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The Pickering Masters Darwin makes it possible for the first time to review Darwin's public literary output as a whole. Darwin's works are now presented in their definitive texts, typeset, printed and bound to modern standards. It is important to see Darwin's literary output as a whole to understand fully both his influence on the religious, philosophical and scientific upheavals of the 19th century, and the development of the theory of evolution which forms a continuous thread running through his work from first to last. This is the 26th volume in a 29-volume set (all 29 now available) which contain all Charles Darwin's published works. Darwin was one of the most influential figures of the 19th century. His work remains a central subject of study in the history of ideas, the history of science, zoology, botany, geology and evolution. Texts have been selected by Professor Barrett and Richard Freeman and where more than one edition of a work exists, the editors have chosen the edition which reflects Darwin's ideas most fully.
Are they needed? To be sure. The Darwinian industry, industrious though it is, has failed to provide texts of more than a handful of Darwin's books. If you want to know what Darwin said about barnacles (still an essential reference to cirripedists, apart from any historical importance) you are forced to search shelves, or wait while someone does it for you; some have been in print for a century; various reprints have appeared and since vanished. Eric Korn, Times Literary Supplement "Historians, scientists, historians of science, and their students all have reasons to appreciate the care that went into editing and publishing The Works of Charles Darwin." Muriel L. Blaisdell, Isis