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    First Edition of the Most Influential Scientific Work of the Nineteenth Century

    Charles Darwin. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. London: John Murray, 1859. First edition. With two quotations on p. [ii]. Octavo in twelves (7 13/16 x 4 15/16 inches; 197 x 125 mm.). ix, [1], 502 pages. Plus 32 page publisher's catalogue, dated June, 1859. Folding lithographed diagram by W. West facing page 117. Original green ripple-grained cloth with covers decoratively stamped in blind and spine in gilt (Freeman's variant "a"). Mild rubbing and darkening to extremities with a bit of wear to spine ends. Original brown coated endpapers. Front hinge starting. Binding cracked in several places. One half-inch tear to fore-edge of page 173. Scattered, light foxing to pages with occasional small pencil notations. Housed in a green quarter leather and cloth clamshell case. A lovely, unsophisticated copy in better than very good condition.

    One of the most influential scientific works of the nineteenth century, On the Origin of Species and was (and still is) one of the most controversial. In it "Darwin not only drew an entirely new picture of the workings of organic nature; he revolutionized our methods of thinking and our outlook on the natural order of things. The recognition that constant change is the order of the universe had been finally established and a vast step forward in the uniformity of nature had been taken" Printing and the Mind of Man.

    Dibner 199. Freeman 373 ("the most important biological book ever written"). Garrison and Morton 220. Grolier, 100 English, 96. Grolier/Horblit 23b ("the most influential scientific work of the nineteenth century"). Printing and the Mind of Man 344b. From the James and Deborah Boyd Collection.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    11th Wednesday
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