Quirks & Quarks Between Man and Beast: The Gorilla and the Victorians

Quirks & Quarks Between Man and Beast: The Gorilla and the Victorians

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.

  • 2014
  • 00:14:28
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/10/2014
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Du Chaillu, Paul B. (Paul Belloni), 1835-1903 [LCSH] Explorers -- France [LCSH] Explorers -- Gabon [LCSH] Gorilla -- Africa, West [LCSH] Hunters -- France [LCSH] Hunters -- Gabon [LCSH] Gabon -- Description and travel [LCSH] Evolution (Biology) [LCSH] Science [LCSH] Biology [LCSH] History [LCSH] World history [LCSH]
Torah Kachur (Host), Jim Handman (Producer), Paul B. (Paul Belloni) Du Chaillu (Subject), Emily Chung (Producer), Jim Lebans (Producer)
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