Summary: This source presents information on the life and ideas of Charles Darwin. Entries cover people, places, institutions, and writings, from Voyage of the Beagle to Darwin’s last work— on earthworms—based upon his studies at his garden in Down House. The encyclopedia also treats organisms (Beetles, Galapagos finches) as well as topics from eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century science as they relate to Darwin’s thought. For instance, there are entries for Carolus Linnaeus, the geological time scale, and DNA. The reading level is appropriate for high-school or college students or the general public interested in this great man. Biographical entries include some modern biologists, such as Stephen Jay Gould. Some entries have bibliographies for further readings. Cross-references in the text are in bold type. An appendix includes extracts from some of Darwin’s better-known works, including On the Origin of Species and Descent of Man. The general bibliography lists only books. There are, of course, biographies of Darwin, and the award-winning Encyclopedia of Evolution (Oxford, 2002) covers some similar topics, but this source is unique in that it is a reference work devoted to Darwin, his life, and his times. An excellent source to understand the impact of Darwin’s work.
Author: Patrick H. Armstrong
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