Notes: The complete set of Crampton's work on the Partula snails found on islands in the Pacific. Crampton's almost unbelievable amount of field work-—he measured and examined more than 200,000 specimens—provided valuable statistical data to document the evolution of species and variations. He showed that new species could evolve in close proximity to each other when they were separated by small differences in climate or geography.
Stephen Jay Gould, the National Book Award-winning evolutionary theorist and a specialist in another species of land snail described Crampton and his work in the book Eight Little Piggies:
"Crampton made twelve expeditions to the Pacific and published three magnificent monographs—probably the finest work ever done on the evolution of land snails...How can we assess the importance of Crampton's work...? I am biased to be sure, for snail men (I am one) revere Crampton as a kind of patron saint, but I rank Crampton's Partula studies as one of the most important in the history of evolutionary biology"—quoted from the essay "Unenchanted Evening."
This is a complete set of those "magnificent monographs."
Edition + Condition: This is Stephen Jay Gould's set of the first editions, with a posthumous letterpress bookplate denoting the provenance. They were part of Gould's Harvard office library. The second volume is inscribed by Crampton, "To [hard to decipher] with the compliments of Henry E. Crampton." Volume 1 (Tahiti) is rebound in black library cloth, with a small stamp on the title page dated 1926. This volume has a small stain along the bottom edge affecting 15 pages and remnants of a bookplate removal on the front pastedown. Vol. 2 (Mariana Islands) is in the original publisher's cloth, with a bit of fraying at the spine ends. Vol. 3 (Moorea) is near fine in the publisher's original green cloth, in the original unprinted dust jacket (not shown in photos). A remarkable set, with exceptional provenance.
Publication: Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1916 (sic, 1917), 1925, and 1932.
Item No: #362658