Who is Charles Darwin?

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Charles Darwin Biography & Facts

Charles Robert Darwin (; DAHR-win; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to evolutionary biology. His proposition that all species of life have descended from common ancestors is now widely accepted and considered a fundamental concept in science. In a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, he introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding. Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history, and he was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey.Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species. By the 1870s, the scientific community and a majority of the educated public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favoured competing explanations that gave only a minor role to natural selection, and it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life.Darwin's early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the University of Edinburgh; instead, he helped to investigate marine invertebrates. Studies at the University of Cambridge (Christ's College) encouraged his passion for natural science. His five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell's conception of gradual geological change, and publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author.Puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage, Darwin began detailed investigations and in 1838 conceived his theory of natural selection. Although he discussed his ideas with several naturalists, he needed time for extensive research, and his geological work had priority. He was writing up his theory in 1858 when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him an essay that described the same idea, prompting immediate joint publication of both their theories. Darwin's work established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature. In 1871 he examined human evolution and sexual selection in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872). His research on plants was published in a series of books, and in his final book, The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Actions of Worms (1881), he examined earthworms and their effect on soil. Biography Early life and education Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on 12 February 1809, at his family's home, The Mount. He was the fifth of six children of wealthy society doctor and financier Robert Darwin and Susannah Darwin (née Wedgwood). His grandfathers Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood were both prominent abolitionists. Erasmus Darwin had praised general concepts of evolution and common descent in his Zoonomia (1794), a poetic fantasy of gradual creation including undeveloped ideas anticipating concepts his grandson expanded. Both families were largely Unitarian, though the Wedgwoods were adopting Anglicanism. Robert Darwin, himself quietly a freethinker, had baby Charles baptised in November 1809 in the Anglican St Chad's Church, Shrewsbury, but Charles and his siblings attended the Unitarian chapel with their mother. The eight-year-old Charles already had a taste for natural history and collecting when he joined the day school run by its preacher in 1817. That July, his mother died. From September 1818, he joined his older brother Erasmus in attending the nearby Anglican Shrewsbury School as a boarder.Darwin spent the summer of 1825 as an apprentice doctor, helping his father treat the poor of Shropshire, before going to the University of Edinburgh Medical School (at the time the best medical school in the UK) with his brother Erasmus in October 1825. Darwin found lectures dull and surgery distressing, so he neglected his studies. He learned taxidermy in around 40 daily hour-long sessions from John Edmonstone, a freed black slave who had accompanied Charles Waterton in the South American rainforest.In Darwin's second year at the university, he joined the Plinian Society, a student natural-history group featuring lively debates in which radical democratic students with materialistic views challenged orthodox religious concepts of science. He assisted Robert Edmond Grant's investigations of the anatomy and life cycle of marine invertebrates in the Firth of Forth, and on 27 March 1827 presented at the Plinian his own discovery that black spores found in oyster shells were the eggs of a skate leech. One day, Grant praised Lamarck's evolutionary ideas. Darwin was astonished by Grant's audacity, but had recently read similar ideas in his grandfather Erasmus' journals. Darwin was rather bored by Robert Jameson's natural-history course, which covered geology—including the debate between Neptunism and Plutonism. He learned the classification of plants, and assisted with work on the collections of the University Museum, one of the largest museums in Europe at the time.Darwin's neglect of medical studies annoyed his father, who shrewdly sent him to Christ's College, Cambridge, to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree as the first step towards becoming an Anglican country parson. As Darwin was unqualified for the Tripos, he joined the ordinary degree course in January 1828. He preferred riding and shooting to studying. During the first few months of Darwin's enrollment, his second cousin William Darwin Fox was also studying at Christ's College. Fox impressed him with his butterfly collection, introducing Darwin to entomology and influencing him to pursue beetle collecting. He did this zealously, and had some of his finds published in James Francis Stephens' Illustrations of British entomology (1829–32).Also through Fox, Darwin became a close friend and follower of botany professor John Stevens Henslow. He met other leading parson-naturalists who saw scientific work as religious natural theology, becoming known to these dons as "the man who walks with Henslow". When his own exams drew near, Darwin applied himself to his studies and was delighted by the language and logic of William Paley's Evidences of Christianity (1795). In his final examination in January 1831 Darwin did well, coming tenth out of 178 candidates for the ordinary degree.Darwin had to stay at Cambridge until June 1831. He studied Paley's Natural Theology or Evidences of the Existence and Attribu.... Discover the Charles Darwin popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Charles Darwin books.

