453 pages, 12 b/w illustrations
Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection is both a key scientific work of research, still read by scientists, and a readable narrative that has had a cultural impact unmatched by any other scientific text. First published in 1859, it has continued to sell, to be reviewed and discussed, attacked and defended. The Origin is one of those books whose controversial reputation ensures that many who have never read it nevertheless have an opinion about it. Jim Endersby's major scholarly edition debunks some of the myths that surround Darwin's book, while providing a detailed examination of the contexts within which it was originally written, published and read. Endersby provides a very readable introduction to this classic text and a level of scholarly apparatus (explanatory notes, bibliography and appendixes) that is unmatched by any other edition.
"[This] anniversary edition of the Origin of Species is one of the best editions available and a highly recommended book, especially for students and newcomers in Darwin's world."
– Newsletter, International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Group
"There is no way to understand Darwin unless one reads his own writings: the Origin of Species is an excellent starting point to read Darwin and I will argue that this Cambridge anniversary edition is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to read the book, especially if he knows absolutely nothing about it."
– Science and Education Journal
On the Origin of Species
Appendix 1. An evolving origin
Appendix 2. Biographical register
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Jim Endersby is Lecturer in British History at the University of Sussex.