The Origin of Species

By Charles Darwin; Gillian Beer | Go to book overview

NOTE ON THE TEXT

THIS edition follows Darwin second edition of On The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life ( London, 1859) first published on 24 November 1859. The second edition has type, paper, and binding identical to the first edition but corrects misprints. It might therefore be considered to be a reprint. However, despite Darwin's intention of making only a few important corrections, Morse Peckham Variorum edition notes that 9 sentences are dropped, 30 added, and 483 are rewritten or repunctuated. The edition was published by Murray on 7 January 1860, a matter of only about six weeks from the first edition. It therefore represents Darwin's immediate urgent response to the private and public reception of the Origin. Six editions of the Origin were issued between 1859 and 1872 and these editions introduced considerable revisions, amplifications, corrections, and new material. The third ( 1861), fourth ( 1866), fifth ( 1869), and sixth ( 1872) editions move the text increasingly far away from many of Darwin's initial arguments in an attempt to assimilate the responses and critiques of his contemporaries, particularly palaeontologists and physicists.

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