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DARWIN, Charles.

The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication.

In two volumes. With illustrations.

London: John Murray, 1868 Stock Code: 113772
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"Survival of the fittest"

First edition, second issue (with the one-line erratum in volume I); 1,250 copies were published in February 1868 and the two issues have "considerable textual differences" (Freeman). "The term 'survival of the fittest' (borrowed at Wallace's insistence from Herbert Spencer's 1866 Principles of Biology) first appeared in the Variation and in the fifth edition of the Origin of Species (1869)" (ODNB). "A large part of Variation contains detailed facts about artificial selection and discussion of them. but it also contains, in Chapter XXVII, his provisional hypothesis of pangenesis; one which he thought was new, but has a long back history. It is his longest work" (Freeman).

Provenance: contemporary armorial bookplates of George A. Luard in each volume, accompanied by his pencilled ownership inscription at the head of the preliminary blank in volume I ("G. A. Luard, Blyborough Hall, 1868"). Like Darwin, George Augustus Luard (1824-1888) was a Lincolnshire landowner; Darwin's properties being located in the east and south east of the county (at Beesby and Sutterton Fen), whereas Blyborough Hall is situated in the north west.

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2 volumes, octavo. Original green cloth (inner joints neatly refurbished), gilt lettered spines, simple blind panelling to sides, slate-green coated endpapers.


43 wood-engravings in the text.


Bindings a little rubbed at extremities, a few old pale stains to covers, scattered foxing, pale dampstaining at head of publisher's advertisements at the end of volume I. A very good set, with the publisher's 32 pp. catalogue at the end of volume I (dated April 1867) and 2 pp. of advertisements at the end of volume II (dated February 1868).


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