# 40454

DARWIN, Charles

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (fourth edition)

$12,500.00 AUD

  • Ask a question

London : printed by W. Closes and Sons for John Murray, 1866. Fourth edition, second state (eighth thousand). Octavo, original green cloth, boards blocked in blind, spine gilt (light bumping to corners, very minor stains), green endpapers, contemporary owner’s inscription in pencil ‘M Purser 1867’ to half-title, pp. xxi; [blank], 593; [blank] 32 (publisher’s catalogue dated January 1865), folding lithographic plate by William West after Darwin, one quire slightly sprung, a fine copy of the fourth edition, entirely unsophisticated, crisp, complete and unrestored.

The first edition of 1859, a great rarity, is described in Freeman as “… the most important biological work ever written.”; Dibner, “… the most important single work in science.”; Printing & the Mind of Man, “… 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”.

The earliest variant found in commerce, with the earliest inserted adverts dated January 1865. Apart from the first edition of 1859 (1250 copies), the fourth edition had the shortest print run, of only 1500 copies.

A very fine example. 

Freeman 285b (Variant b binding, no preference, with the ‘L’ of London over the ‘H’ of John at the foot of the spine).