The description, reviews and other comments are all very good and well written.
The fact that they glaze over; but which is overwhelmingly apparent in the book is that it was the power of religious orthodoxy that in every case impeded and challenged and persecuted any theories that so much as hinted that God was not the creator of all nature including species.
Everyone has heard how Galileo was threatened with being burned alive if he did not retract his statement that the Earth went around the Sun instead of the other way around.
Most of these people faced prison or worst if the church controlled government found out about them publishing evolutionary ideas. Even Charles Darwin suffered under their persecution and attempts to try to force science to jive with their religious beliefs; terrorfied he waited over 20 years to publish his famous theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. Only when Alfred Wallace presented a similar idea did Darwin finally overcome his fear of the church and publish.
Even here in America with our constitutional requirement of separation of Church and State religion as tried to undermine science even to this day.
I remember well as recently as the end of the 20th century how religious fanatics tried to hijack our public education system first claiming that Creationism was a legitimate substitute for a real science curriculum then when that didn't work they tried to say that Evolution was a religious belief and not a science and should not be allowed to be taught in the schools. Fortunately that nonsense didn't work either.
Just imagine how much more advanced science might be if it had not had to fight such a long and hard uphill battle against ignorant religious persecution.