Descent of Man, The
Adelaide, South Australia: Printed for The Limited Editions Club, 1971. Item #03677
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge:
it is those who know little, not those who know much,
who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”
DARWIN, Charles. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. With a Preface by Ashley Montagu and Drawings by Fritz Kredel. Adelaide, South Australia: Printed for The Limited Editions Club, 1971.
Limited to 1,500 copies signed by Fritz Kredel, this being no. 1201.
Large quarto (10 11/16 x 7 7/8 inches; 272 x 201 mm.). 384 pp. Illustrated throughout with numerous black and white drawings, some of which are full-page.
Publisher's quarter green Oasis morocco over natural 'wood veneer' paper boards, spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt. Minimal fading to spine, still a near fine copy in the publisher's matching slip-case.
Charles Robert Darwin, (1809-1882) was an English naturalist and geologist, best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding. Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species. By the 1870s, the scientific community and much of the general public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favored competing explanations and it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. In modified form, Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life. Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history. He was honored by burial in Westminster Abbey.
The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex was first published in 1871. It applies evolutionary theory to human evolution, and details Darwin's theory of sexual selection, a form of biological adaptation distinct from, yet interconnected with, natural selection. The book discusses many related issues, including evolutionary psychology, evolutionary ethics, differences between human races, differences between sexes, the dominant role of women in mate choice, and the relevance of the evolutionary theory to society.
Fritz Kredel (1900-1973) was a German, later American artist and graphic designer. In his early years, he studied under Rudolf Koch at Offenbach School of Art and Design, and developed skills in woodcuts. Koch and Kredel collaborated on A Book of Signs (1923) and The Book of Flowers (1930). Following Koch's death in 1934, Kredel moved to Frankfurt, but in 1938 he fled Germany for political reasons with help from Melbert Cary. After emigrating to the United States that year, he taught at Cooper Union in New York and continued to work as an artist. He produced illustrations for over 400 books in German and English and received many awards and honors. Many of his originals are now housed at the Art Library at Yale University.
Limited Editions Club Bibliography, 435.