The Preface to Darwin's Origin of Species: The Curious History of the "Historical Sketch" [Book Review]

Journal of the History of Biology 40 (3):529 - 556 (2007)
Abstract
Almost any modern reader's first encounter with Darwin's writing is likely to be the "Historical Sketch," inserted by Darwin as a preface to an early edition of the Origin of Species, and having since then appeared as the preface to every edition after the second English edition. The Sketch was intended by him to serve as a short "history of opinion" on the species question before he presented his own theory in the Origin proper. But the provenance of the "Historical Sketch" is somewhat obscure. Some things are known about its production, such as when it first appeared and what changes were made to it between its first appearance in 1860 and its final form, for the fourth English edition, in 1866. But how it evolved in Darwin's mind, why he wrote it at all, and what he thought he was accomplishing by prefacing it to the Origin remain questions that have not been carefully addressed in the scholarly literature on Darwin I attempt to show that Darwin's various statements about the "Historical Sketch," made primarily to several of his correspondents between 1856 and 1860, are somewhat in conflict with one another, thus making problematic a satisfactory interpretation of how, when, and why the Sketch came to be. I also suggest some probable resolutions to the several difficulties.
Keywords abstract  Baden Powell  “big species book”  Charles Lyell  Darwin’s priority  Historical Sketch  J.D. Hooker  plagiarism  T.H. Huxley
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,817
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-05-29

Total downloads

8 ( #176,813 of 1,099,911 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #190,037 of 1,099,911 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.