Darwin's Origin of Species: A Biography

Darwin's Origin of Species: A Biography Charles Darwin S Foremost Biographer, Janet Browne, Delivers A Vivid And Accessible Introduction To The Book That Permanently Altered Our Understanding Of What It Is To Be Human A Sensation On Its Publication In , The Origin Of The Speciesprofoundly Shocked Victorian Readers By Calling Into Question The Belief In A Creator With Its Description Of Evolution Through Natural Selection And Darwin S Seminal Work Is Nearly As Controversial Today In Her Illuminating Study, Browne Delves Into The Long Genesis Of Darwin S Theories, From His Readings As A University Student And His Five Year Voyage On The Beagle , To His Debates With Contemporaries And Experiments In His Garden She Explores The Shock To Darwin When He Read Of Competing Scientist S Similar Discoveries And The Wide And Immediate Impact Of Darwin S Theories On The World As One Of The Launch Titles In Atlantic Monthly Press Books That Changed The World Series, Browne S History Takes Readers Inside The Origin Of The Species And Shows Why It Can Fairly Claim To Be The Greatest Science Book Ever Published

Elizabeth Janet Browne n e Bell, born 30 March 1950 is a British historian of science, known especially for her work on the history of 19th century biology She taught at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, University College, London, before returning to Harvard She is currently Aramont Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University

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  • Paperback
  • 174 pages
  • Darwin's Origin of Species: A Biography
  • Janet Browne
  • English
  • 10 July 2018
  • 9780871139535

10 thoughts on “Darwin's Origin of Species: A Biography

  1. says:

    I m divided about this book I heard it as an audiobook somewhere in the Outback so couldn t judge the thickness It s a slim book as such I would not have taken it off the shelf This probably sounds snobbish, but it isn t meant to be, and I shall explain.I read Darwin s Origin of Species not long after its 1st edition it was some years ago, let s just say Actually, if this little book is correct, I probably read the 6th Edition Darwin constantly re wrote chunks of this till he died sometime in the early 1990s I have also read some of Wallace s works, Hooker s introductory essays on southern hemisphere biogeography, and something by Huxley my paper book diary isn t at hand and I have a book of his essays stashed in the library awaiting to be read I would like to think I know a bit about these earlier writers etc.What I was thinking I was getting was another essay on interpreting the impact on the world on Darwin s work etc You do get that, but not as a critical analysis based on new insights thought What you do get is a lovely overall review of Darwin, his times, those people he worked with the consequent affects in both the wider community, but also for evolutionary biologists.What I liked about the book was the easy digestible bits about Darwin his personal professional life, and the effect he had on science Then there are his close friends Hooker, Huxley Lyell We do sidestep the very thorny bit about Wallace s treatment after publication of Origin of Species Wallace is given his due, and his later studies are commented on but this is about Darwin, after all I really liked the last portion that dealt with his influence into eugenics, business and sociobiology survival of the fittest mantra and I liked the commentary regarding the New Science movement of Julian Huxley, Ernst Mayer George Gaylord Simpson It brought back those days in Honours MSc days when I read all this much based primarily from the initial readings made as an undergrad.What I didn t like was the lack of depth For me, it gave me no new insights nor in depth analysis I ended up knowing only one new piece of info listed above regarding editions and was a big disappointment for me The matter of Darwin s health issues which is always fun to speculate, is also given a whitewash job not something I would expect from an eminent biographer Actually, I think the Desmond Moore biography from the early 90s to be the acme of them all It took me a little time to realise that this book should be treated as either a general intro for those that don t know the field and want to learn, or as a crib to some undergrad doing a general evolution course at uni This is fine, but not what I, the grumpy well read botanist, wanted It has made me, however, hunt out those books and articles that I do need to read that are missing from my previous readings That isn t a bad thing.

