On the Origin of Species

An introduction by R. B. Freeman

This, certainly the most important biological book ever written, has received detailed bibliographical treatment in Morse Peckham's variorum edition, 1959. The first edition also has a full bibliographic description in H. D. Horblit One hundred books famous in science, 1964, Grolier Club. Peckham considers all editions and issues published in England of which he was aware, from the first of 1859 up to the thirty-ninth thousand of 1890. His work includes consideration of paper, type and bindings, as well as giving summaries of John Murray's accounts for each printing. The bibliography is an adjunct to the variorum text which shows the great changes which Darwin made to the five editions which follow the first. The author's minor changes in the printing of 1876, which seem to have been ignored by all subsequent editors and even by the publisher's themselves, are brought to light, although Peckham was only able to see the issue of 1878.

Since Peckham's list is likely to remain the standard bibliography of the work for a long time, it is worth while to summarise here the few apparent errors which I have noticed in it. These are not surprising in view of the great difficulties involved, even in England, of sighting copies of all of the many issues. Within Darwin's lifetime he misses, so far as I am aware, only three, the 1859 issue of the fifth thousand and the twelfth and thirteenth thousands of 1872. He refers to the thirteenth thousand of 1873, but the same issue occurs with an earlier title page. None of these three is mentioned in Murray's accounts. The 1872 thirteenth is the same as that of 1873 except for the date on the title page and the advertisements of Darwin's works. He describes the fifteenth thousand of 1875 and the twentieth of 1878, both of which he had seen, as being identical in format with the thirteenth of 1873. Whereas the latter is an octavo in eights, the former two, as well as the eighteenth of 1876, are octavos in twelves. He treats all the octavos in twelves as duodecimos, when Murray's accounts make it clear that they are octavos imposed in sheet and a half.

He states (p. 9) that editions since 1898 have not contained the summary of differences. Murray Darwins after this date occur in three forms, the standard, in cloth, those in Murray's Library series in cloth, and the cheap in paper covers. All the issues are listed in the printing of 1920, and all that I have seen do contain the summary of differences. Indeed I have never seen a Murray Darwin without it after 1861, when it first appeared. He also states that issues after 1898 are printed from the stereos of the two volume Library Edition repaginated. This is true of the issues which are paginated xxxi + 703 pp., but there are also issues in both cloth and paper with a pagination of xxi + 432 pp; these are the cheap ones which tend not to be found in libraries. His statement on page [792] that in the later issues, from the thirty-fifth thousand of 1888, the thousands given on the title pages are correct is not true because he has ignored the two volume Library Edition of 1888 which is the thirty-third thousand. Finally, he considers only the editions and issues printed in England. Darwin was extremely keen that his ideas should be disseminated as widely as possible by translation, and that the changes in these ideas should also reach foreign editions. To this end, he corresponded with translators and with publishers. Certainly, the fourth American printing of 1860 and the first Spanish of 1877 contain matter not present in any English printing. The early German and French editions also need examination. Although Peckham describes and illustrates the bindings, he does not seem to have seen enough copies to notice even striking variations in them.

Darwin had intended to write a much larger work on transmutation and had made considerable progress towards it when he received, on June 18th 1858, the letter from Wallace which led to the publication of their joint paper in August. His 'big book' as he called it was never published as such, but Variation under domestication (1868) represents the first part of it, and his surviving manuscript of most of the second part, Natural selection, although far from prepared for the printer, has appeared recently, edited by Robert C. Stauffer (No. 1583). Hooker wrote to Darwin, late in 1859 after the publication of On the origin of species, 'I am all the more glad that you have published in this form, for the three volumes, unprefaced by this, would have choked any naturalist of the nineteenth century'.

