Solitude of a Humble Genius - Gregor Johann Mendel: Volume 1: Formative Years

Solitude of a Humble Genius - Gregor Johann Mendel: Volume 1: Formative Years

Paperback(Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2013)

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Solitude of a Humble Genius - Gregor Johann Mendel: Volume 1: Formative Years by Jan Klein, Norman Klein

Gregor Johann Mendel continues to fascinate the general public as well as scholars, the former for his life and the latter for his achievements. Solitude of a Humble Genius is a two-volume biography presenting Mendel in the context of the history of biology and philosophy, and in the context of the setting in which he lived and worked. In this first volume the authors set the stage for a new interpretation of Mendel’s achievements and personality. The period of Mendel’s life covered by this volume is critical to understanding why he saw what other biologists, including Charles Darwin, for example, didn’t. In searching for clues to Mendel’s thinking, the authors discuss at length the origin of his genes; the history of the region of his birth; they also spend a day and then the four seasons of the year with his family; and finally they examine the schooling he received, as well as the cultural and political influences he was exposed to.

An indispensible part of the work is Norman Klein’s artwork. In this first volume alone, it comprises nearly 80 original drawings and includes cartoons that enliven the narration, scenes from Mendel’s life, portraits, and plans and drawings of the cities and buildings in which he lived, studied, and worked.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783642427015
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication date: 04/14/2014
Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2013
Pages: 407
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Prelude: Heredity, Sex, and Species – the Greek View

The Mutiny of Reason

Change or No Change?

Plato’s Myth

Enter Aristotle and His Inventory of Reality

The Hylomorphic Doctrine

Aristotle’s Theory of Change

Aristotle’s Concept of Animal Reproduction

The Kinds of Animal

The Origin of the Semen

The Quest for the Female Semen

The Origin of a New Individual

Embryonic Development

Generation in Plants

Spontaneous Generation

Aristotle’s Theory of Inheritance

Aristotle’s Species Concept

Where Modern Genetics Meets Old Aristotle

How Does Mendel Fit Into All This?

Chapter Two

Silesia and Moravia – Mendel’s Tortured Homeland

Geographica Mendeliana

The Birth of the Land

Prehistoric Moravia/Silesia

The Language Tree of Europe

The Path to Modern Europe

The Ascension of the Slavs

Western Slavs’ Search for New Homeland

Lands of the Czech Crown

Lužice (Lusacia)

Slezsko (Silesia)

Morava (Moravia)

Čechy (Bohemia)

A Kingdom Granted and a Kingdom Stolen

Islets of German-speaking People in the Czech Lands

Origin of Mendel’s Genes

Chapter Three

The First Decade: The Childhood of a Farmer’s Son


The Odry Domain

Hynčice and Veselí


The Surname


Teachers and Philanthropists

Farmstead No. 58

Johann Mendel is Born

Sisters and Other Relatives

The State of the Empire

A Day at Home With the Mendels

A Year of the Natural Cycle on Anton Mendel’s Farm

A Year in a Village

The Birth of a Naturalist

A Momentous Decision

Inevitability and Serendipity: Part 1

Postscript: Mendel’s Nationality

Chapter Four

Johann Mendel’s Lehrjahre: The Second Decade

Lipník nad Bečvou

The Empire’s Schools

The Prämiant



Inevitability and Serendipity: Part 2

Chapter Five

The Third Decade: The Vow

The City on Two Rivers

The Augustinians

The Abbey of St. Thomas in Staré Brno

The Novice Gregor Mendel

Abbot Cyril Franz von Napp (1792 – 1867): Scholar, Diplomat, and Moravian Patriot

The St. Thomas Quartet and the Other Augustinians

Philosophy and Linguistics at the St. Thomas Abbey

Music at the St. Thomas Abbey

Natural Sciences at the St. Thomas Abbey

Plant and Animal Breeding in Moravia and at the St. Thomas Abbey

An Overgrown Path

The Road to Priesthood

The Troubled Shepherd of Souls

The Patient Mendel

Inevitability and Serendipity: Part 3

Chapter Six

Into the Fourth Decade: The Failed Professor

The Year of Revolutions

Time Jerked the Curtain – and the World Changed!

Calm Spring and Hot Summer in Prague

1848 in Brno

Revolution Knocks at the Gate of the St. Thomas Abbey

The Revolt of the Friars

The Bach Decade of Darkness

The Birth and Death of Kakania

The Bishop’s Throne in Brno

An Apostolic Visitation

Napp’s Dilemma

Znojmo: One Year in Haven

Preparation For an Examination

Jacta Alea Est!

The Examiners

The Essays

Behind Locked Doors

Viva Voce

Substitute Teacher at Brno’s Technical Institute

Rushing to Vienna

The Imperial-Royal Capital and Residence: Vienna

The University of Vienna

Getting Settled at Vienna

Student of Physics

Natural History at the University of Vienna

Student of Botany

The Lackadaisical Student of Zoology

Student of Chemistry

Student of Paleontology and Mathematics

Membership in a Society and First Publications

Private Life in Vienna

Visit in Hynčice

Failed Examination: Act Two

Substitute Teacher at the Realschule

What Had Mendel Learned in Vienna?

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