DARWIN, Charles.

The Descent of Man, and selection in relation to sex.

In two volumes. With illustrations.

New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1871 Stock Code: 117907
£1,250.00

The first appearance of the word "evolution" in Darwin's work

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Notes

First US edition, later issue without errata. First published in the UK earlier that year, it was in this work that the word "evolution" appears for the first time, preceding its appearance in the sixth edition of The Origin of Species the following year. Darwin had hoped that one of his supporters might tackle the thorny question of human evolution, but was forced to face the logic of his own theory himself. Darwin deviated from his ostensible subject of mankind to describe sexual selection in the animal kingdom, enabling him to answer those who saw peacock tails as an expression of divine aesthetics. Darwin also set out a definite family tree for humans, tracing their affinity with the Old World monkeys, and laid out his views on the evolutionary origins of morality and religion. "The Descent, understood by Darwin as a sequel to the Origin, was written with a maturity and depth of learning that marked Darwin's status as an élite gentleman of science" (ODNB).

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Description

2 vols, octavo. Original red diagonal grain cloth, titles to spines gilt, rules and cornerpieces in black to covers, yellow coated endpapers.

Condition

Minor wear to spine ends and tips, a couple of light marks to covers, short split to head of front hinge of vol. I. An excellent set.

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