BooksHistory of Science

The Great Success of a "Foul Book"

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Science  02 Feb 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5505, pp. 833-834
DOI: 10.1126/science.1055589

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Victorian Sensation The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. James A. Secord. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2001. 644 pp. $35, £22.50. ISBN 0-226-74410-8.

Secord offers a comprehensive analysis of how Robert Chamber's anonymously published (1844) theory of evolution was read and how it became a sensational best-seller.