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The Reluctant Mr. Darwin by David Quammen
The Reluctant Mr. Darwin follows the course of Charles Darwin's life from his return from the voyage on the Beagle until his death. When he returned, he spent years cataloging and distributing the vast collection of specimens he brought back. A self-taught scientist, he eventually came to his theory of evolution to explain the scientific evidence he examined. It was a theory he was reluctant to publish, choosing just to share it with colleagues. He was afraid of a public backlash to his theories and diverted his attention and energies elsewhere. When another scientist independently came to the same ideas about evolution, Darwin's colleagues eventually convinced him to publish his theory. The Origin of the Species was published to both wide acclaim and scandal. David Quammen's book has received positive reviews with BookPage saying, "There is much to know and appreciate about Charles Darwin, and The Reluctant Mr. Darwin is replete with detail and insight."