Under current restrictions, our shops are closed to the public, but we are still processing online, telephone and email orders as normal.

DARWIN, Charles.

The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.

Or the Preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. Sixth edition, with additions and corrections (twelfth thousand).

London: John Murray, 1872 Stock Code: 120358
Reserve Ask us a question

The last lifetime edition

Sixth edition, second issue, printed simultaneously with the first issue, which is marked as the "eleventh thousand" on the title page. Freeman notes that the second issue is "notably less common". The sixth edition is the last lifetime edition. Darwin continually made revisions to his text; this edition featuring a new chapter, chapter VII, and a glossary by W. S. Dallas. "The edition was aimed at a wider public and printed in smaller type... giving the general impression of a cheap edition, which at 7s. 6d, it was". It is also the first edition of The Origin of Species to feature the word "evolution"; the term was first used by Darwin in The Descent of Man, published in 1871. This edition was subsequently reprinted unchanged from stereos in 1872 and again in 1873. The final issue is dated 1876; stereos of this issue were used for the very many issues which followed, from 1878 to 1929, continuing to include the summary of differences and the historical sketch.

Confused? Read our glossary


Octavo. Original green ribbed-grain cloth, gilt titles to spine, frames and central vignette blocked in blind to covers, brown coated endpapers.


Folding diagram facing page 91.


Bookseller's blind stamp to front free endpaper. Ownership inscription in ink to head of title page, occasional pencil underlining, marginalia, and notes to rear free endpaper recto. Spine very gently rolled, slight wear to extremities, top edge dust toned, minor rubbing to boards, inner hinges cracked but holding, foxing to prelims and endmatter; a very good copy.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book