Sir Gavin de Beer is one of the foremost authorities on evolution of our time. He was a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, where he taught and carried out research in zoology, embryology, palaeontology, and genetics, and has been successively Professor of Embryology, University College, London, and Director of the British Museum (Natural History). During forty-five years of study and research he has published over three hundred works on biology, the history of science and on biographical, literary, alpine and military subjects.
This account of Darwin’s life and work gives a masterly sketch of the prevailing climate of scientific opinion when Darwin began his researches, and describes the happy and fruitful association between three great men – Lyell, Darwin and Hooker – who between them did so much to transform scientific thought in the second half of the nineteenth century. Every aspect of Darwin’s own work, including his contributions to geology and botany, are covered.