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The Origin of Species - Charles Darwin

1891 - John Murray, London - Sixth Edition, with Additions and Corrections (41st Thousand).
‘It is now fully recognized that the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species brought about a revolution in man’s attitude toward life and his own place in the universe. This work is rightly regarded as one of the most important books ever published, and a knowledge of it should be part of the intellectual equipment of every educated person. The book remains surprisingly modern in its assertions and is also remarkably accessible to the layman, much more so than recent treatises necessarily encumbered with technical language and professional jargon’. - Harvard University Press.

A near fine example of the sixth and last significant edition to which Darwin made his final and extensive revisions, this was also the first edition in which he used the word evolution which had commonly been associated with embryological development (though all editions concluded with the word evolved), Darwin also added a new chapter -
Miscellaneous Objections, to address George Jackson Mivart’s detailed arguments against natural selection.

In
Origin of Species Darwin ‘not only drew an entirely new picture of the workings of organic nature; he revolutionized our methods of thinking and our outlook on the natural order of things. The recognition that constant change is the order of the universe had been finally established and a vast step forward in the uniformity of nature had been taken.’ – Printing and the Mind of Man. 
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Price HK$ 7,000



The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne in the County of Southampton - Gilbert White

1900 - Macmillan and Co. Limited, London - Library of English Classics Edition
A Bayntun-Riviere bound edition of Gilbert White’s best known work – Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne – his compilation of letters written to Thomas Pennant and Daines Barrington, both leading naturalists of their day, in which he discusses his observations and theories regarding the local flora and fauna in a charming, thoughtful, and immediate style.

One of the most published books in the English language, it ‘delighted both Virginia Woolf and Charles Darwin’ and has never been out of print since its first appearance in 1789.

‘An enthusiastic gardener, Gilbert White (1720-1793) grew many flowers, vegetables and fruits at a time when many new kinds were being introduced. He was thus the first person in the area to grow crops such as potatoes. He experimented, observed and recorded everything to do with his garden. These interests led him to his insights into natural history.

White's original emphasis was on the study of birds. From his pioneering work in bird observation, he expanded into other areas of natural science. He primarily believed in studying birds and other creatures in the field. This was an unusual approach at a time when most naturalists preferred to carry out detailed examinations of dead specimens in their study. White was thus the first to distinguish the willow wren as three species - chiffchaff, willow warbler and wood warbler - largely on the basis of their songs. He was the first to accurately describe the harvest mouse and the noctule bat. White spent much time observing crickets and other small creatures, recognising that all had a role to play.

White's brother Benjamin was a publisher of many volumes on natural history. Benjamin introduced Gilbert to Thomas Pennant (one of the foremost zoologists of the time) and Daines Barrington. Gilbert corresponded with them and other naturalists, such as Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander. Later, Darwin used White's observations as the basis for some of his own work.

White's writings inspired many other naturalists. His legacy as an accurate and systematic recorder of the natural world lives to this day.’

References:
Natural History Museum, web. GrrlScientist, ‘Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White’ The Guardian 2013. Mabey, Gilbert White: A biography of the author of The Natural History of Selborne 1986. 
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Price HK$ 1,200