The story of the personal tragedy that lay behind Darwin’s revolutionary understanding of man’s place in nature.
Darwin’s eldest daughter Annie died when she was only ten years old. In the writing case are keepsakes of her life that cast precious light on Darwin’s work and on his love for his wife and children. Taking Annie’s story as his starting point Randal Keynes brings together science and humanity in a ground-breaking book that makes a major contribution to our understanding of Charles Darwin.
Randal Keynes, Darwin’s great-great-grandson and the current guardian of Annie’s box, conjures up a world in which great thinkers – including Carlyle, Babbage and George Eliot – were struggling with ideas that were to shake mankind to its core. At the forefront was Darwin himself, whose thinking about evolution and human nature was profoundly influenced by his life with his family, vividly pictured in this intimate portrait of the man and his private world.