In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass”, Alice meets the Red Queen who runs everywhere but stays in the same place. This book champions a Red Queen theory for the evolution of sexual reproduction: that it was invented to keep changing the genetic locks so as to remain one step ahead of constantly mutating parasites. The Red Queen also addresses dozens of other riddles of human nature and culture – including why men propose marriage, the method behind our maddening notions of beauty, and why the human brain may be like the peacock’s tail – a seduction device.

Buy The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature

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You can also buy it from my favourite bookshop Aldeburgh Bookshop

Book Reviews

A bold and fascinating book.

Edward Chancellor

A terrific book to have a damn good argument with.

Marek Kohn

Displays a dazzling knowledge of the habits of insects, fish, bird and mammals.

Anthony Daniels

A vivid introduction to the most exciting of thinking available on the evolution of sex.

Robert Trivers