The formation of vegetable mould, through the action of worms, with observations on their habits

DARWIN, Charles (1809-1882)

Published by John Murray, London, 1881
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Fine Editions Ltd (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

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Second Issue of Darwin's final book. 8vo: vii,[1],326,[2]pp, with 15 woodcuts. Complete with half-title and final (unnumbered) leaf with publisher's advertisements listing other works by Darwin on recto and imprimatur on verso. Original publisher's green pebbled cloth, covers paneled in blind, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, chocolate-brown end papers. Attractive armorial bookplate of D. Meinertzhagen (probably Daniel Meinertzhagen VI, head of the Frederick Huth & Co. merchant-banking dynasty and father of Richard Meinertzhagen, soldier, intelligence officer, and natural historian). A superb copy, binding square and tight; contents clean, bright, unmarked. Freeman 1358. First Edition, Second Issue (printed the same year and, aside from "second thousand" on title page, identical to first issue, down to the same misprint on the page of advertisements, tenth title, "The power and movements in plants . . ."). After decades devoted to mainly zoological, botanical and evolutionary subjects, Darwin here reverts to his earlier geological interests, describing the services performed by earthworms in eating leaves and grinding earth for the fertilization and aeration of soil. From the weight of worm-castings, he calculated that 18 tons of soil per acre are brought to the surface by worms each year. In fact, the book grew out of a paper on vegetable mould that Darwin read to the Geological Society in November 1837, about a year after returning from his voyage round the world in the Beagle. According to Freeman, "The book was remarkably successful," selling 6,000 copies within a year, more even than had The Origin of Species. And Gordon Chancellor calls Earthworms "perhaps the most charming of all Darwin's books." N.B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # BB1488

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The formation of vegetable mould, through ...

Publisher: John Murray, London

Publication Date: 1881

Binding: Decorative Cloth

Book Condition:Fine

Edition: First Edition.

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