The Seven Daughters of Eve Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Seven Daughters of Eve

Sykes uses mitochrondrial DNA to discover western Europe's true historical roots.
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The review of this Book prepared by Re Bartholomew

Brian Sykes, Professor of Human Genetics at Oxford University, explains his work on the genetic history of mankind with particular emphasis on Europe and the Near East. In what is essentially a genetic extension of the 'Out of Africa' hypothesis, he maps the origins of the surprisingly few seven main clans, from Spain in the west to Syria in the east. With mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) he shows that it is possible to trace origins as diverse as that of a woman from Bristol, England, previously from Jamaica, to the modern Kenyan Kikuyu tribe; or relate the butler of Lord Bath of Longleat to the mtDNA found in the bones of Cheddar Man, carbon-dated to 9,000 years ago. Each of the seven clans is traced via mtDNA which is only inherited from the mother's side, and has a number of key characteristics which make it an excellent biological clock (which 'ticks' once every ten thousand years). The oldest genetic line goes back 45,000 years and the most recent 10,000. The clan founders are shown to be all specific individual women and are glamorously named Katrine, Xenia, Jasmine, Velda, Ursula, Tara, and Helena.

As a scientist Brian Sykes makes a very good writer, explaining the science in a painless way and with the right number of diagrams andthe evidence, what about my reputation!'). Great fun. no maths. Imaginative fictional scenarios are painted for the matrilineal lines which by and large work very well, picking up fundamental themes like the Stone Age cave art of Chauvet and Lascaux, agriculture, domestication of animals, and tool-making. One of the best sections is the vivid and entirely non-fictional description of the personalities and politics involved in championing a new scientific theory, as it often upsets the establishment applecart. ('Never mind

Along the way he also explains the recent history of advances in genetic science to which he has contributed greatly. Topics include the genetics of the Syrian hamster (all descended from one original captive hamster female, poor thing), hunter-gatherers in Europe, Polynesian islanders, and the true fate of the last of the Romanovs, the royal house of Russia. An outstanding coverage for a book of just 300 pages and unreservedly recommended.
The review of this Book prepared by Michael JR Jose

Chapter Analysis of The Seven Daughters of Eve

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Kind Of History

Time of history:    -   History of mankind History of a people?    -   Yes Nationality?    -   British History of a science?    -   Yes Kind of science    -   Biology

Subjects of this Historical Account

Ethnicity (if plays a major part)    -   European/White Is the portrayal sympathetic?    -   Sympathetic From a certain profession/group?    -   farmers Intelligence of subject of history:    -   Smart


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Italy    -   Greece    -   Norway    -   Switzerland    -   Ireland    -   Germany    -   Spain    -   Turkey    -   Hungary    -   Russia    -   England/UK    -   France    -   Rumania    -   Denmark    -   Bulgaria    -   Portugal    -   Yugoslavia    -   Sweden    -   Holland/Belgium/Luxembourg    -   Poland Middle East?    -   Yes Middle East    -   Syria If applicable, liberal/conservative?    -   Historian is moderately liberal

Writing Style

How much gore?    -   1 () How fast-paced is the book?    -   6 () Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Book makes you feel...    -   challenged    -   thoughtful How much focus on stories of individuals?    -   Focuses mostly on history of key players How much romance?    -   1 () Is book humorous?    -   Yes If humorous, kind of humor    -   eccentric personalities Minor characters feature lots of:    -   primitives Is this a kid's book?    -   Ages 16-Adult Pictures/Illustrations?    -   One or two    -   A handful Maps necessary?    -   Necessary maps provided Length of book    -   201-250 pages    -   250-300 pages How much emphasis on small details?    -   7 ()

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