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'Hugely enjoyable' - Spectator 'A lucid, elegantly written and thought-provoking social and intellectual history' - Evening Standard 'As a historian trying to put Darwin in the context of his time, there is surely no better biographer than Wilson' - The Times 'A work of scholarship that is hard to put down' - Deborah Cadbury Charles Darwin: the man who discovered evolution? The man who killed off God? Or a flawed man of his age, part genius, part ruthless careerist who would not acknowledge his debts to other thinkers? In this bold new life - the first single volume biography in twenty-five years - A. N. Wilson, the acclaimed author of The Victorians and God's Funeral, goes in search of the celebrated but contradictory figure Charles Darwin. Darwin was described by his friend and champion, Thomas Huxley, as a 'symbol'. But what did he symbolize? In Wilson's portrait, both sympathetic and critical, Darwin was two men. On the one hand, he was a naturalist of genius, a patient and precise collector and curator who greatly expanded the possibilities of taxonomy and geology. On the other hand, Darwin, a seemingly diffident man who appeared gentle and even lazy, hid a burning ambition to be a universal genius. He longed to have a theory which explained everything. But was Darwin's 1859 master work, On the Origin of Species, really what it seemed, a work about natural history? Or was it in fact a consolation myth for the Victorian middle classes, reassuring them that the selfishness and indifference to the poor were part of nature's grand plan? Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker is a radical reappraisal of one of the great Victorians, a book which isn't afraid to challenge the Darwinian orthodoxy while bringing us closer to the man, his revolutionary idea and the wider Victorian age.
"It's unlikely that a more intelligent, amusing and yet disturbing novel will appear this autumn." Scotsman On The Island, just as on many other islands, marriages are unhappy, people fall in love and the seasons pass. The town of Aberdeen is no different, until the earthquakes. These seismic ripples tear down houses, forge bonds, and shake the foundations of humanity and religion. And in the midst of it all, Nellie and Ingrid fall in love. In Aftershocks A. N. Wilson offers a portrait of nature, death and morality. Moved by the real losses of the Christchurch earthquake, this is an extraordinary novel about a community profoundly linked to the land it lives on. "Witty, erudite and artful." Spectator Country & Townhouse's the best books for Christmas, 2018
Since the discovery of the structure of DNA and the birth of the genetic age, a powerful vocabulary has emerged to express science’s growing command over the matter of life. Armed with knowledge of the code that governs all living things, biology and biotechnology are poised to edit, even rewrite, the texts of life to correct nature’s mistakes. Yet, how far should the capacity to manipulate what life is at the molecular level authorize science to define what life is for? This book looks at flash points in law, politics, ethics, and culture to argue that science’s promises of perfectibility have gone too far. Science may have editorial control over the material elements of life, but it does not supersede the languages of sense-making that have helped define human values across millennia: the meanings of autonomy, integrity, and privacy; the bonds of kinship, family, and society; and the place of humans in nature.
Victorian Science in Context captures the essence of this fascination, charting the many ways in which science influenced and was influenced by the larger Victorian culture. Leading scholars in history, literature, and the history of science explore questions such as, What did science mean to the Victorians? For whom was Victorian science written? What ideological messages did it convey?

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