Best Seller Charles Darwin Books of May 2022

The Evolution of the Idea of God, An Inquiry Into the Origins of Religions book summary, reviews and downlod

The Evolution of the Idea of God, An Inquiry Into the Origins of Religions

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Originally published in 1897, The Evolution of the Idea of God is a study of humans'' belief in God from primitive tribal religions to what Allen considered the more advanced Christian view....

Anglo-Saxon Britain book summary, reviews and downlod

Anglo-Saxon Britain

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According to the author’s introduction, this 1891 book offers “a brief sketch of Britain under the early English conquerors, rather from the social than from the political point of view....

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The British Barbarians

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Bertram Ingledew turns up in a Surrey village and promptly proceeds to reveal the taboos and absurdities of late 19th century life; as if the people he finds are members of a savage tribe, B...

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The Woman Who Did

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The Woman Who Did (1895) is a novel by Grant Allen about a young, self-assured middle-class woman who defies convention as a matter of principle and who is fully prepared to suffer the conse...

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Biographies of Working Men

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High up among the heather-clad hills which form the broad dividing barrier between England and Scotland, the little river Esk brawls and bickers over its stony bed through a wild land of bar...

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Babylon, etc. [A novel.] Vol. I.

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The FICTION & PROSE LITERATURE collection includes books from the British Library digitised by Microsoft. The collection provides readers with a perspective of the world from some of the...

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An African Millionaire

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Wealthy, confident and handsome, Sir Charles Van Drift spends his time jetting to exotic locales with his wife and in-laws. But on one fateful trip to the Riviera, Van Drift meets his match ...

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Biographies of Working Men

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High up among the heather-clad hills which form the broad dividing barrier between England and Scotland, the little river Esk brawls and bickers over its stony bed through a wild land of bar...

An African Millionaire book summary, reviews and downlod

An African Millionaire

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Colonel Cuthbert Clay is a master of disguise and an ingenious con man who sets his sights on the South African Millionaire, Sir Charles Vandrift, a millionaire owner of diamond mines in Afr...

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Cities of Belgium

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British writer Jerrard Grant Allen recounts the history of four major cities in Belgium in this volume: Bruges, Ghent, Brussels, and Antwerp. This is the second edition, published in 1906.

Babylon, etc. [A novel.] Vol. II book summary, reviews and downlod

Babylon, etc. [A novel.] Vol. II

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The FICTION & PROSE LITERATURE collection includes books from the British Library digitised by Microsoft. The collection provides readers with a perspective of the world from some of the...

In All Shades. A novel. Vol. II book summary, reviews and downlod

In All Shades. A novel. Vol. II

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The NOVELS OF THE 18th & 19th CENTURIES collection includes books from the British Library digitised by Microsoft. The collection includes major and minor works from a period which saw t...

Early Britain book summary, reviews and downlod

Early Britain

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This little book is an attempt to give a brief sketch of Britain under the early English conquerors, rather from the social than from the political point of view. For that purpose not much h...

Biographies of Working Men book summary, reviews and downlod

Biographies of Working Men

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In an era where "knowledge workers" with often-nebulous skill sets have come to make up a significant portion of the workforce, it can be refreshing to read about the more clearly defined tr...

Charles Darwin book summary, reviews and downlod

Charles Darwin

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After a career in the academy, Canadian-born Grant Allen struck out on his own to make his name as a writer. His early focus was on scientific topics, though he later expanded into fiction, ...

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Recalled to Life. A novel.

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The NOVELS OF THE 18th & 19th CENTURIES collection includes books from the British Library digitised by Microsoft. The collection includes major and minor works from a period which saw t...

