In these extraordinary poems, using multiple viewpoints - from Darwin himself, to his beloved wife Emma, and even, at one point, the orangutang at London Zoo - Ruth Padel illuminates the development of Darwin's thought, the drama of the discovery of evolution, and the fluctuating emotions of Darwin the husband, the naturalist and the tender father, in a powerful tribute to her famous ancestor.
Shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Poetry Award.
Exquisite, precise and moving poems... Once I started reading I could not put it down until I had reached the end, and then I turned back for the pleasure of reading again
A fascinating, very rich book... With sympathy and grace, Padel moves deftly between between science, love and family; between the vast processes of evolution and a personal life
Daring and exciting, brilliant and subtle, stunning and deeply impressive... a lesson to biographers and poets alike
Ambitious... shows her extraordinary talent
Moments of Darwin's life captured with an economy and fluency that prosaic biographers might envy