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On the Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition (Harvard Paperbacks) Paperback – Facsimile

ISBN-13: 978-0674637528 ISBN-10: 0674637526 Edition: Facsimile

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Product Details

  • Series: Harvard Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 540 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Facsimile edition (January 31, 1964)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674637526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674637528
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (614 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Origin is one of the most important books ever published, and a knowledge of it should be a part of the intellectual equipment of every educated person… The book will endure in future ages so long as a knowledge of science persists in mankind. It remains to be said that the edition here reviewed is very worthily produced and contains a little-known picture of Darwin. (W. L. Sumner Nature)

This is a most valuable publication. In addition to the text of the first edition (1859) of the Origin with all the freshness and directness of the original, now here made available in facsimile, Professor Ernst Mayr of Harvard, a most distinguished writer in this field, has prefaced this reprint with an introduction that is in itself a classic. (Times Literary Supplement)

It was a very happy idea to publish a facsimile of the first edition of On the Origin of Species; the price of copies of the original edition has reached the thousand dollar bracket, and in contemporary literature all page-references are to the original pagination, which was not followed in previous reprints of the first edition. Now, with this very reasonably priced and beautifully produced book, not only historians of science but also biologists will have the opportunity of following the fascinating thought-trails, still far from fully explored, of that remarkable man Darwin. Few if any persons are so well qualified as Harvard's Ernst Mayr to execute so helpfully and gracefully the delicate task of writing a worthy foreword to such a classic. (Sir Gavin de Beer Science)

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Customer Reviews

Evolution does not exclude the existence of God.
F. Birk
No information is given regarding the source of the book information's, the ISBN number is valid and the publisher seems legit.
M@
I read this book for the first time in 1964 when I was 15 and I kept that copy all these years on my bookshelf.
Philip Hopbell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

233 of 243 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Shlakman on January 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have to admit, I'm astonished by the ease with which one can be fooled into thinking they've procured the full and legitimate content of Darwin's signature work. A couple of easy clues, though:

Darwin refers in this version to a diagram in chapter IV, to illustrate "The Probable Effects of the Process of Natural Selection Through Divergence of Character and Extinction, On the Descendants of a Common Ancestor." This diagram is absent in this version, and this absence is what started me on the road to identifying this version as a fraud. I began to search for other editions of "Origins" to see if they included the diagram. And that search found not only that most versions did contain the diagram, but that the full text of this work ran to over 550 pages - twice as many as are included in this version.

I should also have known better than to have procured a free version. You truly do get what you pay for.

Be aware, as you look for a reliable version of the work, that there are many fraudulent versions out there. I won't go into detail on this, as this review concerns this specific version. But I can say that I've purchased a version that I am satisfied is a faithful rendering of the complete content. The ISBN number is 978-0-451-52906-0. It's the 150th anniversary edition, with an introduction by Julian Huxley. Still, don't take my word for it, and do your own due diligence. There is another "150th anniversary" version with an introduction by Ray Comfort, who is a Christian prothselitizer. So be careful.

Hopefully this will prevent you from having to start reading the work again from the beginning, as I've had to do. But I'm glad to have figured it out and separated fact from fiction.
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165 of 173 people found the following review helpful By JMB1014 on February 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This edition of "On the Origin of Species" is invaluable to anyone who has been suffering without Darwin's most important work, or getting by with only a stripped-down version. The text is the first edition of the six editions Darwin oversaw in his lifetime. It's the version scientists now regard as the most powerful and passionate statement of Darwin's views. But besides the full (unabridged) "Origin," this large-format book is replete with other materials. The word "sumptuous" comes to mind. There are hundreds of amazing illustrations, maps and diagrams, many in full color. Also included are scores of substantial excerpts from other works by Darwin and correspondence between him and his contemporaries. This makes the book a treasure to have, because it is so incredibly rich in contextual materials.

For instance, pictures of T.H. Huxley are included along with Huxley's letter to Darwin, where Huxley asserted his (not altogether unconditional) support for Darwin's argument and added that he was sharpening his claws and beak in readiness - that is, to help defend Darwin from his opponents. I was also delighted with the many beautiful photographs taken in the Galapagos Islands and of life forms found there, to say nothing of the pictures of Darwin, his family, colleagues and adversaries that are interspersed throughout the book, and Darwin's own drawings, the pictures of Darwin's home near Downe, his desk, models and a detailed diagram of the H.M.S. Beagle, and so on. There is also a chronology of Darwin's life to 1864.
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121 of 131 people found the following review helpful By June J. Pilcher on June 24, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Almost everyone has heard of this book. But, how many people have actually read it? If you haven't yet, it is well-worth reading.

Darwin spent over 20 years researching his ideas, preparing his arguments, and writing this book. He did a great job! "On the Origin" is surprisingly easy to understand. Just look at the beginning. Instead of trying to leap directly into his basic idea and premise, Darwin chooses to gradually lead the reader up to the basic idea of evolution by first point out how humans have caused evolution to occur in our domesticated animals (something very easy for all humans to see even in the 1850s). Darwin then goes on to point out some of the evidence that he and others had seen at that time that indicated that evolution had occurred. His leap in understanding the basic premise of evolution is amazing especially when you consider that he did not understand or have access to information about the basics of genetic passing of traits within species.
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151 of 167 people found the following review helpful By psychephile on June 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
There is only one reason to read "On the Origin of Species" -- to discover how Darwin himself first articulated the most revolutionary scientific theory of all time. And to achieve this purpose there is only one means -- to read his original argument, set forth with the greatest force, clarity, and brevity in that very first edition published in 1859. So, unless you happen to have the $$$ to buy an actual first edition, this facsimile of the first edition is the *only* way to read Darwin: all other paperback "Origins" publish Darwin's latest edition.
But even if you are not interested in the history of biology (scoundrel!), and you think you'll learn complete evolutionary theory from the "Origin" (fool!), you should get this edition -- and *not* later ones. Darwin's later editions of the "Origin" contain many errors that are not found in the original edition, including especially a progressive weakening of his original argument (evolution by natural selection) by the importation of Lamarckism (evolution by the inheritance of acquired characters). In these later editions, Darwin had been convinced by blockhead, mystical *physicists* that his *geology* was wrong (as if!), so he had to speed up the timing of everything, which meant smuggling in Lamarckism.
Last, this volume contains an introduction from one of the most charming biologists and philosophers of all time -- Ernst Mayr. This intro alone is worth the price of the book.
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