Author Darwin, C. [Darwin, F. (ed.)] The foundations of the origin of species, a sketch written in 1842 by Charles Darwin. [The very rare, "true first" Presented by the syndics of the University Press edition; Freeman 1555]
Published 1909
Item ID 71513
(Excl. 9% VAT)
Cambridge, The University Press, 1909. 8vo (22.5 x 15.0 cm). Frontispiece portrait (tissue-guarded), xxii, 53 pp., one plate with facsimile handwriting of Charles Darwin. Original quarter vellum over printed boards. In transparent protective wrapper. A very rare and essential piece of Darwiniana, being the earliest written thoughts (1842) by Charles Darwin on evolution and natural selection. It was discovered in 1896 in a cupboard in Darwin's house in the village of Down(e), and edited by Charles Darwin's seventh child, third son and foremost biographer, the botanist Sir Francis Darwin (1848-1925) [it is rather peculiar that Charles Darwin himself never received a knighthood]. One of a limited, "unpublished" run: "Presented by the syndics of the University Press to ..." Dr. J. Porter (handwritten in ink) "...on the occasion of the celebration at Cambridge of the centenary of the birth of Charles Darwin and of the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species". It was handed out on June 23rd, 1909 in only a limited number of signed copies. Later in the year, another edition, for the trade, was published, in "olive-green buckram bevelled boards" (Freeman, p. 183, number 1556). Other editions followed in 1958, 1963, 1969 and 1971. Uncut. A few small spots on the boards, otherwise a meticulously clean copy. Freeman, 1555. The rare, true first edition of Darwin's previously unpublished notes on Natural Selection, in a fine copy