Between 1830 and 1833, Charles Lyell (1797-1875) published his three-volume Principles of Geology, which has also been reissued in this series. The work's renown stems partly from the fact that the young Charles Darwin, on his voyage around the world aboard the Beagle, became influenced by Lyell's ideas relating to gradual change across large spans of time. Shaping the development of scientific enquiry in Britain and beyond, Lyell was determined to disconnect geology from religion. He originally intended some of the present work, first published in 1838, to be a supplement to the Principles, but later expanded it to serve as a general introduction to geology. The topics covered include the formation of various rock types, matters of field geology, and how the presence of marine fossils above sea level could be explained by the land rising, rather than the sea retreating. Many salient points are illustrated with woodcuts.… (more)
PREFACE TO THE FIFTH EDITION -------- It is now more than three years since the appearance of the last Edition of the manual (published January, 1851). In that interval the science of Geology has been advancing as usual at a rapid pace, making it desirable to notice many new facts and opinions, and to consider their bearing on the previously acquired stock of knowledge.
CHAPTER I. ON THE DIFFERENT CLASSES OF ROCKS. Of what materials is the earth composed, and in what manner are these materials arranged?
Thus as we increase our knowledge of the inexhaustible variety displayed in living nature, and admire the infinite wisdom and power which it displayed in living nature, and admire the infinite wisdom and power which it displays, our admiration is multiplied by the reflection, that it is only the last of a great series of pre-existing creations, of which we cannot estimate the number or limit in times past.