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The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Action of Worms, with Observations on their Habits

by Darwin, Charles

  • Hardback £475.00
  • Used Book Availability : In stock
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  • Catalogue No : 41206
  • Published : 1881
  • Cover : Hardback
  • Pages : vii, [1], 326, [2]
  • Publisher : John Murray
  • Published In : London
  • Illustrations : 15 text figs


Third thousand. This work was first published October 10, 1881, with the second to fifth thousand also being printed in the same year. 'The book was remarkably successful, selling 6,000 copies within a year, and 13,000 before the end of the century. To begin with it sold faster than The Origin of Species had.' (Freeman). Darwin's last book. With errata slip tipped in before page 1.

Freeman 1359.


8vo, orig. blind-stamped green cloth, gt, spine a touch darkened, minor rubbing to extremities. Some light foxing to endpapers and final page only. A very good copy. With lengthy, contemporary newspaper review of the book (October 10, 1881) pasted to verso of front free endpaper. A card bearing a handwritten, contemporary acrostic verse on the death of Darwin (in which the first letter of each line spells the name Darwin), with initials R.F.F, is mounted on front fly-leaf.

Provenance: 'To the model maiden of the 19th century Jessie Beck from Theodore Beck, Dec 13, 1881', with 3 initial letters depicted as worms (inscription to fly-leaf). Theodore Beck (1859-1899), was a Quaker and British educationalist, who worked under the British Raj in India, and was Principal of the Mahommedan Anglo-Oriental College, Aligarh, from 1883 up until his death in 1899.

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