Darwin

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 808 pages
14 Reviews
"It is like confessing a murder." These are the words Charles Darwin uttered when he revealed to the world what he knew to be true: that humans are descended from headless hermaphrodite squids. How could a wealthy gentleman, a stickler for respectability, attack the foundations of his religion and Anglican society? Authors Adrian Desmond and James Moore, in what has been hailed as the definitive biography of Charles Darwin, not only explain the paradox of the man but bring us the full sweep of Victorian science, theology, and mores. The authors unveil the battle over the mind and soul that raged around the student Darwin as well as his drunken high-life in prostitute-ridden Cambridge. They vividly re-create Darwin's five-year voyage on the Beagle and his struggle to develop his theory of evolution. Then, they follow Darwin through his decades of torment. Fully aware that his ideas could bring ruin and social ostracism to his beloved family, Darwin kept his thoughts secret for twenty years. Seeming to lead an ideal squire's life in rural Kent, he was actually a man "living in Hell," plagued by trembling, vomiting, and violent cramps and confronted by personal tragedy that left him grief-stricken for the rest of his life. But even more than Marx and Freud, this anguished man was to transform the way we see ourselves on this planet. Desmond and Moore's rich, comprehensive, and unparalleled portrait of his life contains a wealth of newly transcribed and unpublished letters, a thorough understanding of all available Darwin research, and ninety photographs, many never published before. Its lively and accessible style makes each chapter as gripping to read as a novel, yet the legitimacy and importance of this seminal work
  

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Review: Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist

User Review  - Mark Bowles - Goodreads

A. Summary: This is a biographical and sympathetic study of Charles Darwin. It shows the social difficulties that surrounded the concept of evolution. B. Themes: 1. This book is directed primarily to ... Read full review

Review: Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist

User Review  - Kent Gerber - Goodreads

This is an excellent and thorough biography of Charles Darwin. His personal life is vividly told including his many chronic illnesses of which I was not fully aware. Segmented by significant periods ... Read full review

Contents

Catching a Falling Christian
5
The Northern Athens
21
SeaMats Seditious Science
31
Anglican Orders
45
Paradise Punishment
61
The Man Who Walks with Henslow
74
Every Man for Himself
84
18311836
99
My Water Doctor
363
Our Bitter Cruel Loss
375
A Gentleman with Capital
391
Ugly Facts
405
Gunships Grog Shops
417
Horrid Wretches Like Me
431
A Low Lewd Nature
441
What Would a Chimpanzee Say?
451

My Final Exit
101
A Chaos of Delight
115
Troubled Spirits from Another World
132
Shaken Foundations
149
Colonial Life
163
Temples of Nature
182
18361842
193
A Peacock Admiring His Tail
195
Reforming Nature
212
Tearing Down the Barriers
229
Mental Rioting
240
Marriage Malthusian Respectability
256
The Dreadful War
280
The Extreme Verge of the World
301
Murder
313
informed Little Monsters
339
Al Diabolo
351
Breaking Cover
467
More Kicks than Halfpence
485
From the Womb of the Ape
500
A Living Grave
519
Emerald Beauty
536
Sex Politics the X
550
Disintegrating Speculations
566
Pause Pause Pause
589
A Wretched Bigot
607
Never an Atheist
622
Down among the Worms
638
The Final Experiment
652
An Agnostic in the Abbey
664
Abbreviations
679
Bibliography
740
Index
773
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Adrian Desmond is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Biology Department at University College London. He has written numerous books on evolution and Victorian science.

JAMES MOORE has been active in Gurdjieffian circles in London since 1956 and is the author of Gurdjieff and Mansfield. In 1987 he gave the first seminar on Gurdjieff's ideas at Oxford University; and in 1994 he founded the Gurdjieff Studies Group.

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