, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 183–186 | Cite as

A familiar tale of Erasmus Darwin told in a fresh way

Patricia Fara: Erasmus Darwin: Sex, science, and serendipity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, xi+322pp, $34.95 HB
  • Miranda Mollendorf
Book Review

Patricia Fara is a historian of British Enlightenment science celebrated for making complex historical episodes accessible and entertaining for both specialist and non-specialist audiences. In Erasmus Darwin: Sex, Science, and Serendipity,she tells a familiar tale in a fresh and innovative way. Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802), the grandfather of Charles Darwin and Francis Galton, was a successful and respected physician who worked primarily in the town of Lichfield, in Staffordshire, and in Derbyshire, areas of England noted for their natural resources and as the seedbed of Britain’s Industrial Revolution. Erasmus Darwin was an abolitionist, natural philosopher, inventor, and a co-founder and member of the interdisciplinary Lunar Society of Birmingham. As well as engaging with many disciplines, the Lunar Society was also socially conscious in multiple ways, since members of this society engaged in social activities together and were frequently social activists. The Lunar Society included...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of the History of ScienceHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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