Sunday, February 14, 2010

Erasmus Darwin and his Thought About Death

Portrait of Erasmus Darwin. By Joseph Wright of Derby. 1792. From
Erasmus Darwin (12 December 1731 – 18 April 1802) was an English Physician. One of the key thinkers of the Midlands Enlightenment, he was also a natural philospher, physiologist, abolitionist, inventor and poet. His poems included much natural history , including a statement of evolution and the relatedness of all forms of life. He was a member of the Darwin-Wedgwood family,   which includes his grandsons Charles Darwin and Francis Galton.  Darwin was also a founding member of the Lunar Society of Birmingham , a discussion group of pioneering industrialists and natural philosophers. (Adapted from
In “The Temple of Nature, or, The Origin of Society: A Poem. With Philosophical Notes”, London, 1803, he writes about death (Stanza 6, lines 398-400) :
The wrecks of Death are but a change of forms;
Emerging matter from the grave returns,

Feels new desires, with new sensations burns.

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