The variation of animals and plants under domestication.

Eur 3,500 / USD 3,600
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London, J. Murray, 1868. 2 volumes. Royal-8vo (222 x 140mm). (I:) pp. viii, 411, (1), 32 (advertisments dated April 1867), with 43 wood-engravings in the text; (II:) pp. viii, 486, 2 (advertisments dated February 1868). Publisher's gilt-and blind-stamped green full cloth.

the first edition, first issue

A very fine copy of the first edition, first issue. "After the 'Origin of Species', Darwin wrote three more books expanding different aspects of the work. 'The Variation of Animals and Plants....' took up in detail that subject which had been confined to one chapter of the 'Origin'. It contained his hypothesis of pangenesis, by means of which Darwin tried to frame an explanation of hereditary resemblance, inheritance of acquired characters, atavism, and regeneration. It was a brave attempt to account for a number of phenomena which were beyond the bounds of scientific knowledge in his day, such as fertilization by the union of sperm with egg, the mechanism of chromosomal inheritance, and the development of the embryo by successive cell division. His hypothesis of pangenesis could not therefore give a permanently acceptable account of the multitude of phenomena it was designed to explain. It was, however, a point of departure for particulate theories of inheritance in the later nineteenth century" (DSB).

Provenance: Bookplates of 'Ex Oblatorum S Caroli Bibliotheca Humilifal Bayswater' and H.F. Bienfait.

Freeman 877.