First Printing of Einstein's "General Theory of Relativity"
Albert Einstein. "Die Grundlage der allgemeinen
Relativitätstheorie." In Annalen der Physik, Vierte
Folge, Band 49, No. 7 (1916), pages 769-822. Leipzig: Verlag von
Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1916.
First printing of Einstein's "The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity." Octavo (8.5 x 5.5 inches). viii, 1000 pages (complete volume). Mounted photographic portrait of Emil Warburg facing page 229; ten tables within text.
Contemporary half calf over marbled boards. Spine ruled and lettered in gilt and decoratively ruled in blind. Light shelfwear to boards. Ink stamp of Imperial Chemical Industries Limited on the front pastedown and front free endpaper, with pencil cancellation marks. Overall, in fine condition.
A separate edition of the work appeared in the same year, but the text for that edition was reset with significant additions and revisions and printed after this journal issue, thus this journal constitutes the actual first printing. Einstein's theory explains gravitation as distortion of the structure of space-time by matter, affecting the inertial motion of other matter. The paper is divided into four sections: "Considering the Fundamental Postulate of Relativity", "Mathematical Tools for the Establishment of General Covariant Equations", "Theory of the Gravitational Field", and "The 'Substantive' Precedent". A groundbreaking paper, rare in this original form.
Grolier/Horblit 26c. Norman Library 695. Printing and the Mind of Man 408. Weil 80.
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