London, John Murray, 1874, First edition. hardcover 8vo [19.5 x 13.5 cm]; xvi, 403 pp, frontis, plates, other illus, foldout partly colored map (lithograph Edw. Weller), index. original blue cloth with gilt cover decoration, spine gilt title lettering & decorations, spine professionally re-backed preserving original cloth, spine darkened, lightly rubbed at edges, interior is clean, but binding has come loose especially in the middle. Darwin's Century, Jeremy Norman Collection lot 20: ‘A classic work on the natural history of Nicaragua by the British geologist who superintended the Chontales Gold Mining Company from 1868 to 1872. Belt was especially influenced by Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection and his book contains a great deal of evidence to support it.’ British Museum Natural History Catalogue p. 131. Welch p. 177. Palau 26647. Cundall 949. Casey Wood 230: ‘The intrinsic merits of the book, of which Darwin spoke so highly, resulted in a second edition (in 1888), after the death of the author in 1878.’ ‘It appears to me to be the best of all natural history journals which have ever been published.’ (Charles Darwin). Besides descriptions of nature in the area, the author describes the people, their customs, culture, society, ancient artifacts, etc. Previously owned by Reginald Bird (1831 – 1891). Magdalen College, Oxford. He was a demy from 1849-1854 and was deprived of his demyship for undocumented reasons in 1854. His position was restored upon appeal to the Visitor. See Macray, vi, p.169. He eventually became a fellow in 1863. Bird was not only a Fellow of Magdalen College but also a freemason and one-time mounted policeman in Australia.