ROMANES, George John The Scientific Evidences of Organic Evolution. Macmillan and Co. 1882.
8vo. Original brown-red cloth, blocked in blacked to front, gilt lettering to spine; pp. viii + 88; cloth a little dulled, very good. Provenance: prize bookplate, presented to Reginald A.R. Bennett, author of books on aquaria, in May 1883.
First edition. Romanes’ “short digest of the Origin of Species” was based on lectures given in Edinburgh and Birmingham, appearing as an article in The Fortnightly Review. Darwin himself so encouraged Romanes to republish the article “in a form which might admit of its being “spread broadcast over the land,” that I promised him to do so”. The result is an effective and well-presented account of the main arguments of the Origin. 'That these eighty-eight widely-spaced and amply-margined pages contain only a most sketchy representation of the suestions at issue between the evolutionists and the teleologists, is obvious, but they will suffice to show cultured, yet nonscientific per- sons what "natural selection" really means. And they will further prove that the acceptance of the secondary causes which are assumed in the evolution hypothesis by no means excludes a First Cause.' (The Spectator, 2 December 1882).