London: John Murray, 1876. Hardcover. Sixth edition (Eighteenth Thousand), duodecimo size, 480 pp. Very good +. Item #210121014
First published in 1859, Darwin's "The Origin of Species" is likely the single most electrifying book written in the history of science, with its theories of evolution which, even today, many people disbelieve.
Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882) was interested in the origins of life from a young age, and when the "Beagle" had an opening for a naturalist, his interest and reputation for "collecting, observing, & noting any thing worthy to be noted in Natural History" earned him the post on this voyage which would last for five years, and which would become duly famous. It would become 'the key formative event in Darwin's life" and the many species he observed, both living and extinct, would foster "an intellectual ferment and fortif[y] him to re-evaluate all of natural history."
This the sixth edition, the eighteenth thousand, printed in London in 1876. It was in the sixth edition that the preliminary word "On" was dropped from the title, extensive revisions were made by Darwin, and it was the first edition which used the exact word "evolution" (although earlier editions had used the similar word "evolved").
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in original green cloth over boards, blind-debossed ruled and decorative borders on both boards, gilt lettering, decorative borders and an ornament on the spine, brown coated endpapers, stated "Sixth Edition, with Additions and Corrections to 1872 (Eighteenth Thousand)" on the title page with the date of 1876, three-panel fold-out chart facing p. 90, vintage binder's ticket on rear pastedown ("Bound by W. Bone & Son, 76 Fleet St., London, EC"); duodecimo size (7.5" by 5"), pagination: [i-v] vi-xxi [blank, xxii]  2-458 includes Glossary and Index at the rear.
___CONDITION: Better than very good, the binding clean (although somewhat darkened on the spine), we had a professional (name available upon request) restore the binding which had suffered some small loss at the head and tail of the spine, the hinges were also restored and are now rock-solid with a strong, square text block, the interior is clean (other than a very few light, stray marks) with minimal, even toning around the margins, the fold-out chart fine with only the original folds and no tears, and the only prior owner markings we see include a number written in pencil on the verso of the front free endpaper (vintage bookseller price?), a small stamped name at the top left corner of the half-title, and another name in pencil at the top left corner of the title page; the edges of the endpapers all have minor loss due to the brittleness of the paper, which is also the case on the half-title. With its few minor faults, still a better than very good copy of this seminal work, the last edition published during Darwin's lifetime.
___CITATIONS: Printing and the Mind of Man 344b (for first printing and general information), online Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (quotes and general information), and a smattering from Wiki (general information).
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