Sale 624 Lot 11
* BATES, Henry Walter (1825-1892). The Naturalist on the River Amazons, a record of adventures, habits of animals, sketches of Brazilian and Indian life, and aspects of nature under the Equator, during eleven years of travel. London: John Murray, 1863.
3 volumes, 8vo (199 x 124 mm). Folding map, 9 wood-engraved plates. (Minor pale spotting.) Publisher's brown gilt-stamped cloth (corners bumped, a few tiny splits to spine ends). Provenance: Lingram (armorial bookplate).
FIRST EDITION, PUBLISHER'S PRESENTATION COPY with Murray's blindstamp on title-page and small ink stamp of the reviewer (The Illustrated London News). Bates accompanied Wallace on his expedition to the Amazon, departing from Liverpool in 1848. The purpose of the expedition was to gather facts "towards solving the problem of the origin of species," a subject which the two participants had frequently discussed. Darwin encouraged Bates to write this account and later described it as "the best work on natural travels ever published in England." In his preface Bates states that no less than eight thousand species new to science were discovered. "During the whole of his sojourn amid the Brazilian forests his speculations were approximating to the theory of natural selection, and upon the publication of the 'Origin of Species' he became a staunch and thoroughgoing adherent of the Darwinian hypothesis" (DNB). The Illustrated London News (to whom this copy was presented by the publisher) reviewed this work by writing: "In January 1863 Murray issued Bates's 'Naturalist on the River Amazons' which has been described as 'the best work of natural history ever published in England…'" Borba de Moraes, p.91; Sabin 3932.