LYELL, CHARLES, SIR. 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, 1830-33.

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Lot 35
LYELL, CHARLES, SIR. 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, 1830-33.

Sold for US$ 6,875 inc. premium
LYELL, CHARLES, SIR. 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, 1830-33.
3 volumes. 8vo (207 x 123 mm). [iii]-xvi, 511, [1] ad; xii, 330; [iii]-xxxii, 398, 109, [1] ad pp. Lacking half-titles volumes 1 & 3 (not called for volume 2). Illustrated with 2 hand-colored aquatint plates, 6 uncolored engraved plates, and 3 maps (2 hand-colored and 2 folding); numerous woodcut illustrations in text. 19th century diced calf rebacked, spines gilt. Some faint spotting to plates vols 1 & 3, offset to title vol 1, tear to fore-edge of final leaf vol 1, but a clean copy overall, some minor wear to binding.
Provenance: James Olë Hoyer (ownership inscription dated 1854 in each volume).

FIRST EDITION OF A FOUNDATIONAL TEXT OF MODERN SCIENCE, AND A CENTRAL INFLUENCE ON THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION. Lyell demonstrated that large-scale changes in the Earth's physical geography could be explained by uniform geological causes observable in the present day, rather than by catastrophic or biblical events. The implications of Lyell's study would have a profound effect on the development of evolutionary theory. Lyell's "influence on Darwin was incalculable. When the Beagle expedition sailed in 1831 Henslow presented Darwin with the first volume of Lyell's Principles of Geology ... with the strong injunction that he should 'on no account accept the views therein advocated.' 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 reference to the enormous influence on this 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 a necessary corollary to Lyell's Principles. Darwin, indeed, was intent upon carrying Lyell's demonstration of the uniformity of natural causes over into the organic world" (PMM 344). Dibner 96; Grolier/Horblit 70; Milestones of Science 140; Norman 1398.
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