This Thing of Darkness By Harry Thompson

PUBLISHED: 11:14 05 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:24 06 May 2010

WHEN successful TV producer Harry Thompson (Have I Got News For You and They Think It s All Over) read about Captain Robert Fitzroy, he was intrigued. The captain s experiments in racial harmony were quite out of kilter with the Victorian age and in marke

WHEN successful TV producer Harry Thompson (Have I Got News For You and They Think It's All Over) read about Captain Robert Fitzroy, he was intrigued. The captain's experiments in racial harmony were quite out of kilter with the Victorian age and in marked contrast to his friend, Charles Darwin.

It was Fitzroy who took Darwin on his epic voyage aboard the Beagle which led to the theory of evolution - a theory the Conservative Christian Fitzroy could never agree with.

Fitzroy is the real hero of This Thing of Darkness, a sweeping tome that covers almost four decades from 1828. It also covers intricate and fascinating historical research, a profusion of ideas and emotions, humour, adventure and, ultimately, heart-rending tragedy.

The tragedy is real too as Harry Thompson, the man with the golden touch, died only a few weeks ago of lung cancer despite being a non smoker. He left behind him an epic novel that will thrill, intrigue and delight anyone who likes an edge to their historical drama.

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