Prepared under the advice of Lyell and Hooker, and brought to press soon after publication of the joint paper by Darwin and Wallace (No. 219), this was Darwin’s greatest work and one of the most important books ever published. The whole edition of 1250 copies was sold on the day of publication. Although the theory of evolution can be traced to the ancient Greek belief in the “great chain of being”, Darwin’s greatest achievement was to make this centuries-old “underground” concept acceptable to the scientific community by cogently arguing for the existence of a viable mechanism – natural selection – by which new species evolve over vast periods of time. Darwin’s influence on biology was fundamental, and continues to be felt today. He remains one of the best-known scientists of all time. Facsimile reproduction, with introduction by E. Mayr, Cambridge, Mass., 1964. See R.B. Freeman, The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2nd ed. Folkestone, Kent, Dawson: 1977. See the Online Variorum of Darwin's Origin of Species, edited by Barbara Bordalejo. This is a new variorum edition of the six British editions of Darwin's Origin of Species, published between 1859 and 1872. It identifies and presents every change between the six editions. See the editor's Introduction. Digital facsimile of the 1859 edition from Darwin Online at this link.