Schuh’s Annotated Bio-Bibliography

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MOLINA, Juan Ignazio.

(1740 – 1829)

(Born: Talca, Chili, 24 June 1740; Died: Bologna, Italy, 12 September 1829) Chilian Jesuit & naturalist.

Moina was born in Chili entered the Jesuit college in Concepcion, where he studied languages and natural sciences. He was the librarian for the Jesuit order of St. Jago de Chili. After the expulsion of the Jesuits from the Spanish dominions, he became professor of natural sciences in Bologna.

Biographical references: ABE: II 604, 56-62. Barriga, Rodolfo Jaramillo., El abate Juan Ignacio Molina, primer evolucionista y precursor de Teilhard de Chardin. Santiago de Chile, 1963. Biographie Universelle. Figueroa, Diccionario Biográfico de Chile, 1888. López Piñero, Diccionario Histórico, 1983: 2, 69. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer). Poggendorff: 2, col. 177. WBI.

1. Italian, 1782 [First edition, issue A].
Saggio sulla Naturale del Chili, del Signor Abate Giovanni Ignazio Molina. Bologna, Stamperia di S. Tommaso d'Aquino, MDCCLXXXII.

8°: 367, [1] p.

Rare. Important, early natural description of the country of Chile, in which the author analyzes its rich mining, geography, hydrography, geology, mineralogy, botany, and zoology. It remains the classic work on the natural history of Chili, with the observations of A.F. Frézier and Feuillée incorporated into the text by Molina. It was important enough that it was relatively quickly translated in several languages.

Bibliographical references: BL [979.l.27.]. Brunet: 3, 1811. LKG: XIV 907. Sabin, Dictionary, 1868-1936: no. 49888.

2. Italian, 1787 [First edition, issue B].
Saggio sulla Naturale del Chili, del Signor Abate Giovanni Ignazio Molina. Bologna, Stamperia di S. Tommaso d'Aquino, MDCCLXXXII.

8°: 333, [1] p., one map. Rare.

Bibliographical references: Sabin, Dictionary, 1868-1936: no. 49888.

3. Italian, 1810 [2nd edition].
Saggio sulla Naturale del Chili, del Signor Abate Giovanni Ignazio Molina ... Seconda Edizione, Accresciuta e Arricchita di una Nuova Carte Geografica e del Ritratto dell' Autore ... Bologna, Fratelli Masi e Comp., 1810.

4°: [6], v, 306, [2] p., frontispiece (portrait), one map. Rare.

Bibliographical references: BL [981.i.16.]. Pritzel, Thesaurus Literaturæ Botanicæ, 1871-3: no. 6362. Sabin, Dictionary, 1868-1936: no. 49888.

4. German, 1786.
Versuch einer Naturgeschichte von Chili. Von Abbé J. Ignaz Molina. Aus dem Italiänischen übersetzt von J.D. Brandis. Mit einer Landcharte ... Leipzig, Bey Friedrich Gotthold Jacobäer, 1786.

8°: [18], 328 p., one map.

Rare. Translation by J.D. Brandis of Saggio sulla naturale del Chili (1782).

Bibliographical references: BL [727.e.1.]. LKG: XIV 908a. Sabin, Dictionary, 1868-1936: no. 49892.

5. Spanish, 1788.
Compendio de la Historia Geografica, Natural y Civil del Reyno de Chile, escrito en Italiano por el Abate Don Juan Ignacio Molina. Primera Parte, que abraza la Historia Geografica y Natural, Traducida en Español por Don Domingo Joseph de Arquellada Mendoza ... Parte Segunda, Traducida al Espanñol, y Aumentada con varias notas por Don Nicolas de la Cruz y Bahamonde. En Madrid, por Don Antonio de Sanca, M. DCC. LXXXVIII [-MDCCXVC].

2 vols. [Vol 1: 1788] 4°: xx, 418 p. [Vol 2: 1795] 4°: xvi, 382, [1] p., 4 maps, 3 tables.

Very scarce. Translation by Joseph de Arquellada Mendoza of Saggio sulla naturale del Chili (1782). "This Spanish translation is more complete than the Italian original, many notes being added by the translator to the second part. It contains a philological sketch of the Chilian language, comparative vocabularies, and a list of writers upon Chili." (Sabin)

Bibliographical references: Sabin, Dictionary, 1868-1936: no. 49889.

6. English, 1808 [American edition].
The Geographical, Natural and Civil History of Chili. Translated from the Original Italian of the Abbe Don J. Ignatius Molina. To which are added, Notes from the Spanish and French Versions, and an Appendix, containing copios Extracts from the Araucana of Don Alonzo de Ercilla. Translated from the Original Italian by an American Gentleman ... Middletown (Connecticut), For I. Riley, 1808.

2 vols. [Vol 1] 8°: [8], xii, 271, [1] p. [Vol 2] 8°: [4], viii, 305, [1], 68 p.

Very scarce. This is a classic history of this South American country written by the Chilean-born Jesuit scholar and first published in Bologna in 1782-87. There are sections on the climate and natural history of Chili; its early Spanish history and noted explorers; division of the Araucanian state; the Araucanians and their customs; military incidents throughout the years; an essay on the language of the country with various grammars and much more. Volume two is devoted almost entirely to the Araucanian Indians. Bound at the end of the second volume is another work entitled "An Appendix to the Civil and Political History of Chili," which bears the imprint of Alsop, Brannan and Alsop and is published in New York in 1808.

This book was translated by an American millionaire, Richard Alsop, considered the most intellectually gifted of the "Hartford Wits". This English translation incorporates the originally two separate works: Saggio sulla storia naturale del Chili. Bolgna (1782) and Saggio sulla storia civile del Chili (1787). It precedes the London edition by a year. A large folding map of Chili is bound in the first volume.

Bibliographical references: Palau, Manual, 1948-77: no. 174566. Sabin, Dictionary, 1868-1936: no. 49893 & 49894n. Shaw & Shoemaker, American Bibliography, 1958-83: no. 15628.

7. English, 1809.
The | Geographical, | Natural, And Civil | History Of Chili. | Translated From The Original Italian Of | The Abbe Don J. Ignatius Molina. | [double rule] | To Which Are Added, | Notes | From The Spanish And French Versions, | And Two Appendixes, | By The English Editor; | The First, An Account Of The Archipelago Of Chiloe, From The | Description Historical Of P.F. Pedro Gonzalez De Aqueros; | The Second, An Account Of The Native Tribes Who Inhabit The | Southern Extremity Of South America, Extracted Chiefly | From Falkner's Description Of Patagonia. | [double rule] | In Two Volumes. | [double rule] | Vol. I. | [tapered rule] | Printed For Longman, Hurst, Rees, And Orme, | Paternoster-Row. | [rule] | 1809.

2 vols. [Vol 1] 8°: xx, 321 p. [Vol 2] 8°: xii, 385 p., one map.

Very scarce. This edition is apparently a reworking of the American edition of 1808, with some alterations and additions, but without any acknowledgement of the American edition. The translators were Richard Alsop and William Shaler, Esq. It contains additional notes from the Spanish and French versions, and two appendixes added by the English editor: "An Account Of the Archipelago of Chiloe from the description historical of P.F. Pedro Gonzalez de Agueros" and "An Account of the Native Tribes Who Inhabit the Southern Extremity of South America extracted chiefly from Falkner's Description of Patagonia."

Bibliographical references: BL [579.d.20.]. Sabin, Dictionary, 1868-1936: no. 49894.

8. French, 1789 [French transl.].
Essai | Sur | L'Histoire Naturelle | Du Chili, | Par M. l'Abbé Molina; | Traduit de l'Italien, & enrichi de notes, | Par M. Gruvel, D.M. | [tapered rule] | A Paris, | Chez Née de la Rochelle, Libraire, rue du | Hurepoix, près du pont Saint-Michel, no. 13. | [double rule] | M. DCC. LXXXIX. | Avec Approbation et Privilege du Roi.

8°: [i]-xvi, [1]-351, [1] p.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii]-iv, "Avertissement | Du Traducteur."; [v]-xvi, "Préface."; [1]-339, Text.; 340-351, "Vocabulaire."; 351, "Approbation" and "Premission Du Roi."; [352], Blank.

Very scarce. French translation from the Italian edition, with added notes by Gruvel. It includes at the end a Chilian and French vocabulary.

Bibliographical references: BL [978.g.28.]. LKG: XIV 909b. Sabin, Dictionary, 1868-1936: no. 49890.