Origin of the Species sells for £15,000


Darwin 1st Edition

By Cara Sulieman

A RARE first edition of Charles Darwin’s greatest work The Origin of Species’ sold for an impressive £15,000 at an auction yesterday.

Valued between £10,000 and £15,000 the stunning tome broke through the estimation to fetch £15,625.

It has been described as “one of the most important books ever published” and was sold to a private buyer from the south of England.

The price reflects not only the importance of the book itself, but also the rarity of the first editions.

Found in house

All 1250 copies of the first edition ever printed sold out on the first day, and a second edition of 3000 copies also sold out shortly afterwards.

And the sellers came across the book by chance – finding it in their family house near Inverness.

Simon Vickers, Book Specialist at Lyon & Turnbull, said “This particular copy of The Origin of Species was found in a house near Inverness, it has been in the family a long time.

“The family has no known connection to Darwin, and it may have been bought on its first publication.

“It is particularly fitting that we are selling the book in Darwin’s anniversary year.”

HMS Beagle

Charles Robert Darwin attended Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities, but it was his five year voyage on HMS Beagle that made him famous.

In 1859 his book ‘The Origin of Species’ established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature.

Darwin died on the 19th April 1882, aged 73, at his home Down House, Kent.

In recognition of the celebrated scientist’s pre-eminence, he was one of only five 19th-century UK non-royal personages to be honoured by a state funeral and is buried in Westminster Abbey.