Considerations sur les Corps Organisés
Charles Bonnet's evolutionary theory of Preformationalism and the Primordial Germ...
Second edition. Two volumes, complete. Full leather binding with five raised bands, gilt decoration and contrasting title label to spines. Boards in mottled leather. All pages edges dyed red, marbled endpapers. 20 × 12cm. Volume 1: lx (preface, index), + 234pp. Volume 2: xiv + 280pp. Small engraved illustration to each title page. French text.
This copy has been signed by two previous owners—the first has stamped each book with his crest and written his name to the title page—J J Feer, and the second has signed each volume—Th. de Meuron (signed with "imp forestier" written underneath).
Full title: Considerations sur les Corps Organisés, où l'on traite de leur Origine, de leur Développement, de leur Réproduction, &c. & où l'on a rassamblé en abrégé tout ce que l'Histoire Naturelle offre de plus certain & de plus intéressant sur ce sujet.
A rare copy of this classic of natural history by the Genevan naturalist and philosopher Charles Bonnet (1720–93). His Considerations sur les Corps Organisés attempts to refute the theory of epigenesis, and to explain and defend the doctrine of pre-existent germs (preformationalism), in which he believed that all living creatures were encapsulated in a set of primordial germs. An example would be (as given by Arthur McCalla in A Romantic Historiosophy) that germs of all future generations of apple-trees were contained within the first apple-tree created on the third day of Creation, and the germs of all descendants lie encased in each other. This was Bonnet's theory and doctrine of emboitement, or encasement.
This is a very attractive set in very good condition for age. The leather is lightly rubbed to the edges, corners and spine ends, with some cracking starting to the joints. The inner binding is secure. The pages are tanned lightly, with occasional foxing, and there is an old water stain to the bottom edge of the last 40 pages of volume 1. Overall, a very well preserved set of this title.