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two presentation copies from James D. Watson to Francis Crick

WATSON, JAMES D. & Andrew Berry. DNA The Secret of Life

[New York: Knopf, 2003.]

Pre-publication printout. (2), 356 pp. (the published work was 446 pp.). Comb-bound. Very good condition.

Presentation copy inscribed by James Watson to Francis Crick and his wife: “For Francis and Odile from Jim 27 November 2002.” This is the dedication copy, with the printed dedication stating “To Francis Crick.”

Crick’s wife Odile, co-recipient of this presentation copy, is famous for her drawing of the DNA molecule, published in Nature in April 1953 and subsequently widely reproduced in textbooks, scientific articles, and popular literature. “It may be the most famous [scientific] drawing of the 20th century, in that it defines modern biology” (Terrence J. Sejnowski, Salk Institute).

“A remarkable alignment of the planets is occurring in 2003: the 50th anniversary of the double helix and the completion of the sequence of the human genome. As a defining figure in both land- mark events, no other human being on the planet is positioned to write as authoritatively about all this as Jim Watson. In DNA: The Secret of Life he does so with clarity, style, and wit. If you really want to know what happened in the most important half-century of biology since the world began, read this” (Francis Collins).


WATSON, JAMES D. Genes, Girls and Gamow.
Oxford: University Press, 2001. Original cloth and dust jacket. Fine.

First edition. A tremendous presentation copy inscribed by James Watson to Francis Crick: “For Francis from Jim.”

This memoir is Watson’s sequel to The Double Helix. Reprints added the sub-title “After the Double Helix.” The book covers the immediate aftermath of the announcement of the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953 through 1968, the year that The Double Helix was published and Watson became director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.



This splendid pair of presentation copies represents the greatest scientific collaboration of the 20th century. The names Watson and Crick will forever be linked in the history of science.

Provenance: Francis and Odile Crick, inscribed by James Watson.

two items: $45,000