"When on board H.M.S. 'Beagle,' as a naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the inhabitants of South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These facts seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of species--that mystery of mysteries..."
"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." -Charles Darwin
FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL CLOTH of Darwin's masterpiece, "the most important single work in science" (Dibner). One of only 1250 copies printed.
The Origin of Species marked "a turning point, not only in the history of science, but in the history of ideas in general" (Dictionary of Scientific Biography).
In the Origin, "Darwin not only drew an entirely new picture of the workings of organic nature; he revolutionized our methods of thinking and our outlook on the natural order of things. The recognition that constant change is the order of the universe had been finally established and a vast step forward in the uniformity of nature had been taken" (Printing and the Mind of Man). Diber 199. Freeman 373. PMM 344b. Norman 593. Garrison-Morton 220.
London: John Murray, 1859. Octavo, original green cloth (binding variant b, no priority); old custom box. With 32 pp. publisher's catalogue dated June 1859 (Freeman variant 2; no priority) at end. With all accepted first edition/first issue points: Half-title with quotations from W. Whewell and Bacon only on verso. Folding lithographic diagram by William West after Darwin bound to face page 117. With "species" mispelled "speceies" on page 20, with the whale-bear story in full on page 184.
Bookplate (Thomas Cope, Huyton) on front pastedown. Signatures ("George Taylor" and "Alexander Glass, Darin, Conn., U.S.A. 4-15-62" on half-title. Original cloth expertly re-cased. With minor patch of discoloration on front board and spine and tiny repaired closed tear to spine. Spine gilt extraordinarily bright. Text with a little foxing on some early pages, then very clean; last page of ads shaved a bit at margin (not affecting text). Occasional interesting and neat marginal pencil notes.
A HANDSOME FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL CLOTH OF ARGUABLY THE MOST INFLUENTIAL WORK IN THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE.
Price: $335,000 .