Geology book by Charles Lyell, Travels in North America in the Years 1841 and 1842.
Item Number: Book-554d
Lyell, Charles; Travels in North America, in the Years 1841-42; with Geological Observations on the United States, Canada and Nova Scotia. Two volumes in one, New York, Wiley & Putnam, 1845. Octavo, pp. vii, 251, folded colored frontispiece view of Niagara Falls, colored map of Niagara District, folded b/w view of Niagara Falls, folded b/w plate of fossils & pp. vi, 231, 10 pages of ads, folded hand-colored map of United States & Canada, 2 b/w plates.
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The set is complete and in the original cloth with gilt spine titles. Binding is tight and clean. 1852 ownership name on end sheet. Light foxing to margins of pages and light foxing to margins of some plates. Soiling to very outer margins of map and Niagara Falls view. Over all in very good condition.
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A Scottish geologist and first Professor of Geology, King's College, London; Lyell (1797-1875) is considered the "father of modern geology". His observations in stratigraphy and paleontology; made during extensive travels in Europe and America, laid the foundations for his separation of post Cretaceous strata into Eocene, Miocene, Pliocene and Pleistocene. His observations also led to to his monumental work "Principles of Geology" which was the standard text of uniformitarianism (the processes of the past can be judged by those of the present) in its treatment of stratigraphy, structural geology, sedimentology and geomorphology. The text was used by Charles Darwin and had a profound influence on his thinking concerning evolution. At the time of Lyell's first trip to America his "Principles" had seen six editions in London and a pirated edition in Philadelphia. The first geological surveys of Pennsylvania and New York were nearing completion and the most important scientific results were appearing in the American Journal of Science and the fossil prints in New England were being discussed in the literature. Lyell was eager to visit these areas and other states to see field areas first hand and notified Silliman and Hall of his intended visit. He arrived in Boston in July 1841, gave a dozen lectures to a packed hall at the Lowell Institute. He carried with him the necessary material for printing the true first American edition of "Principles" in Boston. It was no accident that the edition was published in Boston in 1842. The Lyells then proceeded to cover the region from Quebec to Savannah, Georgia. He initially spent two weeks in the company of James Hall, visiting Niagara Falls but first looking at the entire stratigraphic section from Albany west to the Niagara Gorge. From there he travelled to Pennsylvania and New Jersey studying the geology of both states and hence to the Carolinas and Georgia, through Kentucky, Ohio. He traveled from Niagara to Toronto, Kingston, Montreal and Nova Scotia. The work reads as a diary of his travels thus providing a first hand experience of his travels and observations. The folding geological map in volume II traces his route.