Darwin's hand-noted 'On the Origin of Species' to be auctioned

It's estimated that Charles Darwin's copy of "On the Origin of Species" including the scientist's own hand-written notes could go for more than $660,000.

The previously undiscovered copy of Darwin's own original revisions of his work is going to be up for auction next month in London by Christie's. The auction house said that the book will offer "for the first time a precise reading of Darwin's exact revisions without the veil of reconstruction and translation."

"(It) provides an insight into his working method, and documents the further development of his ideas for his 'big book,'" the description continues.

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Charles Darwin's former home
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Charles Darwin's former home
A room is seenin Charles Darwin's former home, Down House, in Kent, southern England February 12, 2009. The permanent exhibition at the house where Darwin wrote "On the Origin of the Species" opens to the public on friday, and is part of a series of events to mark the bicentenary of the English naturalist, English Heritage said. REUTERS/Tal Cohen (BRITAIN)
Pigeon bones are displayed in Charles Darwin's former home Down House, Kent, southern England February 12, 2009. The permanent exhibition at the house where Darwin wrote "On the Origin of the Species" opens to the public on friday, and is part of a series of events to mark the bicentenary of the English naturalist, English Heritage said. REUTERS/Tal Cohen (BRITAIN)
Specimens are displayed in Charles Darwin's former home, Down House, in Kent, southern England February 12, 2009. The permanent exhibition at the house where Darwin wrote "On the Origin of the Species" opens to the public on Friday, and is part of a series of events to mark the bicentenary of the English naturalist, English Heritage said. REUTERS/Tal Cohen (BRITAIN)
A view through a greenhouse door shows plants growing in pots at Charles Darwin's former home, Down House, Kent, southern England February 12, 2009. A permanent exhibition at the house where Darwin wrote "On the Origin of the Species" opens to the public on Friday, and is part of a series of events to mark the bicentenary of the English naturalist, English Heritage said. REUTERS/Tal Cohen (BRITAIN)
A member of staff stands in one of the rooms in Charles Darwin's former home, Down House, in Kent, southern England February 12, 2009. A permanent exhibition at the house where Darwin wrote "On the Origin of the Species" opens to the public on Friday, and is part of a series of events to mark the bicentenary of the English naturalist, English Heritage said. REUTERS/Tal Cohen (BRITAIN)
The sun shines on Charles Darwin's former home, Down House, in Kent, southern England, February 12, 2009. A permanent exhibition at the house where Darwin wrote "On the Origin of the Species" opens to the public on Friday, and is part of a series of events to mark the bicentenary of the English naturalist, English Heritage said. REUTERS/Tal Cohen (BRITAIN)
Pigeon bones are displayed in Charles Darwin's former home ,Down House, in Kent, southern England February 12, 2009. The permanent exhibition at the house where Darwin wrote "On the Origin of the Species" opens to the public on Friday and is part of a series of events to mark the bicentenary of the English naturalist, English Heritage said. REUTERS/Tal Cohen (BRITAIN)
Charles Darwin's handwriting and sketches are displayed at an exhibition at his former home, Down House, in Kent, southern England February 12, 2009. The permanent exhibition at the house where Darwin wrote "On the Origin of the Species" opens to the public on Friday, and is part of a series of events to mark the bicentenary of the English naturalist, English Heritage said. REUTERS/Tal Cohen (BRITAIN)
Pigeon bones are displayed in Charles Darwin's former home Down House, Kent, southern England February 12, 2009. The permanent exhibition at the house where Darwin wrote "On the Origin of the Species" opens to the public on friday, and is part of a series of events to mark the bicentenary of the English naturalist, English Heritage said. REUTERS/Tal Cohen (BRITAIN)
A member of staff walks under a portrait of Charles Darwin on show at an exhibition at Darwin's former home Down House, in Kent, southern England February 12, 2009. The permanent exhibition at the house where Darwin wrote "On the Origin of the Species" opens to the public on Friday and is part of a series of events to mark the bicentenary of the English naturalist, English Heritage said. REUTERS/Tal Cohen (BRITAIN)
A primate's skull is displayed in Charles Darwin's former home Down House, in Kent, southern England February 12, 2009. The permanent exhibition at the house where Darwin wrote "On the Origin of the Species" opens to the public on Friday, and is part of a series of events to mark the bicentenary of the English naturalist. REUTERS/Tal Cohen (BRITAIN)
Thomas Lecky, department head of books and manuscripts at Christie's, holds a first edition of Charles Darwin's book "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection" during a preview at Christie's auction house in New York June 13, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES)
