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From the Publisher
Introduction by Edward J. Larson
﻿Perhaps the most readable and accessible of the great
works of scientific inquiry, The Origin of Species sold
out its first printing on the very day it was published in 1859.
Theologians quickly labeled Charles Darwin the most dangerous man
in England and, as the Saturday Review noted, the uproar
over the book quickly "passed beyond the bounds of the study and
lecture-room into the drawing-room and the public street." Based
largely on Darwin's experience as a naturalist while on a five-year
voyage aboard H. M. S. Beagle, The Origin of
Species set forth a theory of evolution and natural selection
that challenged contemporary beliefs about divine providence and
the immutability of species. This Modern Library edition includes a
Foreword by the Pulitzer Prize-winning science historian Edward J.
Larson, an introductory historical sketch, and a glossary Darwin
later added to the original text.