Here is a New Yorker story (via A&L Daily) on Alfred Russel Wallace, the contemporary of Darwin, who, along with Darwin came up with the theory of evolution, and unlike Darwin was not hesitant to make his theories let known. The article traces the life of Wallace from that of an apprentice surveyor to a revered scientist:
Nonetheless, by the end of his long life Wallace had, almost in spite of himself, become enormously famous. Despite trying to turn down an honorary degree from Oxford, membership in the Royal Society, and the Order of Merit (it required a visit to Buckingham Palace and an expensive new suit of clothes that Wallace did not wish to buy), Wallace wound up with just about every honor a great scientist could receive. At his death, he could have been buried in Westminster Abbey, next to Darwin, but his family, knowing his wishes, declined. Instead, they buried him in the local graveyard, which had a better view.
Here is the Alfred Russel Wallace page with tons of resources.