1858: The Malay Archipelago. In the remote tropics a young British naturalist, Alfred Wallace, toils in obscurity. He collects specimens: beetles, moths, ants and birds that sell for pennies apiece in England. One night, suffering from fever and hallucination, Wallace solves the greatest mystery of the era: the origin of species. To circulate his discovery, he contacts a distant acquaintance Charles Darwin. Unbeknownst to Wallace, Darwin has been secretly penning a near-identical version of the same evolutionary theory for twenty years. Darwin soon achieves world-renown and Wallace earns, if nothing else, widespread grudging respect. But then Wallace returns to England where his advocacy for ideas ranging from socialism to spiritualism launches him on a collision course with the men at the very heart of the scientific establishment, including Darwin. The Evolutionist tells of one man's determination to seek out his own truths in his own unique way and the price he pays. From oppressive jungle to mid-Victorian London, this is a disturbing tale of money, class, faith and discrimination.