“EVERY STATEMENT HE MADE WAS VERIFIED BY ACTUAL OBSERVATION”: T.H. HUXLEY’S SIX LECTURES ON THE CLASSIFICATION OF ANIMALS
HUXLEY, Thomas Henry. An Introduction to the Classification of Animals. London: John Churchill & Sons, 1869. Slim octavo, original maroon cloth gilt. $400.
First separate edition of Huxley’s series of six lectures “On the Classification of Animals,” presented at the College of Surgeons in 1863, with numerous in-text anatomical illustrations.
Known primarily as the protagonist of evolution in the controversies immediately following the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species late in 1859, zoologist Huxley studied and wrote on a wide range of subjects, including education, philosophy, evolution and religion. “In 1863 he delivered a course of lectures at the College of Surgeons ‘On the Classification of Animals,’ and another ‘On the Vertebrate Skull… The scrupulous care with which he endeavored to verify by actual observation every statement made in his lectures rendered the labor of preparation very great. Sir William Flower describes the way in which he would spend long evenings at the College of Surgeons, dissecting animals available among the stores, or making rapid notes and drawings, after a day’s work in Jermyn Street. The consequences were twofold; the vivid impression of his own recent experience was communicated to his hearers, and the work of preparation became at once an incentive to further research and a means of pursuing it” (DNB). This is the first separate printing of the first series of lectures, intended as a textbook on classification.
Interior generally quite clean, moderate rubbing to original cloth, loss of headband. A very good copy.