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May 1965

Erasmus Darwin

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(5):519-522. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03860170001001

Erasmus Darwin influenced many people in many ways. He added significantly to the art, science, medicine, culture, and literature of his time, but he has been so overshadowed by his grandson, Charles, the immortal of evolution, that Erasmus's very substantial contributions have been pretty largely eclipsed. This is a great injustice as is pointed out so clearly in King-Hele's delightful biographical re-evocation of this man of heroic proportions, heroic in the physical sense of great, voluminous adiposity and in the many substantial contributions he made to science and the arts. Erasmus Darwin's turbulent interest in the world around him, his broadly ranging inquiries, and his skepticism are well-known. But think of the multitude of inventions as well as his many friendships, his active role in that wonderful group of philosophers in the environs of Birmingham, known as the Lunar society, with Matthew Boulton, Dr. Small, James Keir, Samuel Galton, William

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