The Correspondence of Charles Darwin: Volume 7, 1858-1859

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Cambridge University Press, 1985 - 671 pages
The seventh volume of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin covers two of the most momentous years in Darwin's life and in the history of science. Begun in 1856, Darwin's big book on species, later published as Natural Selection (Cambridge University Press, 1974) was a little more than half finished when Darwin unexpectedly received a letter and a manuscript from Alfred Russel Wallace indicating that he too had independently formulated a theory of natural selection. In a letter to his friend, Charles Lyell, Darwin wrote, "So all my originality, whatever it may amount to, will be smashed." On the Origin of Species was an abstract of the larger manuscript and was published in 1859. All the extant correspondence surrounding Darwin's receipt of Wallace's letter and the eventual publication of the abstract of Darwin's theory a year later is gathered in this volume. The letters detail the stages in the preparation of what was to become one of the world's most famous works, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. They reveal the first impressions of Darwin's book given by his confidants; including Joseph Dalton Hooker, Thomas Henry Huxley, and Asa Gray. Finally, the letters relate Darwin's anxious response to the early reception of this theory by friends, family members, and prominent naturalists. This volume provides the key to understanding Darwin's remarkable efforts for more than two decades to solve one of nature's greatest riddles--the origin of species. This volume also contains a supplement (1821-1857) of letters which have been located or redated since publication of Volumes One to Six of the Correspondence. Many of these letters appear in print for the first time and provide an interesting and important complement to the correspondence published to date.
 

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Contents

Supplement to the Correspondence 182157
465
Appendixes
496
Chronology
503
Memorials presented to the British
522
The scientific relief fund
531
Manuscript alterations and comments
537
Bibliography
557
Biographical register and index to correspondents
584
Index
634
Copyright

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About the author (1985)

Charles Robert Darwin, born in 1809, was an English naturalist who founded the theory of Darwinism, the belief in evolution as determined by natural selection. Although Darwin studied medicine at Edinburgh University, and then studied at Cambridge University to become a minister, he had been interested in natural history all his life. His grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, was a noted English poet, physician, and botanist who was interested in evolutionary development. Darwin's works have had an incalculable effect on all aspects of the modern thought. Darwin's most famous and influential work, On the Origin of Species, provoked immediate controversy. Darwin's other books include Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle, The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. Charles Darwin died in 1882.

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