London, South Kensington
9 June 2015
LYELL, Charles (1797-1875). Principles of geology, being an attempt to explain the former changes of the Earth's surface, by reference to causes now in operation. London: John Murray, 1830-1833. 3 volumes, 8° (224 x 144mm). Half titles in volumes I and III as published, 3 frontispieces, 2 coloured, 3 maps, 2 folding and 2 coloured, 5 plates, wood-engraved illustrations, 16pp. of publisher's advertisements dated November 1830 at front of volume I. (Occasional light spotting and staining, frontispiece in vol. III detached.) Original boards, printed paper spine labels (large portions of text block unopened, vol. I with splits to spine, vol. II with tail of spine defective and splits at head, extremities lightly rubbed to all vols), contained in a modern slipcase. Provenance: Culley of Coupland Castle (inscription on flyleaf in vol. II) – Lord Kennet of the Dene (bookplates).
FIRST EDITIONS. ‘Lyell had established once and for all the uniformitarian theory of geology, which dispensed with the notion of supernatural intervention. The second volume of Lyell's book reached Darwin in Montevideo and his constant references to the enormous influence on his thinking of this great work are typified by a letter from him to Leonard Horner saying “I always feel as if my books came half out of Lyell's brain.” Both Haeckel and Huxley regarded the Origin as a necessary corollary to Lyell's Principles’ (PMM). Challinor 125; Dibner 96; Horblit 70; Milestones of Science 140; Norman 1398; Ward & Carozzi 1407; cf. PMM 344.
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