Charles Darwin is a towering figure in the history of science, who changed the direction of modern thought by establishing the basis of evolutionary biology. With a Foreword by Sir David Attenborough, this is a fascinating insight into Darwin's life as he first directly addressed the issues of humanity's place in nature, and the consequences of his ideas for religious belief. Incorporating previously unpublished material, this volume includes letters written by Darwin, and also those written to him by friends and scientific colleagues world-wide, by critics who tried to stamp out his ideas, and admirers who helped them to spread. They take up the story of Darwin's life in 1860, in the immediate aftermath of the publication of On the Origin of Species, and carry it through one of the most intense and productive decades of his career, to the eve of publication of Descent of Man in 1871.
• The only text of its kind to contain the actual letters written to and by Darwin makes this a unique piece of publishing • Clear explanatory notes construct a narrative to the letters, providing an enjoyable read for anyone interested in Darwin • Extra biographical information about each of Darwin's correspondents bring the letters to life
Foreword Sir David Attenborough; Introduction; Editor's note; Symbols and abbreviations; Prologue; 1860; 1861; 1862; 1863; 1864; 1865; 1866; 1867; 1868; 1869; 1870; Biographical register; Bibliography of biographical sources; Bibliographical note; Acknowledgements; Index.
'… the letters remind us of the sheer brilliance of the man … Darwin commented that 'If any man wants to gain a good opinion of his fellow men, he ought to do what I am doing, pester them with letters'. The judicious choice of letters presented … reveal the truth of Darwin's statement, as his personality and trains of thought are revealed. His geniality, thoroughness and tenacity as he progressed as a scientist also shine through. Furthermore the letters offer a wider insight into the development of science at a key moment in history. … highly recommended.' Biologist