It is the year 1852, and the origin of species remains a mystery.
In a primitive hut in the remote Amazonian jungle, Alfred Wallace, a brilliant young collector of scientific specimens, lies wasted by tropical illness.
He does not expect to survive. Healed by a village shaman, Wallace continues his pioneering fieldwork in the Malay archipelago, crystallising his ideas about evolutionary theory, which Charles Darwin had also secretly formulated but was reluctant to publish.
In this new novel based on the scientist's extraordinary life, what unfolds is a dramatic tale of money, class, faith and discrimination.