To a certain extent it suffers from the Hamlet problem--it's full of clichés! Or what are now clichés, but which Darwin was the first to pen. Natural selection, variation, the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest: it's all in here.
Darwin's friend and "bulldog" T.H. Huxley said upon reading the Origin, "How extremely stupid of me not to have thought of that." Alfred Russel Wallace had thought of the same theory of evolution Darwin did, but it was Darwin who gathered the mass of supporting evidence--on domestic animals and plants, on variability, on sexual selection, on dispersal--that swept most scientists before it. It's hardly necessary to mention that the book is still controversial: Darwin's remark in his conclusion that "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history" is surely the pinnacle of British understatement. --Mary Ellen Curtin
A pioneer in applying Darwinian thought to the analysis of literary texts, Joseph Carroll makes the Darwinian revolution beautifully intelligible in this edition by providing both a fine introduction and an illuminating collection of historical materials. (Don Brown )
"Joseph Carroll, a pre-eminent Darwinian in the humanities and a world-class scholar, has produced a definitive edition of The Origin of Species, with a generous selection of other writings by Darwin and related authors. The critical and historical introduction almost a small book in itself is a major accomplishment, so well written, well informed, and altogether intelligent. The volume as a whole will be invaluable." (Harold Fromm ) --Lesley B. Cormack