Darwin’s Origin of Species
by Janet Browne
I was looking for a non-fiction book that I could read quickly, get some real knowledge from and really enjoy. And I found it!
The Atlantic Monthly Press has published books that are ‘biographies’ of world changing books from “The Bible” to “Das Kapital.” The biography that I chose was Janet Browne’s “Darwin’s Origin of Species.” She writes about all the research that went into the planning and development of the book and the personality and dedication of the author. After working on the book for years, Charles Darwin’s book was finally published on November 24 in 1859 with the title: “On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.” He knew how controversial it would be. The concept that evolution (plants and animals changing slowly from generation to generation) and not divine creation was put forward for all to debate. And they certainly did!
I loved Janet Browne’s short book (only 153 pages long!) It provides the background of the book, an intellectual biography of Charles Darwin, a summary of the controversy in Britain, and a followup of the twentieth century’s take on the book. It has footnotes, a list of sources and suggested reading and a real index! It was a fast and inspiring read! Onward to “On the Origin of Species!” Or maybe Browne’s biography of Charles Darwin.
Many books in the series, “Books that Changed the World,” are in Ocean State Library Catalog. Go on the catalog, from Title scroll down to Series and put in “Books that changed the World” for a complete list. – Charlotte