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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.)

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

Observations upon the prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John

FIRST EDITION of Isaac Newton’s posthumously published theological interpretation of the Biblical prophecies. “It has generally been assumed that the work was a product of his old age, as the treatise published was. Nevertheless, references to the prophecies filled his early theological notebook. Already in the 1670s, he believed that the essence of the Bible was the prophecy of human history rather than the revelation of truths beyond human reason unto life eternal. Already at that time he believed what he asserted later about Revelation: ‘There [is] no book in all the scriptures so much recommended & guarded by providence as this.’ He put that belief into practice by composing his earliest theological study. It proved to be more than a passing interest. His first full discourse contains many insertions in later hands, showing that he referred to it frequently. He composed numerous revisions of it, one of which was probably the last thing on which he was at work when he died more than fifty years later.” (Richard Westfall, The Life of Sir Isaac Newton). Quarto, period style boards. Uncut, a superb copy.

Signed by Al Gore


Earth In the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit

“A global environmental crisis threatens to overwhelm our children’s generation. Mitigating the crisis will require a planetary perspective, long-term thinking, political courage and savvy, eloquence and leadership––all of which are in evidence in Al Gore’s landmark book.”–Carl Sagan FIRST EDITION, SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY AL GORE: “For the grandchildren of Sally and Paul Robinson”. A fine copy in the original dust jacket.

PMM 417


Ondes et Mouvements [Waves and Motions]

FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS of de Broglie’s presentation of his revolutionary theory of the wave-particle duality of matter. PMM 417. De Broglie’s work “served as the basis for developing the general theory nowadays known by the name of wave mechanics, a theory which has utterly transformed our knowledge of physical phenomena on the atomic scale.” Octavo, original printed wrappers; custom cloth box. Modest bookplate on inside front wrapper; tape repair to initial blank. Minor discoloration to wrapper edges; an excellent copy.

A landmark work in computer science


On the Mechanical Performance of Logical Inference

FIRST EDITION of Jevons’s explanation of his “logical piano”; a landmark in computer science. To the reader of the preceding paper it will be evident that mechanism is capable of replacing for the most part the action of thought required in the performance of logical deduction. Mental agency is required only in interpreting correctly the grammatical structure of the premises, and in gathering the purport of the reply… The machine is thus the embodiment of a true symbolic method or Calculus… Jevons invented a “logical piano” (so named because it resembled a small upright piano) that could perform, through a sequence of switches, various types of logical calculations. In doing so, he became “the first person to construct a machine with sufficient power to solve a complicated problem faster than the problem could be solved without the machine’s aid” (Goldstine). “On the Mechanical Performance of Logical Inference,” a paper Jevons read before the Royal Society on January 20, 1870, is his most detailed description of this early prototype of the modern computer. The logical piano now stands in the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford. In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London for the year 1870, pp. 497-518, Vol. 160, Part II (the complete volume). London: Taylor and Francis, 1870. Quarto, modern half-calf over marbled boards, with the original wrappers bound-in. A fine copy.