Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

photo of ChambersWritten by Edinburgh publisher Robert Chambers but published anonymously in October 1844, Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation provided a grand cosmic narrative of evolutionary change and became an immediate sensation. Its condemnation by leaders of both science and the church contributed to Charles Darwin’s delay in publishing his own evolutionary theory but also helped spread acceptance of what was then called “the transmutation of species” and “the development hypothesis.” Image: Robert Chambers, c. 1863. Reproduced from John van Wyhe, The History of Phrenology on the Web. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.


Jonathan Smith, “The Huxley-Wilberforce ‘Debate’ on Evolution, 30 June 1860″

Related Articles

Nancy Armstrong, “On Charles Darwin’s The Descent of Man, 24 February 1871″

Ian Duncan, “On Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle”

Anna Henchman, “Charles Darwin’s Final Book on Earthworms, 1881”

Martin Meisel, "On the Age of the Universe"

Cannon Schmitt, “On the Publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, 1859″

Daniel Bivona, “On W. K. Clifford and ‘The Ethics of Belief,’ 11 April 1876″

Associated Place(s)