, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 151-155

Banging on about Darwin: Hodge in context

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This two-volume collection of previously published papers by Jonathan Hodge not only brings to light a number of essays published in now hard to find places but also offers an unparalleled opportunity for tracing the historiographic trajectory of a leading Darwin historian over more than thirty years of intellectual achievement. Its value is enhanced by the emphasis Hodge himself places on historiography and on reassessing and revising traditional interpretations of themes and issues in the history of Darwin studies. Almost every included essay—and there are twenty-four in all—has some discussion of how the “history of evolutionary biology” (in scare quotes for reasons which will emerge below) has been written or continues to be written and how, in Hodge’s view, it should be written. Several essays are entirely historiographical, notably Hodge’s critique of “Canguilhem and the history of biology” (Hodge 2008: II, originally published in 2000) and his reassessment of the “Darwinian Revo