"FOUR EDITIONS OF THE ORIGIN HAVE APPEARED… I AM GLAD TO HEAR THAT YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THE SUBJECT": CHARLES DARWIN DISCUSSES EDITIONS OF ORIGIN OF SPECIES—EXCELLENT 1866 AUTOGRAPH LETTER BOLDLY SIGNED BY HIM, BEAUTIFULLY FRAMED
DARWIN, Charles. Autograph letter signed. Down, Beckenham, Kent: Dec 17, . One leaf of black-edged mourning stationery, measuring 4-1/2 by 7 inches, penned on recto for one page; floated, matted and framed with an early photographic card; entire piece measures 17 by 14 inches. $39,500.
Fine unpublished 1866 autograph letter written by Charles Darwin, answering the questions of an anonymous correspondent concerning editions of his landmark work, On the Origin of Species, boldly signed by him with his full name "Charles Darwin" (he often used "C." or "Ch." instead of his full given name). Beautifully framed with an early photgraphic card.
The letter reads, in full: "Down Beckenham Kent, Dec. 17th. Dear Sir, Four editions of the Origin have appeared; that published last month is considerably added to & can be procured through any bookseller. I am glad to hear that you are interested in the subject. Dear sir, yours faithfully, Charles Darwin." In November Darwin had copies of the substantially revised and augmented fourth edition of the Origin sent to Huxley and Wallace, among others; their letters acknowledging receipt and praising the new edition are dated November 11 and November 19, respectively. The mourning stationery reflects the death of Darwin's sister, Susan Elizabeth Darwin, in October; another sister, Emily Catherine Langton, had died in January that year. See "Darwin in letters, 1866; Survival of the Fittest," Darwin Correspondence Project (online). Darwin Correspondence Project 5310F (summary only).
Very faint fold marks. Darwin's full signature bold and fine. Letters in which Darwin discusses his landmark work are particularly scarce and desirable.