London; Lichfield: J. Johnson; J. Jackson, 1791; 1789. Two volumes in one; first volume in two parts. 4to. xii, 214 (ie, 216); 126 ; [xii], v-vii, [i], 184 pp. FIRST EDITION OF BOTH PARTS. Complete with frontispiece in both volumes, errata and 18 engraved plates, including engravings by William Blake. Half calf and contemporary marbled boards; some offsetting from the plates, minor browning, otherwise an excellent copy with some leaves unopened. From the library of William H. Murphy Grimshaw with his bookplate on the paste-down and another ownership signature on the second title. Item #15704
First edition of both parts; the second volume was printed prior to the first. The first volume is a far-reaching survey of science and technology with references to evolutionary theory; the second part treats specifically vegetable life. Of major significance to this work, however, is the 300 footnotes and 115 pages of appendices. The book is also treasured for the five William Blakes engravings.
Darwin (1731-1802), grandfather to Charles Darwin, was a famed eccentric in an age of unusual men, an inventor, writer, natural historian, and friend (or sometimes enemy) of many great men of his time including Blake, Rousseau and Dr. Johnson.