Despite promising myself to read On the Origin of the Species by this point, I sheepishly have to admit that I gave up on the venture quite quickly. I got bogged down in The Beagle and eventually moved the book off my bedside table. Meanwhile, someone wants to borrow the book (the same person that organised to get it for me as a present) and so now I'm in a bit of a bind.
Ben Fry's truly amazing visualisation of the changing text doesn't help matters either. The Preservation of Favoured Traces tracks the progress of the book from it's first to sixth edition. It's worth having a play with it. Not just to watch the text animate and dance as corrections, changes and additions are made, but to understand how this piece of text came to be. I'm particularly fond of the visual similarities he's made to genetic code, as bars of DNA dance across the screen doing their magic. The fact that it's all set in Scotch Modern makes me squeal with delight. The ability to look at changes to the idea as it happens in motion, looking at it from the macro scale, and then looking at those changes line by line at the micro scale is not only a brilliant method of looking at the text, but a perfect metaphor for evolution itself.