First edition, first issue. Publisher's original green cloth boards, with borders in blind to the upper and lower boards, titles in gilt to the spine. Illustrated with 196 woodcuts throughout the text. Publisher's 32 page catalogue to the rear dated May 1878. An excellent near fine copy, the binding square and firm, with bumping and rubbing to the spine ends and corners, the cloth with a light mark to the top of the upper board. The contents, with a previous owner's name in ink to the front pastedown, spotting to the first and last pages and sporadically to the margins, are otherwise clean throughout. The front hinge is cracked but holding firm, the rear hinge starting at the bottom. An attractive, entirely unsophisticated example.

Darwin began writing this book in the summer of 1877, and at 600 pages is his longest botanical book. It is an extension of his work on climbing plants, showing that the same mechanism operated for flowering plants in general. 'A tough piece of work,' he commented in his autobiography, '... in accordance with the principle of evolution it was impossible to account for climbing plants having been developed in so many widely different groups unless all kinds of plants possess some slight power of movement of an analogous kind. This I proved to be the case' (Autobiography, ed. F. Darwin, New York, 1958, p. 52). This first issue, containing two lines of errata on page x, was published on 6 November 1880 in an edition of 1500 copies. (Freeman 1325).

Stock code: 24492


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London: John Murray.


Children's / Illustrated
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Natural History
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