Erasmus Darwin, English physician, 1797.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Mezzotint by J R Smith after a painting by Joseph Wright c 1793. Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) was the grandfather of the naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882). Many of Erasmus Darwin's ideas on evolution anticipated later thinking. His most important work was 'Zoonomia, or the Laws of Organic Life' (1794-96). His other interests included poetry, mechanical invention, and botany. He was also a member of the Lunar Society. Dimensions: 380mm x 280mm.