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2020-12-18 20:04:43
DARWIN, Charles.
The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Action of Worms, with Observations on their Habits.
London: John Murray, 1881. London: John Murray,, 1881. Octavo. Original green cloth, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, front and rear covers panelled in blind, dark brown endpapers. With 15 woodcuts to the text, publisher's advertisement leaf at rear. Bookseller's ticket to rear free endpaper. A hint of wear to corners, discreet bubbling along joints, the binding otherwise sound and clean, front hinge cracked but firm, internally fresh; a very good copy indeed. First edition, second thousand, of Darwin's final book. Published the year before his death, the work was remarkably successful, selling 6,000 copies within a year, and indeed initially sold faster than the Origin of Species had done. The culmination of ten years of intensive research and close observation on the interaction of earthworms with their physical environment and their influence on great earth movements, the work "was his leitmotif, explaining vast changes by minute incremental events: mountain uplift, evolving life, and now worms transforming the soil" (ODNB). The first issue is distinguished by the absence of a "thousand" statement on the title page. The first printing of two thousand copies was apparently split between two equal issues, the first without such a statement, the second with "second thousand" on the title; all issues thereafter had a thousand statement. Freeman 1357.
Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA/ ILAB. [London, United Kingdom]

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