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The Age of Darwin

  Cuvier | Darwin | Lamarck | Lyell | Malthus | Wallace

This set of resources provides a context in which to understand Darwin and his work: his lifetime of research, his writings, the thinkers who influenced him, and the social and political world in which he lived.


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Darwin's DiaryDarwin's Diary Delve into the private thoughts of a reluctant revolutionary.

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Darwin: Reluctant RebelDarwin: Reluctant Rebel This segment from Evolution: "Darwin's Dangerous Idea," together with interviews with Daniel Dennett and James Moore, depicts Darwin struggling with publicizing his revolutionary theory.

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Huxley: Darwin's BulldogHuxley: Darwin's Bulldog Dubbed "Darwin's bulldog" by his contemporaries, this caricature shows Thomas Henry Huxley in a pose of defiance.

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Georges Cuvier

Georges Cuvier
In this segment from Evolution: "Darwin's Dangerous Idea," Darwin considers extinction and speciation.

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Catastrophism

Catastrophism
This page offers links to a collection of articles refuting some of the claims of a more radical group of catastrophists. Topics include the extinction of wooly mammoths, the age of the planet Venus, and the geological history of Earth. Hosted by Talk.Origins.

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Georges Cuvier

Georges Cuvier
Looking for the works of Georges Cuvier? You'll find 29 of them at this Library of Congress bibliography. Hosted by Malaspina University-College.

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Dictionary of Scientific Biography

Dictionary of Scientific Biography
This multi-volume book provides in-depth yet concise biographies of noted scientists and includes a list of entries by scientific field. Edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie [New York: Scribner, 1981].

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Georges Cuvier, Fossil Bones, and Geological Catastrophes

Georges Cuvier, Fossil Bones, and Geological Catastrophes
This book is the standard English text and commentary on Cuvier's essential works regarding geologic upheavals in Earth's surface layers and their relationship to interpretations of the fossil record. By Martin J.S. Rudwick [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997].

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The New Catastrophism: The Importance of the Rare Event in Geological History

The New Catastrophism: The Importance of the Rare Event in Geological History
This book argues that catastrophic events, from hurricanes to asteroid impacts, have had significant effects on Earth's history. By Derek Ager [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993].

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Darwin: Reluctant Rebel

Darwin: Reluctant Rebel
This segment from Evolution: "Darwin's Dangerous Idea," together with interviews with Daniel Dennett and James Moore, depicts Darwin struggling with publicizing his revolutionary theory.

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Darwin's Diary

Darwin's Diary
Delve into the private thoughts of a reluctant revolutionary.

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Huxley: Darwin's Bulldog

Huxley: Darwin's Bulldog
Dubbed "Darwin's bulldog" by his contemporaries, this caricature shows Thomas Henry Huxley in a pose of defiance.

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Evolving Ideas: Who Was Charles Darwin?

Evolving Ideas: Who Was Charles Darwin?
This video for high school students highlights Charles Darwin's personal struggle to bring to light his theory of evolution through natural selection.

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James Moore: Darwin and Victorian Culture

James Moore: Darwin and Victorian Culture
Audio segment of an interview with James Moore, who discusses Darwin's personal and professional conflicts.

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James Moore: Darwin's Personal Struggles

James Moore: Darwin's Personal Struggles
James Moore, author of Darwin with Adrian Desmond, comments on Darwin's struggles between his personal and family religious beliefs and his amoral view of nature.

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Complex Relations

Complex Relations
In this text excerpted from chapter 3, "Struggle for Existence," of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, Darwin draws on firsthand and historical information for his observations about evolution.

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Darwin's Letter to Lyell

Darwin's Letter to Lyell
In this letter written to his friend and mentor Charles Lyell less than three weeks after the publication of On the Origin of Species, Darwin describes the reaction of the great anatomist Richard Owen to his theory

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Darwin's Letters: Collecting Evidence

Darwin's Letters: Collecting Evidence
This group of letters is a sample of the extensive correspondence Darwin carried on with a wide group of friends and colleagues as he collected evidence to support his theory of evolution by natural selection.

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Does Sea-Water Kill Seeds?

Does Sea-Water Kill Seeds?
Read Charles Darwin's 1855 paper explaining experiments in which he tested the viability of various seeds after submerging them in salt water for different periods of time.

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Excerpts from Darwin's <i>The Voyage of the Beagle</i>

Excerpts from Darwin's The Voyage of the Beagle
Excerpt from Darwin's The Voyage of the Beagle, which is comprised of Darwin's journal entries during his trip.

