THE FIRST BIOGRAPHY OF DARWIN
DARWIN, Charles. The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Including an Autobiographical Chapter, Edited by his Son, Francis Darwin. London: John Murray, 1888. Three volumes. Octavo, early 20th-century three-quarter polished dark green morocco gilt, raised bands, top edges gilt. $1500.
Early printing of "the first published version of Darwin's autobiography… the first and basic life of Darwin" (Freeman), with three wood-engraved frontispiece portraits, handsomely bound by Hatchards.
Based on Darwin's autobiography, which was written for his children, and, according to his son, never intended for publication. Francis edited this "to avoid giving offence to his widow" (Freeman). The first edition of The Life and Letters was published in 1887 and the work went through five printings in little more than a year, each version being slightly corrected. Freeman 1457. Bookplate in each volume.
Fine condition, a lovely set.