On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for Life
Hard Cover. London: John Murray, 1860. First Edition. Near Fine.
Second edition, second issue (with "fifth thousand" on title page), one of only 3000 copies and yet the largest printing of any edition or issue in Darwin's lifetime, and the last English edition to contain the whale-bear story. Folding lithographed plate, 32pp. of publisher's advertisements at rear. Original publisher's green cloth, covers stamped in blind, gilt spine. About near fine, with just a touch of wear to spine ends, rear hinge faintly cracked but secure, binding slightly shaken at signatures in rear but sturdy overall, cloth bright and clean, interior with a bit of spotting but generally very clean and fresh, table at pp. 116-7 with a tear at fold. Overall, a superb copy in original cloth. Freeman 376. Darwin's On the Origin of Species is the basis for all of evolutionary biology. It includes evidence from Darwin's journey aboard the HMS Beagle, including data on the famous finches from the Galapagos Islands. First published in November 1859 with only 1,170 copies for sale, the book sold out in a single day. Just six weeks later, this second edition was printed, which contained many corrections and alterations. One of the biggest changes Darwin made was to a section on the hypothetical evolutionary relationship between whales and bears that had been misinterpreted by some and used to criticize the book and Darwin's theory. Darwin also made alterations to the book's conclusion to diffuse outrage from religious figures. He adds the sentence "I see no good reason why the views given in this volume should shock the religious views of anyone" and references a letter from author and clergyman Charles Kingsley, of The Water-Babies fame, in which Kingsley praises Darwin and says that his theory poses no threat to his personal religious beliefs. Additionally, in the final sentence of the book, Darwin incorporates a reference to "the Creator."