[LYON, William Penman]. Homo versus Darwin. Czyli sprawa o pochodzenie czlowieka. Z Angielskiego przelozyl Dr. Bonifacyusz Nemo. Warsaw, Gazeta Lekarska, 1874.
Small 8vo. Contemorary morocco-backed cloth, gilt lettering to spine; pp. , xv, 164, full-page wood-engraved illustration on verso of half-title, title with wood-engraved illustration (this repeated in the text); lower portion of spine missing and with wear to extremities, internally only lightly browned, title with contemporary Polish name.
Very rare first Polish edition, first published in Britain in 1871. This entertaining book, set out in the dramatic form of a six day long trial, is Lyon's riposte to the publication of The Descent of Man and sees Darwin being charged by Homo of denying him from being a creature made by a God, and declaring humankind just to be some kind of animal. Lyon (1812-1877) had clearly read Darwin's work in some detail, as he quotes from it widely, but his background as a Congregational minister and missionary means that the trial is rather weighted from the start. It is a shame that Lyon felt unable to put his name to his work upon its publication, as it shows great humour, especially in the characterisation of Darwin, and a forensic attention to detail. This Polish edition, certainly welcomed by the Catholic authorities, was actually translated by the Polish psychiatrist and neurologist of noble origin, Stanisław Chomętowski (1838-1881), who furnished the book with a long preface, with several references to Central European contributions to the Darwinian debate and neurophysiolgical research. In the year of this pseudonynous translation Chomętowski opened his private psychiatric clinic in Warsaw.
OCLC locates only a few copies, in Poland.