In this volume, excerpted from Charles Darwin: A Celebration of His Life and Legacy (NewSouth Books, 2013), Giovanna Summerfield offers a refreshing respite from science and the history of science. Charles Darwin and Carlo Collodi (1826-90), the Florentine children's writer and creator of Pinocchio, almost certainly never met or even corresponded. Nevertheless, they had in common their free-thinking, speculative minds, perhaps nurtured by membership in the sectarian Masonry. Summerfield deftly places the struggles of the wooden puppet into the context of 19th-century Italy's struggles for betterment as a newly united nation. Also not lost on Summerfield is the very interesting, stepwise evolution of a lifeless chunk of matter into a living, moral being.