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A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK“[An] extraordinarily wide-ranging and engaging book [about] the men who shaped the work of Charles Darwin . . . a book that enriches our understanding of how the struggle to think new thoughts is shared across time and space and people.”—The Sunday Telegraph (London)Christmas, 1859. Just one month after the publication of On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin received an unsettling letter. He had expected criticism; in fact, letters were arriving daily, most expressing outrage and accusations of heresy. But this letter was different. It accused him of failing to acknowledge his predecessors, of taking credit for a theory that had already been discovered by others. Darwin realized that he had made an error in omitting from Origin of Species any mention of his intellectual forebears.

About the Author

Rebecca Stott

Rebecca Stott was born in Cambridge in 1964 and raised in Brighton in a large Plymouth Brethren community. She studied English and Art History at York University and then completed an MA and PhD whilst raising her son, Jacob, born in 1984. She is the author of several academic books on Victorian literature and culture, two books of non-fiction, including a partial biography of Charles Darwin, and a cultural history of the oyster. She is now a Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She has three children, Jacob, Hannah and Kezia and has lived in Cambridge since 1993. She has made several radio programmes for Radio Four. Her first novel, Ghostwalk, is published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in the UK, is the launch novel of the new fiction list of Spiegel and Grau in the US (a new division of Random House) and is being translated into 12 different languages including Russian and Chinese. She is writing her next novel, The Coral Thief.

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