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Charles Darwin's Origin Leaves

By July 1858 one month after Natural Selection, Charles Darwin's two-thirds complete long version of the species theory, was 'interrupted'--as Darwin wrote in his diary--by receiving Wallace's short but conceptually identical paper, Darwin had regrouped and began to write the Origin of Species as an abstract of his theory. After its epoch making publication in November 1859, Darwin paid little attention to the original manuscript even though his many crossing outs and insertions show he had struggled to find just the right way to express himself. He and his children used the manuscript for scrap and drawing paper. Only 42 full pages are known to have survived and these have scattered to libraries and collectors in Britain and America--the largest trove eventually coming to Cambridge University Library through Darwin's children. What we present here is a digital reassembly of the surviving leaves. Readers of the Origin know that one of the most intriguing, and most metaphysically engaged chapters is the 6th, on 'Difficulties'. So we have the satisfaction that the largest batch to come down to us is from that wonderful section of the book. Produced/Edited by James Sims. For more information visit
Length: 02:30


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