Biographies of scientists are generating fresh interest as current movements in the historiography of science increasingly focus on the social aspects of science and on the criteria that most accurately describe a scientific life. Biography is the form through which the work of a scientist can be located in its fullest historical context. It can also reveal much about the construction of reputation and about the reception of ideas. The biographical tradition surrounding the naturalist Charles Darwin from 1882 to the present day has employed a variegated imagery, exemplifying how writings about scientific figures have adjusted to changing cultural and scientific norms.

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