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Telliamed, ou Entretiens d'un Philosophe - MAILLET, Benoît de - 1748. [1278270]
Mis en ordre sur les Mémoires de feu M. de Maillet, par J.A. G[uer]. 6 p.l., cxix, [9], 208 pp.; 1 p.l., 231, [2] pp., one leaf of errata. Two vols. in one. 8vo, cont. polished calf (small defect at head of lower joint), triple gilt fillet round sides, spine richly gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Amsterdam: L'Honoré & Fils, 1748. First edition. Maillet (1656-1738), French diplomat, wrote most of this work while serving as general consul at Cairo. "This fundamental work, in essence an ultraneptunian theory of th earth, was based largely on his geological field observations made during extensive travels throughout Egypt and other Mediterranean countries…Maillet's ideas unquestionably influenced many leading naturalists for almost a century, notably Buffon and Cuvier."-D.S.B., IX, pp. 26-(& see the entire article for a detailed account of this book's importance). For another interesting discussion of the importance of this book, see Eiseley's Darwin's Century. Fine fresh copy. ? Ashworth & Bradley, Theories of the Earth 1644-1830 (Linda Hall Library: 1984), 24-"He thought that life arose in primitive forms in shallow seas, gradually becoming more complex as the waters retreated. Moreover, Millet believed that the regression of the sea was a cyclical process, and that the earth, once a sun, would eventually dry out, rekindle, and become a sun again. Maillet's estimate of a time span for this cycle was a heady five billion years.".
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