Charles Darwin: The Power of Place

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Oktober 2003



In 1858, Charles Darwin was forty-nine years old, a gentleman scientist living quietly at Down House in the Kent countryside. He was not yet a focus of debate; his "big book on species" still lay on his desk as a manuscript. For more than twenty years he had been accumulating material for it, puzzling over the questions that it raised, trying to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion, and wanting to be certain that his startling theory of evolution was correct. It is at this point that the concluding volume of Janet Browne's magisterial biography opens. Beginning with the extraordinary events that finally forced the "Origin of Species" into print, we come to the years of fame and controversy. Here, Browne does dramatic justice to all aspects of the Darwinian revolution, from a fascinating examination of the Victorian publishing scene to a survey of the debates between scientists and churchmen over evolutionary theory. At the same time, she presents a wonderfully sympathetic and authoritative picture of Darwin himself.


Part One: AUTHOR CHAPTER 1: Stormy Waters 3 CHAPTER 2: "My Abominable Volume" 43 CHAPTER 3: Publish and Be Damned 82 CHAPTER 4: Four Musketeers 126 Part Two: EXPERIMENTER CHAPTER 5: Eyes Among the Leaves 165 CHAPTER 6: Battle of the Books 196 CHAPTER 7: Invalid 231 CHAPTER 8: The Burden of Heredity 275 Part Three: CELEBRITY CHAPTER 9: Son of a Monkey 325 CHAPTER 10: Darwin in the Drawing Room 370 CHAPTER 11: England's Green and Pleasant Land 407 CHAPTER 12: Home Is the Sailor 446 Notes 499 Bibliography 533 Acknowledgements 569 Index 573


Janet Browne is Professor in the History of Biology at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London and is currently President of the British Society for the History of Science. She is the author of several books, including "Charles Darwin: Voyaging" (Princeton), and has served as Associate Editor of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin.


This biography is matchless in detail and compass, and one feels an abiding gratitude that Browne was willing to sacrifice so many years of her life to reconstruct Darwin's. -- John Tooby New York Times A masterpiece... Brown took on an enormously ambitious project, and only an astonishingly skillful writer and a masterly historian could have pulled it off. She has. -- Benjamin Schwarz Atlantic Monthly [A] sprawling, magnificent biography. Integrating the best of current scholarship with her own discoveries, Browne's account is state of the art. -- Richard Milner Scientific American Superb... An intimate yet clinical study. -- Keith Stuart Thomas American Scientist Soothing, unhurried, and absorbing... Browne has succeeded triumphantly in the biographer's most important task: she has made [Darwin] human. -- Jane Ridley Spectator
EAN: 9780691114392
ISBN: 0691114390
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Oktober 2003
Seitenanzahl: 624 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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