307 pages, B/w illus
The Origin of Species is the most famous book in science but its stature tends to obscure the genius of Charles Darwin's other works. The Beagle voyage, too, occupied only five of the fifty years of his career. He spent only five weeks on the Galapagos and on his return never left Britain again. Darwin wrote six million words, in nineteen books and innumerable letters, on topics as different as dogs, barnacles, insect-eating plants, orchids, earthworms, apes and human emotion. Together, they laid the foundations of modern biology.
In this beautifully written, witty and illuminating book, Steve Jones explores the domestic Darwin, the sage of Kent, and brings his work up to date. Great Britain was Charles Darwin's other island, its countryside as much, or more, a place of discovery than had been the Galapagos. It traces the great naturalist's second journey across its modest landscape: a voyage not of the body but of the mind.
** 'Steve Jones who in ALMOST LIKE A WHALE successfully rewrote Darwin in the 21st century, reminds us in DARWIN'S ISLAND that Darwin did actually write 19 other books which are full of insight into the human condition and into the flora and fauna of Britain - hence his title. If you were to read one new book on Darwin this year, this should be it' Christopher Hudson, DAILY MAIL
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Steve Jones is Professor of Genetics at University College London and the president of the Galton Institute. He delivered the BBC Reith Lectures in 1991, appears frequently on radio and television and is a regular columnist for the Daily Telegraph. See www.ystevejones.com