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Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith…
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Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith (original 2009; edition 2011)

by Deborah Heiligman

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65210314,774 (3.93)26
Member:kris0812
Title:Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith
Authors:Deborah Heiligman
Info:Square Fish (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:non-fiction, biography, journals, letters, 500s, 268 pages, 6-8, darwin, evolution, relationships

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Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman (2009)

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Somehow I had the impression this was a story based on facts, and for adults. No, it's straight non-fiction, and for ages 12-13 up. Fascinating, though. A tiny bit long on 'this happened and then this happened' and a tiny bit short on the dilemma of the marriage of religion & science, but still an enlightening joy to read.

ETA - forgot to mention the frequent deaths and chronic illnesses. Interesting how each dealt with all the challenges. Apparently Charles was sick with migraines, I've learned since I've read this. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
All I really knew about Darwin was evolution, the Beagle, and controversy. This very enjoyable work focuses on the relationship of Charles Darwin and his wife Emma. While he developed his theory of evolution, a radical concept for the time, his very religious wife Emma feared she would not see him in heaven when they died because of his religious doubts. Yet they shared a loving marriage and were openminded to each other's ideas and in the raising of their children. Neither quite convinced the other and yet somehow they were able to balance their differences...agree to disagree, perhaps? Author Heiligman pulls together an appealing portrait of a loving couple through existing works and their correspondence, all cited in the Source Notes. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
When I first started reading this book I just couldn't get it into it. I felt like the author was talking down to me, and I had already read other books about Darwin so I kept finding myself being annoyed. Then (right around the time it started getting awards) I finally got to the part where the Darwin's finally got married and started their family. This was the part where the book started picking up for me. Finally it was getting interesting. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
When I first started reading this book I just couldn't get it into it. I felt like the author was talking down to me, and I had already read other books about Darwin so I kept finding myself being annoyed. Then (right around the time it started getting awards) I finally got to the part where the Darwin's finally got married and started their family. This was the part where the book started picking up for me. Finally it was getting interesting. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
When I first started reading this book I just couldn't get it into it. I felt like the author was talking down to me, and I had already read other books about Darwin so I kept finding myself being annoyed. Then (right around the time it started getting awards) I finally got to the part where the Darwin's finally got married and started their family. This was the part where the book started picking up for me. Finally it was getting interesting. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
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... she [Emma] wrote, "The sincerity of showing yourself as you really are.  The real good it would do the world not to have artificial sins." (163)
Charles had written in one of his notebooks, "Definition of happiness the number of pleasant ideas passing through mind in given time."  Now he found happiness not just in his mind; he found it in real life. (93)
They borrowed some novels from the library, starting a lifelong tradition of reading together--usually Emma read to Charles while he rested from his work.  Charles liked novels with happy endings, and he once wrote, "I often bless all novelists.  A surprising number have been read aloud to me... and I like all if moderately good, and passed.  A novel, according to my taste, does not come into the first class unless it contains some person whom one can thoroughly love, and if it be a pretty woman all the better." (91)
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Charles Darwin and his wife, Emma, were deeply in love and very supportive of each other, but their opinions often clashed. Emma was extremely religious, and Charles questioned God's very existence.

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