Erasmus Darwin (2630 words)

  • Matthew J. A. Green (University of Nottingham)

An accomplished physician, botanist, zoologist, geologist, inventor and poet, Erasmus Darwin occupied a central position in the intellectual life of Britain throughout the latter half of the eighteenth century. Perhaps best remembered today as the grandfather of Charles Darwin, in his own day Erasmus was an eminent figure whose interests and influence extended into almost all areas of public life. A founding member of the Lunar Society of Birmingham, England, Darwin was at the heart of both the Midlands Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. A long-time friend of Benjamin Franklin and cordial acquaintance of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Darwin was a public, though jurisprudent, supporter of the American and French Revolutions, whilst h…

J. A. Green, Matthew. "Erasmus Darwin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 March 2005
[, accessed 21 October 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. English Romanticism
  2. Victorian Scientific Thought and Applications