Heretic in Darwins Court
The Life of Alfred Russel Wallace
During their lifetimes, Wallace and Darwin shared credit and fame for the independent and near-simultaneous discovery of natural selection. Their rivalry, usually amicable but occasionally acrimonious, forged modern evolutionary theory. Yet today, few people today know much about Wallace. This book explores the controversial life and scientific contributions of the Victorian traveler, scientist and spiritualist. His twelve years of often harrowing travels in the western and eastern tropics place him in the pantheon of the greatest explorer-naturalists of the nineteenth century. Tracing his discovery of natural selection, the book then follows the remaining fifty years of Wallace's eccentric and entertaining life. In addition to his divergence from Darwinon two fundamental issues--sexual selection and the origin of the human mind--he pursued topics that most scientific figures of his day conspicuously avoided, including spiritualism, phrenology, mesmerism, environmentalism, and life on Mars.--From publisher description.