14 November 2007
DARWIN, Charles (1809-1882). Geological Observations on South America. Being the third part of the Geology of the Voyage of the Beagle. London: Smith, Elder, 1846.
8° (222 x 140mm). Folding engraved frontispiece map. 5 folding plates, 4 by G.B. Sowerby junr. (Ink stain on title and map verso, map with short marginal tear, first folding plate a little creased, other plates lightly spotted.) Original purple blind-stamped cloth (partly sunfaded to brown, spine frayed at head, recased with new endpapers, inner hinges split).
FIRST EDITION of the third and last of Darwin's geological reports on the Beagle voyage. In it, he described the pampas, the plateaux, and the Andes, showing how they had been gradually pushed up in the way Lyell had surmised without the intervention of catastrophic events. Although he started the book in July 1844 and had written sixty pages which he regarded as 'pretty good' by September, progress was again slow and he only submitted the final proofs to the printers on 1 October 1846. The descriptions of secondary fossil shells from South America, illustrated in Sowerby's plates, are by Edward Forbes. Some copies have one plate coloured. Freeman 273.
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