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Darwin | Charles

The Descent of Man and Selection In Relation To Sex

First Edition | First Issue



The first edition, first issue of The Descent of Man and Selection In Relation To Sex by Charles Darwin, published in 1871. The first appearance of the word “evolution” in works by Darwin.

Octavo, [two volumes], viii, 423pp, [1], 16pp ads; viii, [2], 475pp, [1], 16pp ads. Publisher’s green blind stamped cloth, title in gilt on spine. Wood engraved illustrations throughout. The first issue of both volumes, with “transmitted” the first word of p. 297 in volume I, errata on verso of title leaf in volume II, tipped in “postscript” after viii in volume II. Includes half-titles in both volumes, advertisement for “Popular Works” dated January 1871 in Volume I, and “Standard Works” dated January 1871 in Volume II. Blue coated endpapers, solid text blocks, hinges cracking, but stable. Light foxing to endpapers, internally clean. Points of rubbing to tips of both spines, wear from handling to boards. Housed in custom black morocco slipcase. (Freeman 938) (Garrison & Morton 170) (Norman 599). A scarce first issue of this important work.

The Descent of Man first appeared in February of 1871 and quickly sold out. A second run of 4500 copies was in print by March 1871. Numerous revised editions appeared, starting in 1873, with edits by Darwin and his son, George.

Additional information

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John Murray


First Edition, First Issue

Date Published





Very Good


Darwin | Charles

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Charles Darwin