Until about 150 years ago, the gorilla was considered a mythical beast. No European had ever seen one, and its very existence was only rumoured. All that changed, however, when a young, unknown French explorer named Paul du Chaillu turned up in London in 1861 with a load of gorilla skeletons and stuffed gorillas skins that he had collected in the West African territory of Gabon. His public appearances and subsequent book made him a celebrity in Victorian England. Not only had a completely unknown and untrained adventurer managed to prove the existence of this mighty creature — but he had landed right in the middle of the biggest scientific debate of the time. Darwin's theory of evolution had just been published, and du Chaillu soon found himself a pawn in the heated controversy. This fascinating and little-known story has been brought to light in a new book, called Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure That Took the Victorian World by Storm. Its author is American science journalist, Monte Reel.