Book review: ‘Darwin's Origin of Species: a Biography’ by Janet Browne

A short biography of one of the most revolutionary books ever written.

Darwin's Origin of SpeciesJanet Browne's very readable short biography of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species is one in a series of biographies of Books That Shook the World.

The book takes us very quickly through Darwin's early life, concentrating on the people and events that influenced Darwin's thinking, then goes into more detail about the writing, publication, subsequent controversy surrounding and legacy of his great work. There is plenty of detail packed into the book's 153 pages, which could easily be read at a single, concerted sitting.

The book contains a couple of basic howlers, which are surprising in one of Darwin's foremost biographers—Darwin was born in February, not April, 1809; and Fitzroy died in 1865, not 1885—but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to anyone with even a passing interest in one of the most revolutionary books ever written.

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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