John H. Wahlert, FCD, Ph.D., Professor of Biology and Chair of Natural Sciences at Baruch College, New York, has been reseaching how Maer, the home of Charles Darwin's cousins, the Wedgwoods, influenced Darwin and his thinking. His resulting paper is entitled Maer Hall and Environs - Monuments to Intellectual History.
Maer Hall and the surrounding countryside was undoubtedly of great importance to Darwin, who spent many happy days there in his youth. It was at Maer Hall that he proposed to his cousin, Emma Wedgwood. They were married in Maer church. In his autobiography, Darwin wrote:
My visits to Maer during these two or three succeeding years were quite delightful, independently of the autumnal shooting. Life there was perfectly free; the country was very pleasant for walking or riding; and in the evening there was much very agreeable conversation, not so personal as it generally is in large family parties, together with music.
As well as providing interesting background information about Maer, Prof. Wahlert's paper describes how observations made at Maer contributed to Darwin's scientific work.
Prof. Wahlert carried out his researched at the request of Kenneth Hancock, FCD, who is fighting to save the Maer Hills from inappropriate development. I wish him the best of luck with his campaign.
See also: Maer Hills Action Group