Robert Taylor (Radical) - Darwin Recalls Taylor

Darwin Recalls Taylor

Taylor would be remembered by Charles Darwin as a warning example of an outcast from society who had challenged Christianity and had been imprisoned for blasphemy, one of many warnings that gave him a well-founded fear of revealing his theory. In 1857 as he worked towards the publication of Darwin's theory he wrote "What a book a Devil's Chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering low & horridly cruel works of Nature!" in what Desmond and Moore argue is a reference to Taylor's nickname. However the term "the Devil's Chaplain" goes back to Chaucer who has his Parson say "Flatereres been the develes chapelleyns, that syngen evere placebo."

As the reaction to Darwin's theory developed in March 1860 he described his close ally Thomas Huxley as his "good and kind agent for the propagation of the Gospel – i.e. the devil's gospel."

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