A streamlined abstract from Sir Francis Darwin's voluminous Life and Letters of Charlie Darwin published in 1909 with a new introduction by George Gaylord Simpson, chairman of the department of geology and paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History. This volume contains in addition to the brief autobiography, adoring eulogies by Darwin's son and daughter and letters to contemporary scientists -- Hooker, Fox and the American scientist Asa Oray -- concerned with preliminary investigations and preparation of The Origin of the Species. It is the letters which will be of most interest to the reader- revealing the tireless accumulation, examination and classification of material-rocks, plants and animals, clarifying Darwin's process, and his strivings to discover the mechanism of descent. The autobiography, a grudgingly dutiful chore, in parts self-consciously sentimental, in others naively self-critical, is of passing interest, and the very brief summary by Dr. Simpson which restates the much misconstrued work of Darwin, and interprets its present influence is easy going for the layman. Vol. 17 in the Life of Science Library. For a specialized market.