Published today by Penguin-Random House, the book explains how different features of the Earth have directed human history and shaped the modern world we live in.

Front cover of the Origins book

In the book, Professor Dartnell explains human origins, describing how our environment has formed us as a species. He tells the story of humanity by telling the geological story of the earth, drawing on examples such as mountainous terrain in Greece that led to democracy, how Britain was formed as an island, and how the pattern of winds around the world directed the Age of Exploration and the early stages of globalisation.

Professor Dartnell draws connections between history, science, technology, geology and anthropology to show the Earth’s impact on the nature of human civilisations and their evolution. Aiming to make science familiar, he has been featured on several newspapers and television channels. ‘Origins’ was recently commended as Book of the Week on The Times Saturday Review. His other books include the bestselling ‘The Knowledge: How to rebuild our world from scratch’.

Talking about the publication, he said: “I am so thrilled to see ORIGINS published today. I have tried to produce a Big History from a scientific perspective, and it’s been a huge project to research and write.”

Renowned British historian Peter Frankopan, said: “A sweeping, brilliant overview of the history of not only of our species but of the world. Whether discussing the formation of continents or the role that climate (and climate change) has had on human migration, Lewis Dartnell has a rare talent in being able to see the big picture – and explaining why it matters.”

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