You may be aware that Charles Darwin actually based his theories of evolution on his grandfather’s views propounded in The Temple of Nature and printed before Charles was actually born?
The Erasmus Darwin Foundation is pleased to announce the release of a limited edition copy of The Temple of Nature or The Origin of Society written by Erasmus Darwin and originally published 200 years ago in April 1803.
Erasmus Darwin originally expressed his evolutionary ideas many years before but they were vilified by the Church and it was only after his death in 1802 that The Temple of Nature aka The Origin of Society was finally published, 56 years ahead of his famous grandson, Charles’ version entitled “Origin of the Species”.
Erasmus Darwin exhibits in The Temple of Nature and in his other publications, an imagination in which science and poetry exist in perfect symbiosis and for which he was renowned as one of the leading poets in the 18th C.
Each book is numbered and is available from Erasmus Darwin House, Beacon Street, Lichfield WS13 7AD, firstname.lastname@example.org and by telephone 01543-306260 at the reduced price of £15.00 + P&P.
Limited to 250 copies
This new edition of The Temple of Nature has been produced to commemorate the 200th anniversary of its original publication in 1803. It is an important work both in terms of its symbiosis of poetry and science and as the product of a powerful literary imagination. This is a rare opportunity to buy The Temple of Nature in its full form. All proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Erasmus Darwin Foundation which was set up in 1994 and granted charitable status to promote the life and works of one of the greatest polymaths of the 18th century. This edition of the The Temple of Nature also includes the author’s extensive prose notes on topics ranging from biological evolution and chemical affinity to volcanoes, mosquitoes and Egyptian hieroglyphics. Erasmus Darwin’s verse was still admired in 1803, but many considered his evolutionary ideas in particular to be profoundly irreligious and wildly improbable. His grandson Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was not published until 1859.
In December 2006 Cambridge University Press published another book from Darwin enthusiast Desmond King-Hele. The book, entitled The Collected Letters of Erasmus Darwin, gives a fascinating insight to the genius of this great polymath. It contains 460 letters – over half of which are now published for the first time – covering numerous subjects and written to people such as his fellow ‘Lunar’ friends Matthew Boulton, James Watt and Josiah Wedgwood.
This book is available to order for £90 +p&p.
Author of a critical study of the poems entitled Erasmus Darwin’s Enlightenment Epic (2002) (ISBN 0-9542151-1-7)
Cosmologia (2002). A general title given to Stuart Harris’s edition of three epic poems by Erasmus Darwin: The Economy of Vegetation (1791); The Loves of the Plants (1789); The Temple of Nature (1803) ISBN 0-9542151-0-9 Paperback version £8
To Elizabeth with Love, ed. Stuart Harris (2009) £5 +p&p Published by Stuart Harris (email@example.com)
The Prince; My Son; Our Hero: Three Elegies, ed. Stuart Harris (2009) £5 +p&p Published by Stuart Harris (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Recent Unpublished Writings about Darwin
Click on the papers to read
- Truth, Faith and Doubt in some C.18th and C. 19th Scientists – coming to terms with faith and the biblical record
- Staffordshire’s Involvement with Genesis and Evolution – Erasmus Darwin, Floyer, Whitehurst and Bateman
- On the Shoulders of Giants – the evolutionary story from Erasmus Darwin to Charles Darwin
Darwin House Drawings
These drawings below, are by a local artist Steve Machin and are available for sale at the museum reception. Click on any of the images for an enlarged view.
To order these or to see other publications available please contact the museum.