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In this intimate portrait of the great naturalist as devoted family man, Keynes describes how Charles Darwin's "life and his science were all of a piece." The great-great-grandson of the scientist, Keynes uses published documents as well as family papers and artifacts to show how Darwin's thinking on evolution was influenced by his deep attachment to his wife and children. In particular, his anguish over his 10-year-old daughter Annie's death sharpened his conviction that the operation of natural laws had nothing to do with divine intervention or morality. Keynes, also a descendant of economist John Maynard Keynes, shows that much of Darwin's intellectual struggle in writing On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man arose from his efforts to understand the role of suffering and death in the natural order of the world. Early in his career, Darwin saw the indifference of natural law as an answer to the era's religious doubts about how a benevolent god could permit human misery; cruelty and pain, he argued, should not be seen as moral issues, but as inevitable outcomes of nature. After Annie's death, however, Darwin's views darkened, and in a private letter he railed against the "clumsy, wasteful, blundering low and horridly cruel works of nature!" Though Keynes doesn't break new ground about Darwin's life and work, he produces a moving tribute to a thinker who, despite intimate acquaintance with the pain inflicted by the "war of nature," could still marvel that, from this ruthless struggle, "endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)Forecast: General readers attracted by the book's warm, sentimental cover won't be disappointed by Keynes's equally accessible prose.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
When the great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin inherited the writing case of Darwin's daughter Annie, who died at age ten, he discovered notes from his famous forbear that he used to reinvestigate the entire family.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The item was just as described, well packaged, and promptly shipped. Thank you!Published 2 months ago by Linden Hills Girl
It's the same book as Annie's Box!!! I ended up buying both books thinking they were different.
It is a boring book. Read more
I have read a lot of Darwin biographies and this is by far my favorite. The book is written by one of Darwin's descendants using some personal letters Darwin wrote during his... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Geeky Teacher Parent
I bought this book after seeing the movie "Creation." It is a beautiful and intimate portrait of one of the most brilliant minds and gentle souls in modern history. Read morePublished on November 24, 2012 by Todd
The Origin of the Species and Darwin's theory of evolution is one that is so pervasive in our lives than one can not imagine there are many people on the planet who don't know what... Read morePublished on June 2, 2012 by Ann B. Graham
i couldn't put this book down, simply ate it up!....loved it! one of the best books i've ever read...let's your imagination go!Published on September 2, 2011 by Gabyluss
I love this book for a number of reasons: I like books that are about real people, and their real struggles; I enjoy learning about the Human traits of societies icons, like... Read morePublished on August 20, 2011 by Wendy Marie
As other reviewers have noted, this is a very intimate book, and full of familial information. It is a lot like spending a long weekend in a late Victorian home among a big... Read morePublished on August 4, 2011 by toronto