He started work on the book on Tuesday July 20th, 1858, whilst on holiday at Sandown in the Isle of Wight. The details of its composition and publishing are given in Life and letters (Vol. II, pp. 126-178). To begin with, he expected it to be an abstract of perhaps as little as thirty pages, published in the Journal of the Linnean Society, but by the winter it was clear that it would have to be a book. In March Lyell mentioned it to John Murray who accepted it in April, after seeing the first three chapters. It was all, except the index, in corrected proof by September 11th. Darwin was still calling it an abstract up until the end of March, and he roughed out a title page which Lyell showed to Murray. This is printed in Life and letters (Vol. II, p. 152), but in upper case throughout whilst the original, now at the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, reads 'An abstract of an Essay / on the / Origin / of / Species and Varieties / Through natural selection/. Murray thought it too long.

Darwin received a copy early in November; Peckham says that Murray sent it on Wednesday 2nd. The overseas presentation copies were sent out before Friday 11th, and the home ones must have gone out at about the same time because he received a letter of thanks from Sir John Lubbock on Tuesday 15th, or earlier. Twenty-three author's presentation copies are recorded, but there were probably more; the twelve which I have seen are all inscribed by one of Murray's clerks and I know of no record of one inscribed by Darwin himself. It was offered to the trade at Murray's autumn sale a week later, on 22nd; most sources say that 1,500 were taken up, others 1,493. Only 1,250 had however been printed of which 1,192 were available for sale, the rest being twelve for the author, forty-one for review and five for Stationers' Hall copyright. As Darwin took at least another twenty for presentation, the final number available for the trade was about 1,170. These facts are at variance with the often-printed statement that all the 1,250 copies were sold to the public on publication day, Thursday 24th; indeed once copies had reached the bookshops, up and down the country, how could anyone know whether they were sold or not. The origin of this mistake is in Darwin's diary '1250 copies printed. The first edition was published on November 24th, and all copies sold first day.' And in a letter to Huxley on November 24th "I have heard from Murray today that he sold the whole edition of my book the first day."

There is only one issue of the first edition, the text being identical in all copies. There are, however, small differences in the cases and in the inserted advertisements; these points have been considered in detail in The Book collector, Vol. 16, pp. 340-344. The book cannot be recognized from the date on the title page, because as discussed below, there are copies of the second edition which are also dated 1859; nor can it be recognized by the misspelling 'LINNÆAN' on the title page. The presence of two quotations only, from Whewell and Bacon, on the verso of the half-title leaf (p. [ii]) is however diagnostic; the only other edition with two is the first issue of the first American and that is dated 1860. Two other points are usually made, the misprint 'speceies' on page 20, line 11, and the whale-bear story in full on page 184; these are not necessary for its recognition, and many more differences can be found in Peckham's edition. Indeed the whale-bear story in full is not peculiar to the first edition, but occurs in all the four American printings of 1860. The single folded lithographic diagram, by William West, is inserted facing page 117. It indicates Darwin's views of possible sequences of evolution, and continued to be used in all subsequent editions. Philip D. Gingerich has used it recently in a discussion of the speed and pattern of evolution at a species level (Amer. J. Sci., Vol. 276, pp. 1-28, 1976).

The book is signed and sewn in twelves and is often described as a duodecimo. The page shape is that of an octavo and Murray's ledger shows that the paper used was sheet and a half crown. In the bolts the folded half sheet is inserted in the middle of the folded sheet; the first and second leaves are signed A1, A2 etc. and the fifth leaf is signed A3 etc.

The identification of original variants of the case is bedevilled by the habit of transferring the text of copies in original, but worn, cases into better cases taken off copies of the second or third editions, which are closely similar. However, examination of copies with impeccable antecedents has shown two variants. These are described under No. 373 and are illustrated in my paper in The Book collector (loc. cit.); no priority can be assigned.

The first edition, when in the cloth, has, almost invariably, thirty-two pages of inserted advertisements of Murray's general list dated June 1859 and with the edges uncut. I have seen a copy in commerce with [4] pages of Murray's popular works, dated July 1859, following the general works. The copy gave no indication of being sophisticated and was probably a freak. The general list occurs in three forms:

1 With the text of each page surrounded by a frame of a single rule; page [1] signed B; on page 2 the fourth item of Admiralty publications retains the numeral 4, and on page 3 in item 22 the name Harrison's retains the genitive S.

