SPALLANZANI, Abbé [Lazzaro].

Programme ou Précis d’un Ouvrage sur les Réproductions Animales. Traduit de l’Italien, par Mr. B****** de la Sabionne.

A Geneve, Chez Claude Philibert, .1768

Small 8vo, pp. vii, 102, + an inserted leaf of dedication to the Abbé Nollet. Several woodcut ornaments. Modern half calf antique, spine gilt in compartments. Inscribed in a contemporary hand in the lower margin of the title “Madame Arouet”.

FIRST EDITION IN FRENCH of the Prodromo...sopra le riproduzioni animali, and the first work of Spallanzani to be published in a foreign language. See G&M 101. Spallanzani first advanced the doctrine of the regeneration of the spinal cord. He found the precise location of those cuts in earthworms which affected the segmental regenerative process, and noted regenerative capacities of remarkable complexity and repetitiveness in the land snail, salamander, toad, and frog. By decapitation of the frog he also showed that certain postures may be maintained by a reflex action of the spinal cord. “Spallanzani established the general law that in susceptible species an inverse ratio obtains between the regenerative capacity and age of the animal. Early in 1768 he reported these findings in Prodromo...sopra le riproduzioni animali” (DSB). Prandi, Bibliografia di Lazzaro Spallanzani, p. 79: “Of such rarity that several biographies of Spallanzani, citing this translation, give other publishers and the date as 1769” (in translation). Prandi records one copy only, in the Biblioteca dell‘Archiginasio in Bologna. NUC locates three copies. Neither Prandi nor NUC record the inserted dedication leaf. The English translation appeared the following year, and later the same year Spallanzani was elected F.R.S.


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