New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1876. First edition. Hardcover. 503; 607pp. Octavo [23 cm] Olive green cloth covered boards with gilt stamped titles on the spines, and elaborate gilt stamped designs on the front covers. Very good. The covers are rubbed, gently bumped, and ever so slightly bowed. The underlying boards are peeking through at the corners. There are small losses from the cloth at the ends of the spine. There is a tiny chip in the cloth of the spine of volume 2. The front pastedowns have a former owner's bookplates. The title pages have a former owner's small embossed stamps. The pages are mildly browned. The books are sturdy. The pages are clean. Item #26167
With the fold out map at the beginning of volume 1. Wallace's connection to Charles Darwin as the co-discoverer in 1858 of evolution by natural selection would in itself have secured his importance in history, but he also went on to make very many other significant contributions, not just to biology, but to subjects as far-ranging as glaciology, land reform, anthropology, ethnography, epidemiology, and even astrobiology. His pioneering work on evolutionary biogeography led to him becoming hailed as that subject’s ‘father’. Beyond this, Wallace is viewed as the pre-eminent collector and field biologist of tropical regions of the 19th century, and his book The Malay Archipelago (which was Joseph Conrad’s favorite bedside reading) is one of the most famous travel writings of that century and has never been out of print.