On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species; From the Library of Explorer Steve Fossett

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

DARWIN, Charles.

Item Number: 119774

London: John Murray, 1869.

Fifth edition, one of 2,000 copies of “certainly the most important biological book ever written” (Freeman), one of 1250 copies. Octavo, bound in half calf over marbled boards, all edges marbled, half-title. From the library of James Stephen “Steve” Fossett with his bookplate to the pastedown. American businessman and record-setting aviator Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo nonstop around the world in 2002 in his 10-story high balloon Spirit of Freedom. He completed the 2002 trip in 13 days, 8 hours, and 33 minutes and set records for both the Longest Distance Flown Solo in a Balloon and Fastest Balloon Flight Around the World. Fossett was also one of sailing’s most prolific distance record holders set the Absolute World Speed Record for airships with a Zeppelin NT in 2004. He received numerous awards and honors throughout his career including aviation’s highest award, the Gold Medal of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), which he was awarded in 2002. Fossett disappeared on September 3, 2007 while flying a light aircraft over the Great Basin Desert, between Nevada and California. In very good condition.

Darwin “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” (PMM 344). “Without question a watershed work in the history of modern life sciences, Darwin’s Origin elaborated a proposition that species slowly evolve from common ancestors through the mechanism of natural selection. As he himself expected, Darwin’s theory became, and continues to be in some circles, the object of intense controversy” (American Philosophical Society). “The five years [of Darwin’s voyage on the Beagle] were the most important event in Darwin’s intellectual life and in the history of biological science. Darwin sailed with no formal training. He returned a hard-headed man of science… The experiences of his five years in the Beagle, how he dealt with them, and what they led to, built up into a process of epoch-making importance in the history of thought” (PMM).

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