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‘I am here hydropathising and coming to life again after having finished my accursed book’. So wrote Charles Darwin to his friend T. H. Huxley in October 1859 from the Yorkshire village of Ilkley. Darwin was in Ilkley taking the ‘water cure’, and over the next weeks, in between fresh-air walks, cold-water baths, and time with his family, he began to prepare for the publication of that ‘accursed book’, “On the Origin of Species”. Putting before the public his theory of evolution by natural selection, the book would make Darwin one of the most famous and for some, notorious, scientific figures of all time. In “Darwin in Ilkley”, Mike Dixon and Gregory Radick bring to life the dramas of body and mind that marked Darwin’s visit, together with an evocation of the Dales setting where Darwin, though beset by illness, began the defense of his evolution theory.
Mike Dixon was born in Sherborne (Dorset) and attended school there. He studied physics at Oxford and received a PhD degree in astrophysics from the University of Cambridge. Following teaching and research appointments in South Africa, Scotland and Australia, he joined the Australian Government Service and worked, for a while, as a ministerial assistant. He entered the tourist industry through public relations and scuba diving and established one of Australia’s first backpacker resorts. He has a keen interest in medieval history and is a frequent visitor to Britain and France…..Illustrated in black & white..Ref: 474
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