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Charles Darwin (Hardback)

Destroyer of Myths

Explorers & Adventurers Victorian Era Biographies

By Andrew Norman
Imprint: Pen & Sword Discovery
Pages: 308
ISBN: 9781781592786
Published: 9th September 2013

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Charles Darwin did not deliberately set out to be the 'destroyer of mythical beliefs', some of which, in his early days as a young Christian, he had previously espoused. He was a modest man who liked to avoid controversy, yet he was to be the cause of one of the greatest controversies in the history of science and religion. When he embarked on HMS Beagle, he could not have imagined the experience would lead him to formulate a theory that would revolutionize the way in which man viewed the natural world.

How did this thoughtful, methodical scientist come to have such an impact on his time – and on ours? That is the question Andrew Norman seeks to answer in this lucid and concise biography of the author of Origin of Species.

The narrative looks perceptively at Darwin's early life, at the influences that shaped him during his university years, and at the formative effect of the famous voyage to Galapagos in the Beagle which led him to question orthodox views on how the world was created and how humans evolved. In particular, it concentrates on the progress, over twenty years, of his thinking on natural selection which grew into a great work that disturbed and enlightened his contemporaries.

Andrew Norman has produced a fascinating account of the development of Darwin's research and theorizing. But he looks, too, at Darwin the man. The result is a rounded portrait of a pioneering thinker whose revolutionary theories profoundly influence our understanding of the world today.

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 Andrew Norman

About Andrew Norman

Andrew Norman was born in Newbury, Berkshire, UK in 1943. He was educated in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Midsomer Norton Grammar School, Somerset, UK, and St Edmund Hall, Oxford.


Andrew worked as a general practitioner in Poole, Dorset, before a spinal injury cut short his medical career. He is now an established writer with biographies of Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, Thomas Hardy, T. E. Lawrence, Adolf Hitler, Agatha Christie, Enid Blyton, Beatrix Potter, Marilyn Monroe, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to his name.

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