The Reluctant Mr. Darwin

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2006-07-01
  • Publisher: W W NORTON
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The story of Charles Darwin and his wondrous, scary idea-the idea of "natural selection" as the main mechanism of evolution-is one of the most exciting in the history of science. Yet twenty-one years passed between Darwin's conception of this idea and his publication of The Origin of Species. In The Reluctant Mr. Darwin, David Quammen draws on Darwin's secret "transmutation" notebooks and private letters to create a meticulous, humane portrait of the man, and a lucid explication of his work, that captures both the personal foibles and the scientific substance. It's an intimate view of a great scientist-taking readers behind the veil of Darwin's greatness and his fame, following him closely through the joys, struggles, and sorrows of his quiet but extraordinarily consequential life. Book jacket.

Author Biography

David Quammen currently holds the Wallace Stegner Chair of Western American Studies at Montana State University, in Bozeman

Table of Contents

Home and Dry: an introduction 11(9)
The Fabric Falls: 1837-1839 20(32)
The Kiwi's Egg: 1842-1844 52(32)
Point of Attachment: 1846-1851 84(38)
A Duck for Mr. Darwin: 1848-1857 122(31)
His Abominable Volume: 1858-1859 153(52)
The Fittest Idea: 1860 to the future 205(30)
The Last Beetle: 1876-1882 235(20)
Source Notes 255(16)
Bibliography 271(14)
Acknowledgments 285(4)
Index 289

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