When Darwin finally published the On the Origin of Species, he tried to avoid controversy by ignoring human origins. Yet evolution was soon being attacked as the godless ‘monkey theory’.
However, while some condemned Darwin’s book, others found a form of consolation in it, an alternative to an orthodox Christian faith some found hard to maintain.
As Darwin tried to make sense of the death of his favourite daughter, Annie, many of his readers found unexpected consolation for their own losses in Darwin’s words.
Jim is Visiting Gresham Professor in the History of Science.
He is Professor of the History of Science at the University of Sussex and specialises in Victorian natural history and the modern genetics and has presented programmes for BBC Radio 4.
Professor Endersby's lecture series are as follows:
2020/21 Darwin's Descent: Monkeys, Orchids and Myths
2019/20 Utopian Gardens
All lectures by the Visiting Professor in the History of Science can be accessed here.