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Philistia

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I have read "Gold and the Proletariate"', Oswald answered modestly, 'and I learned much from it, and thought more. I won't say you have quite converted me, Herr Schurz, but you have given me...

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What's Bred in the Bone

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This is a excellent story. Twin brothers, not truly illegitimate but lost in the maze of the life of their father's second marriage. Deceit of a banker. . . trials and tribulations in the er...

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The Beckoning Hand and Other Stories

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Though his first focus as a writer was scientific nonfiction, Grant Allen soon expanded into other genres and was met with resounding success. This collection of suspense, mystery, and horro...

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Blood Royal. A novel.

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The FICTION & PROSE LITERATURE collection includes books from the British Library digitised by Microsoft. The collection provides readers with a perspective of the world from some of the...

What's Bred in the Bone book summary, reviews and downlod

What's Bred in the Bone

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Its convoluted and colorful plot turns on questions of heredity and atavism: the ancestry of the Waring twin brothers and of Elma Clifford. Elma comes on her mother's side from a line of gyp...

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An African Millionaire

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A narrative about a smart and attractive gentleman who has the aim of swindling filthy rich people out of their assets. Extremely agreeable, polite and fast man who is one of the first hero-...

Charles Darwin book summary, reviews and downlod

Charles Darwin

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The Newton of biology, he found the science of life a chaotic maze; he left it an orderly system, with a definite plan and a recognisable meaning. Great men are not accidents; great works ar...

What's Bred In the Bone book summary, reviews and downlod

What's Bred In the Bone

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This enormously popular bestseller highlights all of Canadian-born author Grant Allen's trademark literary gifts. Featuring an indefatigable female detective, What's Bred In the Bone ...

The Beckoning Hand book summary, reviews and downlod

The Beckoning Hand

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Published in 1892 in London, this book collects thirteen “gruesome” stories by the Canadian science writer, novelist, and evolutionary theory proponent Grant Allen (1848-1899). 341 pages...

The British Barbarians book summary, reviews and downlod

The British Barbarians

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This amusing science-fiction-tinged satire centers on an anthropologist sent from the future to make a study of British society in the late nineteenth century. Bertram Ingledew comprehensive...

Post-Prandial Philosophy book summary, reviews and downlod

Post-Prandial Philosophy

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This book is a classic literature in a modern format. While at times appallingly racist, this incisive and insightful look at the state of affairs in late-nineteenth century England feels ve...

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Miss Cayley's Adventures

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When her stepfather dies, Lois Cayley finds herself alone in the world with only twopence in her pocket. Undaunted, the intelligent, attractive, and infinitely resourceful young woman decide...

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Falling in Love

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Canadian author Grant Allen initially pursued scholarly research as a profession, but after several years as a professor, he decided to try his hand at writing instead. Though his first effo...

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The Victorian Mystery Megapack

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The theme of this Megapack is classic mystery and crime fiction from the Victorian era. We have taken the liberty of extending the qualifying publication dates to the end of World War I, sin...

The Duchess of Powysland. A novel. VOL. II book summary, reviews and downlod

The Duchess of Powysland. A novel. VOL. II

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The FICTION & PROSE LITERATURE collection includes books from the British Library digitised by Microsoft. The collection provides readers with a perspective of the world from some of the...

Miss Cayley's Adventures book summary, reviews and downlod

Miss Cayley's Adventures

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A Victorian-era mystery featuring a uniquely resourceful and daring heroine who must save her true love from prison . . .When her stepfather dies, Lois Cayl...

The British Barbarians book summary, reviews and downlod

The British Barbarians

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This book is a novel written by Grant Allen, and includes a front-piece by the famous illustrator, Aubrey Beardsley. This book was created from a scan of the original artifact, an...

Philistia book summary, reviews and downlod

Philistia

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Philistia was Grant Allen's first novel, and according to the author's memoirs, he poured his heart and soul into its creation and believed it be his finest work. This classic coming-...

