The Malay Archipelago. 1858. In these remote tropics, a young British naturalist, Alfred Wallace, toils in obscurity. He collects specimens – beetles, moths, ants and birds – that sell for pennies apiece in England.
One night, suffering from fever and hallucination, Wallace solves the greatest mystery of the era: the origin of species. To circulate his discovery, Wallace contacts a distant acquaintance – Charles Darwin, who has been secretly penning a near-identical version of the same evolutionary theory for twenty years. Darwin achieves world-renown and Wallace earns, if nothing else, widespread grudging respect. But then Wallace returns to England where his advocacy for ideas ranging from socialism to spiritualism sets him on a collision course with the men at the very heart of the scientific establishment, including Darwin.
The Evolutionist is an historical novel concerning one of Britain’s most controversial and misunderstood Victorians. In a pivotal epoch that pits science against faith, Alfred Wallace steps forth alone, an enigmatic maverick who boldly and unabashedly declares equal belief in both.
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