  2. says:

    This selective biography highlights Darwin s early career and then focuses on his famous theory with a brief background of his work and how it was received upon release As a young man, Darwin attempted to study in the medical profession and ended up training to be an Anglican priest He later signed up for a voyage on the HMS Beagle as a naturalist and while surveying and charting the coasts of South America, Europe, and Asia, he kept journals on geology, plant and animal life leading to years of research I was touched by his devotion to his wife and children with whom he spent a great deal of time sharing his discoveries Browne mentioned the depression Darwin suffered when his daughter died young after an illness He had suffered many years with heart problems and stomach troubles himself I learned a lot about Charles Darwin in this short book, but would have enjoyed a narrative biography It would be a good introduction to Darwin s The Origin of Species.

  3. says:

    This book is difficult for me to rate, as it almost felt like a text book I wanted to learn about Darwin s theories after recently going to the Galapagos Islands, and this book served that purpose well It was just a touch dry Can you really spice up evolutionary theory though The last chapter that discussed resistance to the theory and lawsuits around it was quite interesting however The book is part of a series called Books that changed the world Realizing that The Origin of Species is one of those is not any stretch of the imagination it was absolutely revolutionary.

  4. says:

    Dense yet brief, not a biography of Darwin but a story of the conception, creation and reception of the book that changed everything Other men were cast out of society for promoting very similar theories Darwin s mild mannered character and lovely writing helped make On the Origin of the Species a hit.

  5. says:

    For assignment Interesting to know the story behind natural selection

  6. says:

    le liberalism face

  7. says:

    These five years on the Beagle voyage were the making of him Some of them were spent galloping on hired horses, striking camp in new places every night, hunting game for supper with companions from the ship, discussing the news from back home and enjoying himself they were an extension of the carefree days as a Cambridge undergraduate In Montevideo they marched into town armed tot he teeth to quell a political uprising In Tasmania they attended a very fine concert In the far south they were nearly capsized by a calving glacier Out in the forest near Conception Darwin felth the earth buckle under his feet in a major earthquake He swam in coral lagoons, was entranced by birdsong in a tropical forest, and contemplated the stars from the top of a pass on the Cordillera de los Andes Browne This Darwin dude seriously lived a nice Victorian adventurer s life This slim book is a great passport to Darwin s world and formative experiences It chronicles the events in his life, up to and during the book s publication It is interesting to know that in the intervening years Darwin spent 8 years studying barnacles You also get to meet his 4 apostles his 4 scientific defenders, Asa Gray, TH Huxley, Hooker and Lyell, who organized his cohesive defense and directed the discussions in centers of learning to make sure Darwinism became accepted However this is very much an introductory text in the history of evolutionary sciences Altogether very straightforward.

  8. says:

    Standard, dry biography by a solid liberal historian Good as far as it goes White, male, propertied, heterosexual says that we evolved along with the rest of the animal kingdom Supports industrialism, imperialism and gets buried in Westminster despite the fact that he was a major player in dethroning God as the alpha and omega of creation Browne lists the ways in which the science of evolution has been abused by numerous parties thru the 20th century It would be also interesting to hear what evolution has made possible in terms of scientific progress Evolutionary psychology has just begun to think about how different parts of the brain have evolved I look forward to reading about why the idea of evolution even matters.

  9. says:

    Ksi ka w spos b interesuj cy prezentuje t o historyczne oraz wydarzenia, kt re ostatecznie doprowadzi y do powstania najs ynniejszego dzie a Darwina Ciekawy jest te rozdzia traktuj cy o jego recepcji w r d ludzi wsp czesnych Darwinowi Nieco mniej podoba mi si rozdzia ostatni, mimo interesuj cych fakt w Mia em wra enie, e jest zbyt skondensowany i prezentowanym zagadnieniom powinno si by o po wi ci nieco wi cej czasu i uwagi.

  10. says:

    Style is clear and engaging, and the story told thought provoking From time to time, subjective historical interpretations or a certain bias can be seen in the pages, but for the most part, the book is a very interesting insight in the history, the precedents and the outcomes of Darwin s theories A must read for anyone interested in the History of Biology, or aiming to understand present day confrontations between evolution and creationism.

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