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Narrating Darwin's Childhood Garden

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The Guildhall

University Centre Shrewsbury

Frankwell Quay

Shrewsbury

SY3 8HQ

United Kingdom

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The garden at The Mount in Shrewsbury is well known for its links to Charles Darwin. It was at The Mount that Darwin played as a boy, carried out early experiments, and is likely to have completed his first written outline of evolutionary theory in 1842. However the garden has also been associated with many less famous inhabitants over the course of its 200 year history, include Darwin's mother, four sisters and the family's gardeners and a rich and varied wildlife.

This talk attempts to sketch the garden's communal history, honing in on the overlooked legacy of Darwin's mother, Susannah, a reputedly keen gardener, who bred doves at The Mount in the early 1800s. Paradoxically, taking a broad approach to the garden's history presents new ways of understanding Darwin's own inclusive methodologies and wide-ranging evolutionary vision. Through telling the garden's story, the talk also raises quesitons about the value of combining historical research with more creative and personal narratives, drawing upon the speaker's own recent experiences of living close to the site with a young family.

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Location

The Guildhall

University Centre Shrewsbury

Frankwell Quay

Shrewsbury

SY3 8HQ

United Kingdom

View Map

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