Watson, James D. | The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA

  • First edition, first printing and an unusually attractive copy in the bright dust jacket. The Double Helix is one of the most significant first-hand accounts of the scientific process written during the 20th-century. With "Pepys-like frankness," Watson describes science as it actually happens, including the frustrations, dead-ends, and gritty political battles on the path to intellectual glory. Richard Feynman praised Watson's account, writing that, "He has described admirably how it feels to have that frightening and beautiful experience of making a great scientific discovery".

    The Double Helix is also significant for Watson’s unashamed belittling of chemist Rosalind Franklin — whose work formed the basis for the determination of DNA’s structure — calling her by the nickname Rosy, which she had never used, and describing her appearance and behaviour in profoundly sexist ways.
  • New York: Atheneum, 1968. Octavo. Original blue boards, titles to spine gilt and to upper board in blind, red endpapers, top edge yellow. With the dust jacket. Contemporary photocopied review loosely inserted. Spine very slightly rolled, some small spots to the top edge of the text block, just a little fading and rubbing at the extremities of the cloth. An excellent copy in the bright, price-clipped dust jacket with a very small chip near the top of the spine panel and a little minor rubbing and some minuscule nicks at the edges.