Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist

Published on June 17, 1994

by Adrian Desmond and James Moore
W.W. Norton & Company, 1994

“Darwin, his family, his colleagues, and his milieu come alive in this book. . . . Superbly written.” — Everett Menselson, Harvard University


“Invaluable for its day-to-day account of Charles Darwin’s activities, this monumental biography keenly conveys the English naturalist’s struggle to make evolution and natural selection acceptable by presenting them as the bedrock of Victorian middle-class values. Using a trove of previously untapped material, the authors illuminate Darwin as a freethinking agnostic fearful of being labeled an anarchist, a scientific titan trapped on a literary treadmill, a voyager on the Beagle appalled at ‘low’ races of savages, and a paterfamilias who subordinated women but was completely dependent on his wife. Above all, British authors Desmond (The Hot-Blooded Dinosaurs) and Moore, the editorial consultant to Cambridge University’s Darwin Letters Project, plunge readers into the controversies of the era as parson-hating biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, socialist Alfred Russell Wallace, free-market capitalists and radical atheists bent Darwinism to their own purposes.” – Library Journal

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