Mr. Darwin's Shooter: A Novel ePub (Adobe DRM) download by Roger McDonald

Mr. Darwin's Shooter: A Novel

Grove Press
Publication date: May 2012
ISBN: 9780802194343
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)

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Syms Covington, the main character of Mr. Darwin’s Shooter, was Charles Darwin’s manservant for seven years, beginning with the historic voyage of the Beagle. Their relationship was an odd one, but it furnished exactly what Darwin needed in order to complete his groundbreaking work. Covington shot and collected hundreds of specimens (leaving him nearly deaf) which became fodder for The Origin of Species. The book tells the story of how Covington came into Darwin’s service -— his upbringing in Bedford, England; his departure at thirteen for the sea, in the company of evangelical sailor John Phipps; his flowering into manhood and (distressing to Phipps) wholehearted enjoyment of the sensual pleasures available to young sailors. It tells of the unusual relationship between Covington and his distant master, and the rift between them when Covington was unceremoniously dismissed when Darwin had finished his research. The story is framed by the elder Covington, who has retired to Australia in poor health and in moral crisis over Darwin’s forthcoming book —- its blasphemous thesis and his part in providing the proof. The arc of Mr. Darwin's Shooter paints a poignant and unforgettable picture of one man forging, then struggling to maintain, his faith in an era when it is constantly under attack — from science, from the daily brutality of life during colonial expansion, and from one's own cold, inexorable logic.
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