London: Henry Colburn, 1839.
DARWIN, Charles. Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History of the Various Countries Visited by H.M.S. Beagle, under the Command of Captain Fitzroy, R.N. from 1832 to 1836. London: Henry Colburn, 1839.
First edition, second issue, and the first separate edition of Darwin’s own account of the voyage of the Beagle. The first issue forms Volume III of the Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty’s Ships Adventure and Beagle, between the Years 1826 and 1836 (London: 1839). Octavo (9 1/8 x 5 3/4 inches; 232 x 145 mm). , [vii]-xiv, 629, [1, blank], -615, [1, blank] pp. “Addenda” (pp. 609-629) bound before index (-615) in this copy. With half-title and the sixteen-page publisher’s catalogue dated August 1839 at end. Additionally, there is a slip tipped to final page of catalogue advertising further titles by Darwin, which is usually missing. Two folding charts (Southern Portion of South America” at p. xiv and “Keeling Islands” at p. 538). Four woodcut diagrams in the text.
Original brownish-purple vertical-ribbed cloth. Boards tooled and ruled in blind. Spine lettered in gilt. Yellow coated endpapers. Edges uncut. Binding with uneven sunning. Some cracking to front inner hinge and wear to outer hinge of front board, but still holding firm. A bit of bumping and rubbing to board edges and corners. Some minor puckering along spine and with a small hold in cloth. Some very minor foxing. The "Keeling" map with some spotting and a closed marginal tear, with no loss. Previous owner's gift inscription on front free endpaper, dated 1839. Still a very attractive copy, not often seen in original cloth. Housed in a beautiful quarter morocco clamshell.
“[Darwin’s] first published book is undoubtedly the most often read and stands second only to On the Origin of Species as the most often printed. It is an important travel book in its own right and its relation to the background of his evolutionary ideas has often been stressed” (Freeman).
The first edition, first issue forms Volume III of the Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty’s Ships Adventure and Beagle, between the Years 1826 and 1836, edited by Captain Robert Fitzroy and published in three volumes and an appendix c to Volume II, in 1839. In this form, it bears the subsidiary title Journal and Remarks. Freeman describes this first separate edition as the first edition, second issue (although issued at the same time as the four-volume set, it is “technically the later issue...because pp. [i-iv] of the preliminaries are cancels and [v-vi], the original volume title, is discarded; the rest, [vii]-xiv, and the text sheets are those of the main work, bearing Vol. III on the first page of each signature”). The third issue of the first edition is dated 1840 on the title-page (it is identical to the second except that the conjugate half-title and title leaves have been reprinted).
“The demand for Darwin’s Journal immediately exceeded that of the companion volumes of the Narrative. Colburn therefore in the same year brought out a further issue as a separate edition. The pagination of this book is complex... after the 608 pages of text; comes the Addenda; followed by the index, repeating the same page numbers; lastly follows Colburn’s catalogue of 16 pages, which is dated August 1839...This book is the genesis of Darwin’s theory of evolution. It is as the great leader of evolutionary biology that Darwin will be remembered” (Hill).
Freeman, Darwin, 11. Hill II, p. 394.