A microscope used by Charles Darwin is displayed at an exhibition in his former home, Down House, in Kent, southern England February 12, 2009. The permanent exhibition at the house where Darwin wrote "On the Origin of the Species" opens to the public on Friday, and is part of a series of events to mark the bicentenary of the English naturalist, English Heritage said. REUTERS/Tal Cohen (BRITAIN)
A detail of British artist John Collier's 1883 painting of Charles Darwin is displayed as part of an exhibition in Darwin's former home, Down House, in Kent, southern England February 12, 2009. The permanent exhibition at the house where Darwin wrote "On the Origin of the Species" opens to the public on Friday, and is part of a series of events to mark the bicentenary of the English naturalist, English Heritage said. REUTERS/Tal Cohen (BRITAIN)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 02: An original copy of The Origin of Species which forms part of 'The Royal Society:350 Years of Science' exhibition is displayed in front of a portrait of Charles Darwin on June 2, 2010 in London, England. The exhibition at The Royal Society's headquarters forms part of The Society's 350th anniversary year celebrations and displays material from the Society's foundation in 1660 to the present day. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
DOWNE, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 02: Emily Hasler, an English Heritage employee at Charles Darwin's home, Down House, opens the curtains to his old study on April 2, 2011 in Downe, England. Staff at the house are cleaning and preparing the property ahead of their peak visitor season. The house contains the study where Darwin wrote 'On the Origin of Species', as well as family rooms and an extensive garden that inspired the renowned scientist. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
DOWNE, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 02: Emily Hasler, an English Heritage employee at Charles Darwin's home, Down House, cleans copies of 'On the Origin of Species' in his old study on April 2, 2011 in Downe, England. Staff at the house are cleaning and preparing the property ahead of their peak visitor season. The house contains the study where Darwin wrote 'On the Origin of Species', as well as family rooms and an extensive garden that inspired the renowned scientist. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
DOWNE, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 02: Emily Hasler, an English Heritage employee at Charles Darwin's home, Down House, cleans a primate skull in his old study on April 2, 2011 in Downe, England. Staff at the house are cleaning and preparing the property ahead of their peak visitor season. The house contains the study where Darwin wrote 'On the Origin of Species', as well as family rooms and an extensive garden that inspired the renowned scientist. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
DOWNE, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 02: Emily Hasler, an English Heritage employee at Charles Darwin's home, Down House, cleans artefacts in his old study on April 2, 2011 in Downe, England. Staff at the house are cleaning and preparing the property ahead of their peak visitor season. The house contains the study where Darwin wrote 'On the Origin of Species', as well as family rooms and an extensive garden that inspired the renowned scientist. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
DOWNE, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 02: Emily Hasler, an English Heritage employee at Charles Darwin's home, Down House, cleans a rabbit bone in his old study on April 2, 2011 in Downe, England. Staff at the house are cleaning and preparing the property ahead of their peak visitor season. The house contains the study where Darwin wrote 'On the Origin of Species', as well as family rooms and an extensive garden that inspired the renowned scientist. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
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The additions referred to in the book for auction are what Darwin had translated for the second German addition of his book and eventually included in the fourth English edition and all other versions — making these notes the final draft of Darwin's seminal work.

Christie's says that Darwin's notes were in the possession of his translator, HG Bronn, when he died in 1862 before belonging to the scientist's correspondent, Melchior Neumayr, and his descendants.

The auction house is including a letter Darwin wrote to Neumayr regarding his edits with the book to be bid on.

"I should like to make a few more corrections on clean sheets of the last English Edition," Darwin wrote. "I have compared the sheets of the Third English Edition with the Second which was translated into German, & have marked with a pencil line all the additions & corrections... Where merely a few words have been altered I have underlined them with pencil: where a sentence has to be omitted I have marked 'dele'," he continued.

Darwin's own self-edits to his work "reflect (his) ongoing refinement of his scientific research and thinking," Christie's specialist Meg Ford told the Guardian. "Annotated copies by him are incredibly rare. To have his own thoughts on a text that we know occupied him fully right up until his death is really just remarkable."

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