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Darwin’s Origin of Species: A Biography Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Darwin’s Origin of Species: A Biography, 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:
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Charles Darwin’s foremost biographer, Janet Browne, delivers a vivid and accessible introduction to the book that permanently altered our understanding of what it is to be human. A sensation on its publication in 1859, The Origin of the 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, 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 scientist’s similar discoveries and the wide and immediate impact of Darwin’s theories on the world. As one of the launch titles in Atlantic Monthly Press’ “Books That Changed the World” series, Browne’s history takes readers inside The Origin of the Species and shows why it can fairly claim to be the greatest science book ever published.

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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

Listener Reviews

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Review by 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 Review by 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 Review by 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 Review by 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. "

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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.