Throughout this book, Michael White and John Gribbin talk about the youth, middle age, and up to death points during the book. They explain in an absurd amount of detail the life that Charles Darwin lived and the accomplishments he achieved throughout his lifetime (Note: The majority of the book is Secondary Sources and quotes from Darwin or Primary Sources are rarely used). Darwin was born into a wealthy family during the Post-Revolutionary Age on February 12th, 1809. At age 8, Darwin’s mother died in 1817, however for such a traumatizing event, it is said that Darwin remembers very little about his mother. As for the rest of his family, his family tree is fairly complex, but the important thing to know is that Darwin wasn’t the first person in his family to think about and theorize evolution. However, he was the first to create a logical and thorough theory that not only withstood “rigorous” scientific, but also debunked many of the key ideas that Christianity was based on. Of course, the society did not accept this and when Charles Darwin eventually died on April 19th, 1882, many people were confused and did not approve of Charles Darwin being buried next to the kings and queens of England.
One of Darwin’s most memorable ventures, which is commonly referred back to throughout the book, is his trip on the Beagle. The Beagle trip that Darwin went on was a geological research trip. His interest in geology is very commonly forgotten about or completely unknown when people think of Charles Darwin. Throughout this long journey, they had many stops along the way, but it was in the end worth it. As well as making good progress on some geological research, Darwin became fascinated with coral reefs, which paved the way for his many theories on evolution. Excluding the countless nights spent researching barnacles and conducting experiments, the rest of Darwin’s life was mainly devoted to his studies. This became unhealthy for Darwin, and eventually in his final years after achieving all that he had hoped to, he became extremely depressed. After achieving what he wanted to, he became depressed because he believed he had no more purpose, no more reason to live. He ended up writing to his friend about contemplating suicide. Instead, Darwin became ill, and after his brother and others had passed on, he was bedridden, having seizures every now and then followed by his death in April 19th, 1882.
For a Non-Fiction book, this book offers more than enough details about Darwin’s life. Darwin was born 1809 which makes the amount of information we have about him is actually quite surprising. I would recommend this book to any historians or historians to be out there, however this would also be a good book for budding scientists due to its vast amount of information on older sciences and its studies.