William Boyd Dawkins was a controversial Victorian geologist, palaeontologist and archaeologist who has divided opinion as either a hero or villain. For some, he was a pioneer of Darwinian science as a member of the Lubbock-Evans network, while for others he was little more than a reckless vandal who destroyed irreplaceable evidence and left precious little for future generations to assess. In William Boyd Dawkins and the Victorian Science of Cave Hunting, Professor Mark White provides an unbiased archaeological and geological account of Boyd Dawkins' career and legacy by drawing on almost twenty years of research as well as his archive of published and unpublished work which places him at the centre of Victorian Darwinian science and society. White examines his work in both the field and study to provide a critical yet balanced account of his achievements and standing in relation to the field today as well as among his peers. At the heart of William Boyd Dawkins and the Victorian Science of Cave Hunting is a detailed study of the circumstances surrounding the Victorian excavations at Creswell Crags, where two celebrated finds became a cause célèbre.
Mark White is Professor of Palaeolithic Archaeology at the University of Durham and was previously a research fellow at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Mark specialises in the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic of Britain and in the History of Archaeology. He has published numerous articles and books as well as acting as a consultant to most counties in England, English Heritage and Natural England.