Britain's Arts, Heritage and Tourism Minister Michael Ellis imposed an export ban on Friday to stop a rare handwritten page from Charles Darwin's work On the Origin of Species from leaving the country.
He also placed a temporary export ban on other two pages from Darwin's later publication, The Expressions of the Emotions of Man and Animals, to provide an opportunity to keep them in Britain.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said the page, from one of the most important books ever published, is valued at 635,505 U.S. dollars. It includes corrections and shows Darwin's reworking. Some of the text differs substantially from what was eventually published in the first edition of the ground-breaking book.
The two other pages from The Expressions of the Emotions of Man and Animals are valued, respectively, at 260,000 U.S. dollars and 178,330 U.S. dollars.
"Charles Darwin is one of the most influential figures in history and these pieces represent a direct and physical connection to how he developed his pioneering work," said Ellis.
"These handwritten and personally signed pieces create an incredibly powerful impression that simply could not be achieved from looking at a digital version or even a published copy. That is why it is right that we do what we can to preserve these valuable items for the nation," the minister explained.
Published in 1859, On the Origin of Species is widely regarded as the foundation of evolutionary biology, and caused an intellectual revolution at the time.
The two separate pages from The Expressions of the Emotions of Man and Animals were published in 1872.