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DARWIN, Charles.

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection,

or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

London: John Murray, 1859 Stock Code: 138146
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Ushering in a new era of thought about the nature of man

First edition of "the most influential scientific work of the 19th century" (Horblit) and "certainly the most important biological book ever written" (Freeman), in which Darwin explained his concept of evolutionary adaptation through natural selection, which would become the foundation of modern evolutionary theory; 1,250 copies were printed.

"The publication of the Origin of Species ushered in a new era in our thinking about the nature of man. The intellectual revolution it caused and the impact it had on man's concept of himself and the world were greater than those caused by the works of Copernicus, Newton, and the great physicists of more recent times Every modern discussion of man's future, the population explosion, the struggle for existence, the purpose of man and the universe, and man's place in nature rests on Darwin" (Ernst Mayr).

This copy has the bookplate of Thomas Cope (1827-1884), a prosperous manufacturer of cigars and tobacco products in Liverpool in the mid-19th century. He was the first person in England to hire women to make cigars and was the speaker of the Liverpool Parliamentary debating society.

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Octavo gathered and signed in 12s. Original green diagonal-wave-grain cloth, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, covers ornamentally blocked in blind, pale brown coated endpapers, binder's ticket of Edmonds & Remnant to rear pastedown. Housed in a green cloth book-form slipcase and chemise.


Folding diagram lithographed by W. West. 32-page publisher's catalogue at rear dated June 1859.


Engraved bookplate of Thomas Cope, Huyton, to front pastedown; later ownership inscriptions of George Taylor and Alexander Glass, Darien, CT (the latter dated 4-15-62) to half-title, a few small pencil marks in margins. Cloth lightly marked on front cover, spine ends and inner hinges neatly restored, a little light spotting to early leaves, chiefly marginal, overall a very good copy.


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