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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the Movie Tie-in Connection
The new film, "Creation," is based on the original version of this book, "Darwin, His Daughter & Human Evolution," first published in 2002. I found the movie to be quite well done, but it is hard to encapsulate the many dimensions of Darwin (including his family relationships) in the running time of a film. This book, written by a grandson (5 times over I think) has many...
Published on March 15, 2010 by Ronald H. Clark

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
To me, this flick made Darwin look like a mentally disturbed person. He was not. I had high expectations of the movie and I really didn't care for it.
Published on April 9, 2011 by April Hughes-Spann


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the Movie Tie-in Connection, March 15, 2010
By 
The new film, "Creation," is based on the original version of this book, "Darwin, His Daughter & Human Evolution," first published in 2002. I found the movie to be quite well done, but it is hard to encapsulate the many dimensions of Darwin (including his family relationships) in the running time of a film. This book, written by a grandson (5 times over I think) has many virtues. For the first several hundred pages, it presents a wonderful portrait of an upper class Victorian family as it lived and its head conducted his scientific research. The Victorians never cease to amaze me with the richness of their activities and attitudes, and this is certainly well illustrated in this book. We follow Darwin from just after his Beagle return through his marriage, the birth of his children, the emotional stress he and his wife experienced due to her perception that his work would destroy her dream of reuniting with family after death, his continuing illnesses, and his extensive scientific research and activities.

One big question about Darwin has always been why it took him so long to publish his "Origin" after his return (more than 20 years). A central focus of a both book and movie is his relationship with his first daughter, Anne, and the effect her death at age 10 had on getting Darwin to move toward publication of his findings. It is clear that her death did cause Darwin to spend time thinking about pain and death in the world, and how this suggested to him the absence of a divine figure guiding all earthly developments--hence opening the way for evolution to step in. And it is another of the contributions of the book that we see the Victorians intertwined with death--an activity they took very seriously and implemented their grief quite extensively. So Darwin is beginning to get going when he receives the famous letter from Alfred Russel Wallace announcing his own discovery of the evolutionary principles. Darwin then is forced into intense activity resulting in the publication (finally) of the "Origin" in 1859. Had Anne lived, I am sure the result would have been the same, so I am not persuaded that her death (and its enormous impact on Darwin) was the catalytic element that sparked him into action. But in arguing his thesis, the author just does a fantastic job of telling us all sorts of interesting and important things about Darwin as he worked and wrote during this sad period.

The book continues on until the death of Darwin and much later that of his wife. We see that Victorian families could expect to lose several children to diseases, and Darwin's loss of three children out of eight was not extraordinary, just very sad. We learn a bit about the surviving Darwin children, especially Henfrietta who grew to become a helpful assistant to her father. All told, we learn a great deal from this splendidly researched book, particularly the human dimenson of Darwin and what kind of man he was. There are helpful page-by-page notes and some wonderful illustrations. Any student of Darwin or of evolution will enjoy and profit enormously from this fine book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A grandeur in this view of life An exceptionally readable and insightful book, June 29, 2010
This intimate biography of Darwin focuses on his family life. It tells the story of the marriage of Darwin and Emma Wedgewood, the mother of his ten children , seven of whom lived to adulthood. It also tells the story of Darwin's scientific work and career but almost always in relation to the family story. The family story is at once moving, tragic , difficult and inspiring. The Darwins lost their beloved oldest daughter when she was ten. She was described as an especially joyful, loving and kind person. The loss not only stayed with Darwin throughout it added to his doubts about the benevolence of the Creation.
Though the focus is on the family Keynes is also convincing and engaging in telling the story of Darwin's scientific work. Darwin had the idea that all Life evolves from a single source thirty - years before he published it. Only co- discover Wallace's push to publication moved him to write up part of his results in 'The Origin of Species'. Darwin was sickly throughout his life, suffering from 'swimming in the head' and periods in which he could do nothing. He was sustained by his loving relationship with his wife, and his caring relationship towards his children. He also had very good connection with a number of scientific colleagues who were his true friends.
The picture which emerges from this work is of Darwin as first and above all an assiduous researcher, a devoted scientist, a deep thinker about 'Life' and its origins. But also there is the picture of a very sympathetic and understanding human being. Shortly before dying Darwin said to tell all his children that they have been only good to him. He was at the moment not thinking only of himself and the death he said he did not fear, but of those he most cared for. One reason he delayed with the publication of his results is he did fear the criticism. He too had an exceptionally wonderful relationship with his wife. But his wife and him did not speak about the subject which divided them, her faith that there would be an afterlife and that she would be reunited with him there. Darwin would not call himself an 'atheist' but rather an agnostic. And the reasons for his doubt were his perception of what he considered to be an overwhelming amount of pain which all sentient creatures suffer. It was that is difficult for him to see Creation as Benevolent simply. At the same time Darwin had a wonder and deep appreciation for the overall emergence and development of life on earth.
I have spoken of only a small part of what makes this book, to my mind, so outstanding. If I have some question about it it is that it does not make any real effort at analysis of Darwin's character, his illness.

I will close the Review with Darwin's famous quotation regarding the overall development of Life on earth;

"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the life of darwin, February 21, 2010
By 
Craig Hohm (penn yan, ny United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
a sad and beautiful book about the great man, written by a greatx5 grandson. the daily life of a gentleman, dissecting barnacles in his study, playing with his children and living with the vissisitudes of his chronic health disorder. among many details : i knew that he was not present when his paper on natural selection was presented for the first time in london, but i did not appreciate he was attending the funeral of one of his children at the time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars more scientist geniuses please, July 18, 2010
a movie that brings the great scientist to life- one finishes it and its features in awe of the British society that can produce such insight- the insight of a Newton, a Darwin, a Watson and Crick. He says that "there is grandeur in this view of life"- meaning an evolution that is evidence of a "transformation over millions of years".
Darwin stood on other men's shoulders- they should always be mentioned along with him.
I think of Karl Marx, Albert Einstein.
These are the people that advance the human species- not politicians, not commentators, not business men- people that uncover the "truth".
Because the film treats his personal problems as well as the theory- it should be required viewing for all students of science.
You can consider Darwin a revolutionary, just as you can consider Che Guevara a revolutionary. They both faced considerable odds.
I was relieved to learn at the end of the film that Charles was happily married to the end of his life (and married to a Catholic, yet? (my joke). Movies like this are extremely positive in that they show the positive side of our nature, rather than the negative.
Credit must go also to the book on which the movie was based- Annie's Box- by Darwin's relative, Randal Keynes.

by the way- i have other reviews under my real name of david eberhardt somehow, i clicked on a change your profile and now am listed as moby pablo- which is ok w me, anyway one of those goofy computer, amazon thangs
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating look at the private life of a famous man, November 9, 2013
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A wonderful account the little known private life of a famous man. Most people will be surprised to learn of the private Darwin.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Look At Darwin's World While He Was Writing Origin of Species, May 4, 2011
By 
Andrew Wyllie "History Buff" (Roslindale, MA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Creation (Movie Tie-In): Darwin, His Daughter & Human Evolution (Paperback)
This book, written by a great-great grandson of Charles Darwin, gives an eye opening look at world that Charles Darwin lived in and the beliefs and customs that were all around him while working on his revolutionary book. It starts just before Charles and Emma Darwin are to be married and shows how they had their philosophical differences about religion and resolved not to let them come between them. As the story continues, you see the strength of their marriage and how it helps him with his work.

Darwin's ideas did not occur in a vacuum and this book goes a long way to showing the current beliefs of Victorian England. Charles Darwin was exposed to a variety of religious, medical, and philosophical beliefs while he is formulating his theories of evolution. Society was looking at the animal kingdom in new ways which helped Darwin when he tries to show how we are all related.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Darwin and his world when he is formulating his theory. It gives a good background also of the audience that Darwin is writing to when he actually starts composing his book. It is a good biography in its own right and would also be good for someone who is interested in the time period.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horribly Boring, October 13, 2012
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This review is from: Creation (Movie Tie-In): Darwin, His Daughter & Human Evolution (Paperback)
I picked this book for my reading class and it was awful. I couldn't get passed the first chapter. The Victorian language makes the book dreadfully painful to read. If you have the option, pick a different book.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, April 9, 2011
This review is from: Creation (Movie Tie-In): Darwin, His Daughter & Human Evolution (Paperback)
To me, this flick made Darwin look like a mentally disturbed person. He was not. I had high expectations of the movie and I really didn't care for it.
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Creation (Movie Tie-In): Darwin, His Daughter & Human Evolution
Creation (Movie Tie-In): Darwin, His Daughter & Human Evolution by Randal Keynes (Paperback - November 25, 2009)
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