Charles Darwin was one of the most influential scientific thinkers of his age and his ideas continue to inform our understanding of the natural world. Darwin was born and went to school in Shrewsbury and the town was the home of his family until he moved away as a young man. The story of Shrewsbury's Darwin is of a youthful, energetic and outdoor-loving figure with a natural curiosity, intrigued by the world he saw around him who evolved into the ideal candidate for the position of naturalist on HMS Beagle. In Charles Darwin in Shrewsbury the reader is taken through Darwin's early history, his great adventure on HMS Beagle and finally to the realisation of his big idea. Alongside this the author takes the reader on a guided tour around the town, highlighting the landmarks associated with Darwin. The book places Darwin's early years in the context of the town and the wider landscape, providing a fresh insight into the naturalist's personal and intellectual development. It is both a pocket biography and a town guide, a companion for pilgrims to the town and a fascinating insight into the making of a marvellous mind.
Jon Fraser King is the founder of the Shrewsbury Darwin Festival. The festival was devised during his time as a presenter on BBC Radio Shropshire. In 2003 he was appointed Darwin Officer for the local authority and set about preparing for the bicentennial celebrations which he directed in 2009. He has lectured on Darwin's Shrewsbury at Stanford University, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was invited by the British Council to address an International Colloquium for Science Festival Directors.