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The Monk in the Garden

by Robin Marantz Henig
Boston: Mariner Books, 2001. 304 pages.

From the publisher: "The perplexing silence that greeted Mendel's discovery and his ultimate canonization as the father of genetics make up a tale of intrigue, jealousy, and a healthy dose of bad timing. Telling the story as it has never been told before, Robin Henig crafts a suspenseful, elegant, and richly detailed narrative that fully evokes Mendel's life and work and the fate of his ideas as they made their perilous way toward the light of day. The Monk in the Garden is a literary tour de force about a little-known chapter in the history of science, and it brings us back to the birth of genetics — a field that continues to challenge the way we think about life itself."