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HUXLEY, Thomas Henry (1825-1895)

Evidence as to Man’s Place in Nature.
London, Williams and Norgate, 1863.

First edition, first issue – advertising Huxley’s Man’s Place in Nature at the head of the list in front paste-down, and the catalogue of Williams & Norgate dated March 1863 (should be dated February 1863, while the second issue is dated August 1863). This is by far the most important book in the history of the theory of evolution by natural selection after Darwin’s Origin of Species. – ”I declare I never in my life read anything grander” (Darwin). Huxley, one of the most famous biologists of his time, ”earned the nickname ’Darwin’s bulldog’ for his outspoken defense of the theory of evolution through natural selection, particularly as it pertained to man. The present work grew out of the famous Hippocampus minor controversy of the early 1860s, in which Huxley publicly challenged the taxonomist Richard Owen’s claim that man’s brain differed qualitively from those of all other mammals. Through a series of dissections of primate brains, Huxley disproved Owen’s assertions that only man’s brain possessed a Hippocampus minor, and demonstrated that the differences between men and apes were smaller than those between apes and the lower animals” (Norman). ”Huxley showed that in the visible characters man differs less from the higher apes than do the latter from lower members of the same order of primates. He also proved the first thorough and detailed comparative description of the Neanderthal remains.” (Garrison-Morton).

Collation: Pp (10), 159, (1) blank, 8-page catalogue of Williams & Norgate, dated March, 1863. The preliminaries contain: half-title, frontispiece (forming an integral part of the prelims, not separately tipped-in, title, advertisement to the Reader (as [A]4 recto], Contents. In the second issue the frontispiece is on a separate tipped-in sheet (see Norman 1132). Illustrated with wood-engraved frontispiece and 31 figures in the text.

Binding: Publisher’s green blind-tooled cloth. Untrimmed, advertisements on flyleaves and paste-downs.

References: Garrison-.Morton 165; Norman 1132; DSB, VI, pp 589-597. Waller 10853

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