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Species plantarum
Stockholm: L. Salvius, 1753. Linnaeus, Carl (1707-1778). Species plantarum . . . 2 vols., 8vo. [12], 560; [2], 561-1200, [32]pp. Leaves E6, F5 and R2 cancels. Stockholm: Laurentius Salvius, 1753. 194 x 120 mm. Quarter calf elaborately gilt, paste paper boards, vellum corners in antique style. Light toning and foxing, a few ink spots, but a fine copy. Former owners? signatures (one dated 1760) on titles. Bookseller?s label inside front cover of Vol. I. First Edition, second state, with the cancel leaves as listed above (copies without the cancel leaves are so rare as to be almost unobtainable). ?The most important single work in the world?s botanical literature? (Hunt), and the first full-dress appearance of Linnaeus?s binomial system of nomenclature, his most important contribution to general biology. Linnaeus was the first to work with species as a clearly defined concept, and to come up with a system of identification based on genus and species together. He briefly applied the system in his 1749 dissertation on plants eaten by animals before using it fully in his Species plantarum, the work he valued above all his others. Linnaeus?s binomial system led to pictorial exactitude in description, and an enriched view of the genus as seen through the precisely articulated differences among its species. The thousands of binomial names Linnaeus coined for the Species plantarum are ultimately the best key to his intentions as a botanist, for the combined genus and species nomenclature, with its phrase-names describing the differences between species, reveals exactly how he saw plants. To him, a plant?s scientific name expressed ?a primary characteristic by means of which I can distinguish this species from all others of the same genus speedily, safely and pleasantly? (quoted in Hunt, vol. 2, p. lxx). Because Linnaeus?s printer used worn types and ordinary paper, some fading-out of print and browning or foxing can be expected in all copies. Corrections were made to a few leaves and cancels inserted shortly after publication began, so that most copies reflect this as well. The Hunt Botanical Catalogue, Vol. 2, part 2, no. 548. Soulsby, Catalogue of the Works of Linnaeus, 480a.
      [Bookseller: Jeremy Norman's Historyofscience.com]
Last Found On: 2015-09-17           Check availability:      Biblio    

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