British naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) began drafting Origin of Species in 1842, just six years after returning from his fateful five-year voyage aboard the HMS Beagle (1831-36). Heavily influenced by Sir Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology (1830-1833, a three volume work) and Thomas Malthus’ An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798), Origin of Species was ultimately published in 1859.
Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, published on 24 November 1859, is a work of scientific literature which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Its full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. For the sixth edition of 1872, the short title was changed to The Origin of Species. Darwin’s book introduced the scientific theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. It presented a body of evidence that the diversity of life arose by common descent through a branching pattern of evolution. Darwin included evidence that he had gathered on the Beagle expedition in the 1830s and his subsequent findings from research, correspondence, and experimentation.