The Origin of Species

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Oxford University Press, 1998 - Science - 439 pages
16 Reviews
Perhaps the most readable and accessible of the great works of scientific imagination, The Origin of Species sold out on the day it was published in 1859. Theologians quickly labeled Charles Darwin the most dangerous man in England, and, as the Saturday Review noted, the uproar over the book quickly "passed beyond the bounds of the study and lecture-room into the drawing-room and the public street." Yet, after reading it, Darwin's friend and colleague T. H. Huxley had a different reaction: "How extremely stupid not to have thought of that."
Based largely on Darwin's experience as a naturalist while on a five-year voyage aboard H.M.S. Beagle, The Origin of Species set forth a theory of evolution and natural selection that challenged contemporary beliefs about divine providence and the immutability of species. A landmark con-
tribution to philosophical and scientific thought, this edition also includes an introductory historical sketch and a glossary Darwin later added to the original text.
Charles Darwin grew up considered, by his own account,
"a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect." A quirk of fate kept him from the career his father had deemed appro-
priate--that of a country parson--when a botanist recommended Darwin for an appointment as a naturalist aboard H.M.S. Beagle from 1831 to 1836. Darwin is also the author of the five-volume work Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle (1839) and The Descent of Man (1871).

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User Review  - wildbill - LibraryThing

The first time I started this book I was in my teens. This time I was able to get past the first fifty pages and found an enjoyable and at times disturbing book. The book contains elements of satire ... Read full review

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User Review  - davidpwithun - LibraryThing

I'm probably one of a very few people who has sat and read the Synopticon from front to back. Though it might seem like a strange practice, nearly like reading the dictionary or an encyclopedia, I can ... Read full review

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About the author (1998)

King Edward VII Professor of English at Cambridge University, Gillian Beer has edited Woolf; The Waves in orld's Classics. She is author of Darwin's Plots (1983).

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