Darwin's Armada tells the stories of Charles Darwin, Thomas Huxley, Joseph Hooker and Alfred Wallace, four young amateur naturalists from Britain who voyaged to the southern hemisphere during the first half of the nineteenth century in search of adventure and scientific fame. It charts their thrilling voyages to the strange and beautiful lands of the southern hemisphere that reshaped the young mariners' scientific ideas and led them, on returning to Britain, to befriend fellow voyager Charles Darwin. All three crucially influenced the publication and reception of his Origin of Species in 1859, one of the formative texts of the modern world.
For the first time the Darwinian revolution of ideas is seen as a genuinely collective enterprise and one that had its birth in a series of gripping and human travel adventures. Many of the most urgent ecological and social issues of our times are seen to be prefigured in this compelling story of intellectual discovery.
Darwin's Last Voyage
Oh build your ship of death, oh build it! for you will need it.
For the voyage of oblivion awaits you.
D. H. Lawrence, 'The Ship of Death'
Charles Darwin's funeral took place at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday 26 April 1882. Twenty years earlier, the English press had taunted him as 'The Devil's Disciple', the scientist whose theory of evolution had dethroned the divine creator and turned man into the cousin of the monkey. Now the Pall Mall Gazette spoke for all in comparing him to Copernicus and calling him 'the greatest Englishman since Newton'. The more than two thousand mourners at the Abbey made up a Who's Who of the Victorian establishment. So many had applied for admission cards that the undertakers were rattled.
The body had arrived at eight o'clock the evening before, after a horse-drawn journey from the village of Downe, in Kent, accompanied for the sixteen miles by three of Darwin's sons and an icy drizzle. The white oak coffin, bearing ...
A must-read for anyone interested in how the theory of evolution developed. It is recommended particularly for those with an interest in the biological sciences, although non-scientific readers will find it very accessible.
(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).
Full Review (642 words).
Evolutionary Ideas Before Darwin
The theory of evolution states that all life is related and has descended from a common ancestor; complex creatures evolve over a long period of time from simpler organisms. Evolution is not concerned with the origin of Earth or of the Universe, but attempts to explain why different living things have developed and diversified since life first appeared on Earth.
Evolutionary thought had been around for centuries before Charles Darwin's time; the first person known to have speculated on the topic was the Greek philosopher Anaximander in the 6th century BCE. Similar pre-evolutionary ideas appeared across Greece, Rome, China, and throughout the Arab world into the Middle Ages. German ...
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The acclaimed author of Founding Gardeners reveals the forgotten life of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world - and in the process created modern environmentalism.
Darwins Ghosts tells the story of the collective discovery of evolution, from Aristotle to Al-Jahiz, an Arab writer in the first century, from Leonardo da Vinci to Denis Diderot in Paris, exploring the origins of species while under the surveillance of the secret police.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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