original brown cloth lettered in gilt, decorated in black, pale yellow endapers
by DARWIN Charles
New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1890. Second edition, revised. original brown cloth lettered in gilt, decorated in black, pale yellow endapers. Spine ends with some rubbing and spine slightly sunned, bookplate on front pastedown, else fine. Royal octavo. Two volumes Illustrated A large proportion of the book contains detailed information on the domestication of animals and plants but it also contains in Chapter XXVII a description of Darwin's theory of heredity which he called pangenesis.Darwin had been mulling for many years on a theory of heredity. In May 1865 he sent a manuscript to his friend Thomas Huxley outlining his theory which he called pangenesis and asking whether he should publish it. In his accompanying letter Darwin wrote "It is a very rash & crude hypothesis yet it has been a considerable relief to my mind, & I can hang on it a good many groups of facts." Huxley pointed out the similarities of pangenesis to the theories of Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, and the Swiss naturalist Charles Bonnet but eventually wrote encouraging Darwin to publish: "Somebody rummaging among your papers half a century hence will find Pangenesis & say 'See this wonderful anticipation of our modern Theories—and that stupid ass, Huxley, prevented his publishing them'".Darwin received the first proofs on 1 March 1867.In the tedious task of making correction he was helped by his 23-year-old daughter Henrietta Emma Darwin. In the summer while she was away in Cornwall he wrote to commend her work, "All your remarks, criticisms doubts & corrections are excellent, excellent, excellent". While making corrections Darwin also added new material. The proofs were finished on 15 November, but there was a further delay while William Dallas prepared an index.The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication went on sale on 30 January 1868, thirteen years after Darwin had begun his experiments on breeding and stewing the bones of pigeons. He was feeling deflated, and concerned about how these large volumes would be received, writing "if I try to read a few pages I feel fairly nauseated ... The devil take the whole book". In his autobiography he estimated that he had spent 4-year 2 months "hard labour" on the book. -wikipedia[see Freeman 232. Casey Wood p. 310. Pritzel 2060]. (Inventory #: 33894)
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