Charles Darwin’s seminal formulation of the theory of Evolution, On the Origin of Species continues to be as controversial today as when it was first published.
Written for a general readership, On the Origin of Species sold out on the day of its publication and has remained in print ever since. Instantly and persistently controversial, the concept of natural selection transformed scientific analysis about all life on Earth. Beforethe Origin of Species, accepted thinking held that life was the static and perfect creation of God. By a single, systematic argument Darwin called this view into question. His ideas have affected public perception of everything from religion to economics. William Bynum’s introduction discusses Darwin’s life, the publication and reception of the themes of On the Origin of Species, and the subsequent development of its major themes. The new edition also includes brief biographies of some of the most important scientific thinkers leading up to and surrounding the Origin of Species, suggested further reading, notes and a chronology.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Charles Robert Darwin was born in 1809 in Shrewsbury, England, to a wealthy intellectual family, his grandfather being the famous physician Erasmus Darwin. At Cambridge University he formed a friendship with J. S. Henslow, a professor of botany, and that… More about Charles Darwin