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Darwin's Origin of Species: A Biography (2006)

por Janet Browne

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Séries: Books that Changed the World (3)

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Darwin's foremost biographer, historian Janet Browne, delivers an accessible introduction to the book that permanently altered our understanding of what it is to be human. A sensation on its publication in 1859, The Origin of Species profoundly shocked Victorian readers by calling into question the belief in a Creator with its description of evolution through natural selection. And Darwin's seminal work is nearly as controversial today. In this study, Browne delves into the long genesis of Darwin's theories, from his readings as a university student and his five-year voyage on the Beagle, to his debates with contemporaries and experiments in his garden. She explores the shock to Darwin when he read of a competing scientist's similar discoveries, and the wide and immediate impact of Darwin's theories on the world, showing why The Origin of Species can fairly claim to be the greatest science book ever published.--From publisher description.… (mais)
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    On Natural Selection por Charles Darwin (PickledOnion42)
    PickledOnion42: For those who have been motivated to read the original 'Origin of Species' but feel intimidated by its length, this book offers a short abridged version.
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A good overview of the origin’s origin, it’s reception and it’s legacy. Wish it had been made even clearer that Darwin was not responsible for social Darwinism. ( )
  cspiwak | Mar 6, 2024 |
This book was disappointing, although not actually bad. I had hoped for more, since I have seen Janet Browne's biography of Darwin much praised. The promise of the title is that this book is about "The Origin", but it is not, it's just a capsule biography of Darwin and a discussion of the theory of evolution both as proposed by Darwin and as it has been amended and challenged more recently. You, the reader, can easily do better than this book. For a brief biography of Darwin himself, you could do far worse than to read Thomas Henry Huxley's obituary for the Royal Society in the volume of his collected essays titled "Darwiniana". For a more contemporary biography and a discussion of the meaning of and reactions to Darwin's theory you can try "The Reluctant Mr. Darwin" by David Quammen or indeed, "Charles Darwin: The Concise Story of an Extraordinary Man". If you want to get into more depth about the Darwinian legacy, "Darwin's Spectre: Evolutionary Biology in the Modern World" by Michael Rose, would be a better choice. Or, go to the source, "The Origin" is a very pleasant listen, especially as narrated by David Case.

Sadly, this book adds nothing to the existing corpus of Darwin biography and analysis. ( )
  themulhern | Nov 28, 2021 |
A great little introduction to Darwin and his most important work. Well researched, clear and readable.

Gareth Southwell is a philosopher, writer and illustrator.
  Gareth.Southwell | May 23, 2020 |
Enjoyably informative...Darwin's a fascinating character in a very "un-flashy" way, and I was struck by the deep respect in the relationship with his wife, Emma, even though they were worlds apart in religious orientation. ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |

Probably unsurprisingly, this jolly little book doesn't quite live up to its promise in the subtitle -- really it's a selective biography of Darwin himself, focusing on those elements of his life that related to Origin, from inception through composition to aftermath, plus the reactions of others to it. Browne is the author of one of the biographies of Darwin, the whopping two-volume (1200 pages) study comprising Voyaging (1996) and The Power of Place (2003), so obviously she knows what she's talking about; in consequence, I was slightly alarmed to come across the occasional footling mistake, such as spelling Stephen Jay Gould's first name with a "v" rather than a "ph". Such annoyances aside, this was a great read and surprisingly informative for a book that appears at first to be so slight.
( )
  JohnGrant1 | Aug 11, 2013 |
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Janet Browneautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Ruitenberg, JosephineTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Virkkunen, RiittaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Darwin's foremost biographer, historian Janet Browne, delivers an accessible introduction to the book that permanently altered our understanding of what it is to be human. A sensation on its publication in 1859, The Origin of Species profoundly shocked Victorian readers by calling into question the belief in a Creator with its description of evolution through natural selection. And Darwin's seminal work is nearly as controversial today. In this study, Browne delves into the long genesis of Darwin's theories, from his readings as a university student and his five-year voyage on the Beagle, to his debates with contemporaries and experiments in his garden. She explores the shock to Darwin when he read of a competing scientist's similar discoveries, and the wide and immediate impact of Darwin's theories on the world, showing why The Origin of Species can fairly claim to be the greatest science book ever published.--From publisher description.

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