The Origin of Species
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About the Author
Charles Darwin was born in 1809 in Shropshire England to wealthy parents, the sixth of seven children. Although his family was Unitarian, Charles was baptized and educated in the Anglican Church.
He began college at the University of Edinburgh medical school to train in his father's profession, but became bored with the dull lectures and found surgery distasteful. While in Edinburgh, he began to take an interest in natural science and shirk his academic responsibilities. His father, after learning of his disinterest in medicine, sent Charles to Cambridge to study the arts, but after finishing his degree, Charles took a position on the HMS Beagle that was to set sail for South America to chart its coastline.
Charles spent his time on the voyage of the Beagle collecting specimens for the ships naturalist, Robert McCormick, but by the time they reached Brazil, McCormick left the ship and Charles' succeeded him. After five years aboard the Beagle, Darwin returned home in 1836 to wide acclaim for his work. His father, no longer disappointed in his son's chosen profession, funded Charles' position as a naturalist which allowed Charles' the financial ability to continue his research.
Charles continued his work in England and developed his theory of natural selection and ultimately published On the Origin of Species in 1859. The work was an immediate success and sold out its first printing. Charles Darwin went on to become a prominent scientist and advocate for the theory of natural selection and evolution until his death in 1882. He was buried beside Sir Isaac Newton and other prominent British scientists in Westminster Abbey.