A biographical novel of Charles Darwin
by Irving Stone
Edited by Jean Stone
Publisher: Doubleday & Company, Inc.
Book Club Edition
THE ORIGIN fills an important and long regretted gap in the literature on Charles Darwin. A. L. Rowse, the distinguished British historian, calls it "an extraordinary achievement on Irving Stone's part . . . . The whole world knows Darwin's name, but hardly anything about the man, the human being. Now at last we shall be able to see him and his work in the round, in proper perspective."
At the age of twenty-two, Charles Darwin was a charming, lighthearted young man without a career or future. A recent graduate of Cambridge, he had decided not to follow in his family's tradition of medicine, and was about to enter the clergy, when, out of the blue, a letter arrived inviting him to sail on the H.M.S. Beagle as a naturalist. The surveying voyage would girdle the globe. The result of the voyage would change radically the way man preceived himself and his world.
When Darwin left Plymouth in 1832, bound for Brazil, Tierra del Fuego, the Galapagos Islands, the South Seas and beyond, he was an "unfinished" naturalist, an amateur geologist, energetic and curious, an insatiable collector filled with wonder, but hardly a professional scientist. By the time he returned five years later, he was an experienced naturalist with a beginning reputation in England, a priceless collection of rare and unknown plants and creatures, and a set of notebooks containing the germ of an idea about the origin of species, one that was to shake the foundations of accepted wisdom everywhere.
No author is better qualified to recount this monumental tale than Irving Stone, whose subjects have included Michelangelo, Van Gogh, and Freud. THE ORIGIN is not only the story of the Beagle's cruise but a full-blown account of a lifetime of intellectual inquiry that frequently took its toll on Darwin's health; of academic and religious controversy that pitted his old friends one against the other; and of domestic felicity with his beloved wife Emma and their seven children. Stone's inimitable style encompasses this wide-ranging career, bringing to life everything from the chaos of a Cape Horn hurricane to the loving albeit turbulent friendships of some of England's greatest innovators, to the tranquility of Darwin's Sandwalk at Down House in Kent.
Condition: Used. Hardcover. Dust cover. Pages may be tanning and discolored from age. Previous owner's "Library Of" stamp is on the front endpaper. Dust cover and dust cover flaps are tanning and discolored from age and show a bit of edge wear.
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