Item #69122 Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. Charles DARWIN.
Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex
Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex
Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex
Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex
Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex
Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex

Darwin's Brother-in-law's Copy of this First Edition, First Issue “Descent of Man”

Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. In two volumes.

London: John Murray, 1871.

Full Description:

DARWIN, Charles. The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. With illustrations. London: John Murray, 1871.

First edition, first issue, with “transmitted” appearing as the first word on p. 297 of Volume I, and with twenty-five errata (seventeen for Volume I and eight for Volume II) on the verso of the title leaf to Volume II, and with the leaf (pp. [ix-x]) containing Darwin’s note on “a serious and unfortunate error” tipped in leaf after p. viii in Volume II. Two small octavo volumes (7 1/8 x 4 3/4 inches; 180 x 122 mm). [iii]-viii, 423, [1, printer’s imprint]; [iii]- viii,[ix-x, “Postscript”], 475, [1, printer’s imprint] pp. Bound without half-titles and publisher's ads in both volumes. Numerous wood-engraved text illustrations.

Both volumes with the bookplate for Francis Wedgwood, Barlaston on front pastedown. Francis Wedgwood was the brother of Emma Wedgwood, Charles Darwin's wife (and first cousin). Francis, Emma and their seven other siblings were the grandchildren of Josiah Wedgwood, famous English potter. Considered the “Father of English Potters” Josiah started the company Wedgwood, which is still in business today as an English fine china, porcelain and luxury accessories manufacturer. Darwin being their first cousin was also grandson of Josiah Wedgwood.

Bound by D. Dilworth in contemporary full tan calf. Boards ruled in gilt and tooled in blind. Spines stamped in gilt. Each volume with two black morocco spines labels, lettered in gilt. Marbled endpapers. All edges marbled. A bit of rubbing to board edges and tops of spines. Some foxing endpapers and preliminaries, but otherwise very clean inside. Overall an wonderful set with great provenance.

The first issue, of 2,500 copies, was published on February 24, 1871, and the second, of 2,000 copies, in March. “The book, in its first edition, contains two parts, the descent of man itself, and selection in relation to sex. The word ‘evolution' occurs, for the first time in any of Darwin’s works, on page 2 of the first volume of the first edition, that is to say before its appearance in the sixth edition of The Origin of Species in the following year. The last chapter is about sexual selection in relation to man, and it ends with the famous peroration about man’s lowly origin, the wording of which differs slightly in the first edition from that which is usually quoted” (Freeman, p. 129).

“In the Origin Darwin had avoided discussing the place occupied by Homo sapiens in the scheme of natural selection, stating only that ‘light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.’ Twelve years later he made good his promise with The descent of man, in which he compared man’s physical and psychological characteristics to similar traits in apes and other animals, showing how even man’s mind and moral sense could have developed through evolutionary processes. 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 classified among the primates; however, this statement, as misinterpreted by the popular press, caused a furor second only to that raised by the Origin” (Norman Library). This title created almost as much sensation as his Origin of Species. In it he elaborated further on his views, adding sexual selection and using the word ‘evolution’ for the first time..

Milestones of Science 48. Freeman, Darwin, 937. Garrison-Morton 170. Norman Library 599.

HBS 69122.

$4,500.

Price: $4,500.00

Item #69122