Biography & Memoir
Patricia Fara sets out to discover why an innocuous, 18th-century Midlands physician called Dr Erasmus Darwin provoked a fierce intellectual and political reaction to his writings on sex and science. She uncovers a man whom Coleridge regarded as having ‘perhaps a greater range of knowledge than any other man in Europe’. Erasmus Darwin’s ideas influenced his grandson, Charles, were banned by the Vatican and scandalised his critics. Today, he appears a champion of the abolition of slavery, of the education of women and of the ideals of the French Revolution.
Fara teaches history of science at the University of Cambridge and specialises In Enlightenment England. She has written many works including Science: A Four Thousand Year History, which won the Dingle prize of the British Society for the History of Science.