July 1

There are 1 entries for this date: Edward Clodd

    Edward Clodd

    Edward Clodd

    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. He identified as agnostic.

    In 1872 he wrote Childhood of the World. His influential manual, The Story of Creation: A Plain Account of Evolution, 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 biographies of Darwin, Thomas Huxley and Herbert Spencer. He wrote The Question: If a Man Die, Shall he Live Again?” in 1917.

    He married Eliza Garman, a doctor’s daughter, in 1862 and had eight children with her. In his old age he married his secretary, Phyllis Maud Rope, who was 47 years younger. (D. 1930)

    PHOTO: Clodd at age 82.

    “ [T]he 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.”

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

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