DARWIN, CHARLES.

Orígen de las especies por medio de la seleccion natural, ó, Conservacion de las razas en su lucha por la existencia

Madrid, José de Rojas, (1877 or 1880).

8vo. In (the original?) half calf binding with 4 raised bands and gilt lettering to spine. Title and author embossed in gilt lettering to front board. Stamp to title-page and 1 quire detached (pp. 115-126, otherwise fine and clean. (2), X, (2), 559 pp. + folded plate. [Freeman wrongly collate X, 589 pp.].


The exceedingly rare second edition of the first Spanish translation of Darwin's "Origin of Species", this edition being corrected and rewritten in impersonal passive constructions (as opposed to the first Spanish edition being translated in personal) and a portrait of Darwin has been added. As the first edition (Freeman 770), this copy is of the utmost scarcity and very few copies of it are known. OCLC list only four copies (one in Puerto Rico and three in Barcelona), Blanco & Llorco lists two in Barcelona, one in Madrid and one in Valencia - no copies are listed in US libraries. The date of publication is disputed; Freeman lists 1877 whereas Blanco & Llorco says 1880.

"Unlike what had been the case in England, Darwin did not first become widely known in Spanish-speaking countries for the account of his travel around the world but was controversially introduced by the impact his "Origin of the Species" was having everywhere else. It is true, however, that his name was already familiar among scientists and intellectuals but it was "The Origin of the Species" and its translations that made him a household name.

... The full authorized version of "The Origin of Species" was finally translated in 1877 by Enrique Godínez. It had Darwin's endorsement and it was published with a letter from him, where he expressed being glad to have the book translated into Spanish because that would mean that it might be known not only "in the large kingdom of Spain" but also "in the widest extended regions where spanish [sic] is spoken" (Zabalbeascoa, 1968, p. 275).

It took almost twenty years to have Darwin's best known work translated into Spanish while the German, French and Italian-speaking readership had had their own versions of "The Origin of Species" since 1860, 1862 and 1875 respectively (Núñez, 1969, p.27). We know it was not due to the author's unwillingness. Brisset states that after the success of "The Origin of Species" he communicated to his publisher that he wished his ideas be known abroad (2002, p. 178). This gap reveals that Spain was definitely lagging behind in spreading Darwin's ideas. We could attribute this tardiness to the "governmental and ecclesiastical pressure" that Dale J. Pratt mentions when he states that "open discussion was all but impossible" (2001, p. 26). It all changed after the Revolution of September 1868, which brought more openness to new ideas and the secularization of education.

The situation in other Spanish-speaking countries was no different as regards the delay in the dissemination of Darwin's theory. Most of them were under a very strong Catholic influence and the idea of man descending from monkeys, as it was shallowly communicated, was as hard to swallow as when other visionaries had dared to say that the Earth was round or that the planets revolved around the Sun. Even today, almost 150 years after the publication of "The Origin of Species", the debate is no less controversial and very much alive when some conservative groups in certain parts of the United States aim at having the theory of evolution banished from the school curriculum to have the idea of intelligent design taught instead, as mentioned previously." (Elisa Paoletti, Translations as Shapers of Image: Don Carlos Darwin and his Voyage into Spanish on H.M.S. Beagle. In: "Érudit", Volume 18, nr. 1, 2005, pp. 55-77).

Freeman 771
Blanco & Llorco 35

Order-nr.: 53732


DKK 20.000,00