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Darwin’s Pictures: Views of Evolutionary Theory, 1837– 1874

by Julia Voss
New Haven (CT): Yale University Press, 2010. 340 pages.

Reviewer Keith Thomson summarizes, “As Darwin was a poor draftsman, Julia Voss’s Darwin’s Pictures is not a critical retrospective of the man as an artist. Instead she uses a small number of images—like the figure of Galápagos ground finch beaks in The Voyage of the Beagle (editions after 1845), the tree in the Origin, and the use of photographic series in Expression of the Emotions—to explain the development of his ideas and the history of his career as a scientist of the mid-to-late nineteenth century. In the process she is able to retell a familiar story from a novel and newly illuminating point of view.”