The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs


Third edition of Charles Darwin’s first monograph.

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Written aboard the HMS Beagle during its famous second voyage, The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs was the first of Charles Darwin’s scientific monographs to be published (1842). Its contents speculate on the creation of coral atolls and reefs and was an overall success, earning him a medal from the Royal Geographic Society in 1853.

Darwin’s works were expounded upon regularly in subsequent decades, and this example is the third edition, published in New York by D. Appleton and Company in 1898. In addition to outlining Darwin’s theories, the book includes three separate folding maps.

Plate III, tipped into the front, shows the distribution of different kinds of coral reefs (barrier, fringing, atoll) and active volcanos across the world. It measures approximately 24″ x 9″ and shows light edge wear and a small tear on the right side, near where bound. The final two plates, found in the back of the volume, provide large-scale details on the various types of reefs discussed within.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1898

Author: Charles Darwin

Sheet Width (in): See Description

Sheet Height (in): See Description

Condition: A

Condition Description: A 344 pp. volume, approximately 5" x 8", bound in original red quarter leather marbled boards. The spine is a bit worn and broken near the top, but overall the covers remain in good condition. A bit of light toning around the edges of the pages and scattered spotting, consistent with age. Complete, including all three folding plates in good to very good condition overall.


1 in stock