16 December 2012

Charles Darwin - the complete works online

The Complete Works of Charles Darwin have been collected on a single website.

Here are some excerpts from the front page introductory comments -

Charles Darwin
"Darwin's "On the Origin Of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races on the Struggle of Life", was published on November 24, 1859, and sold out immediately. It was followed by five more editions in his lifetime. The expression "survival of the fittest" did not originate from Darwin's work. Herbert Spencer had already used it in his books about evolutionary philosophy. Though he later described our common ancestor as "a hairy quadruped, furnished with a tail and pointed ears," Darwin did not do so in the famous On the Origin of Species.      . . . .
Darwin home
Darwin's mother died when he was eight years old, and he was brought up by his sister. In 1827 he started theology studies at Christ's College, Cambridge. His love to collect plants, insects, and geological specimens was noted by his botany professor John Stevens Henslow. He arranged for his talented student a place a on the surveying expedition of HMS Beagle to Patagonia. Captain Robert FitzRoy needed a naturalist to serve as his companion and messmate on the tedious trip. Despite objections of his father, Darwin decided to leave his familiar surroundings."
. . . .
"From 1842 Darwin lived at Down House, Downe. In 1839 he had married his cousin Emma Wedgwood, and when not devoting himself to scientific studies, he led a life of a country gentleman. In the 1840s Darwin worked on his observations of the origin of species for his own use. He began to conclude, although he was deeply anxious about the direction his mid was taking, that species might share a common ancestor. When Alfred Russel Wallace, a naturalist living in the East Indies, sent in 1858 to Darwin his study containing the main ideas of the theory of natural selection, Darwin arranged his notes, which were presented to the Linnean Society, on July 1st, 1858. They were read simultaneously with Wallace's paper, but neither Darwin or Wallace was present on that occasion."
. . . .

Click over to read the rest. I found the page while researching Primulas and this page came up because Darwin wrote about primroses in his work, "The Different Forms of Flowers on Plants of the Same Species". That link is http://www.darwin-literature.com/The_Different_Forms_Of_Flowers_On_Plants_Of_The_Same_Species/index.html

A British resource for Darwin material is at http://darwin-online.org.uk/.
There is also a Darwin Online Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Darwin-Online/143922578989763


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