DARWIN, Charles. The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. Second edition, revised and augmented.
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DARWIN, Charles. The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. Second edition, revised and augmented. Illustrated with numerous figures and drawings throughout the text. London: John Murray, 1885. Second edition, revised and augmented. Nineteenth thousand. Demy octavo. pp. xvi, 693. Publisher’s green blind-stamped cloth, titled in gilt. Modern full calf, title and author in gilt on contrasting burgundy and green morocco labels on gilt decorated spine. Mild foxing to endpapers. An especially bright and clean copy in the original cloth.
Darwin’s classic work in comparative anatomy, his first inclusion of man in the general theory of natural selection, and the first appearance of the term “evolution” in any of his works. The second edition, first printed in 1874, “is in one volume in three parts, sexual selection in relation to man being separated off as the third part. It is extensively revised and contains a note on the brains of man and apes by T.H. Huxley at pp. 199-206” (Freeman, p. 130). The errata of the first printing has been corrected, along with small textual changes. In the twelve years since the publication of Origin, Darwin had expanded his thinking as to man’s inclusion with the other animals and this title, which grew out of his Variations of Animals and Plants, is based on his vast collection of data dating from 1837. Here, by comparing the physiological and psychological aspects of man and ape, he fills in what had been merely suggested in Origin that man’s ancestor, if still alive today, would be classified among the primates and on a lower scale than the apes. The last chapter is an added essay on sexual selection, that is, the preferential chances of mating that some individuals of one sex have over their rivals. “Perhaps Darwin’s greatest contributions in this area was to show that secondary sexual characteristics had evolved in relation to a complex pattern of reproductive behavior which must itself be the product of natural selection” (DSB, III, p. 575). This essay ends with the famous and often misquoted statement, “Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin”.
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