2 The text of each page is not surrounded by a frame, but page [1] is signed B; on page 2 the numeral 4 is retained, but on page 3 the genitive S has dropped out, reading Harrison'.

3 There is no frame, and signature B has dropped out on page [1]; 4 has dropped out on page 2, and the genitive S is still absent on page 3.

The other anomalies in the Admiralty list, that is the repetition of number 17, and the number 22 coming before 21, are the same in all issues. This situation would seem to suggest that the advertisements were printed from standing type at least three times, in the order given. I have seen only two copies of the first, Darwin's own, at Cambridge, and one at the University of Toronto, bought in Cambridge but not an author's presentation. Both the other two are found in author's presentation copies, the third more commonly.

[The title page and facing quotations of a first edition of Origin of species on loan to Christ's College, Cambridge. Photograph: John van Wyhe.]

Although John Murray was more than 250 copies short of the orders received at his autumn sale, he did not reprint, but asked Darwin to start revising at once. Murray's letter reached the author on November 24th, while he was on a long water cure at Ilkley, Yorkshire. On November 25th, he writes 'I have been going over the sheets'; on December 14th 'I have been busy in getting a reprint (with a very few corrections) through the press . . . Murray is now printing 3000 copies'; and on December 21st 'my publisher is printing off, as rapidly as possible . . . The new edition is only a reprint, yet I have made a few important corrections'. It was advertised as now ready in The Times on Christmas eve and in The Athenaeum and The Saturday Review on New Year's eve. This would have been quite normal practice for a book which was to have an official publication date early in the new year, nevertheless there are two copies known which are dated 1859 on the title page. The existence of such copies has long been known to the trade, although, from their extreme rarity, few booksellers can ever have seen one. It was customary, for many years, for anyone offering a copy of the first edition to describe it as 'first edition, first issue', and Casey A. Wood An introduction to the literature of vertebrate zoology, 1931, claimed that McGill University held them both. It does not and never did. The book-sellers were, in a purist sense, right; the new printing was from standing type of the first edition, although with a considerable number of resettings. Darwin himself considered that it was merely corrected, but the next printing, in 1861, was called the third edition on the title page.

The title leaves are the same, and from the same setting of type, with the same misspelling 'LINNÆAN'. The quotations on the verso of the half-title are now three; the new one, from Joseph Butler's Analogy, is placed between those from Whewell and Bacon, and the former reads 'WHEWELL' instead of 'W. WHEWELL'. The note of date of publication, at the foot of this page, differs in the two copies seen; in one it reads 'Down, Bromley, Kent, / October 1st, 1859.', as in the first edition but reset; in the other, the setting is so far the same but '(1st Thousand).' is added, and the whole page is exactly as it is in the usual [second] edition of 1860. The copy at Yale is in poor condition and that at the University of Southern California bad, but both are in the original cases which are identical with one of the variants of the cases of 1860 and neither has any inserted advertisements. A third copy, in commerce in America, was brought to my notice in March 1977.

This one was in excellent condition and had inserted advertisements dated June 1859, in the third variant referred to above. The case was precisely the same as those of the other two. [Freeman correction 1986]

The second edition, which is not so-called on the title page, was published, in the form in which it is usually seen, on January 7th, 1860. Three thousand copies were printed, perhaps including the few, considered above, which have 1859 on the title page; this was the largest printing of any edition or issue in Darwin's lifetime. It can be recognized immediately by the date, by the words 'fifth thousand', and the correct spelling of 'Linnean' on the title page. There are three quotations on the verso of the half-title leaf. The misprint 'speceies' is corrected and the whale-bear story diluted, an alteration which Darwin later regretted, although he never restored the full text. This story is not found again in any printing, except in the American editions of 1860, until the end of copyright. It is to be found reprinted in full, however in James Lamont Seasons with the sea-horses, 1861, as part of an essay on the origin of marine mammals (pp. 271-285).

