This book is in a very good condition as new very clean unread condition no pencil marks or creases. It is bound in green cloth covered boards with bright gilt titling to the spine and decoration to the front board by Neil Gower. Silk top and tail bands and colour illustrated endpapers. The text block is tight bright and white the book is enclosed encased in a rust covered slipcase bearing a full colour reproduction of a plate from Kunstformen der Natur by Ernst Haeckel. Illustrated with over 120 full colour photographs most published here for the first time. In this beautifully illustrated edition, these 120 colour photographs show awe-inspiring images of a kaleidoscopic range of creatures, some millions of years old and caught in their last actions. Ever since Darwin shocked the world with his theories of evolution and natural selection, scientists and thinkers have continued to probe the mystery of life on earth. One of the most influential among them is Richard Fortey, leading palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum in London, who spent decades travelling the world uncovering traces of prehistoric life for his compelling and critically acclaimed 'unauthorised biography'. Life is a fascinating odyssey through the first 4 billion years of life on earth, from the big bang to the first humans and in this Folio Society edition - the only fully illustrated version available - 120 stunning photographs provide an unforgettable visual companion to Fortey's inspirational narrative. Leading us across poisonous atmospheres, hot seas and stews of bacterial slime, Fortey reveals an earth 'greened' by the 'swampy exodus' of plants from the sea, then inhabited by the strangest creatures: giant hedgehogs and scaly worms, one-eyed elephants, whales with legs, and dinosaurs. Our journey encompasses titanic milestones such as the separation of the continents and the first womb births, and shows us how the human race is 'one tribe with bacteria that live in hot springs, parasitic barnacles, vampire bats and cauliflowers'.