Soon after publication of On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin received a letter that deeply unsettled him. He had expected outrage and accusations of heresy, but this letter was different: it accused him of taking credit for a theory that wasn't his. Yet when he tried to trace his intellectual forebears, he found that history had already forgotten them.
Rediscovering Aristotle on the shores of Lesbos and Leonardo da Vinci fossil hunting in the Tuscan hills, this is a masterful retelling of the collective daring of a few like-minded men, whose early theories flew in the face of prevailing political and religious orthodoxies and laid the foundations for Darwin's revolutionary idea.
Rebecca Stott is a novelist and historian. She is Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and an Affiliated Scholar at the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University. She is the author of eleven books including three non-fiction history of science books: Darwin and the Barnacle, Theatres of Glass: The Woman who Brought the Sea to the City and Oyster, and two historical novels, and most recently the bestselling Ghostwalk, shortlisted for the Jelf First Novel Award and the Society of Authors First Book Award, and The Coral Thief, both of which have been published in many different countries. She is regularly asked to contribute to radio and TV documentaries and arts programmes. Rebecca Stott lives in Cambridge.
"Impressive scholarship and compelling narrative; a fine book"
- Brenda Maddox on Darwin's Ghosts
"Exciting, gripping and addictively readable"
- Independent on Sunday on Darwin and the Barnacle
"This is a brilliant performance with a grip like that of the Ancient Mariner"
- New Scientist
"Mesmerizing [...] Ghostwalk has an all-too-rare scholarly authority and imaginative sparkle [...] Rebecca Stott has accomplished something distinctively fresh"
- New York Times Book Review on Ghostwalk