No one reads Darwin for the first time. His ideas are so deeply embedded in western culture that many are familiar with their important terms without having read the original texts. The idea of evolution, and the principles of natural selection, were not Darwin's alone. But his version of them, expressed with clarity and in accessible language in The Origin of Species (1859), shapes contemporary assumptions about the natural world and human development. Darwinian conceptions do so to such an extent that it requires strenuous imaginative sympathy to think of a time without them.
Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury on 12 February 1809. He was the grandson of Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802), a physician of Lichfield, who …
O'Gorman, Francis. "Charles Darwin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 November 2001
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