Rare 1861 third edition of Darwin's Origin of Species, a scholar's copy


The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection… Third Edition, with Additions and Corrections. (Seventh Thousand.)

London: John Murray , 1861

The important 1861 third edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was the first to include Darwin’s account of the work of his predecessors.

“The great majority of naturalists believe that species are immutable productions, and have been separately created. This view has been ably maintained by many authors. Some few naturalists, on the other hand, believe that species undergo modification, and that the existing forms of life have descended by true generation from pre-existing forms.”

In the original publisher’s blindstamped green cloth gilt (with Edmonds & Remnants ticket); half-title, one folding plate, advertisement leaf at the end. Cloth a bit rubbed, some loss at lower spine, hinges holding despite some wear; generally a very presentable copy with an interesting provenance.

Provenance: Professor Martin Brasier (1947-2014), a celebrated palaeobiologist and author of Darwin’s Lost World: The Hidden History of Animal Life (published in 2009 as part of the Charles Darwin centenary celebrations). This copy with an inscription by  Brasier: “used in Darwin’s study at Down House, Kent”. Also James Earl Moreton, F.R.C.S. (1831-1914), bookplate; Thomas W. Earl Moreton, gift inscription to G.B. Leach