Last week I mentioned that the best illustrated version of Charles Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle was a 1942 edition published in Buenos Aires. The librarian within me decided to track down the bibliographic information about this work. The Spanish title is “Viaje de un naturalista alrededor del mundo” and comes out to 617 pages.

I noticed that this version is cited in a number of Spanish articles about Darwin. But the first Spanish translation of Darwin was in 1902 by Constantino Piquer. (The first translation into Italian was 1872 and for those who love trivia, the first translation into Armenian was 1949).

Even though this 1942 Spanish edition was originally published by El Ateneo, a leading bookstore in Buenos Aires, I’m not sure about it’s availability in this city. (Wait, I just learned that supposedly there is a copy at the Biblioteca Manuel Gálvez).Yet, thanks to the wonder of online databases I found it listed with a bookstore in Rome that specializes in Argentine monographs: Libreria El Sur.

Now, I’m very curious about this bookstore in Rome and the Argentine community in Italy. Argentina experienced a significant amount of Italian immigration over the decades. And a lot of those Italians moved back to Italy. So, I assume that one of those families must have opened this bookstore in Rome on Via Sebastiano Veniero. Whenever I go to Rome, it’s going to be a place where I stop for a visit. I’m interested in hearing the story of these Argentine-Italian booksellers.