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C. R. Darwin, F.R.S.
Selection' appeared at the end of the year 1859. Besides the English editions of this remarkable theory, the book has been translated into most of the European languages.
'On the Various Contrivances by which Orchids are fertilised' praised so highly by Canon Kingsley, in his recent book of travel in the West Indies—was published in 1862; and early last year the long-expected 'Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex,' made its appearance.
The conclusion to which the author came was that, 'at a remote period, man, the wonder and glory of the universe,' and the monkey, had the same parental relatives. This theory is at first a little shocking, and has been attacked as violently as it has been stoutly defended. Whatever there is of truth in this startling new theory of Natural Selection, whether it be almost of equal weight with a revelation or completely false in its assumptions, time may prove. The names of men of eminence, of great learning and great sagacity, can be catalogued both for and against it.
We shall not enter into the abstruse discussion; but it is a simple duty to record here, that for close observation of the various phenomena of natural history, unflagging energy and perseverance in the search after truth, and great intellectual power, no country has produced a more earnest or more able student than the author of the theory of Natural Selection.
The author's latest contribution to science and literature is 'The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals,' a work which even those who feel determined to question its scientific accuracy or soundness will own is as fascinating in its style as it is ingenious in argument and various in its research.