No book has revolutionised our view of life on earth more than Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. This beautifully presented edition is a pleasure to own and includes an introduction by Richard Keynes, Darwin's great-grandson.
When first published in 1859, its central theory - that the natural order was a gradual process of evolution - met with fierce opposition. How dare any man challenge the concept of divine creation? But the first edition sold out within a day (it has remained in print ever since), its author was declared the most dangerous man in England, and a new era in human thought had begun.
The seeds of Darwin's explosive ideas had planted themselves in his mind when, as a young scientist on a five-year voyage of exploration on board HMS Beagle, he tramped around the tropical forests of Brazil, made sketches of the fossil-packed strata of Patagonia, experienced the geological drama of the Andes, and encountered the extraordinary animal life of the Galapagos Islands. But, on his return, a fear of the probable impact of his discoveries also took root. Darwin was himself a deeply religious man and, unsurprisingly perhaps, spent twenty years in rigorous intellectual enquiry, exhaustive experiments and soul-searching before, finally, an anxiety that someone else would get there first spurred him to go public.
In its essence, On the Origin of Species is the story of life and the survival of the fittest. That it remains one of the most dazzling and influential books ever written is a testament to the immense energy and startling simplicity with which Darwin makes his revelations.
A unique and timeless treasure.
"One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die." - Charles Darwin
The Folio Society
The Folio Society is a London-based publisher of fine books, designed to be collected and treasured for years to come.
Introduced by Richard Keynes.
Bound in buckram, printed and blocked with a design by David Eccles.
Set in Baskerville.
Frontispiece and 24 pages of colour plates.