Synopses & Reviews
From heated debates over Intelligent Design and Creation Science to the sardonically humorous Darwin Awards, no scientist has had a greater impact on culture and society than Charles Darwin. His ideas have permeated virtually every corner of modern thought and occupy a pivotal position in
contemporary public debate.
Now this unique anthology brings together a marvelous collection of Darwin's most accessible and significant writings, providing the most fully rounded picture of his ideas to be found in a single volume. This marvelous book presents readers with the key chapters of his most important books,
including excerpts from the Journal of Researches on the Beagle voyage (1845), the Origin of Species (1859), and the Descent of Man (1871), along with the full, authoritative text of Darwin's delightful autobiography Recollections. These writings are accompanied by generous selections of responses
from Darwin's nineteenth-century readers, giving readers a keen sense of the original controversy sparked by his ideas. The wide-ranging Introduction by James A. Secord explores the global impact and origins of Darwin's work and the reasons for its unparalleled significance today. The book also
includes a map of the Beagle's voyage, a biographical appendix identifying everyone mentioned in the texts, illustrations from the Journal of Researches, and an index.
The year 2009 will mark a double anniversary for Charles Darwin, being both the two hundredth anniversary of his birth and the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. Published to mark this major cultural and scientific milestone, this generous
collection of Darwin'sfinest writings will make a superb introduction to ideas that truly changed the world.
"This is a handsome volume that will repay repeated consultations as a valuable reference, and as an insight into the thought and motivations of a remarkable scientist."--The Quarterly Review of Biology
On topics ranging from intelligent design and climate change to the politics of gender and race, the evolutionary writings of Charles Darwin occupy a pivotal position in contemporary public debate. This volume brings together the key chapters of his most important and accessible books, including the Journal of Researches
on the Beagle
voyage (1845), The Origin of Species
(1859), and The Descent of Man
(1871), along with the full text of his delightful autobiography. They are accompanied by generous selections of responses from Darwin's nineteenth-century readers from across the world. More than anything, they give a keen sense of the controversial nature of Darwin's ideas, and his position within Victorian debates about man's place in nature.
The wide-ranging Introduction by James A. Secord, Director of the Darwin Correspondence Project, explores the global impact and origins of Darwin's work and the reasons for its unparalleled significance today. To increase its usefulness for readers coming to Darwin for the first time, the selection also includes a map of the Beagle voyage, a detailed chronology of Darwin's life, and a biographical appendix identifying every individual mentioned in the text.
About the Author
James A. Secord
is the author of many books including Controversy in Victorian Geology: The Cambrian-Silurian Dispute
(Princeton, 1986) and Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of 'Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation' (Chicago, 2000)
, winner of the 2002 Pfizer Prize of the History of Science Society and the 2002 award for the best book in history from the Association of American Publishers' Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division. He has edited Lyell's Principles of Geology
Table of Contents
Note on the Texts
A Chronology of Charles Darwin
Journal of Researches
Origin of Species
Descent of Man