Conversations from the Darwin Festival - Ruth Padel

21 July 2009
Presented by Chris Smith


Poet and Darwin-descendent Ruth Padel talks about how the history books led her to write "Darwin, a life in poems", an anthology of fifteen poems charting the major events of Darwin's life.


Padel's interaction with an elderly woman with Alzheimers informed her about the story of Charles Darwin, and his disbelief in the afterlife. Following this interaction, Padel wished to write a book about these personal stories, in the form of poems. Padel based her content off of "The Correspondence Program of Charles Darwin," after being commissioned by the Natural History Museum. After pondering Darwin's personal life, she was given less than a year to produce her masterpiece, in which she wrote about what she found most important. Like many people, we associate Darwin with his theories about evolution, and much less about his personal life or who he was as a person. After listening to this podcast, I have a better understanding about the beliefs that sparked Darwin's theories, and the events in his life that led him pursue them.

Add a comment