Overall this is a good book. However - despite the fact that he correctly fully admits that Patrick Matthew is the only person to have first fully published the full hypothesis of organic evolution by natural selection - Richard Dawkins's chapter on Darwin having priority over Patrick Matthew is based on Dawkins possible patent ignorance of the 19th century conventions of the Royal Society and British Association.
Matthew was not allowed to trumpet heresy from the rooftops. The facts (as opposed to daft rhetoric) are that he was roundly criticized for his heresy on nature (See 'Nullius in Verba: Darwin's greatest secret' for the fully referenced facts Dawkins and his supposedly "expert" editors appear not to have read) and he even informed Darwin of a eminent professor who feared to teach or otherwise disseminate those original ideas (pre-1858) for fear of pillory punishment. Yet, knowing the opposite was true, Darwin went on to spread the lie that no naturalist / no one at all read Matthew's original ideas on evolution. In reality, Big Data research newly unearths the fact that 7 naturalists cited Matthew's book and ideas pre-1858 and 4 of them were Darwin's and Wallace's influencers/editors/correspondents.
Moreover Dawkins failed to investigate whether any naturalists had read Matthew's book. "Nullius in Verba: Darwin's greatest secret" proves that a multitude of Darwin's and Wallace's personal associates did read Matthew's prior discovery. Dawkins also failed to conduct a plagiarism check. Parroting Darwin's lies is poor scholarship. The shame of it.
Dear Richard Dawkins - please read the following two books again if you have read them already and then in your future "expert" mere knowledge-belief pronouncements - on the history of the discovery of natural selection and Darwin's and Wallace's immaculately conceived independent discovery of a prior published theory - please do not -cherry-pick-out explanations that apply for why Robert Chambers and Charles Darwin were afraid to be associated with heretical explanations for evolution by the development theory and organic evolution by natural selection as though for some reason they do not apply equally to Patrick Matthew's published seditious heresy and blasphemy.
"Trumpet from the rooftops" indeed!" And to call Matthew's prior published bombshell breakthrough "Darwinism" is hilariously ludicrously biased Darwin worship nonsense that is worthy of any cultist.
Secord. J. A. (2000) Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. Chicago and London. The University of Chicago Press.
Desmond, A. Moore, J. and Browne, J. (2007) Charles Darwin. Oxford. Oxford University Press.