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Excerpts from Letters and Journal Entries

Excerpts from Letters and Journal Entries
Read a selection of Darwin's letters from the period 1831-1835, written to his family and to a close friend, John Henslow, the professor of botany at Cambridge University.

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Introduction to On the Origin of Species

Introduction to On the Origin of Species
Read the introduction to the first edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, published in 1859.

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Darwin Country

Darwin Country
This site provides information, in the form of text and visuals, about 18th- and 19th-century "Darwin Country" -- the West Midlands region of England and adjacent parts of Wales. It also provides information about the natural history of the region, visuals of artifacts, and text about Darwin and the society in which he lived. Hosted by the Shrewsbury Museum.

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Darwin

Darwin
This comprehensive biography explores 19th-century English culture and its influence on Charles Darwin. By A. Desmond and J. Moore [New York: Warner Books, 1991].

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Charles Darwin Foundation and Research Station

Charles Darwin Foundation and Research Station
Located on the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, the Darwin Foundation is an international non-profit organization dedicated since 1959 to terrestrial and marine conservation, education, and scientific research.

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Darwin-Wallace 1858 Evolution Paper

Darwin-Wallace 1858 Evolution Paper
This site offers Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace's joint paper, "On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection." Hosted by the University of Maryland.

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List of Correspondents

List of Correspondents
This site provides opportunities to read Charles Darwin's correspondence with nearly 2,000 people and institutions. Complete letters are published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin [Cambridge University Press], twelve volumes, covering the period from 1821-1864. Hosted by the Cambridge University Library.

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On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
This site offers the full text of the first edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, and includes his preface from the third edition. Hosted by Talk.Origins.

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The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex

The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex
The department of zoology at the University of Bergen, Norway, provides the 1871 edition of this book online. Darwin first discusses man's relationship to other animals and sexual selection in non-human animals before moving on to the more contentious topic of sexual selection in humans.

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The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals

The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
This site offers a full electronic text of Darwin's controversial manuscript, searchable by annotated chapter headings.

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The Voyage of the Beagle

The Voyage of the Beagle
This site provides the full text of the second edition, described by Darwin as "a history of our voyage, and a sketch of those observations in Natural History and Geology." Hosted by Bartleby.com.

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Charles Darwin: The Man And His Influence

Charles Darwin: The Man And His Influence
This well-organized introductory text provides a brief biography of Darwin in the context of 19th-century evolutionary thinking. By Peter J. Bowler [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990].

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Charles Darwin: Voyaging

Charles Darwin: Voyaging
Drawing upon much new material, this book unravels how an amiable young Darwin, born into a prosperous provincial English family, grew into a thinker who would challenge the most basic principles of both religion and science. By Janet Browne [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996].

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Darwinian Myths: The Legends and Misuses of a Theory

Darwinian Myths: The Legends and Misuses of a Theory
This book tells the story of how Darwin's ideas were popularized, truncated, and missapplied. In particular it focuses on the impact of social Darwinism on popular culture. By Edward Caudill [Knoxville, Tenn.: University of Tennessee Press, 1997].

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Dictionary of Scientific Biography

Dictionary of Scientific Biography
This multi-volume book provides in-depth yet concise biographies of noted scientists and includes a list of entries by scientific field. Edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie [New York: Scribner, 1981].

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The Autobiography of Charles Darwin

The Autobiography of Charles Darwin
Edited by his son, Francis, this book tells the story of Charles Darwin, including hundreds of fragments from notebooks, journals, papers, and letters to and from Lyell, Hooker, Huxley, Wallace, and Henslow. Edited by Francis Darwin [1892. Reprint, New York: Dover Publications, 1958].

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The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882

The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882
Edited by Darwin's granddaughter, this is the only complete autobiography of Darwin available, providing an engaging account of his thoughts, feelings, and experiences, especially those surrounding the development and defense of his theory of evolution by natural selection. Edited by Nora Barlow [1958. Reprint, New York: W.W. Norton, 1993].

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The Darwinian Heritage

The Darwinian Heritage
This publication details the proceedings of the Charles Darwin Centenary Conference, held at the Florence Center for the History and Philosophy of Science in June 1982. Edited by David Kohn [Princeton, N.J., and Guildford, Surrey: Princeton University Press with Nova Pacifica, 1985].

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The Eclipse of Darwinism: Anti-Darwinian Theories in the Decades around 1900

The Eclipse of Darwinism: Anti-Darwinian Theories in the Decades around 1900
This book explains how prevailing religious beliefs, as well as Darwin's lack of a genetic mechanism of inheritance and experimental evidence, led to three major anti-Darwinian theories, including Lamarckism. By Peter J. Bowler [Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983].

