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Steve Jones

Darwin's island

Darwin spend 5 years on the Beagle and wrote The Origin of the Species. But he also did a lot of other things as well, and he spent most of his life in England. In Darwin's Island: The Galapagos in the Garden of England Steve Jones looks at Darwin's less known works.

Darwin's studied plant movement and did experiments on carnivorous plants (not the same plants fortunately). He also wrote about the domestication of animals, and about emotions in man and other animals. You probably already know about his studies of barnicles and earthworms. For each of these topics, and quite a few more, Jones tells of Darwin's work and goes on to explain how the topic has been studies since Darwin's time. The final chapter looks to the future, and in particular to the threats to the biodiversity which so fascinated Darwin.

There's plenty of interesting material in this book, but I felt that the first couple of chapters rather lost their way, straying too much from the 'Darwin in England' theme. For this reason I wouldn't see the book as a winner of the 2010 Royal Society Prize for Science Books. After that, however, the book did settle down to become a highly enjoyable read.

Amazon.com info
Paperback
ISBN: 1408700018
Salesrank: 11902515
Weight:1.01 lbs
Published: 2009 Little, Brown
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 352 pages  
ISBN: 0349121419
Salesrank: 552777
Weight:0.62 lbs
Published: 2010 Abacus
Amazon price £9.99
Marketplace:New from £1.20:Used from £0.01
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 320 pages  
ISBN: 0349121419
Salesrank: 767711
Weight:0.62 lbs
Published: 2010 Abacus
Amazon price CDN$ 13.72
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 4.86:Used from CDN$ 2.52
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Product Description
This biography of Darwin explores his time spent in Britain, in particular Kent, and his years of work on the plants, animals and people that make their home in the land of his birth.