Item #5000874 On the Phenomena of Variation and Geographical Distribution as Illustrated by the Papilionidae of the Malayan Region [In:] Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, Volume XXV, Part I. Alfred Russel WALLACE.

On the Phenomena of Variation and Geographical Distribution as Illustrated by the Papilionidae of the Malayan Region…
On the Phenomena of Variation and Geographical Distribution as Illustrated by the Papilionidae of the Malayan Region [In:] Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, Volume XXV, Part I.

London: Longman, Green, et al. 1865.

Quarto, 72 pp., with eight lithographic plates by Day and Son after J.O. Westwood; uncut and unopened, in later plain wrappers.

"A tablet on which nature writes the story of the modification of species"

The rare first printing of one of Alfred Russel Wallace's most significant papers: his important text on butterfly variation on the Malay Peninsula, illustrated with eight full-page lithographic plates. Of this paper Darwin wrote, "I cannot conceive that the most firm believer in species could read it without being staggered. Such papers will make many more converts among naturalists than long-winded books such as I shall write if I have the strength" (Epsilon WCP1868).

The rare first printing of one of Alfred Russel Wallace's most significant papers: his important text on butterfly variation on the Malay Peninsula, illustrated with eight full-page lithographic plates. Of this paper Darwin wrote, "I cannot conceive that the most firm believer in species could read it without being staggered. Such papers will make many more converts among naturalists than long-winded books such as I shall write if I have the strength" (Epsilon WCP1868).

In this paper, read before the Linnean Society of London on 17 March 1864, Wallace presented detailed evidence of evolution occurring in nature. It contained some of his most important early observations and conclusions concerning mimicry, polymorphism, and protective colouration. One of Wallace's most frequently cited works, it was based on data collected during his research on the Malay Peninsula from 1854-62, during which he devised his own theory of natural selection independent of Darwin, later published in his Malay Archipelago (1869). Wallace's Malay research "alone would have established him as one of the greatest English naturalists of the age" (DSB).

We have traced just two copies of this rare offprint sold at auction in modern times.

Provenance: Professor Judith Kinnear, former Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Foundation Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney

Jeremy Norman, Evolution collection, Sotheby 1992, 395.

Condition Report: A fine uncut, unopened copy, with just a little edge-wear to the first plate.

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