Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Erasmus Darwin

  • Michael StockEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1621-1

The grandfather of both Charles Darwin and Francis Galton, Erasmus Darwin was born in Elston, UK, on December 12, 1731. Trained as a physician at the University of Edinburgh, Darwin had a successful medical practice based in Lichfield, in the midlands of England. By some accounts, he was the finest physician in England at the time (King-Hele 1977). He declined the opportunity to move to London as royal physician to treat King George III for his bouts of mental illness. A compassionate man of unending curiosity, he was an enthusiastic amateur natural philosopher. After forming the Botanical Society of Lichfield, he translated the works of Linneus from Latin to English and published the taxonomic work as “A System of Vegetables” and “The Family of Plants” from 1783 to 1787 (Darwin 1782–1783; Darwin 1791). Because Linnaeus had classified plants based on of the structure of their flowers, Darwin converted this into a long poem, “The Loves of the Plants” which was shocking for the times,...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MacEwan UniversityEdmontonCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Shannon Digweed
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMacEwan UniversityEdmontonCanada