Fascinating contemporaneous thought on Charles Darwin
available through ProQuest’s The Annual Register™ Online
Cambridge, United Kingdom – The complete full text back-files of The Annual Register™ (http://annualregister.chadwyck.co.uk/info/home.htm) are available online through an interface that allows facsimile pages of the original print edition to be scanned, downloaded and printed. This wide-ranging resource will appeal to a variety of readers from scholars of history, law, literature, religion, arts and sports to the local reader in the local library, given the rich contemporary information that chroniclers of The Annual Register have recorded for 249 years and is particularly pertinent in the year 2009, in celebration of the life and works of Charles Darwin, 200 years after his birth.
The Annual Register was first written under the editorship of the eminent philosopher and statesman Edmund Burke, and has been produced continuously since that date. Every year since 1758 leading contemporary scholars compiled a comprehensive record of the year’s critical events, providing an invaluable record of contemporary opinion, historical context and biographical information. It gives readers a sharp insight into contemporary thought from eminent scholars and writers year by year.
Roland Jackson, Chief Executive of the British Science Association said, ‘The Annual Register and its online version are a goldmine for students of the history of science; there is a feast of facts, ideas and personalities within its pages. We applaud the editors, contributors and the publishers, who have ensured that this exceptional historical record has been maintained every year.’
Followers of the Darwin 200th year anniversary in 2009 will find a range of fascinating information about the groundbreaking scientist available online. The following search in the online edition under The Descent of Man in the Annual Register Online allows the user to quickly and easily access contemporary thought about this far-reaching research. Following the publication of The Descent of Man, the contemporary reviewer presents an extraordinarily accurate forecast of the impact that this work was likely to have. ‘Mr Darwin’s work..is one of those rare achievements which effect a transformation through the whole range of intellectual effort. We know..how profound was the influence of Newtonian philosophy over the two or three generations which followed its promulgation; and we may confidently expect that a similar influence will be produced on the generation now beginning its work by Mr. Darwin’s theory.’ The review of The Descent of Man appears in the ‘Science’ section of the facsimile 1871 edition of The Annual Register, available online.
Though Darwin courted controversy during his lifetime, reflections on his funeral in 1882 in The Annual Register demonstrate that he was by then firmly accepted by the public and the establishment as a great scientist, ‘how thoroughly he had outlived the obloquy of which he had at one time been the object’ The Annual Register records. ‘His funeral..was in the broadest sense a public one, and round his grave were grouped an assemblage such as few warriors or statesmen have ever drawn together, and the recognition of his place amongst Englishmen of all opinions and parties might be traced in the list of the pallbearers.’ This obituary appears in full in The Annual Register Online April 1882 edition in full-text, and again charts current thinking that is more difficult to access through histories of Darwin’s life written subsequently.
The Annual Register Online comprises articles on each of the world’s countries or regions, as well as articles on international organizations, economics, the environment, science, law, religion, the arts and sport, together with obituaries, a chronicle of major events and selected documents. The Annual Register Online is being offered to public libraries for free as part of the 250th anniversary celebrations.
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For further information about the 200th anniversary celebrations around the United Kingdom, please see Darwin200 at www.darwin200.org
About The Annual Register
The Annual Register: A Record of World Events has been published every year since 1758. It is a valuable source of contemporary opinion, historical context and biographical information for the historian. The publication is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year.
About The Annual Register Online
The online version of The Annual Register includes every volume published and will be updated with the latest volume each year. Every page has been scanned. Text has been captured through OCR (Optical Character Recognition) for the backfile, while recent volumes have text taken directly from the files used in the print publication. Presented alongside tables of content and indexes, this enables researchers to browse through volumes, search for index references, or conduct keyword searches within the full text itself. http://annualregister.chadwyck.co.uk/info/home.htm