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On the Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition [Hardcover]

Charles Darwin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
RRP: 39.95
Price: 19.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

26 Aug 2003
A facsimile of the 1859 first edition of Charles Darwin's classic work, On the Origin of Species.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Wildside Press (26 Aug 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592242863
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592242863
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury in 1809 and was educated at Shrewsbury School, Edinburgh University and Christ's College Cambridge. He took his degree in 1831 and in the same year embarked on a five-year voyage on HMS Beagle as a companion to the captain; the purpose of the voyage was to chart the coasts of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, and to carry a chain of chronometric readings round the world.

While he was away some of his letters on scientific matters were privately published, and on his return he at once took his place among the leading men of science. In 1839 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. Most of the rest of his life was occupied in publishing the findings of the voyage and in documenting his theory of the transmutation of species. On the origin of species by means of natural selection appeared in 1859.

Darwin spent many years with his wife - his cousin Emma Wedgwood, whom he had married in 1839 - and their children at Down House in Kent. He died in 1882, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great value 16 Jan 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a "coffee table" sized book i.e. on the large side which is a bit of a shock if you are expecting something you can carry easily. However the plus side is the fantastic colour plates and the addition of supporting material from the Beagle voyage, Darwin's autobiography and journals. A book to enjoy whilst sitting comfortably at home rather than on public transport.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful! 7 Feb 2009
This is the most beautiful edition of Darwin's Origin of the Species I have come across. With lots of facsimiles of the original book, Darwin's letters and other memorabilia from the original it really adds to the book's content. Highly Recommended
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A glorious edition of a masterful book 24 April 2009
By Jason Mills VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This large (and attractively cheap!) book is instantly appealing, crying out to be flipped through. There are hundreds of photographs and drawings of animals, plants, people and places, and portraits of Darwin and his peers. There are also many text panels livening up the main read with extracts from Darwin's "Voyage Of The Beagle", and his autobiography, and the volume of his life and letters produced by his son Francis. These panels tend to form an unrelated 'sub-plot' in each chapter, adding colour, context and interest.

Darwin's text is still one of the world's most important books and I was delighted to find his prose so graceful, his tone so calmly intelligent, and his intellect so sprawlingly compendious. His book went through six editions in his lifetime, during which he tinkered with the text to answer his critics; this version wisely presents the original and uncluttered first edition text. Although I understood evolution by natural selection well enough before (Dawkins fan), I had not realised the degree of detail and care that Darwin brought to his exposition, and the amount of evidence he marshals from so many directions (embryology, geology, geography, taxonomy...). He also anticipates his critics by laying out what he regards as the problems for the theory, as well as its strength. The work will be a tad dry for some readers' tastes (I took a month over it), but it is a quiet joy.

Quammen's introduction explores Darwin's life and puts his achievement in the context of the time. Included as an appendix is Darwin's introduction to the third edition, in which he diligently credits all those writers who had approached the same theory before him (including Wallace of course). There's also a biological glossary and a substantial index.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I was expecting an original copy of the text but with colour illustrations. However, many of the illustrations appear to be unrelated to the text. Also, if you want the background 'DVD Extras' type book, with additional text and letters, then this is for you. A hefty tome - more coffee table than bedtime reading.

Personally I want more original, less 'value add' - but then again, I never watch the DVD extras.

Also the paper was slightly undulating as if it had become damp then dried out. Can't complain for the price though.

Lots to love about this book for the price.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book 3 Feb 2009
A beautifully presented book. The original text, in a good sized font, is accompanied and enriched by illustrations and excerpts from original journals.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two beautiful things... 9 Jun 2011
This book has been produced on the premise that two beautiful things, when put together, make something even more beautiful, just like wine and cheese, a sail on the sea, the singer and a song, a dove on its leafy branch, a man and a woman. Right? Wrong! Our lives are just not that simple as a few seconds further thought will confirm. How about olives and custard, a modern highway beside a country cottage, an opera singer bugling a rock song, a bickering pair of ex-partners?

More than others, I would expect those in the world of art and literature to understand that a beautiful object becomes more beautiful through its harmonious relation to others. In a partnership, each must speak to the other--strikingly, wittily, subtly, shockingly, artistically--in one way or another but the conversation must take place and it must engage. Sadly in this edition, the powerful words of Darwin's Origin of Species and the illustrations--a series of stunning images and quotations taken from his other books, notably The Voyage of the Beagle and The Autobiography of Charles Darwin--do not speak to one-another at all. They lie in stark isolation on the same page, a conglomeration of words and images, as scrambled as a dog's breakfast.

To take just one example, Chapter 1 on "domestication" is full of Darwin's observations and explanations about breeding of domestic animals--pigeons, dogs, cattle, domestic hens. It could so easily have been illustrated by contemporary drawings and paintings, many by Darwin himself, of domestic breeds. What do we get? Tropical forests, HMS Beagle, Captain Fitzroy, flamingos, a photo of ants and extracts from the Voyage of the Beagle. It is the same throughout the book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A jewel of a book 9 Mar 2010
A wonderful book, both in its presentation and in its content. Basically, the book is a reprint of The Origin of Species. I found this particularly refreshing, in the sense that, originally, I thought that bits and parts of it will be displayed, or even a commentary. But here we have the real thing presented in a way that makes this publication a jewel of a book.
However, it is also much more than that. An interesting feature is that it also includes many extracts from Darwin's other writings, including the Beagle notes, which provide a valuable background to the main text. Then there are the illustrations, which indeed give the whole publication a breath of its own. The artwork is beautiful, and the interest it attracts is riveting.
This is not simply a reprint of Darwin's famous book. It is a collector's item; a special way to celebrate and commemorate that ground-breaking and revolutionary work which changed the lives of all of us.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic must-read for all
Classic must read for all, especially for those who are overly religious.
Published 14 days ago by Joseph Farrugia
4.0 out of 5 stars Easier to read that you might think
Leaving aside the fact of its classic status - its surprisingly accessible. You assume you're going to have to wade through very ornate, flowery language, but Darwin actually... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Charles Verrier
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Did you know that it is a good read?
You already know all about this book, but did you know that it is a good read? But he was wrong about the blue-eyed cats. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alison Thinks
4.0 out of 5 stars Good.
I didn't really want the introduction by someone else, I purely wanted the stuff written by Darwin, but whatever, no biggie.
Published 2 months ago by Syed
5.0 out of 5 stars The Origin of Species (Kindle)
Great book and now on my kindle with several others of a simliar ilk that I can now quickly cross reference - e.g Humbolt, Wallacr etc
Published 2 months ago by Robert Meldrum
4.0 out of 5 stars nice
very technical i do get it but just lol, this is a must read for people who like to understand the deeper questions of life. lol
Published 2 months ago by E. S. Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that changed the world
A book that changed the world, Darwin is to biology what Newton is to physics. Although the idea has progressed considerably since this book was written (Darwin had no knowledge of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by teatime
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for all thinkers
Clearly the most important book to explain the beginning of our understanding of the universe. Without it we might still be subjected to the previous view of creation. Read more
Published 4 months ago by cameron
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
I really like it and I found it very useful for my personal interests. Very complete. It comes as it is described, so very satisfactory.
Published 4 months ago by sandra
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