Self-taught and ambitious, Charles Darwin is most famous for his groundbreaking-and to some still controversial-theory of evolution and natural selection. In Autobiographies the great scientist weighs his career and his life. Darwin's memoir concentrates on his public career and towering scientific achievements but is also full of moments from his private life. There are lively anecdotes about his family and contemporaries, as well as haunting memories of a mother he never knew, a hot-tempered father he could never please, and lingering doubts about the fitness of the genes he was passing on to his heirs. Autobiographies comprises a fragment Darwin wrote at the age of twenty-nine and the longer "Recollections" of 1876, showing a man toward the end of his life who stands isolated, dogged by illness and self-doubt.