Researchers: Darwin omitted preface from first edition
A new study shows that Darwin was composing the introductory chapter to his book as early as 1856, even though that preface remained unpublished for six years until Origin's second edition. The findings suggest Darwin also wrote the chapter on his own accord and not in reaction to people who had read the book.
The original edition of the landmark book was published in 1859, without any introductory material. Still a public flash point today, "Origin" drew initial outcries, in part for the missing preface in which an author of the time typically would have credited and thanked his intellectual predecessors. One scientist accused Darwin of plagiarism for failing to acknowledge the giants whose work allowed him to see farther.
A year later, a new edition of the classic was published with a preface describing and crediting the intellectual work upon which natural selection rests.
Darwin historians have assumed the chapter "Historical Sketch" was penned as an afterthought, in response to his critics and accusations that his ideas were not original. However, Darwin's personal correspondence shows that the sketch was actually written prior to the first printing of the book, said political historian Curtis Johnson of Lewis and Clark College, whose detailed study of the preface is published in the January issue of the Journal of the History of Biology.
comments powered by Disqus
- Most Millennials Resist the ‘Millennial’ Label
- Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers – and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting
- China military parade commemorates WW2 victory over Japan
- New documentary explores the legacy of the 5,000 Rosenwald schools set up by a Sears magnate and Booker T. Washington
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- AHA President Vicki L. Ruiz named National Humanities Medalist
- Historians of Color Are Revolutionizing the Narrative of ‘American Exceptionalism’
- Henry VIII voted worst monarch in history
- The Fuhrer style: Historian says press coverage of Hitler’s lavish life fueled his rise to power
- Two scholars from UT object to the Texas school's decision to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis