Expression of the Emotions

Charles DARWIN

add to my shopping bag

Item#: 115935 price:$127,000.00

Book Image
Alternate image
Alternate image
Alternate image
Alternate image
Alternate image
Alternate image


DARWIN, Charles. The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. WITH: Two 1872 autograph letters signed from Darwin to Charles Loring Brace. London: John Murray, 1872. Octavo, original dark green cloth. Together with two autograph letters signed by Darwin, each on one 10 by 8-inch sheet of Darwin's "Down" stationery, each folded once for four pages, penned on three. Housed together in custom chemise and clamshell box. $127,000.

Very rare presentation first edition, first issue, inscribed by Darwin on the front flyleaf: "With the kind regards of the author” to Charles Loring Brace. The only one of Darwin’s books to be illustrated with heliotype photographic plates—a pioneering innovation in scientific photography. Offered together with two 1872 autograph letters signed by Darwin to the recipient of this copy. Presentation copies of Darwin's works are almost always found with the inscription in a secretarial hand; books with the presentation in Darwin's actual hand, as with this copy, are quite uncommon.

"Convinced of the evolutionary unity of life, Darwin naturally saw humans as part of the tapestry: They were animals too, after all…The standard view of the time was that, despite superficial similarities, there was no true relationship between humans and other primates, let alone other animals. Weren't we humans clearly endowed with a soul and mental qualities that set us apart from and above the animal kingdom? But Darwin saw deeper significance in the family relationship, one of continuity, common descent. To him, there was no real gap between people and primates — differences, yes, but of degree and not kind. 'Origin of man now proved,' he declared in 1838. 'He who understands baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.' But it wasn't enough to base that argument on anatomy alone. So in the same spirit that he applied to other pinnacles of evolutionary perfection — notably vertebrate eyes and bees' cells — Darwin resolved to search for evidence of the animal origins of our very emotions and mental endowments… When On the Origin of Species came out in late 1859, the question of humans was conspicuous by its absence, with only the cryptic promise that 'Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.' His novel baby studies, survey on expression, and myriad other investigations culminated in the 1872 book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, the second of his double salvo on human origins, following The Descent of Man by just a year. Expression is perhaps the foundational work of the scientific study of emotional expression, but it is pioneering in other ways too. For one thing, it is the first scientific book to be illustrated with photographs. Advances in photography (the heliotype process in this case) made the snapshot possible, capturing a moment in time as opposed to the long exposures that required subjects to hold still for extended periods" (James T. Costa).

This is a wonderful association copy, presented and inscribed in Darwin's hand to the great American reformer, Charles Loring Brace. "Sometimes a book can change a life. In December 1859, a copy of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species arrived from across the Atlantic and almost immediately began to change the lives of those who read it. The book was addressed to Asa Gray, the Harvard botanist who soon became Darwin's most influential champion in America. He devoured it in less than a week, finishing it by Christmas and passing it on to his wife's cousin, Charles Loring Brace. Brace was a New York City child-welfare reformer who had founded the Children's Aid Society; in 1854 he began the program for which he is still remembered. Known colloquially as the 'orphan trains,' his 'Emigration Plan' transported thousands of abandoned, orphaned, and runaway children to rural areas in the West, where Brace believed the healthful surroundings and stable families would transform their lives. Brace was so enthusiastic about Darwin's book that he introduced it to three friends on New Year's Day in 1860: the abolitionist Franklin Sanborn, the philosopher Bronson Alcott, and the writer Henry David Thoreau. And he began to see his work in an entirely new light. Certain passages provided a dark gloss on New York's slums and their most vulnerable citizens. 'More individuals are born than can possibly survive,' Darwin observed. 'A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die.' Yet On the Origin of Species also contained passages that Brace found reassuring. It suggested that the process of natural selection was 'daily and hourly scrutinising, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good.' It was this last concept—that natural selection worked for the preservation of the good—that Brace clung to… Brace continued to read and reread Origin (he later claimed to have read the book 13 times), grappling with its conclusions… In July 1872, Brace took a well-deserved vacation from the Children's Aid Society and traveled abroad. He stopped in England to visit the man who had transformed his intellectual life a dozen years earlier" (Randall Fuller).

