New children's book based on Charles Darwin's adventures in Downe, Bromley

Illustrations in the book are by Diana Catchpole

Illustrations in the book are by Diana Catchpole

First published in News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A children’s book based on the Bromley adventures of Charles Darwin is being released on the anniversary of when he moved to the borough.

The famous naturalist settled at Down House, Downe, on September 17 in 1842 and author Ewa Prokop is celebrating his time in the area with her latest book. 

‘Darwin’s Wild Pursuits Around Downe’ is made up of 14 short stories, each based on a conversation between Darwin and a personified animal.

Aimed at children between 9-11, the book follows the likes of a Roman snail, a butterfly, and a wren and looks to inspire children to learn more about the man and his theory of evolution as ‘Evolution and Inheritance’ becomes a National Curriculum topic.

Ewa worked as a conservation officer in Downe for 18 years and now lives in Shropshire, where Darwin was born.

She said: "Darwin has been an inspiration to me for many years. I have a real love of the countryside around Downe and have a deep interest in Charles Darwin, having helped manage a number of sites he knew well.  

"I have created some children’s stories that are set in real places around Downe which I can easily visualise and which I hope readers will get a sense of too.  

"People often focus on the exotic species Darwin discovered when on his Beagle voyage, but I wanted to highlight the amazing range of wildlife that could, and can still, be found in south-east England in an area Darwin knew well and studied intensively."

Ewa was involved in the bids to inscribe ‘Darwin’s Landscape Laboratory’ in Downe as a World Heritage Site back in 2007 and 2010. 

Extracts from the book can information on where to find it is here.

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