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Upon publication, Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species excited much debate and controversy, challenging the foundations of Christianity, nonetheless underpinning the Victorian concept of progress. It still evokes powerful and contradictory responses today. Peter Bowler's study of Darwin's life, first published in 1990, combines biography and cultural history. Emphasizing in particular the impact of Darwin's work, he shows how Darwin's contemporaries were unable to appreciate precisely those aspects of his thinking that are considered scientifically important today. He also demonstrates that Darwin was a product of his time, but he also transcended it by creating an idea capable of being exploited by twentieth-century scientists and intellectuals who had very different values from his own.Read more
- Assesses particularly Darwin's influence, unlike conventional biographies
- Emphasises originality of Darwin's later work
- Short - both Desmond and Moore's and Browne's books are about 600 pages
Reviews & endorsements
"Peter Bowler has fulfilled the obligation to explain the significance of Darwin's work to a more general audience, seizing the opportunity to transmit the conclusions of recent scholarship." British Journal for the History of ScienceSee more reviews
"...a comprehensive survey of Darwin in and out of his own time and a sound introduction to recent scholarship." Times Literary Supplement
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- Date Published: April 1996
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521566681
- length: 264 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 153 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.404kg
- contains: 14 b/w illus. 2 maps
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
General editor's preface
1. The problem of interpretation
2. Evolution before The Origin of Species
3. The young Darwin
4. The voyage of the Beagle
5. The crucial years, London 1837–1842
6. The years of development
7. Going public
8. The emergence of Darwinism
9. The opponents of Darwinism
10. Human origins
11. Darwin and the modern world
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