DARWIN, Charles Robert (1809-1882), contributor – STEPHENS, James Francis (1792-1852)
DARWIN, Charles Robert (1809-1882), contributor – STEPHENS, James Francis (1792-1852)
DARWIN, Charles Robert (1809-1882), contributor – STEPHENS, James Francis (1792-1852)
DARWIN, Charles Robert (1809-1882), contributor – STEPHENS, James Francis (1792-1852)
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DARWIN, Charles Robert (1809-1882), contributor – STEPHENS, James Francis (1792-1852)

Illustrations of British entomology: or, a synopsis of indigenous insects. London: Baldwin and Cradock for the author, [1827-] 1828-1835 [-1845]; supplement, 1846.

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DARWIN, Charles Robert (1809-1882), contributor – STEPHENS, James Francis (1792-1852)
Illustrations of British entomology: or, a synopsis of indigenous insects. London: Baldwin and Cradock for the author, [1827-] 1828-1835 [-1845]; supplement, 1846.
Complete set of Stephens’ comprehensive overview of British entomology, including Darwin’s first printed words. The work is divided into 7 volumes of Mandibulata, 4 of Haustellata and a supplement, and was a direct competitor to John Curtis’ British Entomology (1824-1839). During his studies at Cambridge, Darwin sent Stephens records of insects he had captured in various locations (including Cambridge, North Wales and Shrewsbury), and some of these were published in the Illustrations. There are about thirty records bearing Darwin’s name scattered in the volumes of the present lot, the earliest being in an appendix to Volume II (see pp.191-192, 194-195) and dating from 1829. Darwin’s published reports are his very first printed words and had a crucial and formative impact on his scientific career, with Darwin recording the event in his autobiography: ‘No poet ever felt more delighted at seeing his first poem published than I did at seeing, in Stephens’ Illustrations of British Insects, the magic words, “captured by C. Darwin, Esq.”’ (Life and letters, 1887, pp.50-51). BM(NH) V, p.2016; Freeman pp.19-20; Nissen ZBI 3994.

12 volumes, octavo (245 x 150mm). 95 hand-coloured plates (some variable staining and spotting, some faint offsetting). Contemporary dark blue quarter roan over cloth, spine titled in gilt (rebacked preserving the original spines). Provenance: E.W. Classey (natural history bookseller’s ticket).
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