De Beer, G. R. Embryology and Evolution

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Oxford (UK): Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1930  First edition of this important and uncommon book on the synthetic theory of evolution  

Prior owner's name, otherwise a lovely copy, fine indeed, in a near fine price clipped and toned dust wrapper with two small edge tears  

Sir Gavin Rylands de Beer (1 November 1899 - 21 June 1972) was a British evolutionary embryologist, known for his work on heterochrony as recorded in this 1930 book, later reissued under the title Embryos and Ancestors.  He was director of the Natural History Museum, London, president of the Linnean Society of London, and a winner of the Royal Society's Darwin Medal for his studies on evolution.

No less an authority than Stephen Jay Gould wrote in 1977 of this work: "In a series of remarkable books that established the synthetic theory of evolution, Gavin de Beer's Embryology and Evolution was the first and shortest (1930; expanded and retitled Embryos and Ancestors, 1940; 3rd ed 1958).  In 116 pages de Beer brought embryology into the developing orthodoxy.  For more than forty years, this book has dominated English thought on the relationship between ontogeny and phylogeny"