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 Incorporating previously unpublished material, this volume includes letters written by Darwin, and also those written to him by friends and scientific colleagues world-wide, by critics who tried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 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
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.
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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. Alison Pearn is Assistant Director of the Darwin Correspondence Project, and an affiliated research scholar of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University. Samantha Evans is an editor at the Charles Darwin Correspondence Project, based at Cambridge University Library. The Project was set up to locate, research, and publish summaries of all letters written by Charles Darwin, the most celebrated naturalist of the nineteenth century.