The Book That Changed the World

Darwin's Study. Image Courtesy of English Heritage.
Darwin’s Study. Image Courtesy of English Heritage.

 

Charles Darwin unleashed his groundbreaking work “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” on an unsuspecting public in the mid 19th century. Seldom has one book so rapidly changed the face of our collective and personal identity. His work provided compelling evidence that all species of life have descended from common ancestors. Darwin’s book shook the Victorian world, and has influenced our thinking ever since.

Darwin's Journal, also known as the Beagle Diary. Image Courtesy of English Heritage.
Darwin’s Journal, also known as the Beagle Diary. Image Courtesy of English Heritage.

Visitors to Down House in Kent have the opportunity to stand in Darwin’s Study where he developed his landmark scientific theories. “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” was written in the book filled library on the authentic Darwin desk.

Down House Image Courtesy of English Heritage.
Down House
Image Courtesy of English Heritage.

Down House was the home of Charles Darwin for 40 years. He, his wife Emma, and their 10 children made Down House a family home; flair and fashion were not important considerations. Most of the furniture was chosen for its comfort and durability rather than style. Much of the rest was inherited.

The stair slide made by Charles Darwin for his children shows whimsical side of family life Darwin's Journal, also known as the Beagle Diary. Image Courtesy of English Heritage.
The stair slide made by Charles Darwin for his children shows the whimsical side of family life. Image Courtesy of English Heritage.

Charles Darwin’s life and career is also represented by the extensive array of personal artefacts and scientific paraphernalia. These include an assortment of instruments and notebooks from his Beagle voyage, various specimens from his studies at Down, and correspondence between Darwin, his family and friends. All of these help to form a valuable insight into a fascinating individual and his family.

 Picture of Charles Darwin enactor in the conservatory. Image Courtesy of English Heritage.

Picture of Charles Darwin enactor in the conservatory. Image Courtesy of English Heritage.

During half-term, students have a wonderful opportunity to join the man himself – Charles Darwin – and explore evolution at its birthplace as they delve into the mysteries of science during a Discover with Darwin workshop. Ever wondered why giraffes have long necks? Why a penguin can’t fly? Why a monkey has a tail? Discover all this and more as you grab your lab coat and dust off your craft kits at Down House.

Each Discover with Darwin workshop will take approximately 45 minutes and will involve storytelling and hands on activities of a Darwinian theme.

 

Discover with Darwin

Date: Tuesday 26 – Saturday 30 May 2015

Time: 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm

Location: Home of Charles Darwin (Down House)

Suitable: Children

Home of Charles Darwin – Down House

Luxted Road, Downe, Kent, BR6 7JT

To learn about this and other programs visit: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/home-of-charles-darwin-down-house/things-to-do/#Section1

 

 

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