Torino, Unione Tipografico-Editrice, 1878. Large8vo. In recent cardboard wrappers. Occassional light brownspotting, especially to the first and last few leaves. Otherwise fine. 127 pp.
First Italian translation of Darwin's "On the movement and habits of climbing plants". The paper was first published in 1865 in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London (Freeman 833), later same year it was corrected and published in book form (from which the present translation is made) (Freeman 1834)
Darwin described the origins and writing of this book in his autobiography: "In the autumn of 1864 I finished a long paper on Climbing Plants, and sent it to the Linnean Society. The writing of this paper cost me four months: but I was so unwell when I received the proof-sheets that I was forced to leave them very badly and often obscurely expressed. The paper was little noticed, but when in 1875 it was corrected and published as aseparate book it sold well. I was led to take up this subject by reading a short paper by Asa Gray, published in 1858, on the movements of the tendrils of a Cucurbitacean plant. He sent me seeds, and on raising some plants I was so much fascinated and perplexed by the revolving movements of the tendrils and stems, which movements are really very simple, though appearing at first very complex, that I procured various other kinds of Climbing Plants, and studied the whole subject. I was all the more attracted to it, from not being at all satisfied with the explanation which Henslow gave us in his Lectures, about Twining plants, namely, that they had a natural tendency to grow up in a spire. This explanation proved quite erroneous. Some of the adaptations displayed by climbing plants are as beautiful as those by Orchids for ensuring cross-fertilisation."
The first edition did not appear in America, nor was it translated in Darwin's lifetime, but has a recent facsimile. The second appeared in French, German and Italian and in America from English stereos.