Darwin and the Barnacle: The Story of One Tiny Creature and History's Most Spectacular Scientific Breakthrough

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 2004 - Science - 336 pages
13 Reviews
A scientific detective story that illuminates the remarkable saga of Darwin's greatest achievement. Pairing Charles Darwin and a rare species of barnacle as her unlikely protagonists, Rebecca Stott has written an absorbing work of history that guides readers through the treacherous shoals of nineteenth-century biology. Beginning her scientific detective story in the 1820s, even before Darwin's Beagle voyage, Stott examines the mystery of why Darwin waited over two decades between formulating his pivotal theory of natural selection and publishing it. Lavishly illustrated, filled with riddles and concepts that challenge our notion of Victorian science, Darwin and the Barnacle is a thrilling account of how genius proceeds through indirection—and how one small item of curiosity contributed to history's most spectacular scientific breakthrough.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
7
3 stars
4
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

An outstanding treatment of Darwin's "Barnacle Years" by Rebecca Stott. Filled with neat little details and contextual elements, as well as not pulling any punches when it comes to the nitty-gritty of barnacle classification (some seriously taxing taxonomy). Very enjoyable armchair natural history. Read full review

Review: Darwin and the Barnacle: The Story of One Tiny Creature and History's Most Spectacular Scientific Breakthrough

User Review  - Mark Edon - Goodreads

I thought this was fab. Disclaimer. I am a Darwin enthusiast or addict. Or as my wife would say, nutter. Enthralling history and some perceptive insights into the man and his work. Read full review

Contents

The Sponge Doctor
1
Riddles of the Rock Pools
22
A Baron Munchausen Amongst Naturalists
42
Settling Down
68
Better Than CastleBuilding
92
Very Like a Lobster
112
On Speculating
135
Writing Annie
154
Drawing the Line
194
Manoeuvres and Skirmishes
216
The Universe in a Barnacle Shell
240
The Asphalt Curtain
255
Bibliography
262
Endnotes
273
Index
298
Copyright

Corked and Bladdered Up
172

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

Rebecca Stott is a writer, academic, and radio broadcaster. She is an affiliated scholar in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University.

Bibliographic information