The cases are closely similar to those of the first edition, but three minor variants occur. These are entered here under No. 376 and have been described in detail in The Book Collector, Vol. 13, pp. 213-214, 1964; the third, with small letters in the publisher's imprint, is later than the other two. Murray's general list advertisements, dated January 1860, are present in most, but not all, copies; in some of them each page of text is surrounded by a frame of a single rule, as in variant 1 of the first edition; in others this rule is absent. The price fell to 14s. Murray sold 700 copies at his November sale 'but has not half the number to supply'; so Darwin started revising again. Darwin received six free copies; one, inscribed to an unknown recipient 'With the kind regards of the Author' in his own hand, was sold at Sotheby's in 1974; this is the only inscribed copy of any edition of the Origin, other than family copies, known to me.

The third edition appeared in April 1861, 2,000 copies being printed. The case is the same as that of the two previous editions, but again differing in small details. It was extensively altered, and is of interest for the addition of a table of differences between it and the second edition, a table which occurs in each subsequent edition, and also for the addition of the historical sketch. This sketch, which was written to satisfy complaints that Darwin had not sufficiently considered his predecessors in the general theory of evolution, had already appeared in a shorter form in the first German edition, as well as in the fourth American printing where it is called a preface; both of these appeared in 1860. Asa Gray wrote to Darwin on Feb. 20 that he had delivered to Appleton "Historical paper". There is also a postscript on page xii. This concerns a review of the earlier editions by Asa Gray which had appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in 1860, and as a pamphlet paid for by Darwin, in 1861. This edition has one leaf of advertisements which is part of the book (2A6).

The fourth edition of 1866 was of 1,500 copies. It was again extensively altered, and it is in this one that the date of the first edition, as given on the verso of the half title, is corrected from October 1st to November 24th. Darwin's own copy, at Cambridge, is in a case of the same pattern as those of the first three editions, but all other copies, although the same in general, have origin and species in italic; the blind stamping on both boards is new and the whole volume is a little shorter. There are two minor variations of this case; the earlier has the inserted advertisements dated January 1865 and the later dated April 1867.

The fifth edition of 1869 was of 2,000 copies and was again much revised. It is in this one that Darwin used the expression 'survival of the fittest', Herbert Spencer's term, for the first time; it appears first in the heading of Chapter IV. In the footnote on page xxii, the name D'Alton, which occurs twice, should read D'Alton both times, as it does in the fourth edition, but the second one has become Dalton. It remains thus until the thirty-ninth thousand of 1890, but in the forty-first of 1891, which was reset, Francis Darwin altered the first to Dalton, so that there were then two mistakes. Modern editions continue to have either D'Alton/Dalton or Dalton/Dalton. The format of this edition changes to octavo in eights; the cases, of which there are four conspicuous variants, are entirely new, and the spine title is reduced to Origin of species. Inserted advertisements, dated September 1868, are usually present.

The sixth edition, which is usually regarded as the last, appeared in February 1872. Murray's accounts show that 3,000 copies were printed, but this total presumably included both those with eleventh thousand on the title page and those with twelfth, the latter being notably less common. It is again extensively revised and contains a new chapter, VII. This was inserted to confute the views of the Roman Catholic biologist St George Mivart. The edition was aimed at a wider public and printed in smaller type, the volume shorter again and giving the general impression of a cheap edition, which at 7s. 6d. it was. The title changes to The origin of species, and a glossary, compiled by W. S. Dallas, appears. It is in this edition that the word 'evolution' occurs for the first time. It had been used in the first edition of The descent of man in the previous year, but not before in this work. 'Evolved' had been the last word of the text in all previous editions, but 'evolution' had been omitted, perhaps to avoid confusion with the use of the word by Herbert Spencer or with its more particular embryological meaning. The word had however been used in its transformist sense by Lyell as early as 1832 (Principles of geology, Vol. II, p. 11). In this edition it occurs twice on page 201 and three times on page 424. The title page reads 'Sixth edition, with additions and corrections. (Eleventh thousand).'

