"Without speculation there is no good and original observation."
When Rhodes Scholar David Quammen realized he couldn’t cut it as a fiction writer (he did his graduate work on William Faulkner), he got into biology. And by “got into,” we mean he wrote a 702-page prize-winning book called The Song of the Dodo about remote-island biology. It was followed by the 400-plus page Monster of God, a detailed look at the plight of man-eating predators. Now he brings his former subject’s prey into his focus with The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution. Picking up on Darwin’s life post-Beagle voyage, this witty, accessibly written biography is a mere 192 pages. Quammen will read tomorrow at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St, Cambridge | 6 pm | free | 617. 495.3045.