Huxley : from devil's disciple to evolution's high priest / Adrian Desmond Desmond, Adrian J., 1947-

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Author
Desmond, Adrian J., 1947-
Subjects
Huxley, Thomas Henry, 1825-1895.; Scientists - Great Britain - Biography.; Evolution (Biology)
Summary
T. H. Huxley (1825-1895) was Darwin's bloody-fanged bulldog. His giant scything intellect shook a prim Victorian society; his "Devil's gospel" of evolution outraged. He put "agnostic" into the vocabulary and cave men into the public consciousness. Adrian Desmond's fiery biography with its panoramic view of Dickensian life explains how this agent provocateur rose to become the century's greatest prophet. Synoptic in its sweep and evocative in its details, Desmond's biography reveals the poverty and opium-hazed tragedies of young Tom Huxley's life as well as the accolades and triumphs of his later years. Huxley pulled himself up to fight Darwin's battles in the 1860s, but left Darwin behind on the most inflammatory issues. He devastated angst-ridden Victorian society with his talk of ape ancestors, and tantalized and tormented thousands - from laborers to ladies of society, cardinals to Karl Marx - with his scintillating lectures. Out of his provocations came our image of science warring with theology. And out of them, too, came the West's new faith - agnosticism (he coined the word). Champion of modern education, creator of an intellectually dominant profession, and president of the Royal Society, in Desmond's hands Huxley epitomizes the rise of the middle classes as they clawed power from the Anglican elite. His modern godless universe, intriguing and terrifying, millions of years in the making, was explored in his laboratory at South Kensington; his last pupil, H. G. Wells, made it the foundation of twentieth-century science fiction.
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http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/23543381
Work ID
23543381

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