Charles Darwin

Overview

?A vivid and engrossing account of Darwin?s inner life and his search for the laws of life. We feel the durable texture of his friendships and family attachments, and we witness the slow, painful genesis of ideas that are still transforming the world.? ?Geoffrey Cowley, New York Times Book Review
Describes Darwin's work as a naturalist, and presents an intimate portrait of him as a son, brother, father, and husband.

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Overview

“A vivid and engrossing account of Darwin’s inner life and his search for the laws of life. We feel the durable texture of his friendships and family attachments, and we witness the slow, painful genesis of ideas that are still transforming the world.” —Geoffrey Cowley, New York Times Book Review
Describes Darwin's work as a naturalist, and presents an intimate portrait of him as a son, brother, father, and husband.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This new biography will strongly appeal both to those who know the life and work of Darwin (1809-1882) and to those less familiar with the famous naturalist and his theories of evolution and natural selection. The late Bowlby ( Personality and Mental Illness ), a British psychologist, meticulously details the family background, education, scientific discoveries and publications of a young man who nearly became a country parson but boarded the HMS Beagle instead. It's an impressive story, and Bowlby does an excellent job of explaining the scientific context of Darwin's The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man , drawing extensively from the correspondence and journals of their author and members of his professional and personal circles. Additionally, the book proposes a new theory: that Darwin's debilitating bad health and depression stemmed from the death of his mother in 1817. Bowlby suggests that this sudden and silence-shrouded bereavement, along with Darwin's difficult relationship with his father, were the psychological causes of his emotional breakdowns and episodes of boils, vomiting, elephantiasis, rashes and heart palpitations. Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.)
Library Journal
For more than a century, doctors and biographers have sought to explain the nature and origin of the illnesses that often left Darwin a semi-invalid. Bowlby, a pre-eminent British child psychiatrist who died in 1990, attributes these ailments to a form of repressed and prolonged bereavement for his mother who died when Darwin was eight. Bowlby draws heavily from primary sources--Darwin's Autobiography , Cor respondence , unpublished material--as well as medical and psychological literature. The narrative is engagingly readable and focuses more on the man and his personality than on his works. The maps, photos, tables, and bibliography add appreciably to the text, and the appendix ``Darwin's ill health in the light of current research'' is particularly useful. Readers interested in another, more socially oriented psychological explanation should consult Ralph Colp's To Be an Invalid ( LJ 6/1/77). Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.-- Harry E. Whitmore, Univ. of Maine-Augusta Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393309300
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/1992
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 1.06 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author

John Bowlby (1907–1990) was born in London and educated at the University of Cambridge and University College Hospital in London. His research and influential publications contributed to far-reaching changes in the ways children are treated and to radically new thinking about the social emotional development of human beings.

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