousand bird skins of about a thousand species, and, perhaps, twenty thousand beetles and butterflies of about seven thousand species.
WOL. I. 385 2 C