First American edition, first issue of Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man; from the library of legendary aviator Steve Fossett
The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex.
Item Number: 95249
New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1871.
First American edition, first issue of the first of Darwin’s works in which the term “evolution” appears (Freeman 941). Octavo, 2 volumes, original publisher’s cloth, gilt titles to the spine, top edge gilt. From the library of Peggy and Steve Fossett with their bookplate to the pastedown of each volume. 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 near fine condition. Desirable and with noted provenance.
The book, in its first edition, contains two parts, the descent of man itself, and selection in relation to sex. The word 'evolution' occurs [Volume I, p. 2] for the first time in any of Darwin's works" (Freeman, 128-29). It also contains Darwin's important (and then controversial) statement that the extinct ancestors of Homo Sapiens would have been classified among the primates. "One of the ten most significant books ever written" (Sigmund Freud). Freeman 937; Garrison-Morton 170; Printing and the Mind of Man 169; Rieber 121.