The two 1872 autograph letters offered with this copy are from Darwin to Brace before and after his July visit. The first (dated July 1, more than a week before the visit) invites the Braces over for dinner: "I am much obliged for your kind present of [Brace's book] The Dangerous Classes—the subject is very interesting, & I will certainly read your book, but I cannot begin just at present, from other books in hand. —I am, also, much obliged for Dr. [Asa] Gray's nicely illustrated book. If you & Mrs. Brace could find time to come here to dinner & sleep, it wd. give Mrs. Darwin & myself much pleasure. I do not know how long you stay in London, but come after the 9th of July wd. be the most convenient time for me, as I expect a gentleman here on the 5th & 9th, & my strength for conversation with anyone is of the most limited extent. —If you are inclined to come here, I beg you to specify a day, & I may as well to… describe the best route & times; viz. to leave Charing Cross Station at 5º 5' & stop at Orpington Station (5º 53'), where Flys are kept & which is 4 miles from this house. We dine at 7º 15'. With my best thanks, my dear sir, Yours very faithfully—Ch. Darwin." (This letter is not listed at the Darwin Correspondence Project to date.)

Of the visit, Brace later wrote: "Darwin was as simple and jovial as a boy, at dinner, sitting up on a cushion in a high chair, very erect, to guard his weakness. Among other things, he said 'his rule in governing his children was to give them lump-sugar!' He rallied us on our vigorous movements, and professed to be dazzled at the rapidity of our operations. He says he never moves, and though he can work only an hour or two each day, by always doing that, and having no break, he accomplishes what he does. He left us for half an hour after dinner for rest, and then returned to his throne in the parlor. We had a lively talk on the instincts of dogs (several persons being there) and on 'cross-breeding,' and he became animated explaining his experiments in regard to it… I was telling him that the California primitive skulls were of a remarkably good type. He gave me one of his lighting-up smiles, which seemed to come way out from under his shaggy eyebrow, 'Yes,' he said, 'it is very unpleasant of these facts; they won't fit in as they ought to!'…His parting was as of an old and dear friend." The letter of July 20 from Darwin to Brace (after the visit) reads, "I am much obliged for your extremely kind note. I cannot speak positively about the Sequoia, but my impression is that Heer found it in the lignite beds of Devonshire. Since you were here my wife has read aloud to me more than half of your work and it has interested us both in the highest degree & we shall read every word of the remainder. The facts seem to me very well told and the inferences very striking. But after all this is but a weak part of the impression left on our minds by what we have read; for we are both filled with earnest admiration at the heroic labours of yourself & others, with hearty respects and our very kind remembrances to Mrs. Brace. Believe me, my dear Mr. Brace, Yours very sincerely, Ch. Darwin." (This letter has been documented at the Darwin Correspondence Project, "Letter no. 8419.")

. This is Freeman's first issue, with the stop-press correction of "that" (instead of "htat") in the first line of page 208 and the first issue points regarding signature marks in the last two gatherings. The first issue contains heliotype plates numbered either in Roman numerals (as in Norman) or in Arabic numerals. Internally, "the list of illustrations on page vi gives the plates with Roman numerals and on page 25 Darwin writes 'These plates are referred to by Roman numerals' as indeed they are throughout the text. It seems probable that the Arabic set was the earlier" (Freeman, 143)—undoubtedly a mistake caught during the production of the plates and corrected to match the references in the text. This copy has the plates in Roman. With four pages of publisher's advertisements, dated November 1872.

When Darwin published Expression of the Emotions several months later, in the fall of 1872, Brace's name was included in Darwin's list of presentation copies that were to be sent out. Furthermore, a letter is recorded written from Brace to Darwin in 1873 that, although in fragments, seems to refer to Brace's copy of Expression , as he writes of reading a volume that he and his wife "have enjoyed much the more (for) remembering the charming visit (we) had with its author last July." This inscribed copy and the two letters that accompany it have been in the Brace family for six generations, a family which includes the famous anthropologist, C. Loring Brace IV, who has attempted to introduce "a Darwinian outlook into biological anthropology" (Brace).
Freeman 1141-42. Norman 600. Garrison & Morton 4975.

With original binder's book label.

Book in exceptional condition, cloth fresh, gilt bright, only the most minor rubbing to extremities, rear inner paper hinges with mionor expert reinforcement. Letters with a bit of toning and faint fold lines, with bold signatures. A rare and desirable inscribed presentation copy.

add to my wishlist ask an Expert shipping & guarantee
email to a friend share print

This Book has been Viewed 1215 Time(s).