Padova: Tip. del Seminario, 1886. First Edition. Hardcover. 12mo. 115 pp., complete. Bound in contemporary Italian quarter sheep (spine somewhat worn but completely sound), purple endpapers, nineteen-century paper label on spine (see below). Very good. Item #936
¶ PRESENTATION COPY. In the present volume, Count Alesso Besi discusses interment and cremation of dead bodies, as considered in terms of hygiene and public health, religion, hygiene, economy and emotional sentiment. The most important aspect of the book is its reliance on fact and reason: that while the burial is in accord with teachings of religion, cremation is in direct conflict with human sentiment. Moigne, in the journal "Les Mondes" suggests replacing the ordinary mode of burial with cremation, which aims to convert the scaffolding of human bones in a handful of ashes. The book is further significant not only as a work of scholarship and logic, but because Freemasons in Italy sought to eradicate the crematorium and replace it with burials in cemeteries (SOURCE: La Civilta cattolica. Anno Trigesimosettimo, Vol. IV, della serie decimaterza, p. 342).
¶ The present work is not to be confused with a 9-page pamphlet by Ludovico Brunetti of a similar title, printed in Naples in 1881.
¶ A German translation of the present work was printed Regensburg in 1889.
¶ REFERENCE: Index-catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General's Office (Second Series, 1898, vol. III, p. 9) listed under "Cadaver, Care and Disposal of" (sic). Index medicus (vol. IX, Feb. 1887, p. 101) listed under "Inspection and Disposal of the Dead."
¶ PROVENANCE: Presentation inscription from "l'Autore" to the Collegio "Alla Guerce" (Firenze) with their 19th-century armorial stamp on title page (their motto ‘Ingentes tendat ramos et tempora cingat').
¶ Ours is apparently the only copy on the market, inscribed or otherwise.