Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rare Darwin Book Found Near Toilet

Charles Darwin was one of history’s most remarkable men. He was born on February 12th, 1809, interestingly, also the date Abraham Lincoln was born. Darwin’s book, The Origin of the Species set out his theory of evolution by which species develop from generation to generation through the process of natural selection. The first printing of the book was in 1859, when 1,250 copies were printed. How much do you think a copy of the first edition would be worth today?

A family in the Oxford area in Great Britain has found the answer to that question. Apparently, the family bought the book about forty years ago “for a few shillings” and kept it on their book case in their guest bathroom. The son-in-law of the current owners was at an exhibition on Darwin and saw a picture of the book. He realized the book in the bathroom matched the binding of Darwin’s book. The book was promptly put up for sale. On Tuesday November 24th, 2009, the 150th anniversary of the book’s original publication, the green-cloth volume was purchased by an anonymous bidder for 174,000 dollars. I wonder what Darwin would be more surprised about, that his book was kept in a bathroom for forty years or how much the copy sold for today.

Sara P.

Period 7

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