Book number: 91389 Product format: Hardback Author: EDITED BY JANET BROWNE

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Bibliophile price £1.50
Published price £22

In this chunky volume Darwin's biographer has collected hundreds of quotations from the writings of the great evolutionary scientist, illuminating both his public and private life. The first section deals with his early education and the voyage of the Beagle where he collected the specimens that would underlie his research. Of his schooldays he says disparagingly "The school as a means of education to me was simply a blank". But then "delight is a weak term to describe the feelings of a naturalist who, for the first time, has been wandering by himself in a Brazilian forest"; "with my pistols in my belt and a geological hammer in my hand, shall I not look like a grand barbarian?". After an earthquake in Chile, "solid buttresses 6-10 feet thick are broken into fragments like so much biscuit". Famously, "four natives of Terra del Fuego were carried to England" where "they were taught the simpler religious truths and duties". While writing On The Origin of Species Darwin observes to geologist Charles Lyell that "I believe only one or a few of each large genus ultimately becomes victorious and leaves modified descendants". Darwin's religious faith collapsed: "We can no more argue that the beautiful hinge of a bivalve shell must have been made by an intelligent being" and "I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity, but I was very unwilling to give up my belief". Above all, Darwin was adventurous: "I am like a gambler, and love a wild experiment." 348pp, black and white photos, chronology.

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ISBN 9780691169354

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