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Darwin: A Life in Poems

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Published by Vintage Digital, part of Vintage Publishing

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Format: ebook

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EAN: 9781409075370
Published: 6 May 2012


About the book


In these extraordinary poems, using multiple viewpoints - from Darwin himself, to his beloved wife Emma, and even, at one point, the orangutang at London Zoo - Ruth Padel illuminates the development of Darwin's thought, the drama of the discovery of evolution, and the fluctuating emotions of Darwin the husband, the naturalist and the tender father, in a powerful tribute to her famous ancestor.

Shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Poetry Award.

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What the critics say

A fascinating, very rich book... With sympathy and grace, Padel moves deftly between between science, love and family; between the vast processes of evolution and a personal life
- Sean O'Brien

Daring and exciting, brilliant and subtle, stunning and deeply impressive... a lesson to biographers and poets alike
- Colm Toibin

Ambitious... shows her extraordinary talent
- Observer

Inspired...her poems are delicate, but with an unusual density... Padel's subtle account is worthy of a fine novelist
- The Times

It feels like a deft act of collaboration between the living and the dead, one melding easily with the other... she seems to have caught the quintessence of the man's character, as if in a butterfly net
- The Economist

I love this collection and will happily re-read it several times.What Ruth Padel does so well is to marry her own sharply observed details with the beauty of Darwin's prose...It is a grand story told in poetry that never overlooks the small things.
- Independent on Sunday

a real gem
- The Times

About the Author

Ruth Padel is a prizewinning poet, Fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and the Zoological Society of London, and first Resident Writer at Somerset House, London. Her collections include Rembrandt Would Have Loved You, Voodoo Shop and The Soho Leopard, all shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, and more recently Darwin: A Life in Poems, shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award.

Highly acclaimed for her nature writing in a book about conservation, Tigers in Red Weather, and her novel, Where the Serpent Lives, she has also published books on contemporary poetry, including 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem and The Poem and the Journey.

In 2014, Ruth Padel is the first Writer in Residence at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and is recording her experiences in her blog at http://www.ruthpadel.com/blog/.

Ruth Padel

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