St. Petersburg: Glybov lithography, 1865. Item #642
, 2, , 90 pp., frontis. 23x15,5 cm. Contemporary quarter leather with marbled card boards. Good, with occasional foxing and damp stains, a small closed tear of the t.p.
First separate edition. Very rare.
A very important piece by Kliment Timiryazev (1843-1920), who at age 22 became one of the first scientists in Russia to popularise Darwin’s ideas in Russia. He was excluded from the Saint Petersburg University as a result of his involvement in student riots but accepted back a year later. While still at the university he has finished this book, the first in his bibliography, printed soon after the first book by Darwin was translated into Russian - “On the Origin of Species” (1864). The censor’s approval date is March 19th of 1865 which places this edition prior to the second Russian edition of ‘Origin’.
The frontispiece of the book is the photo portrait of Darwin. Timiryazev went on to become one of the most celebrated Russian biologists, his study of photosynthesis is considered revolutionary. His classical ‘The Life of the Plant’ prepared the grounds for Michurin’s and Vavilov’s research in botany and genetics. Later in life, Timiryazev has met Darwin many times and claimed that because of their communication Darwin’s last work was dedicated to chlorophyll. No information was found on the print run of the book but this is the first copy that we came across in the last 10 years.
Only copy found in Oregon State University Library (Worldcat).