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The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections In Natural History

The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections In Natural History
The section of this book on "Darwiniana" includes an essay on topics and people with some relationship to Darwinian evolution, including Wallace, Lamarck, and Richard Dawkins. By Stephen Jay Gould [New York: W.W. Norton, 1980].

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The Variation of Plants and Animals under Domestication

The Variation of Plants and Animals under Domestication
These two volumes provided evidence for the reality of small changes, or "variation," in species, the raw material of natural selection. By Charles Darwin [1883. Reprint, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998].

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Jean Baptiste Lamarck

Jean Baptiste Lamarck
View a portrait of Jean Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829), one of the first well-known evolutionists.

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Zoological Philosophy

Zoological Philosophy
In this excerpt from his book Zoological Philosophy, published in 1809, Lamarck sets out his principle argument that use or disuse of an organ causes it to grow or shrink.

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Evolution, Learning, and Instinct: 100 Years of the Baldwin Effect

Evolution, Learning, and Instinct: 100 Years of the Baldwin Effect
This site explains epigenetic inheritance, a quasi-Lamarckian phenomenon that has been very well documented.

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The Imaginary Lamarck: A Look at Bogus

The Imaginary Lamarck: A Look at Bogus "History" in Schoolbooks
Taking biology textbooks to task, this site clears up many of the mistaken notions about Lamarck's ideas about evolution and convincingly argues that his ideas cannot rightly be considered in direct opposition to those of Darwin.

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Asymmetry in Lobster Claws

Asymmetry in Lobster Claws
This paper summarizes research demonstrating a Lamarckian principle: that parts of organisms can change as a function of usage in particular environments. In this case, lobsters' cutter claws were induced to become crusher claws by differential use. These changes are not passed on to offspring, though, as Lamarck would have expected. By C.K. Govind [American Scientist 77 (1989): 468-474].

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Epigenetic Inheritance and Evolution: The Lamarckian Dimension

Epigenetic Inheritance and Evolution: The Lamarckian Dimension
Intended for advanced students of evolutionary biology and genetics, this book explains epigenetic inheritance and then considers both supporting and refuting scientific evidence. By Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb [Cambridge: Oxford University Press, 1995].

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Evaluating the Adaptive Role of Morphological Plasticity

Evaluating the Adaptive Role of Morphological Plasticity
This paper reviews adaptive phenotypic plasticity, a process by which organisms could be induced to change by their environment. By J. Travis [In Ecological Morphology. Integrative Organismal Biology, edited by P. C. Wainwright and S. M. Reilly. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994].

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Lamarck

Lamarck
Following a roughly chronological format, this book traces the development of Lamarck's scientific thinking from his earliest publications, covering, among his many lasting contributions, his concept of the inheritance of acquired characteristics. By L.J. Jordanova [New York: Oxford University Press, 1984].

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Lamarck's Signature: How Retrogenes Are Changing Darwin's Natural Selection Paradigm

Lamarck's Signature: How Retrogenes Are Changing Darwin's Natural Selection Paradigm
This book, meant for an advanced scientific audience, details how recent immunological studies have revealed some surprising cases of what seems to be classical Lamarckian inheritance. By Edward J. Steele, Robyn A. Lindley, Robert V. Blanden, and Paul Davies [Reading, Mont.: Perseus Press, 1998].

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The Age of Lamarck: Evolutionary Theory in France 1790-1830

The Age of Lamarck: Evolutionary Theory in France 1790-1830
This book explores the life of Lamarck, an exemplary zoologist who is often cited for his incorrect theory of evolution by inheritance of acquired traits. By Jonathan Mandelbaum [Translated by Pietro Corsi. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1988].

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To Be an Invalid: The Illness of Charles Darwin

To Be an Invalid: The Illness of Charles Darwin
In this book the author, who is a physician and a psychiatrist, explains that Charles Darwin's ailments after his five-year voyage of exploration were part of a complex psychosomatic condition brought on by deep conflicts about his lifework. By R. Colp Jr. [Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1977].

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Charles Lyell: Principles of Geology

Charles Lyell: Principles of Geology
The frontispiece of Lyell's 1830 Principles of Geology shows the ruins of the Temple of Serapis.

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Concept of Uniformitarianism

Concept of Uniformitarianism
This site presents one of the core principles of physical geography, uniformitarianism, which is often credited to Charles Lyell. The idea was not new with him; Lyell was simply the first to popularize the idea. Hosted by Okanagan University College.

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Dictionary of Scientific Biography

Dictionary of Scientific Biography
This multi-volume book provides in-depth yet concise biographies of noted scientists and includes a list of entries by scientific field. Edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie [New York: Scribner, 1981].

