This volume is a comprehensive reference work on the life, labors, and influence of the great evolutionist Charles Darwin. With more than sixty essays written by an international group representing the leading scholars in the field, this is the definitive work on Darwin. It covers the background to Darwin's discovery of the theory of evolution through natural selection, the work he produced and his contemporaries' reactions to it, and evaluates his influence on science in the 150 years since the publication of Origin of Species. It also explores the implications of Darwin's discoveries in religion, politics, gender, literature, culture, philosophy, and medicine, critically evaluating Darwin's legacy. Fully illustrated and clearly written, it is suitable for scholars and students as well as the general reader. The wealth of information it provides about the history of evolutionary thought makes it a crucial resource for understanding the controversies that surround evolution today.