Lyell, Charles; Principles of Geology, being an Attempt to explain the former Changes of the Earth's Surface, by reference to causes now in operation. Eighth and Entirely Revised Edition. London, John Murray, 1850. Quarto, pp. xvi, 811, frontispiece, 11 plates, 97 text figures.
The work is complete and in a contemporary half calf over marbled boards with five spine panels and gilt spine titles and marbled end sheets. The binding is tight and clean with minor scuffing to the boards. Owner’s early penned signature on the first free end sheet. The text and plates are very clean. In very good condition.
Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875) was an English geologist and naturalist and is considered a “ Father of Modern Geology". His “ Principles” first appeared in three volumes between 1830-1833. The work greatly influenced the development of Darwin's thought. Darwin was given the first volume of the Principles by Captain Fitzroy when they embarked on the Beagle, and the other two volumes were sent to him during the voyage. Lyell explained geological features by causes now in operation over immense periods of time; Darwin acknowledged that this was part of the key to his developing the theory of natural selection. Darwin wrote that 'when seeing a thing never seen by Lyell, one yet saw it partially through his eyes' and confirmed many of Lyell's observations with careful fieldwork. He endorsed Lyell's belief in an earth gradually shaped over countless ages: time enough - as he later grasped - for evolution by natural selection to occur'. The work remains a classic for presenting the doctrine of uniformitarianism.