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Three papers on the Tendency of Species to - DARWIN, C. [R.] AND A. R. WALLACE. - 1858. 
London, John van Voorst, 1858. 8vo. Entire volume 16 of The Zoologist. COMPLETELY UNCUT AND WITH ALL THE ORIGINAL PRINTED WRAPPERS (bound in at the end) in a very nice contemporary red full cloth with gilt lettering to spine. With the book-plate of Harry Forbes Witherby to inside of front board. A truly excellent copy with minimal signs of wear and only very light browning throughout. (2), XVI pp.; pp. (5857)-6312 + 24 ff. of wrappers (= front and back wrapper for each month of the year). Also with the original loose adds from the publishers laid in. The Darwin & Wallace-publication: pp. 6293-6303. Very rare first printing in "The Zoologist", being the second printing overall, of the first published exposition of the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection.Darwin had developed the essential elements of his theory by 1838, and in 1844 he committed them to paper; however, he chose to keep his work on evolution unpublished for the time being, instead concentrating his energies first on the preparation for publication of the geological work he had done on his voyage with the Beagle, and then on an exhaustive eight-year study of the barnacle genus Cirripedia. In 1856, at the urging of Charles Lyell, Darwin began writing an encyclopaedic work on natural selection; it is, however, likely that the extremely cautious Darwin might not have published his evolutionary theories during his lifetime, had not Alfred Russel Wallace independently discovered the theory of natural selection. According to one of the most celebrated anecdotes in the history of science, Wallace conceived of the theory in February 1858, while delirious during an attack of malarial fever in Ternate in the Mollucas. Knowing that Darwin was working on the same problem, Wallace sent a manuscript summary to Darwin, who now feared that his discovery would be pre-empted. In order to avoid conflict between the two, Joseph Hooker and Carles Lyell suggested a joint publication. This joint publication, which came to be one of the most famous in the history of science, consisted in three papers, namely of Wallace's "On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type," passages from Darwin's unpublished manuscript work on species written in 1844, and an abstract of a letter by Darwin to Asa Gray dated 1857 - the two latter to show that Darwin's views on the subject had not changed between 1844 and 1857. The papers were read before the Linnean Society on 1 July 1858 and published on August 30th., in the Proceedings of the society.That publication, however, did not make much of a stir and was more or less overlooked. But it caught the eye of the editors of the much more popular and widely-read "The Zoologist", who immediately grasped its importance and grabbed the opportunity to spread one of the most important theories in the history of mankind, the of evolution by natural selection. They thus published the three papers immediately after the Linnean Society, and it is through this publication in The Zoologist that "the theory of natural selection" becomes widely known. The following year, Darwin published his magnum opus, "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection", which he characterized as an abstract of his planned (but never published) larger work on the subject. The first edition consisted of 1,250 copies and, according to Darwin, it sold out on the day of publication; by the time of his death the book had gone through six editions and thirty-seven printings. (Grolier Medicine 70). Extremely scarce in this condition. Freeman 349
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