Torino, Unione Tipografico-Editrice, 1888. 8vo. In comtenporary half vellum with embossed title to spine. First quire partly detached. Occassional light brownspotting throughout. (2), 210, (4) pp. + 3 floded plates and 1 frontiespiece. This
First Italian translation of "The structure and distribution of coral reefs", being the first part of the three-part work "Geology of the Voyage of the Beagle" (Freeman 271). Only the present first part was transted into Italian.
Compared to France and Spain Darwinism was quickly adopted by Italian biologist and zoologist and meet only little catholic opposition.
"The impact of Darwinism on Italian naturalists was powerful; the logic and rigorous treatment of the problem of the origin of species as Darwin had presented it, forced zoologists and anthropologists to reconsider those passages of Lamarckisms that they had agreed to with excessive enthusiasm". (Capanna, Darwinism and the Italian academies).
The reception of Darwin's worsk in France and Spain were characterized by a strong chatolic opposition, which also had a strong suppressing effect on the spread of his ideas to academic institutions.
Despite of Italy being a catholic stronghold the reception of Darwinism was very favourable and meet very limited criticism from the church:
"In contrast to the power Catholicism was able to exert against Darwinism in Spain, it was practically impotent in Italy. Neither could the Italian Catholic intellectual establishment draw upon a repertory of anti-Darwinism arguments from the Italian scientific establishment, as was done in France. As in France under the Third Republic and as was the case sporadically in Spain, the advent of Darwinism in Italy provided a source of ideology for the anticlerical movement. Although Darwinism enjoyed a number of close connections with the English source, the peculiarities of the Italian situation set Darwinism in Italy apart from other situations. Italy was in the forefront in recognizing Darwin, electing him to various academies and societies and awarding him the famous Bressa Prize in 1875.
"The three parts of Darwin's geological results of the Beagle voyage were separately published over a period of five years, but they were intended, and described on the title pages, as parts of one work. They were all published by Smith Elder, with the approval of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, some of the £1,000 given for the publication of the results of the voyage going towards the cost of at least the first part. Darwin notes, in May 1842, that the cost of Coral reefs was £130-140 and that 'the government money has gone much quicker than I thought'. By that date there were only two parts of the Zoology of the Beagle still to come out. Smith Elder also published the important later editions." (Freeman)