Looking at the world through the eyes of a 17th-century polymath.
Reviews of books about people—excluding Darwin. (See the About Darwin section for books about the man himself.)
Book review: ‘Dispelling the Darkness’ by John van Wyhe
Voyage in the Malay Archipelago and the discovery of evolution by Wallace and Darwin.
Book review: ‘The Ascent of John Tyndall’ by Roland Jackson
A long-overdue biography of the Victorian scientist, mountaineer, and public intellectual.
Book review: ‘The Invention of Nature’ by Andrea Wulf
The adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the lost hero of science.
Book review: ‘The Happy Atheist’ by PZ Myers
Relentlessly unsubtle wholesome fun.
Book review: ‘Darwin's Apprentice’ by Janet Owen
An archaeological biography of John Lubbock.
Book review: ‘Alfred Russel Wallace: a Life’ by Peter Raby
A very readable biography about the ‘co-discoverer’ of Natural Selection—the man who nearly scooped Darwin.
Book review: ‘Darwin's Mentor: John Stevens Henslow 1796–1861’ by S.M. Walters & E.A. Stow
The biography of John Stephens Henslow, Charles Darwin’s favourite tutor at Cambridge, and an all-round good egg.
Book review: ‘The Lunar Men’ by Jenny Uglow
The Friends who Made the Future, 1730–1810
Book review: ‘Evolution’s Captain’ by Peter Nichols
Biography of the captain of HMS Beagle.
Book review: ‘The Age of Wonder’ by Richard Holmes
How the Romantic generation discovered the beauty and terror of science.
Book review: ‘Gilbert White’ by Richard Mabey
A biography of the author of The Natural History of Selborne.