Selected Letters on Evolution and Origin of Species

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2018-05-16
  • Publisher: Dover Publications

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Supplemental Materials

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This book provides a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most powerful and revolutionary ideas in world history — the theory of evolution. It traces the development of this momentous concept through the autobiography, letters, and notebook excerpts of the man who conceived the theory and introduced it to the world.
Darwin's revealing autobiography is accompanied by the illuminating commentary of his son Francis as well as hundreds of letters to and from such luminaries as Henslow, Lyell, Hooker, Huxley, Wallace, and Kingsley. The book covers Darwin's schooling, his five-year stint as the Beagle's onboard naturalist, and his early insights into the mechanism of evolution in addition to his later observations. Subsequent chapters trace the scientist's steady accumulation of facts; the writing, publication, and defense of his landmark publication, On the Origin of Species; the spread of the doctrine of evolution; and the writing and publication of other works, including The Descent of Man. Few books hold such inherent interest, not only for biologists, historians, and psychologists but also for everyone wishing to understand the development of one of the major milestones in the history of science.

Author Biography

Charles Darwin was born in England in 1809 and attended the University of Edinburgh to study medicine. When he decided against that vocation, he enrolled at Cambridge where he earned a degree in theology. During an expedition to Africa and South America, Darwin continued his studies in natural science and began writing about his theories of natural selection. His work led to the publication of On the Origin of Species, a book that changed the world.

Table of Contents

I. The Darwins
II. Autobiography
III. Religion
IV. Reminiscences
V. Cambridge Life?The Appointment to the Beagle: 1828-1831
VI. The Voyage: 1831-1836
VII. London and Cambridge: 1836-1842
VIII. Life at Down : 1842-1854
IX. The Foundations of the Origin of Species : 1831-1844
X. The Growth of the Origin of Species : 1843-1858
XI. "The Writing of the Origin of Species, June, 1858, to November, 1859"
XII. "The Publication of the Origin of Species, October to December, 1859"
XIII. The Origin of Species?Reviews and Criticisms?Adhesions and Attacks: 1860
XIV. The Spread of Evolution : 1861-1871
XV. Miscellanea?Revival of Geological Work?The Vivisection Question?Honours
XVI. The Fertilisation of Flowers
XVII. Climbing Plants?Power of Movement in Plants?Insectivorous Plants?Kew Index of Plant Names
XVIII. Conclusion
  I. The Funeral in Westminster Abbey
  II. Portraits

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