Rare Geology Book: George Hoggart Toulmin; The Antiquity and Duration of the World. London, T. Cadell, 1780.

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Toulmin, George Hoggart; The Antiquity and Duration of the World. London, T. Cadell, 1780. Octavo, pp. ix, 12, 200.

The work is complete and in a contemporary calf over marbled boards. Restoration to binding corners and hinges, modern gilt spine label. Owners book plate on paste down, earlier label removed from end sheet, no library markings present. Some early penciled notations in text margins, text is clean. In very good condition. Very rare.


An English physician Toulmin ( 1754-1817) is best remembered by historians of geology as the author of the work “ Antiquity and Duration of the World”, published in 1780. Some historians have argued that his work was plagiarized from Hutton’s “Theory of the Earth”, possibly from an early draft. With the passage of time this would be hard to prove. Toulmin argues that the Earth’s processes are eternal, mountains are eroded and uplifted yet again, that marine fossils were laid down on the bottom of seas and uplifted during mountain building processes, and the submergence of old continents ultimately led to the emergence of new continents. The fact remains that Toulmin’s work appeared in print five years before Hutton’s oral presentation before the Royal Society of Edinburgh.