Bright Paradise by Peter Raby

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Whether looking for the sources of the Nile, the Niger, or the Amazon, penetrating the Australian outback, or searching for the Northwest Passage, the Victorians were intrepid explorers, zealously expanding the limits of science and human knowledge. In Bright Paradise, Peter Raby describes brave voyages and gives us vivid and unforgettable portraits of the larger-than-life personalities of Charles Darwin, Alfred Wallace, and Henry Bates, glorious examples of Victorian energy and confidence. He also explores wider issues such as the growth of knowledge and the spread of the empire.

Witty, provocative, and exciting in the breadth of its research, this book charts an important period of scientific advance and transforms it into a compelling narrative.


About Peter Raby

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Raby lectures in Drama and English at the University of Cambridge.
Published January 1, 1996 by CHATTO AND WINDUS. 276 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Raby then turns his attentions to how the jottings of these explorers were appropriated and deployed by writers as diverse as Charles Kingsley, whose Water Babies Raby considers ``a coded tour round the scientific debates of the mid-century,'' and Samuel Burler in his utopian Erewhon, the romanti...

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Publishers Weekly

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While he does recount some of Alfred Wallace's and Charles Darwin's contributions to the theory of evolution, his treatment of Henry Bates, Richard Spruce, Mary Kingsley and others is restricted to their adventures beyond the pale of ""civilization."" In the process, Raby occasionally entertains ...

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