Darwin revealed himself so largely in his books, that a vivid picture of much of his life can be extracted from them. Thus it has been found possible to combine much biographical interest with sketches of his most important works.
aracter, and even read the thoughts, of those with whom he came into contact, with extraordinary astuteness. This skill partly accounts for his great success as a physician, for it impressed his patients with belief in him; and my father used to say that the art of gaining confidence was the chief element in a doctor's worldly success."
Sensitive, sociable, a good talker, high-spirited and somewhat irascible, a man who admitted no one to his friendship whom he could not thoroughly respect, the friend of the poor, prescribing gratuitously to all who were needy, pre-eminent for sympathy, which for a time made him hate his profession for the constant suffering it brought before his eyes--such was Charles Darwin's father. Miss Meteyard, in her "Group of Englishmen," 1871, gives a vivid picture of the old doctor, his acknowledged supremacy in Shrewsbury, his untiring activity and ubiquity, his great dinner parties, his liberal and rather unpopular opinions, tolerated for the sake of his success in curing hi
Condensed sketch of Darwin's life and work, with a focus on his books. Recommended if you want a short version of it all---there are dozens of longer biographies and letter collections, not to mention the works themselves. Of course, the perspective is from 1880, but that's fine for an overview of this eminent naturalist who was not limited at all to thinking about evolution. Beware, the latter half of the book is the literature list, so it really is only half as thick!