Religion, Science And Murder. It's All In 'The Darwin Affair.'

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It’s a matter of fact that between 1840 and 1882 there were eight assassination attempts on the life of Queen Victoria, but in his suspenseful novel “The Darwin Affair,” Tim Mason adds a ninth, in 1860, and makes the target Prince Albert. The date is important: it’s just months after the publication of Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” and concomitant with the Oxford University Museum debate on evolution featuring those famous antagonists – biologist and anthropologist Thomas Huxley and Anglican Bishop Samuel Wilberforce. Prince Albert wants to give Darwin a knighthood. No way say fierce evolution deniers in Parliament and powerful members of the clergy, and so they conscript a sinister anti-evolutionist to kill the prince and thus head off what would otherwise be seen as royal approval of a theory that threatens The Great Chain of Being: the way things are, have been, and must be forever. Little do they know that their hired man, the wraith-like creature with the disturbing

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