RECORD: Horblit, H. D. 1964. One hundred books famous in science: based on an exhibition held at the Grolier Club. New York: Grolier Club.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed and edited by John van Wyhe 9.2010. RN1

NOTE: See Freeman 1977 and the Freeman Bibliographical Database.

[item] 23b

DARWIN, Charles Robert 1809-1882

On the Origin of Species.

London, John Murray, (pr. W. Clowes & Sons), 1859.

PAGINATION: ix, [i]; 502 .

COLLATION: [a]4, b1; B-X12, Y11. TOTAL: 256 leaves plus plate.

These signatures are unusual in that the first two leaves are marked, for example, "F1" and "F2" and the 5th leaf is marked "F3". Thus, it appears that each 1-2-leaf signature is composed of a 4-leaf signature folded inside an 8-leaf signature. These could have been printed originally as a 12-leaf broadsheet which was later cut into the 4- and 8-leaf signatures, or could have been separately printed 8- and 4-leaf broadsheets (see McKerrow, p. 79).1

PLATE: 1 double-page folding diagram facing page 117.

SIZE: Duodecimo: 8's+4's. 20.0X12.4 cm., uncut.

Published in dark green blind stamped cloth binding, with light brown endpapers. Most copies also contain, at the end, two signatures (b-c8 or 32 pages) of advertisements dated June 1859. These extra leaves were, however, printed by a different printer, Bradbury & Evans, on different paper and earlier than the book.

The most influential scientific work of the nineteenth century was this statement of the Darwinian concept of evolution. Its publication aroused world-wide criticism and controversy, both religious and scientific.

[with facsimile of the title page of Origin facing]

1 McKerrow 1928.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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