This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Illuminating Darwin: Arabella’s Light by Jill George is a fascinating insight into one of the unsung heroes of early scientific investigation in the mid-19th century. Arabella Buckley was not your typical vicar’s daughter; she was forthright, headstrong, and full of a desire to explore the natural world. As with all young women of the time, attending a university was out of the question. But Arabella read voraciously and was constantly poring over the latest literary output from some of the great scientists of the time. Arabella was determined to defy her mother and not marry, as all good vicars daughters should. This was more because she was secretly in love with someone who was forbidden fruit. When she was offered a position as literary assistant to the great geologist Sir Charles Lyell, she jumped at the chance. She began her career by rubbing shoulders with and actively assisting and promoting the works of some of the greatest scientists of the day.
Jill George had a fantastic character to work with in Arabella, and she did an amazing job of bringing Arabella to life for readers. She beautifully highlighted her successes and triumphs, as well as her bitter disappointments and, at times, extreme sadness, especially as her peers and loved ones passed on, leaving her alone to struggle. I particularly appreciated the realism of the political and scientific debate between the participants in this story. When Darwin first postulated the theories of evolution, there was vehement opposition to his claims, and this was best summed up by the character of Samuel Butler, Arabella's nemesis, who not only disputed Darwin’s theories but also couldn’t believe Arabella had received the opportunities she had without having committed immoral behavior. Thankfully, Arabella proved him very wrong by dint of her life’s achievements. I loved this well-researched book and can highly recommend it.