Charles Darwin's book On the Origin of Species changed both science and society – but why? This biography explores the life of Charles Darwin, from his early investigations of the natural world and his voyage on the HMS Beagle, to the publication of his great work. Darwin astounded the world with his theory of evolution but some people were angry that his ideas challenged traditional ideas and those set out by the church. Through the story of Charles Darwin readers learn about the society and culture of Victorian Britain. Looking at Darwin's discoveries and the events of his life, we learn about the changing ideas in British society between 1745-1901, and the impact that his ideas had on the church and state. Readers will learn to draw conclusions from the evidence provided – a great basis for class discussions.
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Kay Barnham was born in Barrow-in-Furness, grew up in Carlisle, went to college in Brighton, and lived in Hove for a while, before sailing for Kinsale, Co Cork, popping back to Hove and then moving to the New Forest with her husband and daughter. And never at any point has she lived more than ten miles from the sea. She began working in children's publishing in 1992. She was an editor first of all, working on illustrated non-fiction and learning fun facts like how long it would take to walk to the moon – nine years – and how to spell palaeontology. Next, she commissioned fiction titles, editing picture books, storybooks and novels. And then she got the chance to write her own books, which she thinks is quite the best job ever. Except possibly being a chocolatier. She writes non-fiction as Kay Barnham. Her specialist subjects include ice-skating, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, lightning, fairies, Roald Dahl, Sir Isaac Newton, Christmas, dolphins, Florence Nightingale and very bad cracker jokes. And chocolate.She also writes fiction as Kay Woodward, including the Skate School series for Usborne and the novels Jane Airhead and Wuthering Hearts for Andersen Press. Altogether, she's written about a hundred books. Her favourite colour is navy blue. Her favourite chocolate is 85% cocoa solids.