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Middle Positions

John Hedley Brooke

21 July 1983
Archetypes and Ancestors: Palaeontology in Victorian London 1850-1875 
by Adrian Desmond.
Blond and Briggs, 287 pp., £15.95, October 1982, 0 85634 121 5
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Evolution without Evidence: Charles Darwin and ‘The Origin Species’ 
by Barry Gale.
Harvester, 238 pp., £18.95, January 1983, 0 7108 0442 3
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The Secular Ark: Studies in the History of Biogeography 
by Janet Browne.
Yale, 273 pp., £21, May 1983, 0 300 02460 6
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The Descent of Darwin: A Handbook of Doubts about Darwinsm 
by Brain Leith.
Collins, 174 pp., £7.95, December 1982, 0 00 219548 8
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... reading, it would have been as well if he had retained that more modest objective. The fact is he didn’t. From Darwin’s scientific difficulties to those afflicting his theory today: Brian Leith’s handbook of doubts about Darwinism is a succinct and opportune review of the latest critiques of neo-Darwinian gradualism, written, as befits a BBC producer, to put the intelligent layman in the ...

Sick Boys

Jenny Turner

2 December 1993
Trainspotting 
by Irvine Welsh.
Secker, 344 pp., £8.99, July 1993, 0 436 56567 6
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... the matter more gnomically: ‘SCOTLAND TAKES DRUGS IN PSYCHIC SELF-DEFENCE.’ The focus of Trainspotting is a young man called Mark Renton or Rents, a heroin addict who was born and brought up in Leith, the old port neighbourhood on the north-eastern side of Edinburgh. Renton has had it with steady work, having been an apprentice joiner for a while and given it up. He has tried, and also given up ...

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