Three misprints have been noticed in this text, the first of which persists in all British and American editions, except those based on earlier texts, to this day; it is also transferred to translations. The last sentence of the third paragraph of Chapter XIV (p. 365) reads :

'I believe that this is the case, and that community of descent - the one known cause of close similarity in organic beings - is the bond, which though observed by various degrees of modification, is partially revealed to us by our classifications.'

The word 'observed' makes nonsense of this sentence and, as the previous five editions read 'hidden as it is by various degrees of modification', is clearly a misprint for 'obscured'.

In the glossary of scientific terms, the word 'indigenes' is misprinted 'indigeens'; this persists until 1888. In the Library Edition of that year the text reads 'indigeens', but there is an inserted erratum leaf (Vol. 2, pp. [vii-viii]) which alters it to 'indigens', and it is altered in the text, from stereos, for the second edition of the Library Edition of 1891. The one volume thirty-third thousand of 1888 has 'indigeens', but the thirty-fifth, of the same year, has 'indigens'; this latter form continues in all further Murray printings. Darwin himself uses 'indigenes' several times in the fourth chapter of the first and all later editions. 'Indigens' was used by Sir Thomas Browne and is allowable, but 'indigenes' is what Darwin would have written. Both forms are found in editions in print today.

Finally, in this edition, the opening words of the Historical Sketch read 'I will here a give a brief sketch . . .'. This continues unnoticed through seventeen printings from the same stereos; but it was corrected when the whole book was reset for the forty-first thousand of 1891.

This edition was reprinted, from stereos, later in the same year as the thirteenth thousand, and, again as the thirteenth, in 1873. On the verso of the title leaf of that of 1872 there are advertisements for nine of Darwin's works, whereas the 1873 reprint has ten. The addition is the Expression of the emotions in its tenth thousand of 1873. As the first edition of the Expression of the emotions came out in November 1872, the first issue of the thirteenth thousand must have been in press before this time, or else the new book would have been added. The issue has no inserted advertisements, but copies of 1873 may have them dated April 1874.

The printing of 1876 is the final text as Darwin left it. Peckham drew attention to the little known fact that there are small differences between the text of 1878 and that of 1872. He knew that the printings of 1873 and 1875 were from unaltered stereos of 1872, but was unable to see a copy of 1876 and had therefore to leave it uncertain whether these differences occur for the first time in that printing or in that of 1878 which he used for collation.

The issue was of 1,250 copies only. This number is as small as any, being equalled only by that of the first edition; and, whilst the latter has been carefully conserved in libraries, no attention seems to have been paid to this one. It does not seem to have been previously recognized as the first printing of the final text, and is remarkably hard to come by. It was, incidentally, this edition which Samuel Butler had beside him when writing Evolution old and new in 1879.

This printing is the eighteenth thousand, but, as it is important to know what was the first issue of the final text, it should be noticed that advertisements for The origin of species in other works by Darwin around 1876 mention the existence of both sixteenth and seventeenth thousands as well as this one. These may be summarized as follows:

1875 Insectivorous plants advertises the sixteenth

1875 Variation under domestication advertises the seventeenth

1875 Cross and self fertilisation advertises the sixteenth

1876 Geological observations advertises the seventeenth

1876 Journal of researches advertises the eighteenth

1876 Climbing plant advertises the eighteenth

1877 Fertilisation of orchid advertises the sixteenth

1877 The descent of man advertises the sixteenth

1877 Forms of flowers advertises the sixteenth

No copies of the sixteenth or seventeenth thousands have ever been recorded; it is difficult to see from the printing records how they can exist, although they may. We know that the eighteenth was in print in 1876, yet the sixteenth is advertised three times in the following year. It is more likely that the compositor was making up from bad copy.

