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Darwin's Origin of Species: A Biography

By: Janet Browne

Atlantic Books

Paperback | Aug 2007 | #167078 | ISBN-13: 9781843543947
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £8.99 $12/€10 approx

About this book

No book has changed our understanding of ourselves more than "Darwin's Origin of Species". It caused a sensation on its first day of publication in 1859 and went on to become an international bestseller. The idea that living things gradually evolve through natural selection profoundly shocked its Victorian readers, calling into question what had been for many the unshakeable belief that there was a Creator.

In this book, Janet Browne, Charles Darwin's foremost biographer, shows why "Darwin's Origin of Species" can fairly claim to be the greatest science book ever published. She describes the genesis of Darwin's theories, explains how they were initially received and examines why they remain so contentious today. Her book is a marvellously readable account of the work that altered forever our knowledge of what it is to be human.

'Superb: easy to read but none the less intellectually exciting... the perfect introduction to Darwin's thought... Brilliant.' Adam Sisman, Sunday Telegraph * '[Browne] relates the history of Darwin's ideas with a pellucid freshness that makes reading the book a continuous pleasure.' John Gray, New Statesman * 'Compendious, clear and engaged accounts... this series is a big success.' A. C. Grayling, The Times * 'These well written stories of great books serve as finger-licking, appetite-whetting hors d'oeuvre.' Zauddin Sardar, Independent * 'Each of the books is a delight. Not only did they send me scurrying back to the originals with gleeful haste, they informed and enthused with admirable lucidity.' Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday

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Janet Browne is a professor at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL. She is the author of the landmark two-volume biography of Charles Darwin: Voyaging (1995) and The Power of Place (2002).

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