Latest Issue

Re-reading Darwin

Darwin's own family stimulated his interest in the continuity between human and animal behaviour, making him the first "evolutionary psychologist"

the first great ape to reach Britain and survive for any length of time was a chimpanzee called Tommy, who was exhibited in London Zoo in 1835 before he died of tuberculosis. He was replaced in 1837 by an orang-utan called Jenny. She died in 1839 but was replaced by another, also called Jenny.

These apes caused a small sensation. Queen Victoria, who saw the second Jenny, typified the reaction of horrified fascination. Jenny, she wrote, was “frightful, and painfully and disagreeably human.” It was disconcerting that an animal could look and behave so like a human. It posed uncomfortable…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect