This biography of Charles Darwin compels attention and stimulates interest in his writings, work and times. The revolutionary role of his renowned On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man is shown through their effect upon scientists, clergy, and the general population in the Victorian era. Excellent summations of his major works are included. The introductory chapter on the Scopes trial focuses the attention of the reader on the impact and conservative reaction to what has become acknowledged scientific truth. The biographer competently assesses the importance of Darwin's theories to the biologist and to society. Darwin's personality, poor health, close family ties, and the interaction and cross-fertilization of ideas through his correspondence and conversations with other men of science are clearly and absorbingly delineated. This account describes, in fascinating detail, the patience and effort involved in the naturalist's collection and classification of specimens and the experimentation by which he attempted to substantiate his theories. This excellent introduction to the theory and the man is part of the Immortals of Science series. A diagram of the HMS Beagle, maps of the ship's journey around the world, a chronology of important events in Darwin's life, and an excellent index increase the appeal and usefulness of the book. The author acknowledges her most significant sources, many of them original writings of Darwin edited by members of his family, as well as outstanding works on evolution by other authorities.