London: John Murray, 1859. First edition. Octavo. Original green diagonal-wave-grain cloth (binder's ticket of Edmonds & Remnant to rear pastedown), spine lettered and decorated in gilt, covers ornamentally blocked in blind, pale brown coated endpapers. Folding diagram lithographed by W. West. 32-page publisher's catalogue at rear dated June 1859. Engraved bookplate of Thomas Cope, Huyton, to front pastedown; later ownership inscriptions of George Taylor and Alexander Glass, Darien, CT (the latter dated 4-15-62) to half-title, a few small pencil marks in margins. Cloth lightly marked on front cover, spine ends and inner hinges neatly restored, a little light spotting to early leaves, chiefly marginal, overall a very good copy. House in a green cloth bookform slipcase and chemise.
First edition of "the most influential scientific book of the 19th century" (Horblit) and "certainly the most important biological book every written" (Freeman). Only 1,250 copies were printed. With the provenance of Thomas Cope (1827-1884), a prosperous manufacturer of cigars and tobacco products in Liverpool in the mid-19th century. He was the first person in England to hire women to make cigars and was speaker of the Liverpool Parliamentary debating society.
Dibner 199. Freeman 373 (binding variant b, advertisements variant 2, no priority). Garrison-Morton 220. Horblit 23b. Norman 593. PMM 344b. Very Good + (Item #3310)