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In Darwin’s Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace: A Biographical Study on the Psychology of History

Posted on: September 29, 2007

Michael Shermer, In Darwin’s Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace: A Biographical Study on the Psychology of History
Oxford University Press | ISBN 0195148304 | 2002 | PDF | 4.7 MB | 443 pages


For ninety years now—as long as Wallace lived—he has largely been lost to us, partly as a result of the ravages of time, partly because of the dark shadow cast by his more famous contemporary Charles Darwin, and partly because of his own modesty. As Poulton recalled, “Ten years ago the Hon. John Collier generously offered to paint a portrait of Wallace. If the offer had been accepted we should have had a noble presentation of one of the greatest men of the last century—a splendid companion to the Darwin and Huxley we all know and love so well. But nothing would induce Wallace to sit.” The man was modest to a fault, a trait that would contribute to his eventual obscurity. But as Darwin’s star has brightened, those in his orbit are beginning to glow in his reflected light. Wallace now presents himself for a well-illuminated portrait.

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