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Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
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Darwin, Charles - The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex - ( Item 139398 )

Published in London by Folio Society. 2021. Reprint. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. Introduced by Richard Dawkins. Bound in cloth, blocked and printed with a design by David Eccles. Set in Baskerville. Approx. 656 pages with 50 integrated black & white illustrations. 32 pages of colour plates. 10 6 ins. Darwin's visionary boldness continues to shape our notion of what it is that makes us human. When Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859 he left unstated the explosive implications of his theory of natural selection, fearing the furore which did indeed engulf his book. It took another dozen years of painstaking research before he was finally ready to disclose, in The Descent of Man , the evidence for his most controversial theory that humans are not superior to the rest of nature, but have a distant common ancestor with apes. To demonstrate his extraordinary hypothesis, Darwin unveiled a new theory of sexual selection, which he supported with a kaleidoscope of observations. Amongst these we find his captivating descriptions of the plumage of birds of paradise, the remarkable colouring of the male mandrill and the dangerous mating habits of the nephila spider. But it is the final section of his book that revolutionised ideas of man's place in the world. Here, Darwin drew all his evidence together to prove that many of the attributes which we regard as distinctively human language, reason, morality, memory, imagination are shared with animals. Almost 150 years later, the visionary boldness which caused The Descent of Man to be hailed as one of the most important books ever written, continues to shape our notion of what it is that makes us human, and the sheer quality of Darwin's prose ensures his actual words remain essential reading.

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