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
Charles Darwin was an English naturalist and author best-known for his revolutionary theories on the origin of species, human evolution, and natural selection. A life-long interest in the natural world led Darwin to neglect his medical studies and instead embark on a five-year scientific voyage on the HMS Beagle, where he established his reputation as a geologist and gathered much of the evidence that fuelled his later theories.A prolific writer, Darwin s most famous published works include The Voyage of the Beagle, On the Origin of Species, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, and The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals. Darwin died in 1882, and in recognition of his contributions to science, is buried in Westminster Abbey along with John Herschel and Isaac Newton.
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.