A Monk and Two Peas: The Story of Gregor Mendel and the Discovery of Genetics by Robin Marantz Henig
Gregor Mendel was determined to work out how traits are inherited. He spent seven years in his monastery garden experimenting on over 300,000 strains of plants. While Darwin's work provoked agitated debate, Mendel's work was completely ignored. A fellow scientist told him that his work was incomplete and unconvincing. Was he furious that a younger man had struck on something far more original than he could ever produce? After Mendel's death all his papers were burnt. Was this the result of a fit of jealousy by a monk who succeeded him as abbot? Finally, in 1900, Mendel's paper was found, and it became apparent that he was onto something extremely significant. Had Darwin known about his work many of the debates about the details of natural selection might have been resolved.