DARWIN, Charles. A Monograph on the Sub-Class Cirripedia ... The Lepadidae; or Pedunculated Cirripedes -- DARWIN, Charles. The Balanidae, (or sessile cirripedes); the Verrucidae, etc. London: for the Ray Society, 1851-1854.
Together 2 volumes, 8o (222/219 x 140 mm). 2 wood-engraved plates (one folding) and 40 engraved plates by George Sowerby (3 partly hand-colored), wood-engravings in the text (some spotting and pale stains). (Some spotting, a few marginal tears.) Original blue cloth by decorated in gilt and blind, upper covers with gilt-stamped monogram of the Ray Society, lower covers with monogram in blind, spines lettered in gilt, top edges gilt by Westleys and Co., with their tickets on the lower paste-downs (rebacked preserving the original cloth, unevenly faded). Provenance: Mr. Robert Thornewill (contemporary bookplates); S. Miltote U.C.W.I. (inscriptions dated May 1950); Southampton University Library (cancelled library stamps).
"YOUR FATHER HAD BARNACLES ON THE BRAIN FROM CHILI ONWARDS!" (Hooker)
FIRST EDITION of Darwin's only contribution to formal taxonomy, in the original Ray Society binding. Clark records a letter written by Joseph Dalton Hooker to Darwin's son Francis: "He talked to me incessantly of beginning to work at his 'beloved Barnacles' (his favorite expression) long before he did so methodically. It is impossible to say at what stage of progress he realized the necessity of such a training as monographing the Order offered him; but that he did recognize it and act upon it as a training in systematic biological study, morphological, anatomical, geographical, taxonomic and descriptive, is very certain; he often alluded to it to me as a valued discipline and added that even the 'hateful' work of digging out synonyms and of describing, not only improved his methods, but opened his eyes to the difficulties and merits of the works of the dullest cataloguers."
Though the work may have been tedious, taking over eight years to complete, it provided Darwin with evidence for his "germinating theory of evolution, and [helped] to establish his reputation as an expert on both intraspecific variation and interspecific distinctions" (Norman). Clark (pp. 96-97); Freeman 339; Norman 589. (2)