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The Theory of the Earth: Containing an Account of the Original of the Earth, and of all the General Changes which it hath Undergone, or is to Undergo, till the Consummation of All Things. Two parts in one volume
R. Norton for Walter Kettilby, London 1684 - Folio (313x195 mm). [20], 327 [1] pp., including engraved frontispiece, two engraved plates, engraved illustrations in text (one full-page). Wormtrail through lower margin of approximately 15 leaves occasionally touching text, little dampstain to top margin, little age-toning and very minor spotting in places. Contemporary calf with red morocco spine label (boards, extremities and corners worn, hinges repaired, spine ends chipped). Provenance: William North, 6th Baron North and 2nd Baron Grey (1678-1734), with his large armorial bookplate dated 1703 to front pastedown and signature to title page. Fine copy. ---- Wing B5950 - Rare first English edition of Telluris Theoria Sacra (Latin 1681). The work was the most popular geologic work of the seventeenth century. Thomas Burnet (ca. 1635-1715), a fellow of Christ's College Cambridge, had traveled on the European continent as governor of the earls of Wiltshire and Orrery. During these travels, Burnet had commenced writing his theory of the earth. "Burnet believed that there were four major events in the Earth's history: its origin from chaos, the universal deluge, the universal conflagration, and the consummation of all things." (DSB II, pp. 612-613). Burnet believed that initially the surface of the earth had covered the subterranean waters, but that the Earth flooded when the surface caved into the abyss. Both the Latin and English editions were initially received favourably. "Many praised the style and thought, a few questioned the theory" (DSB). When the book became a subject of greater controversy, Burnet answered the criticism with an expanded Latin edition published in 1689, and a similar English edition in 1691, containing two additional books and 'A review of the Theory of the Earth'. "Whether accepted or ridiculed, the theory helped popularise the idea that the features of the earth's surface were constantly changing" (DSB). The first map shows Europe, Asia, Africa and a poorly defined Indonesian Archipelago and Southern continent, as well as as Terra Incognita at he Poles. The second map shows North and South America (California is still shown as an island). The large figure on p. 101 shows the Earth during the Flood with Noah's Ark perched on Mount Ararat held up by two Angels. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Milestones of Science Books]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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