"RISE THE FIRST SPECKS OF ANIMATED EARTH – ERAMUS DARWIN"
Portrait of Eramus Darwin by Joseph Wright of Derby (1792)
Public DomainPortrait of Eramus Darwin by Joseph Wright of Derby (1792) - Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Born in 1731, Erasmus Darwin was an English physician, philosopher, abolitionist, inventor, poet and all-round genius who wrote primarily about natural history and evolution. The History of Love includes the words, “Hence without parents, by spontaneous birth, rise the first specks of animated earth”, which are taken from Darwin’s famous work, Temple of Nature. This poem was published following Darwin’s sudden death in 1802 and outlines his belief in biological evolution, which was considered a radical notion at the time.

Known to be charming, kind and open minded, Darwin married twice, had 12 legitimate children as well as two illegitimate daughters, and was the grandfather of world-renowned naturalist Charles Darwin who shared his belief in evolution and published On the Origin of Species in 1859.