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The Autobiography of Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

Book Overview: 

The Autobiography of Charles Darwin is the autobiography of the British naturalist Charles Darwin.

Darwin wrote the book, which he entitled Recollections of the Development of my Mind and Character, for his family. He states that he started writing it on about May 28, 1876 and had finished it by August 3.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I used often to sit with him, for he was a very pleasant and intelligent man.

Mr. Leonard Horner also took me once to a meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, where I saw Sir Walter Scott in the chair as President, and he apologised to the meeting as not feeling fitted for such a position. I looked at him and at the whole scene with some awe and reverence, and I think it was owing to this visit during my youth, and to my having attended the Royal Medical Society, that I felt the honour of being elected a few years ago an honorary member of both these Societies, more than any other similar honour. If I had been told at that time that I should one day have been thus honoured, I declare that I should have thought it as ridiculous and improbable, as if I had been told that I should be elected King of England.

During my second year at Edinburgh I attended ——'s lectures on Geology and Zoology, but they were incredibly dull. The sole effect . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Darwin, Charles. THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES DARWIN 1809-1882. (1958; this ed. 2008). This is a relatively short autobiography that Darwin wrote for the benefit of his children, so that they would have some idea of who he was and what his antecedents were when he was gone from this earth. He spe...more

I just finished reading the 'Autobiography of Charles Darwin' a few minutes ago. Darwin portrays himself as an ordinary man with an extraordinary zeal for science. As he put it,

"My chief enjoyment and sole employment throughout life has been scientific work; and the excitement from such work make...more

When Darwin sat down to write his autobiography - more for his children's sakes than because he thought anyone outside his immediate family would be interested - he was 67 years old. He had travelled around the world, he had met the elite of 19th century English thinkers, he had published a numbe...more

One of the best ways to disarm critics of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection would be to get them to read his posthumous autobiography, originally edited by his son, then rereleased in an unexpurgated version by his granddaughter. Whatever one might believe about the bible, or punc...more

There were several pleasant surprises for me in this book, the first of which was how engaging a writer Darwin was. He had a natural, easy flow to his writing that pulled me along and I found it hard to stop reading. There are many very amusing anecdotes (the story of how he tried to carry three...more

O autobiografie scrisă doar pentru rude este mai sinceră decât altele. Iar dacă vreți să aflați mai multe despre Charles Darwin, cel cu ajutorul teoria selecției naturale a ajuns celebră (chiar dacă acum este parțial contestată), ați ajuns la cartea care trebuie.
Prima parte - autobiografia - ni-l...more

“If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.”

Oh, Darwin! I cannot understand how anyone could hate such a passionate and loving soul!
This memoir is a must-read for everyone. It teaches readers how the human-s...more

This was a great little book to aid my quest to learn a bit about Charles Darwin.

Darwin's actual autobiography is pretty short and makes up only half of the volume. Not a riveting autobiography, but his rambles were pleasant enough, and there were a couple amusing anecdotes. I enjoyed it.

The rema...more

Reading this feels a bit voyeuristic, in that it was intended as a family document rather than a public one. It's short and not a very good biography; it talks in little detail about Darwin's life or character, whilst rambling about the personalities of various other contemporary scientists, Darw...more

Qui n'a jamais été fasciné par l'évolution de la nature? Qui ne s'est jamais posé de questions sur les végétaux, les animaux, les minéraux, la Terre? Charles Darwin est l'une des étapes qui me semble indispensable dans cette quête de l'observation du monde. Quoiqu'on puisse penser de ses théories...more

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