For the naturalists out there… the Darwinians… the biology enthusiasts… the book lovers.. I give you the penguin little black classics’ version of ‘It was snowing butterflies’ by Charles Darwin.
I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was by the release of these collections. As a biologist, Darwin is a huge figure of authority having influenced the field with his ground-breaking insights into evolution and natural selection. Therefore, upon entering my university bookshop; Blackwells, I was insanely excited by the prospect of buying a classic by the man himself for 80p ($2)! I had barely gotten out of the shop and onto the bus home before I had it out and started to flick through it.
And boy was I not disappointed!
‘It was snowing butterflies’ is an account of a ship; The Beagle’s, momentous journeys to explore unheard of places and the discovery of exotic creatures. The stories recount Darwin’s determination to prove the theory of evolution and reveal so much about the nature of the voyage and the gentleman himself as he advanced science.
The book is absolutely a ‘must read’ because it not only takes the reader step by step through the thoughts of the brilliant scientist, his unique interpretations and observations, it also is an epic account of what life was like on board a ship during the mid to late 1800’s.
Unlike any other book I’ve possibly ever read on Darwin, what strikes me most is the variety of insights into the obstacles that the crew encountered including; foreign tribesmen and the harsh nature of the sea. This is a book that not only talks about his passion for all things biology but also his enthusiasm for life at that time. I would encourage any budding scientist to read this so they can walk closer to understanding Darwin’s character. I think it’s impressive that such an enigmatic character could also influence as large a community as the scientific.
So, as a book that is aimed towards a biologist, I think it excels because it reaches out to various audiences. The literary enthusiasts, chemical engineers, naturalists, geologists, you name it they’ve probably read it.. and if not; why not?! Read it, read it now!
To conclude, I’d like to give an absolutely massive shout-out to Penguin Books. You not only provided me with books and excitement throughout my childhood, but also absolute joy during the start of adulthood. you have had a hand in fuelling my passion for all things scientific. Hats off to you.
Until next time,