The title page of this issue bears 'Sixth edition, with additions and corrections to 1872. Eighteenth thousand.' What the intention of this change of inscription was must remain doubtful. There are no additions to the text and the pagination, from stereos, is unchanged. There are however corrections, slight but undoubtedly those of Darwin himself. The two most obvious of these are the change from Cape de Verde Islands to Cape Verde Islands, and the change from climax to acme. The index is not altered so that Cape de Verde is retained there in this edition and later issues and editions, including the two volume Library Edition, which was entirely reset. The reason for the change of the name of these islands is not known, and Cape de Verde is retained long afterwards in issues of the Journal of researches printed from stereos. However Darwin had no copyright in his Journal and only Cape Verde is found in Vegetable mould and worms which was first published in 1881. There is also one small change in sense in Chapter XIV. The details of these changes can be found in Peckham.

In 1878, and subsequently, the same stereos were used for the very many issues which appeared, in a variety of bindings. The first one to appear in a standard binding was the twenty-fourth thousand of 1882. All these issues, right up to the last in 1929, continue to include the summary of differences and the historical sketch. An entirely new setting in larger type, was made for the Library Edition of 1888 in two volumes and, after two reissues in that form, the same stereos, repaginated, were used for the standard edition of the Edwardian period. This Library Edition is uniform with a similar edition of The descent of man, and the same cloth was used for Life and letters. The cheap edition was entirely reset for the forty-first thousand of 1891. The paper covered issues, which have been referred to above, have the title embossed on the front cover, and were produced for the remarkable price of one shilling, whilst the same printing in cheap cloth cost 2s. 6d. Both of these, the latter particularly, are hard to find.

There are two issues by another publisher in the copyright period. These were by George Routledge in the bindings of Sir John Lubbock's 'Hundred Books', in which they were No. 88. In the first issue, the title page and text are those of the forty-fifth thousand of 1894, with a list of Sir John's choices tipped in before the half-title leaf. Seven hundred and fifty sets of the sheets were bought from Murray and issued in this form by Routledge and Kegan Paul in 1895. The second issue consists of Murray's fifty-sixth thousand, of 1899, and there is no printed indication that this is a part of Sir John's series. The green cloth binding is however uniform with the rest of the series.

The first edition came out of copyright in November 1901, and Ward Lock printed it in the same year in the Minerva Library new series. The statement by Darlington, in Watt's reprint of 1950, that his is the only reprinting of the first edition is not true. This Ward Lock, the Unit Library edition of 1902, the Hutchinson's Popular Classics of 1906, and the Ward Lock World Library of 1910 are all based on the first. Most of the other early reprints are based on the fifth thousand, but that of Collins in 1910 is based on the third edition. Modern reprints usually state that they are based on the sixth edition of 1872, but they are actually based on that of 1876.

There have been about 140 reprints in English in this century, many of them in standard library series such as Everyman and the World's Classics. Some are important because they are introduced by leading scholars of evolution and show the changing attitudes towards Darwinism over the years; one, the Everyman of 1956, has even had its introduction reprinted by the Evolution Protest Movement. Almost all of them are bread and butter reprints in small type, but at a reasonable price. However there is one spacious edition, that for the Limited Editions Club of New York in 1963; this was designed and printed by the scholar-printer George Dunstan, at the Griffin Press, Adelaide. There are the usual abridged versions and extracts for schools, and even a coupon edition from Odhams Press. There have been two facsimiles of the first edition; the earlier, in 1964, omits the original index and substitutes its own; the later, in 1969, is twenty millimetres taller than the original. In 1981 a concordance was published: 1981 Ithaca, Cornell University Press. A concordance to Darwin’s origin of species, first edition. 8vo, xv+834 pp. edited by Paul H. Barrett, Donald J. Weinshank and Timothy T. Gottleber.

