Antiquarian Auctions

SA Auction #85 begins on 10 Sep 2020

US Auction #3 begins on 13 Aug 2020

Albert Einstein & Leopold Infield

THE EVOLUTION OF PHYSICS

The Growth of Ideas from the Early Concepts to Relativity and Quanta

Published: University Press, Cambridge, 1938

Edition: 1st.

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The first UK and first edition in English of this classic work (apparently preceding the US edition of the same year), following the German edition published earlier in 1938. Intended as an explanation of the totality of Einstein's accomplishments for the layperson, the publication of this extraordinarily successful work was also used in an attempt to find Infeld a university position (he eventually ended up in Canada). According to the preface, "the book is a simple chat between you and us. You may find it boring or interesting, dull or exciting, but our aim will be accomplished if these pages give you some idea of the eternal struggle of the inventive human mind for a fuller understanding of the laws governing physical phenomena."

In the original blue cloth in an unclipped dustwrapper. There is a small neat ownership name at top of the front free endpaper but otherwise the book is clean and near fine. The dustwrapper has moderate wear and rubbing with slight fishmothing of the folds between the front and rear panels and the fold-in flaps and a 2cm. tear at the junction of the top of the spine and the front panel.

There is some controversy about the issue points of this title. Dealer James Pickard states as follows:  "There was a second issue of this title published with blue limp boards stamped in silver to the front board and spine with no end-paper at the front. This Second Issue binding was made that way. Following its publication as a hardback first edition in 1938, unsold stock was reduced in price during WW2, price-clipped by the publisher and re-issued in a limp blue binding without a front free end-paper and stamped in silver rather than gold."

The copy on offer seems to refute this suggestion. It is definitely a hardback and has firm not limp boards; the dustwrapper is not price-clipped and the front free endpaper is present and intact. The spine and front panel lettering is however in silver and not in gold - I am not convinced that there was a variant with gold lettering! The copy that Pickard is offering is the later issue in limp boards and sans ffep. I offer this copy confidently as a first edition, first issue.

  • Jacket Condition: Very Good Minus
  • Binding Condition: Very Good Plus
  • Overall Condition: Very Good
  • Size: 8vo.
  • Sold By: Ronald Levine - Modern First Editions
  • Contact Person: Ronald Levine
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: rlevine@icon.co.za
  • Telephone: 27 11 728-2044
  • Preferred Payment Methods: EFT for S.African customers and PayPal or Bank Transfer for overseas clients. I regret that I no longer accept Credit Cards..
  • Trade Associations: SABDA


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