Happy Birthday Charles

International Darwin Day Foundation.

Can’t let the day go by without acknowledging the 200th anniversary of the day Charles Darwin was born. Arguably one of the most brilliant scientists ever to grace this planet. I have to agree with Razib, I just recently reread Origin of the Species and like every time I’ve read it (4th now I think), I am struck by how amazingly perceptive and prescient the man was.

Though I know it was fictionalized and there are of course some quibbles with the portrayal, I enjoyed the new movie, Creation, about the writing of that book. If anything, it’s spurred me on to learn more about the man and his life and read Voyage of the Beagle. WHich, surprisingly since I’ve read others like Descent of Man, Variation under Domestication, and Expression of Emotions, I’ve never read.

In the movie, Darwin tells his children, particularly his daughter, different stories about his voyage and adventures as bedtime stories. Listening to those and watching the reenactments got me interested in reading the book. And I have a vague idea about rewriting it as a children’s adventure book, I think my daughter would like it. I’ll just chalk that up to one of those “in the future” projects (or maybe someone already did it?)

3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Charles

  1. Natalie Clairoux

    Here is a very short list of book about Charles Darwin written for a young audience. I’m sure you’ll find more at your local library.

    Animals Charles Darwin saw : an around-the-world adventure, by Sandra Markle.

    One beetle too many : the extraordinary adventures of Charles Darwin, by Kathryn Lasky.

    The tree of life : a book depicting the life of Charles Darwin, naturalist, geologist & thinker, by Peter Sìs. New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2003.

    What Darwin saw : the journey that changed the world, by Rosalyn Schanzer. Washington, D.C. : National Geographic, 2009.

    Darwin, by Diane Cook. Philadelphia : Mason Crest Publishers, 2003.

    Darwin, by Alice B McGinty.

    Charles and Emma : the Darwins’ leap of faith, by Deborah Heiligman. New York : Henry Holt and Co., 2009.

    Charles Darwin, by David C King.

    The true adventures of Charley Darwin, by Carolyn Meyer. Boston : Harcourt, 2009.

    The Darwin expedition, by Diane Tullson. Victoria, BC : Orca Book Publishers, 2007.

    Darwin’s voyage of discovery, by Jillian Powell.

    The voyage of the beetle : a journey around the world with Charles Darwin and the search for the solution to the mystery of mysteries, as narrated by Rosie, an articulate beetle, by Anne H Weaver.

  2. Natalie Clairoux

    I just read this announcement from the National Library of Australia:

    “In 2009, the Library acquired a copy of the first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. The digitisation of the entire copy has recently been completed, and is available online.

    Believed to be one of the earliest surviving copies of Darwin’s work to have arrived in Australia, the copy bears the inscription and annotations of its first owner, Dr William Woolls of Parramatta, NSW, dated 17 March 1860.”

    Here is the link to the digitized book: http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/cdview?pi=nla.gen-vn4591931

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