3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
It is many years since I read this, but having read the other review, I just want to note that at the time I thought it the best science-history book I had read for many years - since the author's Hot Blooded Dinosaurs, in fact. Some might find it a bit heavy going, especially the dissection of many aquatic creatures, but it is worth persevering.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 1999
While this is an extremely thorough and complete review of Huxley's life and work, I found several problems with the book. In brief, these include: A Hemingwayesque type of writing (short declaratory sentences) without H's style to pull it off. An overuse of adjectives by about a factor of three. Many sentences that, in spite of being short, were hard to disentangle grammatically. My most serious criticism of the content, though, is that the author stuck much too closely to a time-line rather than an idea or subject line. For example, he makes the statement, in several places, that finally Huxley saw the light and fully bought into evolution and natural selection as presented by Darwin. But he never seems to explain this: why the hesitancy and why the "sudden" conversion. There is too much mixing up of private life with scientific ideas. And no real counter is given to Huxley's antipathy to Owen whose work seems to be at least as long-lived as Huxley's (dinosaurs?). For my taste, a much more satisfying way of writing scientific biography can be found by reading Janet Browne's first vol. of a bio. of Darwin ("Coasting").