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Darwin book sells for £35,000

Story by Lizzie Guilfoyle

A FIRST edition, first issue of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection has been sold for £35,000 at an auction in Norfolk. The buyer was a local book dealer.

When first printed in 1859, only 1,250 copies of the work were produced. They sold out immediately.

According to Keys of Aylsham, the firm which auctioned the book, all existing copies are highly valued.

And speaking about the book, Andrew Bullock, book specialist at Norfolk auctioneers Keys, said: “It is the most important biological book ever and one of those rare occasions when the white gloves really do go on before you pick it up and you handle it with reverence.

“It is a definitive work and what every serious bibliophile wants is a first edition, first issue copy and this is a must-have for the very best shelf.

“A book like this only comes along very rarely and when it does it is considered so important it is often acquired by institutional libraries from around the world.”

A signed photograph of Darwin sold at the auction for £22,000.