In January 1860, Asa Gray was arranging for an American issue of the first edition to be published in Boston, but two New York houses, Appleton and Harpers, were also considering it. The former got their edition out in the middle of January and Harpers withdrew. Darwin wrote in his diary for May 22nd that it was of 2,500 copies, but there were four separate printings in 1860 and it is not clear whether this figure refers to the first alone. The title pages of the first two of these are identical, but the first has only two quotations on the verso of the half-title leaf whereas the second has three; the one from Butler's Analogy was added after Whewell and Bacon instead of between them as in the English second edition. The third has 'REVISED EDITION' in roman capitals on the title page, and the fourth 'NEW EDITION, REVISED AND AUGMENTED BY THE AUTHOR' in italic capitals. In all four 'LINNÆAN' is wrongly spelt, but 'FAVOURED' is in the English style. The University of Virginia holds all four and their copies have been examined with a Hinman scanner. The texts of the first three are identical, in spite of the statement on the title page of the third, and follow that of the first English. The fourth is considerably altered. It includes a supplement of seven pages at the end of author's 'additions and alterations . . . received too late to be incorporated in their proper places'. It also contains the historical sketch, in its earlier and shorter form, as a preface. All four contain the whale-bear story in full.

The book was translated in Darwin's lifetime into Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Spanish and Swedish, and has appeared in a further eighteen languages since. This total of twenty-nine is higher than any other scientific work, except for the first books of Euclid. The Autobiography also gives Bohemian and Japanese; the former refers to the Serbian, but he was misinformed about the latter; the first appeared in 1896. Darwin was not happy about the first German translation. It was done from the second English edition by H. G. Bronn, who had, at Darwin's suggestion, added an appendix of the difficulties which occurred to him; but he had also excised bits of which he did not approve. This edition also contains the historical sketch in its shorter and earlier form. The text was tactfully revised by J. V. Carus who remained the most faithful and punctual of all Darwin's translators. There were also difficulties with the first French. Mile Royer, who Darwin described as 'one of the cleverest and oddest women in Europe' and wished 'had known more of natural history', added her own footnotes. He was not really happy until the third translation by Edmond Barbier appeared in 1876. The first Spanish, of 1877, contains two letters from Darwin which have not been printed elsewhere.

Click here for a full bibliographical list.

See the Darwin Census: A Census of the Extant Copies of the 1st Edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species here.

1859. On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: Murray. [1st ed.] Introduction Text Image PDF F373
Francis Darwin's annotated copy: Image PDF

1860. On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: Murray. [2d ed.] Introduction Text Image PDF F376

1860. On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. New York: Appleton. [1st American ed.] Image PDF F377

1860. The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. New York: Appleton. New edition, revised and augmented. [4th American printing.] Text Image PDF F380

1861. On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: Murray. 3d ed. Introduction Text Image PDF F381

1861. The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. New York: Appleton. New edition, revised and augmented. PDF F382

1866. On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: Murray. 4th ed. Introduction Text Image PDF F385

1869. On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: Murray. 5th ed. Introduction Text Image PDF F387

1871. The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. New York: Appleton. PDF F390b

1872. The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: Murray. 6th ed. IntroductionText Image PDF F391

1876. The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: Murray. 6th ed., with additions and corrections. Text Image PDF F401 (final text)

[1899]. The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. New York: Hurst and Co. PDF F461

1905. The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: Oxford University Press. PDF F503

[1912]. The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. New York: Hurst and Co. PDF F518


[2004]. The origin of species [in Arabic]. PDF F2476


1954-56. 物种起源. 周建人, 叶笃莊, 方宗熙译. 北京: 三联书店. PDF F1852

1957. 物种原始. 马君武译. 台北: 台湾中华书局. PDF F1854

1972. 物种起源. 谢蕴贞译, 伍献文, 陈世骧校. PDF F640a


1872. Om Arternes Oprindelse ved Kvalitetsvalg eller ved de heldigst stillede Formers Sejr i Kampen for Tilvaerelsen. Introduction Text Image PDF F643

1909. Om Arternes Oprindelse ved Kvalitetsvalg eller ved de heldigst stillede Formers Sejr i Kampen for Tilvaerelsen. Text Image PDF F644

