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200 × 130 mm
176 pages
35 illustrations
01 Mar 2019

Alfred Russel Wallace Patrick Armstrong

Sometimes referred to as the father of biogeography, Alfred Russel Wallace is known as the co-discoverer of the theory of evolution through natural selection. A prolific author, he wrote extensively in the fields of zoology, botany, anthropology, politics and astronomy. Although he had a number of somewhat eccentric beliefs, which rendered him unpopular in certain circles, he is recognized as one of the leading figures in nineteenthcentury British science.
Patrick Armstrong describes Wallace’s long life – born in 1823, Wallace died on the eve of the First World War – and shows him to be, in many ways, a more interesting character than his fellow scientist Charles Darwin. This compact yet comprehensive biography takes a psychological approach, attempting to provide an insight into a man who was, for much of his life, plagued with misfortune: legal problems, extreme difficulty in obtaining full-time employment, and relationship troubles all vexed him. This critical biography unlocks the life of a restless traveller who, although obtaining only an ‘ordinary’ education, became one of the most influential scientists of his time.

Patrick Armstrong is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia. His many books include Darwin’s Other Islands (2004), All Things Darwin: An Encyclopedia of Darwin’s World (2007) and Darwin’s Luck: Chance and Fortune in the Life and Work of Charles Darwin (2009).