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Download Darwin’s Origin of Species: A Biography Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Darwin’s Origin of Species: A Biography Audiobook, by Janet Browne Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (178 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Janet Browne Narrator: Josephine Bailey Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Books that Changed the World Series Release Date: March 2007 ISBN: 9781400173884
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A sensation on its publication in 1859, The Origin of Species profoundly shocked Victorian readers by calling into question the belief in a Creator with its description of evolution through natural selection. And Darwin's seminal work is nearly as controversial today. In her illuminating study, award-winning biographer Janet Browne delves into the long genesis of Darwin's theories, from his readings as a university student and his five-year voyage on the Beagle, to his debates with contemporaries and experiments in his garden. She explores the shock to Darwin when he read of competing scientists' similar discoveries and the wide and immediate impact of Darwin's theories on the world. As one of the launch titles in the Atlantic Monthly Press's Books That Changed the World series, Browne's history takes readers inside The Origin of Species and shows why it can fairly claim to be the greatest science book ever published. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This excellent introduction is highly recommended for all readers who want to better understand the heated debates that this book still causes today.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Highly recommended. Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 2/10/2014

    " Probably unsurprisingly, this jolly little book doesn't quite live up to its promise in the subtitle -- really it's a selective biography of Darwin himself, focusing on those elements of his life that related to Origin, from inception through composition to aftermath, plus the reactions of others to it. Browne is the author of one of the biographies of Darwin, the whopping two-volume (1200+ pages) study comprising Voyaging (1996) and The Power of Place (2003), so obviously she knows what she's talking about; in consequence, I was slightly alarmed to come across the occasional footling mistake, such as spelling Stephen Jay Gould's first name with a "v" rather than a "ph". Such annoyances aside, this was a great read and surprisingly informative for a book that appears at first to be so slight. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy | 2/9/2014

    " Interesting context for Darwin and his theories up to the modern day. I read it because of our future trip to the Galapagos. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Barry | 2/7/2014

    " Underwhelming, given the inherently interesting subject. Seems to fall between a few stools. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb | 1/15/2014

    " When I got this from audible I thought it was actually Origin of Species. It was interesting to learn about his life and how he felt about the way his publishings affected people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katri | 1/8/2014

    " Concise, accessible and very fascinating look into the history of one book that influenced science and our world view very much, as well as how the idea of evolution generally developed in science and how it's developed since Darwin. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle | 1/5/2014

    " If you have 2 hours to dedicate to the Origin of the Species and want to brush up on your Darwin knowledge, or don't know that much about the history of the writing, then this book is clear, concise, and a interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanoc | 1/2/2014

    " Interesting brief overview. Read it prior to seeing Darwin's Gardens at NY Botanical Gardens. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Palo | 12/29/2013

    " Very cool quick read that explains something I hadn't thought about since 3rd grade. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin Elizabeth | 12/13/2013

    " This was a book I read for my history of evolutionary biology class. It was a good book, it was brief yet managed to be full of interesting details, due to its focus on the history of Origin of Species. The author is evidently very fond of Darwin, and her obvious affection brought him to life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gareth | 12/11/2013

    " A great little introduction to Darwin and his most important work. Well researched, clear and readable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rod | 8/18/2012

    " Enjoyably informative...Darwin's a fascinating character in a very "un-flashy" way, and I was struck by the deep respect in the relationship with his wife, Emma, even though they were worlds apart in religious orientation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mason | 10/11/2010

    " This series from Atlantic always pleases. This light gloss on Origin is a perfect read when you need an hour of light science, with your prejudices stirred, if not provoked. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie Ellis | 4/3/2010

    " I didn't really learn anything new about Origin of Species, but it is a good introduction for someone who doesn't know much about Darwin and his book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charles Baker | 10/23/2009

    " This was an excellent book. It really put Darwin's life and science in perspective. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee at All Ears | 10/23/2009

    " A good one to read before my trip to the Galapagos. This brief book touches on Darwin's life, his famous adventure, his insightful theory and on the resulting affects it had on others at the time. A good introduction for all readers. Darwin's Origin of Species: A Biography by Janet Browne "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff J. | 8/19/2008

    " Bit weak as a biography, due mostly to brevity, but does an excellent, concise job of illuminating the significance of his writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sean | 6/10/2008

    " Now I need to read Origin of Species. It will take a bit more time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patrice | 4/18/2007

    " Browne not only illustrates Darwin's amazing adventures and discoveries but is able to convey the shear dismay which the people, at the time, must have felt. Their worlds were rocked by these discoveries and it's a side of this story you don't often hear about in our somewhat jaded culture. "

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About the Author

Elizabeth Janet Browne (née Bell) is a British historian of science, known especially for her work on the history of nineteenth century biology. She taught at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, University College, London, before returning to Harvard. She is currently Aramont Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University

About the Narrator

Josephine Bailey’s impeccable narrations include the British classics Jane Eyre and The Secret Garden. She has also used her subtly nuanced style to enliven historical fiction and light romances. She has won ten AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award.