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Principles of Geology

Principles of Geology
This is the classic work that Darwin carried along on his voyage aboard the Beagle. The author's uniformitarian theory had a profound influence on Darwin's thinking and subsequent development of his theory of evolution by natural selection. This edition has a foreword by Cuvier biographer and historian of geology Martin J.S. Rudwick. By Charles Lyell [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990].

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Darwin and Malthus

Darwin and Malthus
In this segment from Evolution: "Darwin's Dangerous Idea," Charles Darwin grasps the basic principle of natural selection and the struggle for existence.

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Thomas Malthus (1766-1834)

Thomas Malthus (1766-1834)
This brief article discusses the Malthus's "Essay on the Principle of Population," first published in 1798, and its influences on both Darwin and Wallace. Hosted by the University of California Museum of Paleontology.

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Thomas Malthus: An Essay on the Principle of Population

Thomas Malthus: An Essay on the Principle of Population
This site offers the full text of the first edition of Malthus's 1798 essay. The sixth edition, which Darwin read, provided him with insight into the competition and struggle for resources in the natural world. Hosted by Western Washington University.

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Thomas Robert Malthus

Thomas Robert Malthus
This Victorian Web article discusses Malthus's pessimistic predictions of the consequences of unchecked human population growth, critically analyzing predictions that did and did not come true.

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Population Malthus: His Life and Times

Population Malthus: His Life and Times
This book is the standard biography of Thomas Robert Malthus. By Patricia James [London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979].

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Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type

Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type
Read Alfred Russel Wallace's 1858 paper explaining his view of evolution by natural selection.

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Alfred Russel Wallace

Alfred Russel Wallace
This site provides a bibliography of selected publications by Wallace on the topics of natural selection and biogeography.

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Alfred Russel Wallace: A Capsule Biography

Alfred Russel Wallace: A Capsule Biography
This biography chronicles not only the scientific career of Alfred Russel Wallace, but also gives details of his personal life and later connections with some social radicals. Look for the chronologically ordered summary of his life's accomplishments at the end.

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On the Law Which Has Regulated the Introduction of New Species

On the Law Which Has Regulated the Introduction of New Species
This 1855 text, written at Sarawak in Borneo, represents Wallace's early thinking on the origin of species, pre-natural selection. Hosted by Western Kentucky University.

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On the Zoological Geography of the Malay Archipelago

On the Zoological Geography of the Malay Archipelago
In this 1859 manuscript, Wallace details the geographical placement of various groups of animals in the archipelago and pinpoints the location of the dividing line, now called "Wallace's Line," dividing Eurasian and Australasian fauna. Hosted by Western Kentucky University.

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Origin of Human Races

Origin of Human Races
This site offers Wallace's lengthy 1864 exposition on the evolution of humans (and the various races) based on his and Darwin's theory of natural selection.

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The Alfred Russel Wallace Page

The Alfred Russel Wallace Page
This page contains links to a wide variety of Wallace resources, from photos to writings to an interesting listing of obscure facts that are somehow connected to him. Hosted by Western Kentucky University.

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Alfred Russel Wallace

Alfred Russel Wallace
In this biography of Wallace, the author draws more extensively on Wallace's correspondence than has any previous biographer and offers a revealing yet balanced account of the relationship between Wallace and Darwin. By Peter Raby [London: Chatto & Windus, 2001].

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Biogeography

Biogeography
This college-level text provides a thorough introduction to the principles of biogeography, and includes the original map of zoogeographic regions drawn by Alfred Russel Wallace. By James H. Brown and Mark V. Lomolino [Sunderland, Mass.: Sinauer Associates, Inc., 1998].

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The Alfred Russel Wallace Reader: A Selection of Writings from the Field

The Alfred Russel Wallace Reader: A Selection of Writings from the Field
In this book, the editor reintroduces Alfred Russel Wallace with an authoritative collection of his works. Edited by Jane Camerini [Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001].

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The Geographical Distribution of Animals

The Geographical Distribution of Animals
This enormous two-volume text essentially explains "what lives where and why," based on Wallace's developing tenets of zoogeography. By Alfred Russel Wallace [New York: Harper, 1876].

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The Malay Archipelago

The Malay Archipelago
This book, a mixture of travelogue and natural history accounts, was Wallace's most popular. By Alfred Russel Wallace [Boston: Charles E. Tuttle Co., 2000].

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Where Worlds Collide: The Wallace Line

Where Worlds Collide: The Wallace Line
This lively account tells how Wallace, the father of biogeography, discovered the distinct boundary separating the faunas of Asia and Australia. By Penny Van Oosterzee [Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997].

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