London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1863. Early Reprint. Decorative Cloth. Thick 8vo: xvi,528pp, with two full-page wood-engraved plates and 58 figures in the text. Original green heavily embossed, pebble-grained cloth, upper cover with two gilt fossil vignettes, spine lettered in gilt, marbled end papers renewed with period examples. Near Fine or better, pages clean and fresh (barring mild foxing of first and final few leaves), binding tight and square (after expert and almost imperceptible restoration). A handsome, collectible copy. Norman 1400. Garrison-Morton 204.1. Freeman (British Natural History Books) 2369. Challinor 192. Near Fine+. Item #BB1415
Second Edition. Revised. First published in 1863, Antiquity of Man went through three editions that year, with a fourth and final edition appearing in 1873. Our copy appeared in April, 1863 (two months after the first edition), with alterations, corrections, and a new seven-page appendix. The book dealt with two linked scientific issues that rose to prominence in the preceding decade: the age of the human race and Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. Geologists had finally established that "early humans lived alongside the mammoths and other extinct mammals of the glacial period, known by this time by Lyell's name, ‘Pleistocene’ (formerly his ‘Newer’ Pliocene). This locked the human species firmly into earth history, by extending human history far beyond the reach of textual records into a prehistory recorded only in fossil bones and stone artefacts. The bulk of Lyell's book was devoted to a rather derivative account of this research. . . [In addition, after publication of Darwin's Origin of Species] Lyell had to alter his entire perspective on the history of life, finally conceding that successively higher forms of life had been formed in the course of time. He even allowed that the human species was no exception, at least in its physical aspects; but he remained sceptical about the adequacy of Darwin's theory to account for the origin of the mental and moral aspects that were most distinctively human." (ODNB) Note: 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.