Between Man and Beast

Between Man and Beast

An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure That Took the Victorian World by Storm

Book - 2013
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Random House, Inc.
The unbelievably riveting adventure of an unlikely young explorer who emerged from the jungles of Africa with evidence of a mysterious, still mythical beast—the gorilla—only to stumble straight into the center of the biggest debate of the day: Darwin's theory of evolution

In 1856 Paul Du Chaillu marched into the equatorial wilderness of West Africa determined to bag an animal that, according to legend, was nothing short of a monster. When he emerged three years later, the summation of his efforts only hinted at what he'd experienced in one of the most dangerous regions on earth. Armed with an astonishing collection of zoological specimens, Du Chaillu leapt from the physical challenges of the jungle straight into the center of the biggest issues of the time—the evolution debate, racial discourse, the growth of Christian fundamentalism—and helped push each to unprecedented intensities. He experienced instant celebrity, but with that fame came whispers—about his past, his credibility, and his very identity—which would haunt the young man. Grand in scope, immediate in detail, and propulsively readable, Between Man and Beast brilliantly combines Du Chaillu's personal journey with the epic tale of a world hovering on the sharp edge of transformation.

Baker & Taylor
Documents the story of mid-19th-century explorer Paul Du Chaillu, who after three years in the equatorial wilderness of West Africa emerged with definitive proof of the existence of the mythical gorilla, only to be swept up by the heated debate about Darwin's theory of evolution. 60,000 first printing.

& Taylor

Presents the West African expedition of Paul Du Chaillu who was the first European to confirm the existence of gorillas and discusses how Du Chaillu's discovery affected the evolution debate in Europe and America.

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385534222
Branch Call Number: 916.721 R257b
Characteristics: xiv, 331 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


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Oct 22, 2013

It's non-fiction, but reads like a novel. A story of extraordinary characters at a fascinating time.

ChristchurchLib Jun 18, 2013

"After three years in the equatorial wilderness of West Africa, mid-19th-century explorer Paul Du Chaillu returned to London with the first known specimens of the African gorilla ever seen there. His discovery was quickly swept into the scientific community's heated debate over Darwin's recently revealed theory of evolution. The public was fascinated and horrified in turn by the strangely human remains, and Chaillu's mysterious personal past fuelled intensive speculation." June 2013 Biography and Memoir newsletter


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