Contrary to popular belief, Darwin was neither alone nor unprecedented in his development of evolutionary theory. His contemporary Alfred R. Wallace* stumbled upon the theory of natural selection before Darwin's work on evolution was even published, while Darwin's grandfather wrote grand, speculative poetry on the possibility of evolving lifeforms. Generating an illustrated history of evolutionary biology was an idea partially inspired by the caricatures of James Gillray, a late 18th century artist whose satirist illustrations depicted the sociopolitical scene of the day. Starting from the Greek philosophers who first observed and consequently attempted to explain the world around them, the tree winds it way down to Darwin, the “father of evolution”, and Wallace, his widely unknown counterpart who seems to have lost out in evolution’s custody battle.
*N.B. Alfred Russel Wallace: a man worth Googling.