- Published: New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2009.
- Year Published: 2009
- Description: 268 p.
- Language: English
- Format: Book
- Lexile: 1020
- Darwin, Charles, -- 1809-1882.
- Darwin, Emma Wedgwood, -- 1808-1896.
- Naturalists -- Biography. -- England
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Charles and Emma : the Darwins' leap of faith
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Where To Find It
Available Copies: Downtown Teen, Pittsfield Teen, West Teen
Reviews & Summaries
How do you balance science and faith? What happens when you add love to the mix? Can you love people with radically different opinions than your own? Charles and Emma avoids pat answers while giving a clear-eyed view of the romance between Charles Darwin and his wife Emma. Nonfiction for young adults is difficult; it has to be accessible and interesting without being condescending; a book about evolution is even more difficult. Heiligman manages her topic well, as she assumes little background knowledge about Darwin or the theory of evolution and clarifies points without talking down to her readers. She clearly and concisely explains the social circumstances of the time period as well as key points of the theory of evolution while keeping the main focus of the book squarely on the Darwins. Readers hoping for an in-depth discussion of the theory of evolution or Darwin’s discoveries may be disappointed, as Heiligman confines herself brief overviews; the real strength lies in her exploration of the relationship of doubting Charles and religious Emma and how they loved each other deeply despite being divided about Charles’ discoveries. Endnotes and an extensive bibliography provide sources and further reading. Highly recommended for late middle school through adult. Somewhat conversational style makes it seem less academic than it really is, but never fear- Heigilman did her research.
I read this a year ago and it's really interesting how religious Emma was and how her own husband was defying everything the Christian Church stood for.
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