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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

I have attempted to write the following account of myself, as if I were a dead man in another world looking back at my own life. Nor have I found this difficult, for life is nearly over with me. I have taken no pains about my style of writing.
This is the quintessential scientific autobiography,...more

It should be essential for anyone who has ever heard someone say, "Darwin said (insert Darwinism here)" to read not only Origin of Species but what Darwin thought of his life and work, in his own words.

This is possibly one of the best books I have ever read. Darwin's ability to self reflect is u...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

Very interesting insight in the mind and work of Darwin. His zeal for understanding what he saw and time to think it over for possible explanations is impressive. He also was humble and has a realistic view on his strong and weak points.

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

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

I'm a bit fascinated by Darwin, though most of the interest in this is that it is what he himself chose to record for his descendants. It doesn't cover the Beagle voyage, as those journals were published elsewhere, so it's a rather general account of his growing up and his life upon return from h...more

"Não é o mais forte que sobrevive, nem o mais inteligente. Quem sobrevive é o mais disposto à mudança".
(Charles Darwin)

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