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: Charles Darwin stands as a towering figure in the history of science, who changed the direction of modern thought in establishing the basis of evolutionary biology. These letters offer a fascinating window onto his daily experience, scientific observations, personal concerns and friendships, affording a unique glimpse of Darwin as both naturalist and family man. From his early years at Edinburgh University up to the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859, the letters in this volume chart the most exciting years of Darwin's life, including the voyage of the Beagle and the subsequent findings which led to his theory of natural selection. The Cambridge Edition of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin has been hailed as a monumental, beautiful edition and one of the triumphs, in scope and excellence, of post-war publishing. This selected edition, introduced by Stephen Jay Gould, makes these engaging letters newly available to general readers.