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The Golden Bough Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 65 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Golden Bough.
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Historical Context

Frazer published the first edition of The Golden Bough in 1890, just eight years after the death of Charles Darwin. Darwin, a British naturalist, considered to be one of the greatest scientists of the nineteenth century, developed a theory of evolution, which he outlined in his 1859 book On the Origins of Species. This work popularized the phrase "survival of the fittest." According to Darwinian evolution, the species that were best fitted to their environments were the ones that were bound to survive, while the ones that were not well adapted tended to die off and become extinct. Within a species, genetic adaptations were achieved when those organisms that had the traits that were most important for their survival, such as speed or strength, were the ones that lived long enough to reproduce with other survivors, and the offspring of such unions inherited advantageous traits, making each generation more likely...

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This section contains 618 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Golden Bough Study Guide
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The Golden Bough from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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