London: John Murray, 1892. Second Edition, Revised - Fourth Thousand. Hardcover. First published in 1868, this book began as an expansion of the first two chapters of On the Origin of Species (1859): "Variation under Domestication" and "Variation under Nature," and it developed into one of his largest works; Darwin (1809-82) referred to it as his "big book." The first volume deals with the variations introduced into species as a result of domestication, through changes in climate, diet, breeding, and an absence of predators. He began with an examination of dogs and cats, comparing them with their wild counterparts, and moved on to investigate horses and asses; pigs, cattle, sheep, and goats; domestic rabbits; domestic pigeons; fowl; and finally cultivated plants. The work is a masterpiece of nineteenth-century scientific investigation, and a key text in the development of Darwin's own thought and of the wider discipline of evolutionary biology.
Octavo, two volumes: xiv, 473 p. + x, 495 p. with publisher's advertisements, 43 textual figures, and numerous tables. Original brown cloth bindings, with gilt titles and decorative black and blind stamping. The boards are especially clean and bright, with only some light wear to the corners and tips. Quite lovely, uncommon thus. Very Good. Item #74513