Introduction by Edward J. Larson
Perhaps the most readable and accessible of the great works of scientific inquiry, "The Origin of Species" sold out its first printing on the very 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. 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. This Modern Library edition includes a Foreword by the Pulitzer Prize winning science historian Edward J. Larson, an introductory historical sketch, and a glossary Darwin later added to the original text.
About the Author
Frederick Burkhardt (1912 2007) was the founder of the Charles Darwin Correspondence Project, and the associated high profile book series The Correspondence of Charles Darwin (Cambridge University Press, 1985- ). He was President of the American Council of Learned Societies from 1957 to 1974, and in 2003 was awarded the American Philosophical Society Thomas Jefferson Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences.
Edward J. Larson is a professor of history and law at Pepperdine University and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion and several other books.