Darwin’s Camera: Art and Photography in the Theory of Evolution

by Phillip Prodger
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. 284 pages.

In examining these two books on visual elements in Darwin’s work, reviewer Michael Ruse notes that the Origin, with its single illustration, was the exception: “In other works, there are illustrations galore, and only a fool (or a philosopher) could deny their importance.” Darwin’s Camera “does a magnificent job of tracing and explaining Darwin’s illustrations” to The Descent of Man, “giving great detail about the sources of the pictures and their background.” The essays in The Art of Evolution “argue that Darwin fed back into the culture of his day and of generations succeeding”; Ruse is mildly critical of two essays as vague and unconvincing.