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A Monograph on the Fossil Lepadidae, or, Pedunculated Cirripedes of Great Britain with A Monograph on the Fossil Balanidae and Verrucidae of Great Britain].
London: C. and J. Adlard [vol. I] and J.E. Adlard [vol. II] for The Palaeontographical Society, 1851-1854. 4to, 2 volumes. Recently bound in quarter black morocco, marbled, gilt lettering to spines, patterned endpaers; pp. I: vi, 88, 5 engraved plates by James de Carle Sowerby with explanatory text leaves; II: [iv], 44, 2 engraved plates by George Brettingham Sowerby with explanatory text leaves, woodcut illustrations and letterpress tables in the text, letterpress index leaf for vol. II (accidentally omitted in 1854 but published in 1858, and thus normally lacking) supplied; extremely light uniform browning to first 40 pages of vol I (which seems to be usual), minor repairs to title pages, a fresh copy. Provenance: blindstamp of Manchester Geological Society to first plate and margins of a few leaves in vol I. First edition. Darwin's interest in the Cirripedia was instigated by his study in 1846 of a barnacle he had found off the coast of Chile during the voyage of the Beagle; discovering that the literature on the classification of Cirripedia was profoundly unsatisfactory, he spent the following eight years completing the first taxonomic study of the entire order. The two volumes on fossil Cirripedia were published as vol. V, no. 13 and vol. VIII, no. 30 of the series of monographs issued by the Palaeontographical Society, and, although it is not indicated on the title-pages, Darwin states in the preface to volume II that "the present short Monograph completes my work on British Fossil Cirripedes" (p. [v]). These two volumes were complementary to the two volumes of his monograph on living Cirripedia, which were published by the Ray Society, like the present Monograph, in 1851 and 1854: "It seemed best to [Darwin] to separate the Lepadidae, or stalked barnacles, from the more familiar sessile Balanidae in each set of publications. In fact, he believed the two great divisions had diverged early from each other in evolutionary history, and, if one reads between the lines, his taxonomic arrangement was steeped in ideas derived from his theory of evolution. His written descriptions and the manner in which he skilfully grouped species into clusters that resembled each other would have been impossible for him without the idea of real blood relationships existing between them. Yet not a word was officially revealed. As he had come to recognise, his view made sense of the living world in a way that few other naturalists had grasped at that period" (Browne, I, p. 504). In 1853 (before the publication of the second volumes of the two Monographs) Darwin was nominated for and awarded the Royal Society's Royal Medal for his work on the Cirripedia and the 1851 publication of the combined geological observations of the Beagle, as J.D. Hooker excitedly wrote to Darwin on 4 November 1853: "The R[oyal].S[ociety]. have voted you the Royal Medal for Natural Science -- All along of the Barnacles!!! I am most intensely delighted, infinitely more than you can be, very much on the strength of the Lepadidae too; for you must know that I neither proposed you, nor seconded you; nor voted for you -- I was base, perfide -- [Joseph Ellison] Portlock proposed you for the Coral Islands & Lepadidae. [Thomas] Bell [Secretary of the Royal Society] followed seconding, on the Lepadideae alone, & then, followed such a shout of paeans for the Barnacles that you would have [sunk] to hear" (Correspondence V, p. 165). When, in late 1854, his work on barnacles was concluded, Darwin was pleased that this obstacle to researches into species was removed: "For several months before [September 1854], maybe almost a year, he had longed to return to some more direct work on species -- the barnacles raised so many interesting possibilities that he fretted impatiently to get the last proof sheet out of the house [...] The entry [in his journal on the day he considered the work finished] closed with the words `Began sorting notes for species theory'" (Browne, I, p. 510). Freeman 342; Norman 590.
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