Storia Naturale della Creazione was published in 1860 in Codogno, in the midst of the social and political turmoils of the Italian Risorgimento. It was written by Francesco Majocchi (1820-1885), a Catholic priest well-known in his time for his political commitment, his civic engagement and his interest in education. The book is a significant research subject for the history of science, being the only Italian translation of the celebrated Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, an anonymous treatise published in 1844. The Vestiges is widely regarded as the most important English book in the history of evolutionary theory before Darwin’s work, since - more than any other one - it drew the attention of the middle class on this controversial issue. After being ordained priest, Majocchi held several teaching and administrative positions in school. He spoke out in support of Italian unification and led a "Mutuo Soccorso" society which provided financial and social support for workers. Furthermore, he wrote some public letters endorsing women’s eman cipation, from both an economic and social point of view. This research sheds light on a never-before-seen page in the history of science, providing a new perspective on the connection between science, social and political issues during a crucial moment for the Italian cultural identity.
Keywords: Predarwinism, Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, Francesco Majocchi, Italian translation, Catholic Church, science and society.