Download Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker Audiobook

Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker Audiobook, by A. N. Wilson Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: A. N. Wilson Narrator: Richard Burnip Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2017 ISBN: 9781538513880
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With the publication of On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin, hailed as the man who “discovered evolution,” was propelled into the pantheon of great scientific thinkers, alongside Galileo, Copernicus, and Newton. Eminent writer A. N. Wilson challenges this long-held assumption. Contextualizing Darwin and his ideas, he offers a groundbreaking critical look at this revered figure in modern science.

In this beautifully written, deeply erudite portrait, Wilson argues that Darwin was not an original scientific thinker, but a ruthless and determined self-promoter who did not credit the many great sages whose ideas he advanced in his book. Furthermore, Wilson contends that religion and Darwinism have much more in common than it would seem, for the acceptance of Darwin’s theory involves a significant leap of faith.

Armed with an extraordinary breadth of knowledge, Wilson explores how Darwin and his theory were very much a product of their place and time. The “survival of the fittest” was really the survival of middle class families like the Darwins—members of a relatively new economic strata who benefited from the rising Industrial Revolution at the expense of the working classes. Following Darwin’s theory, the wretched state of the poor was an outcome of nature, not the greed and neglect of the moneyed classes. In a paradigm-shifting conclusion, Wilson suggests that it remains to be seen, as this class dies out, whether the Darwinian idea will survive, or whether it, like other Victorian fads, will become a footnote in our intellectual history.

Brilliant, daring, and ambitious, Charles Darwin explores this legendary man as never before, and challenges us to reconsider our understanding of both Darwin and modern science itself.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A lucid, elegantly written, and thought-provoking social and intellectual history.”

    Evening Standard (London)

  • “Hugely enjoyable…Wilson unpicks Darwin’s contradictions with a scientist’s forensic skill and a novelist’s imaginative touch.”

    Spectator (UK)

  • “As a historian trying to put Darwin in the context of his time, there is surely no better biographer than Wilson.”

    Times (London)

  • “Though Darwin’s all-encompassing theory is now widely regarded as paradigmatic science, Wilson provocatively considers it a quasi-religious credo—like Marx and Engels’ The Communist Manifesto—ultimately doing more to shape political attitudes than to advance scientific understanding…Sure to spark debate.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Wilson’s prose is lively, with extensive research offering a useful road map of the era’s emergent science.”

    Library Journal

  • “An illuminating new biography of a legendary figure in the scientific world whose legacy continues to draw reappraisals.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A book to treasure. A. N. Wilson throws down the gauntlet on the very first line: ‘Darwin was wrong,’ he begins. What follows is a sharply observed and wonderfully compelling analysis that evokes the Victorian titan brilliantly and challenges received wisdom. A work of scholarship that is hard to put down.”

    Deborah Cadbury, award-winning author of Princes at War

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About the Author

A. N. Wilson is a renowned British journalist and author. He has written several acclaimed biographies, including Tolstoy, C. S. Lewis, Jesus, and Paul. He taught for seven years at Oxford before becoming a journalist. He has won numerous awards, including the E. M. Forster Award, the Whitbread Biography Award, and the Somerset Maugham Award. A frequent contributor to the Daily Mail, Times Literary Supplement, New Statesman, Spectator, and Observer, he lives in London.

About the Narrator

Richard Burnip is an actor, writer, and historian whose work includes theater, documentaries, audiobooks, and lectures. He has recorded more than seventy audiobooks, including thrillers, histories, biographies, and children’s books. His voice-over work includes documentaries, computer games, multimedia installations, and websites.