DARWIN, Charles (1809-1882). On the Origin of Species by Means of natural Selection. London: John Murray, 1859.
8° (184 x 117mm). Folding lithographic diagram, 32-page list of John Murray's books at end, dated June 1859 [Freeman's variant 3]. (Title and half-title with extensive repairs causing loss of text, mainly on verso of half-title, contents leaves and final advertisement leaf with some mainly marginal repairs, many margins with laminated repairs, folding diagram with short tear and small part of margin torn away, many leaves brittle with marginal tears.) Modern green half morocco (new endpapers), protective box. Provenance: John Crerar Library, University of Chicago (perforation stamp on half title, title, H6 and H7, accession number on first page of contents, small gilt stamp on front of box) – sold at Christie’s, University of Chicago Rare Science Duplicates, Part 1, 2 July 1994, lot 306.
FIRST EDITION OF 'THE MOST IMPORTANT SINGLE WORK IN SCIENCE' (Dibner), and ‘A TURNING POINT, NOT ONLY IN THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE, BUT IN THE HISTORY OF IDEAS IN GENERAL’ (DSB). 'By observing the special biology and geology of isolated islands during the cruise of the "Beagle," Darwin's reflective mind saw, in the struggle for existence, that favorable variations would tend to help survival, with the resulting formation of new species. Fossil remains and the extinction of species, such as the dodo and solitaire birds, further supported such a position. This, the most important single work in science, brought man to his true place in nature' (Dibner). Dibner, Heralds 199; Freeman 373; Garrison and Morton 220; Grolier Science 23b; Norman 593; PMM 344b; Sparrow 49; Waller 10786.