"THE FIRST COMPREHENSIVE PRESENTATION OF THE PHENOMENON OF METAGENESIS"
STEENSTRUP, Johannes Japetus Sm. On the Alternation of Generations; or, The Propagation and Development of Animals throughout Alternate Generations: A Peculiar Form of Fostering the Young in the Lower Classes of Animals. London: Ray Society, 1845. Octavo, original blind-and gilt-stamped navy cloth, top edge gilt. $500.
Rare first edition in English of the first treatise on metagenesis, with three folding illustrated tables.
"The first comprehensive presentation of the phenomenon of metagenesis, or the alternation of sexual and asexual phases in the reproductive cycle" (See Norman 2009). "Steenstrup is responsible for the theory of the 'alternation of generation.' He showed that certain animals produce offspring which never resemble them but which, on the other hand, bring forth progeny which return in form and nature to their grandparents or more distant ancestors" (See Garrison & Morton 217). "This phenomenon had previously been described by Chamisso, but Steenstrup included a greater number of observations, based on a significantly wider range of subjects, and provided an important chapter on its meaning" (DSB). First published in Copenhagen in 1842; this version was translated into English by George Busk. Booklabel. Early owner signature. Bookseller ticket.
Only a few spots of soiling to text, a bit of rubbing and faint soiling to cloth, joints starting but strong, mild toning to spine. A very good copy.