This collection of thirteen essays by prominent scholars explores the history of evolutionary thought in all of its cultural richness over the past two hundred years. Evolutionary ideas have undergone fundamental changes and are w found to have diverse sources and universal scope. They are longer beholden to biologists' understanding of their own past, and do t focus exclusively on Charles Darwin. This volume aims to address the problem of the human significance of evolution. The contributors draw on contemporary sources as diverse as medicine, literature and natural history tableaux, as well as the resources of publishing history, feminine scholarship, and the histories of politics, sociology, and philosophy. The essays offer new perspectives on familiar figures such as Erasmus, Charles Darwin, Lamarck, Chambers, Huxley, and Haeckel, but also on many lesser kwn participants in the evolutionary debates.