Charles Darwin’s seminal formulation of the theory of Evolution, On the Origin of Species continues to be as controversial today as when it was first published. This Penguin Classics edition contains an introduction and notes by William Bynum, and features a cover designed by Damien Hirst.
Written for a general readership, On the Origin of Species sold out on the day of its publication and has remained in print ever since. Instantly and persistently controversial, the concept of natural selection transformed scientific analysis about all life on Earth. Before the Origin of Species, accepted thinking held that life was the static and perfect creation of God. By a single, systematic argument Darwin called this view into question. His ideas have affected public perception of everything from religion to economics.
William Bynum’s introduction discusses Darwin’s life, the publication and reception of the themes of On the Origin of Species, and the subsequent development of its major themes. The new edition also includes brief biographies of some of the most important scientific thinkers leading up to and surrounding the Origin of Species, suggested further reading, notes and a chronology.
Charles Darwin (1809-82), a Victorian scientist and naturalist, has become one of the most famous figures of science to date. The advent of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in 1859 challenged and contradicted all contemporary biological and religious beliefs.
If you enjoyed On the Origin of Species, you might like Darwin’s The Descent of Man, also available in Penguin Classics.