304 pages, no illustrations
Evolution, during the early nineteenth century, was an idea in the air. Other thinkers had suggested it, but no one had proposed a cogent explanation for how evolution occurs. Then, in September 1838, a young Englishman named Charles Darwin hit upon the idea that 'natural selection' among competing individuals would lead to wondrous adaptations and species diversity. Twenty-one years passed between that epiphany and publication of On the Origin of Species. The human drama and scientific basis of Darwin's twenty-one-year delay constitute a fascinating, tangled tale that elucidates the character of a cautious naturalist who initiated an intellectual revolution.
Also published under the title "The Reluctant Mr Darwin" in the US.
'a complete delight... this captivating biographical essay... is fresh and original.' -- Janet Browne SCIENCE magazine (USA) 'very readable... Part biography, part historical account, this book expertly teases apart Darwin's intellectual jouney of discovery... ' BBC FOCUS 'Anybody with the slightest interest in biology will want to devour every page of this exquisite book.' FINANCIAL TIMES 'an easy read that makes the perfect primer to understanding the man.' -- Martin Brookes NEW SCIENTIST 'a startlingly original intellectual biography of the shy, cautious genius who permanently transformed our ideas about life on Earth.' LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS 'Quammen's stated aim was to produce a "pleasantly readable" account. With this he has achieved much more.' GEOGRAPHICAL
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