Florence: Giovanni Batista Landini, 1632. First edition. Bound in contemporary full polished calf, ruled in gilt. Expert restoration to the spine and edges of the binding. Quarto (220 x 156mm), collates complete: [viii], 458, [xxxii]; with the engraved frontispiece by Stefano della Bella, woodcut Landini device on title, 31 woodcut text diagrams and illustrations. Frontis illustration remargined at the top and bottom, but printed on the correct, thicker paper with dark-ink imprint (indicative of the initial print run). With the errata leaf at the end supplied from another first edition copy, evidence of paste on p.92, but no correction slip, manuscript addition of letter H to diagram on p.192 (as usual). Despite the faults, a copy that is clean internally and presents very well indeed. Provenance: bookplate of M.A. Principis Burghesii - Marc Anton Borghese (1814-1886); and bookplate of bookseller Joseph Martini (with his pencil notation that this copy collates complete).
“The Dialogo was designed both as an appeal to the great public and as an escape from silence. In the form of an open discussion between three friends – intellectually speaking, a radical, a conservative, and an agnostic – it is a masterly polemic for the new science. It displays all the great discoveries of the heavens which the ancients had ignored; it inveighs against the sterility, willfulness, and ignorance of those who defend their systems; it revels in the simplicity of Copernican thought and, above all, it teaches that the movement of the earth makes sense in philosophy, that is, physics. Astronomy and the science of motion, rightly understood, says Galileo, are hand in glove. There is no need to fear that the earth’s rotation will cause it to fly to pieces” (Printing and the Mind of Man). An incredibly important and foundational text, The Dialogo was perhaps the most influential work in making heliocentrism common and accepted knowledge; and its assertions paved the way for Isaac Newton and a new generation of scientific discovery.
PMM 128. (Item #3394)