1859. London: John Murray, 1859.
8vo, ix, 502 pp. with a folding diagram facing p. 117. A very good copy, rebound without the ads in contemporary three-quarter brown calf, rebacked with backstrip laid down, marbled paper boards, edges and endpapers, gilt pannelled backstrip with red morocco label, minor rubbing to the boards and backstrip, page 23/24 skillfully repaired. Inscribed on the title page “George Stuart White Captain 92nd Highlanders 1st September 1865”. Bookplate of John C. Hay on front paste down.
§ First edition of the single most important scientific book ever published. “The publication of [On the Origin] ushered in a new era in our thinking about the nature of man. The intellectual revolution it caused and the impact it had on man’s concept of himself and the world were greater than those caused by the works of Copernicus, Newton, and the great physicists of more recent times. . . . Every modern discussion of man’s future, the population explosion, the struggle for existence, the purpose of man and the universe, and man’s place in nature rests on Darwin” (Ernst Mayr). Dibner 199. Freeman 373. Garrison and Morton 220. Horblit 23b. Norman Library I, 594. Printing and the Mind of Man 344b. 1250 copies were printed.Provenance: George Stuart White (1835-1912), officer of the British Army and recipient of the Victoria Cross; John C. Hay (bookplate); private collection, California. Item #110417