A long-overdue biography of the Victorian scientist, mountaineer, and public intellectual.
As historians of science are forever reminding us (although nobody listens to those killjoys), we enter dangerous territory when we start to discuss the ‘first’ person to do X, the ‘lone genius’ who invented Y, or the ‘Father of’ Great Idea Z.
For every giant that strides the scientific world like a colossus, there are many thousands more mini-heroes of science whose contributions are sometimes overlooked or forgotten. William Bernhardt Tegetmeier is an excellent example.
Botanist, clergyman, and Charles Darwin’s great friend and tutor.
What a strange man to be envious of a naturalist like myself, immeasurably his inferior! —Charles Darwin to J.S. Henslow, 8th May 1860 If ever an example were sought of the old dictum that history is written by the victors, we need look no further than that of the brilliant Victorian anatomist and palaeontologist Sir Richard…