Harry Thompson – This Thing of Darkness

Last modified: February 9, 2018

A novel about the young Charles Darwin as an amateur geologist joining the crew of the Beagle. The ship’s long journey takes him to Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, along the Chilean coast and finally to the Galapagos Islands. This is science in action in the age of the great voyages of discovery. Darwin’s blossoming friendship with the Beagle’s captain, Robert FitzRoy, and its later disintegration, is the main thread running through the book. Their debates are fascinating and reveal how personal character and social position can make their stamp on the scientific process.

The conflict between his religious view of the world and his observations meant that it was decades before Darwin dared to publish his theory of evolution. The turning point only came when he realized that another scientist was now on the same track. It is fascinating to read about the personal dilemmas behind the birth of perhaps of the most important scientific theory in history.

Available at bol.com

 

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