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About the book
  • Published: 14 April 2004
  • ISBN: 9780140436310
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 864
  • RRP: $30.00
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The Descent Of Man




Applying his controversial theory of evolution to the origins of the human species, Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man was the culmination of his life's work. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction by James Moore and Adrian Desmond.
In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin refused to discuss human evolution, believing the subject too 'surrounded with prejudices'. He had been reworking his notes since the 1830s, but only with trepidation did he finally publish The Descent of Man in 1871. The book notoriously put apes in our family tree and made the races one family, diversified by 'sexual selection' - Darwin's provocative theory that female choice among competing males leads to diverging racial characteristics. Named by Sigmund Freud as 'one of the ten most significant books' ever written, Darwin's Descent of Man continues to shape the way we think about what it is that makes us uniquely human.
In their introduction, James Moore and Adrian Desmond, acclaimed biographers of Charles Darwin, call for a radical re-assessment of the book, arguing that its core ideas on race were fired by Darwin's hatred of slavery. The text is the second and definitive edition and this volume also contains suggestions for further reading, a chronology and biographical sketches of prominent individuals mentioned.
Charles Darwin (1809-82), a Victorian scientist and naturalist, has become one of the most famous figures of science to date. The advent of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in 1859 challenged and contradicted all contemporary biological and religious beliefs.
If you enjoyed The Descent of Man, you might like Darwin's On the Origin of Species, also available in Penguin Classics.

  • Pub date: 14 April 2004
  • ISBN: 9780140436310
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 864
  • RRP: $30.00

About the Authors

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Shropshire, England. He was educated at Edinburgh University and Christ's College, Cambridge. Between 1831 and 1836 he travelled in South America aboard the H.M.S Beagle to explore the geology and natural history of the area, and published his journal of findings in 1839. His most famous book On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, appeared in 1859 and is arguably one of the most important scientific works ever published. The theories of evolution and natural selection proposed in this book and The Descent of Man (1871) are still the subject of intense debate and scrutiny today. Charles Darwin died on 19 April, 1882 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

James Moore

Judi James started her career as a leading catwalk model and trained many big names at her modelling school in Chelsea, Naomi Campbell among them. Judi is now a leading television expert in body language, social behaviour, image, workplace culture and communication skills. She appears regularly on programmes such as Big Brother, The Xtra Factor, Newsnight and Sky News. She also writes a regular column for You magazine and has a celebrity problem page in More. She is the author of Poker Face and The Body Language Bible.

James Moore is a feature writer for national newspapers and also writes frequently for a range of magazines. He is the author of Blagging It: How to get Everything on the Cheap.


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