Edward Clodd

Portrait by Emil Otto Hoppe National Portrait Gallery Portrait by Emil Otto Hoppe National Portrait Gallery

On this date in 1840, Edward Clodd was born in England. Although his parents wanted him to become a Baptist minister, Clodd went into banking, working as secretary of the London Joint Stock Bank from 1872-1915. An early Darwin aficionado, the largely self-educated writer set about to make rationalism and science accessible to the masses. In 1872, he wrote Childhood of the World. His influential evolution manual, Story of Creation, was reprinted many times. Clodd worked with the Rationalist Press Association, and delivered the Conway Memorial Lecture in 1910 on "Gibbon and Christianity." His other works include Memories (1916) and The Question: If a Man Die, Shall he Live Again?" (1917). D. 1930.

“ . . . the mysteries, on belief in which theology would hang the destinies of mankind, are cunningly devised fables whose origin and growth are traceable to the age of Ignorance, the mother of credulity.”

—Edward Clodd, cited in A Biographical Dictionary of Modern Rationalists by Joseph McCabe (1920)

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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