FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE OF CHARLES DARWIN'S THE DESCENT OF MAN; IN THE ORIGINAL CLOTH

  • The Descent of Man.
  • The Descent of Man.
  • The Descent of Man.
  • The Descent of Man.
  • The Descent of Man.
  • The Descent of Man.

The Descent of Man.

$10,000.00

Item Number: 90473

London: John Murray, 1871.

First edition, first issue of both volumes (with “transmitted” the first word on p. 297 in the first volume; in the second, the printer’s note on the verso of the half-title, errata on title verso, and the postscript leaf after p. viii. Both volumes have the January ads). Octavo, two volumes, original green cloth with gilt titles and tooling to the spine. From the library of French paleontologist William Alexandre Ooster with his bookplate to each volume. Ooster authored several works on paleontology in the late 19th century including his best-know 1863 title “Petrifications Remarquables Des Alpes Suisses; Synopsis Des Echinodermes Fossiles Des Alpes Suisses.” In excellent condition with light rubbing to the extremities with the spine gilt bright. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

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.

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