"I am convinced that Charles Darwin – British national hero, hailed as the greatest naturalist the world has ever known, the originator of one of the greatest ideas of the nineteenth century – lied, cheated and plagiarised in order to be recognised as the man who discovered the theory of evolution." -- Roy Davies, The Darwin Conspiracy.
Did Charles Darwin rely on the daringly original thinking of Alfred Russel Wallace? Did Darwin take steps to hide Wallace's influence and thus assure his own priority? Was British class prejudice -- gentleman vs. "fly-catcher" -- at work? Did Darwin even have a single original idea, or were all his ideas -- including that of "natural selection" cribbed?
This book reads like a well-written mystery -- there's even a Colombo in it -- and is a great free introduction to the background to the Origin of Species.