London: John Murray, 1859. First edition. One of only 1,250 copies printed (of which Mudie bought 500). Octavo gathered and signed in 12s. Original green diagonal-wave-grain cloth, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, covers ornamentally blocked in blind, pale brown coated endpapers, binder’s ticket of Edmonds & Remnant to rear pastedown. Housed in a green quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery. Folding diagram lithographed by W. West. 32-page publisher's catalogue at rear dated June 1859. Faint mark where Mudie's Circulating Library label cleanly removed from front cover, note of acquisition from Mudie’s for 8s. in November 1860 on front free endpaper, early ownership inscription of L. Anderson Rice on title, 1970s bookseller’s code of Dawson’s of London on front free endpaper verso. A little rubbed, skilful restoration to inner hinges, light vertical crease to half-title and title, an excellent copy, clean and fresh.
“The publication of the Origin of Species 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 (binding variant b, advertisements variant 2, no priority). Garrison-Morton 220. Horblit 23b. Norman 593. PMM 344b. Very Good + (Item #4065)