Published in 1837 by John Murray. Volume I only (of 4 volumes), of the Fifth Edition. Grey boards with attached spine label. Illustrated with black & white drawings, diagrams, and a fold-out map.
The full title as stated on the title page: 'Principles of Geology : Being an Inquiry How Far the Former Changes of the Earth's Surface, are Referable to Causes now in Operation'.
Principles of Geology is a book by the Scottish geologist Charles Lyell that was first published in 3 volumes from 1830–1833. Lyell used the theory of Uniformitarianism to describe how the Earth's surface was changing over time. This theory was in direct contrast to the geological theory of Catastrophism. Many individuals believed in catastrophism to allow room for religious beliefs. For example, Noah's Flood could be described thus as a real geological event as catastrophism describes the changing of the Earth surface as one-time, violent events. Lyell challenged the believers of the catastrophic theory by studying Mount Etna in Sicily and describing the changes from one stratum to another and the fossil records within the rocks to prove that slow, gradual changes were the cause of the ever-changing Earth's surface. Lyell used geological proof to determine that the Earth was older than 6,000 years, as had been previously contested. The book shows that the processes that are occurring in the present are the same processes that occurred in the past.
In Fair condition, the boards are rubbed and worn, particularly along the and the spine strip which is partially missing. The front board is split along to the internal hinge, but still attached. Internally fairly clean with only a few foxing spots, and the fold-out map is in good condition. All pages are complete and the strung binding is sound.