Page last updated at 11:31 GMT, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 12:31 UK

Rare Darwin book to be auctioned

Origin of Species
Only 1,250 copies of Charles Darwin's The Origin Of Species were produced in its first print run back in 1859

A first edition of Charles Darwin's seminal work On The Origin Of Species is to be sold at auction in Edinburgh after being unearthed at a family home.

The book, which was published 150 years ago, transformed the science world with its theories on evolution and natural selection.

Only 1,250 were produced in its first print run back in 1859.

A copy of the text turned up in a house near Inverness and will go under the hammer on Friday.

A first edition was sold in Norfolk in April for £35,000.

Edinburgh auctioneer Lyon and Turnbull has suggested an estimate of £10,000 to £15,000 for its sale.

Book specialist Simon Vickers said: "This particular copy of The Origin Of Species was found in a house near Inverness. It has been in the family a long time.

"The family have no known connection to Darwin, and it may have been bought on its first publication."

This year marks the bicentenary of the influential scientist's birth.

Darwin went to Edinburgh University in October 1825 to study medicine, although he did not complete his degree.

When Darwin died in 1882 he was given a state funeral and buried in Westminster Abbey.

Mr Vickers said: "It is particularly fitting that we are selling the book in Darwin's anniversary year."

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