The Devil's Die. A novel, vol. II book summary, reviews and downlod

The Devil's Die. A novel, vol. II

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The FICTION & PROSE LITERATURE collection includes books from the British Library digitised by Microsoft. The collection provides readers with a perspective of the world from some of the...

The Woman Who Did book summary, reviews and downlod

The Woman Who Did

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Canadian scholar and writer Grant Allen held many progressive views, and he saw himself as a proponent of women's rights. He penned the novel The Woman Who Did as a means of shedding ...

The Evolution of the Idea of God book summary, reviews and downlod

The Evolution of the Idea of God

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TWO main schools of religious thinking exist in our midst at the present day: the school of humanists and the school of animists. This work is to some extent an attempt to reconcile them. It...

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Hilda Wade, a Woman with Tenacity of Purpose

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Hilda Wade, a Woman with Tenacity of Purpose is a Mystery and Detective type of book. In this early detective novel, the detective is Hilda Wade. She is a very capable nurse, but there is so...

At Market Value. A novel. VOL. II book summary, reviews and downlod

At Market Value. A novel. VOL. II

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The FICTION & PROSE LITERATURE collection includes books from the British Library digitised by Microsoft. The collection provides readers with a perspective of the world from some of the...

An African Millionaire book summary, reviews and downlod

An African Millionaire

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This fantastic anthology contains twelve superbly entertaining tales of a confidence man par excellence. An appealing gentleman thief devotes himself to repeatedly swindling a wealthy diamon...

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Falling in Love

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The book as modern biology teaches us to believe, is nothing more than the latest, highest, and most involved exemplification, in the human race, of that almost universal selective process. ...

Recalled to Life book summary, reviews and downlod

Recalled to Life

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My babyhood, my childhood, my girlhood, my school-days were all utterly blotted out by that one strange shock of horror. My past life became exactly as though it had never been. I forgot my ...

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The White Man's Foot

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Popular adventure novel, first published in 1888. According to Wikipedia: "Charles Grant Blairfindie Allen (February 24, 1848 – October 25, 1899) was a science writer, author and novelist...

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Science in Arcady

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These book is written about the essays deal for the most part with Science in Arcady. My native country: for I am not of those who praise the busy town. On the contrary, in the words of the ...

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The Great Taboo

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Book tells the fiction short story. looked at him with a doubtful look. "Monsieur", he said, after a pause, "I hardly know how to break the truth to you properly. You are new to the island, ...

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Miss Cayley's Adventures

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The story of an intelligent, independent young British woman who sets out around the world in search of adventure. She finds plenty as she trips-up con-men, outsmarts Arabs, kills a tiger an...

At Market Value. A novel. Vol. I. book summary, reviews and downlod

At Market Value. A novel. Vol. I.

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The NOVELS OF THE 18th & 19th CENTURIES collection includes books from the British Library digitised by Microsoft. The collection includes major and minor works from a period which saw t...

The Devil's Die. A novel.Vol. III. book summary, reviews and downlod

The Devil's Die. A novel.Vol. III.

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The FICTION & PROSE LITERATURE collection includes books from the British Library digitised by Microsoft. The collection provides readers with a perspective of the world from some of the...

The Victorian Mystery Megapack: 27 Classic Mystery Tales book summary, reviews and downlod

The Victorian Mystery Megapack: 27 Classic Mystery Tales

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The theme of this Megapack is classic mystery and crime fiction from the Victorian era. We have taken the liberty of extending the qualifying publication dates to the end of World War I, sin...

Best Seller Charles Darwin Audio Books of May 2022

The Woman Who Did (UNABRIDGED) MP3 Audiobook

The Woman Who Did (UNABRIDGED)

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"Most times, especially in the time when this book was written (1895), it is just as nature and society would wish: a man and woman ""fall in love"" and get married. But it is not so for Her...

My New Year's Eve Among the Mummies (Unabridged) MP3 Audiobook

My New Year's Eve Among the Mummies (Unabridged)

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What a coincidence. The mummies wake up once a millennium, and who should stumble into the pyramid but our hero? This is a fun little story about a British ne'er-do-well who has found possib...

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