The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex.
London: John Murray, 1871.
First Edition, First Printings. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #002676
8vo (189 x 129 mm). viii, 423 , 16; viii, , 475 , 16 pp., including half-titles, publisher's catalogue dated January 1871 at end of each volume, and several woodcut illustrations in text. Untrimmed and partially unopened. Original publishers green cloth (cloth little rubbed, spotted and soiled, corners bumped and frayed, slight wear to extremities), inner hinges cracked but holding. Internally very little age-toned, little foxing to endpapers, half-titles and adverts at end (else virtually unfoxed), short tear in blank fore-margin of vol. I, p.21/22. Provenance: Charles Robertson (inscribed on half-title and first flyleaf of vol. I). Still very good, unsophisticated set. ----
Freeman 245, Norman 599, Sparrow 48; Garrison-M. 170 - First edition, first issue of both volumes (with the errata on verso of title-leaf in vol. II and with the first word of p.297 "transmitted" in vol. I). Twelve years after the publication of the Origin, Darwin made good his promise to "throw light on the origin of man and his history" by publishing the present work, in which he compared man's physical and psychological traits to similar ones in apes and other animals, and showed how even man's mind and moral sense could have evolved through processes of natural selection. In discussing man's ancestry, Darwin did not claim that man was directly descended from apes as we know them today, but stated simply that the extinct ancestors of Homo sapiens would have to be classed among the primates. This statement was (and is) widely misinterpreted by the popular press, however, and caused a furor second only to that raised by the Origin. Darwin also added an essay on sexual selection, i.e. the preferential chances of mating that some individuals of one sex have over their rivals because of special characteristics, leading to the accentuation and transmission of those characteristics (Norman). 2500 copies of the first issue were published on February 24. The second issue was published the following month.
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