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The Quarterly Review of Biology
". . . a very satisfying book and a worthy addition to the Darwinian literature."--The Quarterly Review of Biology
In this first-ever examination of Charles Darwin’s sketches, drawings, and illustrations, Julia Voss presents the history of evolutionary theory told in pictures. Darwin had a life-long interest in pictorial representations of nature, sketching out his evolutionary theory and related ideas for over forty years. Voss details the pictorial history of Darwin’s theory of evolution, starting with his notebook sketches of 1837 and ending with the illustrations in The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals (1872). These images were profoundly significant for Darwin’s long-term argument for evolutionary theory; each characterizes a different aspect of his relationship with the visual information and constitutes what can be called an “icon” of evolution. Voss shows how Darwin “thought with his eyes” and how his pictorial representations and the development and popularization of the theory of evolution were vitally interconnected.
Voss explores four of Darwin’s images in depth, and weaves about them a story on the development and presentation of Darwin’s theory, in which she also addresses the history of Victorian illustration, the role of images in science, the technologies of production, and the relationship between specimen, words, and images.
“Each chapter richly details not only Darwin’s preoccupation with visual depictions, but also his deep involvement in the networks of zoologists, collaborators, draftsmen, artists, and others involved in the production of the visual images he seeks and struggles with. As such, the work explores the relationship between science, art, and representation; contemporary British scientific and popular culture; and the varied communities and networks with which Darwin interacts during various periods of his scientific life.”—Mark B. Adams, University of Pennsylvania
1 The Galapagos Finches: John Gould, Darwin's Invisible Craftsman, and the Visual Discipline of Ornithology 14
2 Darwin's Diagrams: Images of the Discovery of Disorder 61
3 The Picture Series: On the Evolution of Imperfection 127
4 The Laughing Monkey: The Human Animal 181