The Piltdown Men, by Ronald Millar
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  • The back cover contains a range of very complimentary press opinion, and I can absolutely see why the writers were so impressed with Millar's diligence and attention to detail
  • Unfortunately the book is rather cheaply produced and perfect bound, and this has meant that my copy is now on the verge of falling to pieces, with the photographic plates in particular in danger of falling all over the floor every time I open it
  • Almost forty years on, I still recommend it

    • by fredhound
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      The Piltdown Men (first published in 1972, then re-released in revised form as “The Piltdown Mystery” in 1988) is a book which deals with one of the most famous scientific frauds of all time, and one in which I have always had a great interest, the announcement in 1912 that a skull of a “missing link” between apes and humans had been discovered. It was later proved to be a hoax.

      >From the moment you see the dramatic cover of this


      book, with the skull in question staring out at you on a deep black background, you know that you are in for quite a ride, and so it proves. The author, Ronald Millar, goes far back beyond 1912 to the work of Charles Darwin, which first set off the idea that such a missing link might exist, and then painstakingly looks at a very large number of pieces of evidence, some of them easily missed, to arrive at a conclusion ...

      • as to who the villain of the piece really was.

        I enjoyed reading this book. Although inevitably some of the anthropological science is now outdated, so long as you are aware of that fact and don’t try to use this as a present-day source work (which it was never intended to be in the first place) you can learn an awful lot from it. The back cover contains a range of very complimentary press opinion, and I can absolutely see why

        the writers were so impressed with Millar’s diligence and attention to detail.

        Unfortunately the book is rather cheaply produced and perfect bound, and this has meant that my copy is now on the verge of falling to pieces, with the photographic plates in particular in danger of falling all over the floor every time I open it! Even so, I have no intention of getting rid of “The Piltdown Men” as it is so attractively written. Almost forty years on, I still recommend it.




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