GREENOUGH, George Bellas (1778-1855). A geological map of England and Wales [together with:] Memoir of a geological map of England. London: published under the direction of the Geological Society, by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown, 1819-1820. Large hand-coloured folding engraved map (1865 x 1600mm) and 4° Memoir (361 x 262m). Map engraved in four main sections to the scale of 5 nautical miles to one inch, the whole laid down on linen, varnished, and attached to a roller, as published. (The map with some areas of varnish lightly abraded, the colour lightly faded, recent expert re-inforcement of linen at top batten attachment; very light vertical crease to Memoir, fore-edges with very light marginal dust-soiling.) The Memoir bound in original buff wrappers with printed paper label to upper wrapper (fore-edge of upper wrapper slightly chipped and frayed, both wrappers with occasional light spotting and browning).
FIRST EDITION OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY'S FIRST MAP. Greenough studied mineralogy at Freiburg under Werner. Returning to England, he established in 1807 what afterwards became the Geological Society of London, and served as its first president until 1811. 'In 1808 he first sketched the boundary-lines of the various strata in England and Wales, and in 1810 he travelled over a great part of the country for the purpose of mapping it. At the request of the Geological Society he then, with the help of Conybeare, Buckland, and Henry Warburton, coloured a large scale-map drawn by Webster, and in 1820 published it in six sheets, with an index of hills [the Memoir ]' (DNB). It is now recognised that he plagiarised William Smith's pioneering geological map of 1815, and some have even suggested that the present work's publication drove Smith into debtors' prison. There is no mention of Smith on the map itself, although Greenough does defend himself from accusations of plagiarsim in the Memoir (p.4). THE MAP AND MEMOIR ARE OF THE UTMOST RARITY, AND TO HAVE BOTH TOGETHER IS EXCEPTIONAL. Only eight institutions have both the map and the Memoir: Geological Society, BL, Oxford, Cambridge, NHM, Illinois, Linda Hall and Claremont. According to ABPC, no copies of the map or the Memoir have sold at auction since 1975. Challinor 91. (2)