Thursday, October 09, 2014

Book fifty: Charles and Emma: Darwin's Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman

This story was so much fun to read. We all know Charles Darwin. We all know the brilliance of his scientific mind. We all know his natural selection theory of how species evolved. We all know those things about the man, but this story offers you a look into Charles Darwin the husband and father. What a wonderful life he gave his wife and children. After he came to the conclusion, with the aid of a pros and cons list, that marriage was what he wanted.

Charles Darwin married his cousin, Emma. Meant for each other seems cliché but these two people really were meant for each other. She was steady, independent, charming, and provided him with the time and space he needed to continue his work. He was observant, attentive (even when not working), appreciative, and loving. They were both patient parents and both lacked the will to be true disciplinarians. Emma is known to have bribed the children to behave at times. (Who hasn't, am I right?)

They had a beautiful life but it wasn't without its heartache. Perhaps most interesting was how Charles and Emma were able to be overlook their obvious differences in regards to faith. For Charles, the more he studied the more his disbelief in a God grew. For Emma, who lost her sister at a young age, believing was a way to ensure they would meet again in the afterlife.

50 down plus 2 to go.

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