Lot #14
Charles Darwin

Darwin on his sweeping 1868 book, The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication
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Estimate: $7500+

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Description

Darwin on his sweeping 1868 book, The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication

ALS signed "Ch. Darwin," two pages on two adjoining sheets, 5 x 8, no date. A memorandum headed, "Index for Mr. Darwin's work on the Variation of animals & Plants under Domestication." In full: "The names of all animals & plants to be given in Index. The names of all the authors, with very brief statement of subject-There need not be very copious references to the subjects discussed, as the Heading of Chapters show this. But when the same subject is alluded to in several places; it is highly advisable that it shd be given in Index. Thus I remember that Peloric flowers or Pelorism is referred to in 3 or 4 places. My Book certainly requires a good index in an eminent degree." In fine condition, with light central vertical and horizontal folds passing through the signature. Presented in a custom-made folder, with red silk moire boards and gilt lettering.

After four years of writing and research, Darwin published his massive two-volume The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication in 1868. The book earned favorable reviews, but its size and sharp detail proved too daunting for mass appeal, and it sold only 5,000 copies in Darwin's lifetime. An exhaustive survey of plants and animals, it discussed the direct and indirect relationships shared with their environments, exciting proponents of both artificial and natural selection. An excellent letter concerning one of Darwin's most laborious and detailed publications.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: May 19 - June 14





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