A Letter Containing Remarks on the Moral State of Tahiti, New Zealand etc.

DARWIN Charles; FITZROY Capt. Robert (1968.])


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Presentation photocopy. 12mo. Green buckram, spine gilt. 19, [1]pp. [London, c.

A charming gift from explorer, writer, book collector and, of course, great-grandson of Charles Darwin, Quentin Keynes (1921-2003) to R.B. Freeman (1915-1986), who compiled Darwin's bibliography. Inscribed on the front pastedown, Keyne's writes: "for R.B. Freeman as a small token of appreciation for his frequent bibliographical advice Quentin Keynes London June 1968."


The photocopied article is Darwin's first published piece, "A Letter Containing Remarks on the Moral State of Tahiti, New Zealand, &c." which appeared in the South African Christian Recorder, No. 4, Vol. 2, (September, 1836), pp.221-238. Freeman himself notes that the Recorder was "an unexpected repository for the first contribution to current periodical literature bearing Darwin's signature." While signed first by FitzRoy, Darwin's contributions are easily spotted being the paragraphs commencing with a "D."


In his obituary of Freeman, W.A. Smeaton wrote that his "principal historical interest was in Charles Darwin—his life, work and family. The Works of Charles Darwin: An Annotated Bibliographical Handlist (1965; 2nd edn, 1977) is an indispensable reference book for Darwin scholars, in which he established new standards for scientific bibliography."


Freeman, R.B. ed, The Works of Charles Darwin Vol 1. (New York, 1987) p.xxvi; Smeaton, W.A., "Obituary. Richard Broke Freeman: 1 April - 1 September 1986" in BJHS, Vol. 21, p 101.






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