1913. Om Arternes Oprindelse ved Kvalitetsvalg eller ved de heldigst stillede Formers Sejr i Kampen for Tilvaerelsen. Text Image PDF F645


1860. Het ontstaan der soorten van dieren en planten door middel van de natuurkeus, of het bewaard blijven van bevoorregte rassen in de strijd des levens.
Vol. 1 Text Image PDF (corrected text in PDF) F2056.1
Vol. 2 Text Image PDF (corrected text in PDF) F2056.2

1889. Het ontstaan der soorten. 3d ed. PDF


1928. Lajien synty luonnollisen valinnan kautta eli Luonnon suosimien rotujen säilyminen taistelussa olemassaolosta. PDF F2026


1862. De l'origine des espèces ou des lois du progrès chez les êtres organisés. Text Image PDF F655

1866. L'origine des espèces par sélection naturelle ou des lois de transformation des êtres organisés. Text Image PDF F656

1870. L'origine des espèces par sélection naturelle ou des lois de transformation des êtres organisés. Image PDF F657

1873. L'origine des espèces au moyen de la sélection naturelle, ou La lutte pour l'existence dans la nature. Text Image PDF F660

1876. L'origine des espèces au moyen de la sélection naturelle, ou La lutte pour l'existence dans la nature. PDF F661


1860. Über die Entstehung der Arten. Text Image PDF F672

[1862-]1863. Über die Entstehung der Arten. 2d ed. Image PDF F673

1867. Über die Entstehung der Arten. 3d ed. Text Image PDF F674

1876. Über die Entstehung der Arten. 6th ed. Text Image PDF F677

1916. Die Entstehung der Arten. Image F693


1905-06. A fajok eredete. PDF F2376

1911. A fajok eredete.
vol. 1 PDF F704.1
vol. 2 PDF F704.2


1864. Sulla origine delle specie per elezione naturale. Image PDF F706

1875. Sulla origine delle specie per elezione naturale. Image PDF F707

1933. Sulla origine delle specie per elezione naturale. PDF F714


1896. The origin of species. PDF F718

1905. The origin of species [in Japanese]. PDF F719

1924. The origin of species [in Japanese]. PDF F2324


2017. Asal usul spesies jilid 1. PDF F2195 [incomplete]


1889-90. Arternes oprindelse. PDF F2164


19xx. Mansha-e anva (منشا انواع). PDF F2522


1884-5. O powstawaniu gatunków drogą naturalnego doboru czyli o utrzymywaniu. Image PDF F740a

1959. O powstawaniu gatunków drogą doboru naturalnego. PDF F742


2009. A origem das espécies. Text PDF F2062.7


1957. Originea speciilor prin selecţie naturală sau păstrarea raselor favorizate în lupta pentru existenţă. PDF F747


1864. The origin of species [in Russian]. PDF F748

1865. The origin of species [in Russian]. 2d edition. PDF F749

1991. The origin of species [in Russian]. Text F763b


1877. Origen de las especies. Text Image PDF F770

[1880?]. Orígen de las especies por medio de la seleccion natural. PDF F771

1921. El origen de las especies por medio de la seleccion natural.
Image PDF F776.1
Image PDF F776.2
Image PDF F776.3


1871. Om arternas uppkomst genom naturligt urval eller De bäst utrustade rasernas bestånd i kampen för tillvaron. PDF F793


1976 Türlerin Kökeni. PDF F2543

From: Freeman, R. B. 1977. The Works of Charles Darwin: An Annotated Bibliographical Handlist. 2nd edn. Dawson: Folkstone.

NOTE: With thanks to The Charles Darwin Trust and Dr Mary Whitear for use of the Bibliographical Handlist. Copyright. All rights reserved. For private academic use only. Not for republication or reproduction in whole or in part without the prior written consent of The Charles Darwin Trust, 14 Canonbury Park South London N1 2JJ.

Corrections and additions copyright The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online - National University of Singapore.


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