• Sale 2861

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts including Americana

    19 June 2014, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 149

    DARWIN, Charles. For Private Distribution ... Extracts from Letters addressed to Professor Henslow by C. Darwin, Esq. Cambridge: [the University Press for the Cambridge Philosophical Society], Dec. 1, 1835.

    Price Realised  

    DARWIN, Charles. For Private Distribution ... Extracts from Letters addressed to Professor Henslow by C. Darwin, Esq. Cambridge: [the University Press for the Cambridge Philosophical Society], Dec. 1, 1835.

    8o (203 x 128 mm). Collation: A-B8. 32pp. Contents: [p. 1 (title), p. 2 (blank) p. 3], pp. 4-31, [p. 32 (blank)]. 20th-century green quarter morocco; boxed with the 1960 facsimile in a green quarter morocco folding case. Provenance: Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe (1858-1945), British statesman and author (note on pastedown stating that the book was purchased by Maggs Bros. from the Crewe library).

    FIRST EDITION OF DARWIN'S FIRST SEPARATELY PRINTED WORK: OF THE GREATEST RARITY. This unauthorized pamphlet contains extracts from ten letters written by Darwin to John Stevens Henslow (1796-1861) during his five-year voyage on the Beagle. Henslow, the charismatic and well-connected Regis Professor of Botany at Cambridge, was Darwin's close friend and first mentor in natural history and responsible for obtaining for Darwin his position as ship's naturalist aboard the Beagle. Henslow had this pamphlet printed without Darwin's knowledge for distribution amongst the members of the Cambridge Philosophical Society "in consequence of the interest which has been excited by some of the Geological notices which they contain, and which were read at a Meeting of the Society on the 16th of November 1835" (p. [1]), an act which secured Darwin's reputation with the scientific community even before his return to England in October, 1836. Upon learning of this pamphlet's publication Darwin was "a good deal horrified" at Henslow making public "what had been written without care or accuracy" (Barlow, ed., Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle, pp. 140-42). However their friendship survived and at the end of his life Darwin acknowledged his friendship as the most important "circumstance" of his life. EXCEPTIONALLY RARE: according to American Book Prices Current only four copies have appeared at auction since 1975. Freeman 1; Norman 583.


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    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN