Library of 19th Century Science
The Golden Age of Geology

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and maintained by Dr. David C. Bossard.

Last Update 08 November 2013: George Johnston, M. D., A History of the British Zoophytes
All books are now available as an Acrobat PDF volume, accessible  from the book's entry page.
Hugh Miller, The Old Red Sandstone (8th Edition, 1858)



The Golden Age of Geology

    I confess indeed for my own part, I do not look to see the exertions of the present race of geologists surpassed by any who may succeed them. The great geological theorizers of the past belong to the Fabulous Period of the science ; but I consider the eminent men by whom I am surrounded as the Heroic Age of Geology. They have slain its monsters and cleared its wildernesses; and founded here and there a great metropolis, the queen of future empires. They have exerted combinations of talents, which we cannot hope to see often again exhibited; especially when the condition of the science which produced them is changed. I consider that it is now the destiny of Geology to pass from the heroic to the Historical Period. She can no longer look for supernatural successes: but she is entering upon a career, I trust a long and prosperous one, in which she must carry her vigilance into every province of her territory, and extend her dominion over the earth, till it becomes, far more truly than any before, a universal empire.
the Rev. William Whewell
delivered February 15, 1839*
* Address as President of the Geological Society (England).


The Golden Age of Geology is part of the Library of 19th Century Science, which contains a number of books and reports written (mostly) in the 19th century. The books are available for direct viewing.

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The Golden Age of Geology


H.M.S. Challenger
H.M.S. Challenger



You can browse any book by clicking on the title.
The books are listed by date of publication
(the Bridgewater Treatises are listed together).



1808

Buffon
Georges-Louis Leclerc,
Comte de Buffon
(1707-1788)



Comte de Buffon, Barr's Buffon: The Theory of the Earth and the Natural History of Quadrupeds in Ten Volumes. English Translation published by H.D. Symonds.

Comte de Buffon, Barr's Buffon: The Natural History of Birds, Fish, Insects and Reptiles in Six Volumes. English Translation published by H.D. Symonds.
1816
 

William Smith
(1769-1839)
William Smith, Strata Identified by Organized Fossils.

This book was obtained from google books.
1822
Conybeare
William Conybeare
(1787-1857)
William Daniel Conybeare and William Phillips, Outlines of the Geology of England and Wales &c
1827

G. Cuvier
(1769-1832)
Baron G. Cuvier, Essay on the Theory of the Earth
1831
 
Baron G. Cuvier
(1769-1832)
Baron G. Cuvier, A Discourse on the Revolutions of the Surface ofthe Globe. Translated from the French.
1831
 
Sir John Herschel
Sir John Frederick William Herschel
(1792–1871)
John Herschel, A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy 
4th edition
1833
 

trilobite
(portrait not available)
Robert Bakewell
(1768-1843)
Robert Bakewell, Introduction to Geology
with an introduction by Prof. B. Silliman
"The first modern textbook on geology" - Davis Young

BRIDGEWATER TREATISES
First Published between 1833 and 1837
#
date

Title
01
1835

Thomas Chalmers
(1780-1847)
The Rev. Thomas Chalmers, D.D., On the Moral and Intellectual Constitution of Man. (1835). First  published in 1833.
02
1833
(portrait unavailable)
John Kidd
(1775-1851)
John Kidd, M.D. F.R.S., On the Adaptation of External Nature to the Physical Condition of Man. (1833)
03
1833

William Whewell
(1794-1866)
The Rev. William Whewell, M.A. F.R.S., Astronomy and General Physics Considered with Reference to Natural Theology. (1833)
04
1834

Sir Charles Bell
(1774-1842)

Sir Charles Bell, K.G. H.F. R.S.L. & E. The Hand: Its Mechanism and Vital Endowments as Evincing Design. (1834)
05
1839

Peter Mark Roget
(1779-1869)

Peter Mark Roget, M.D., On Animal and Vegetable Physiology. Second Edition (1839). First published in 1834.
06
1837
 
William Buckland
(1784-1856)
The Rev. William Buckland, D.D. F.R.S., On Geology and Mineralology. Second Edition (1837)
07
1852

William Kirby
(1759-1850)

The Rev. William Kirby, M.A. F.R.S., On the History, Habits, and Instincts of Animals. New Edition (1852). First published in 1835.
08
1834

William Prout
(1785-1850)

William Prout, M.D. F.R.S., Chemistry, Meterology, and the Function of Digestion, Considered With Reference to Natural Theology. Second Edition (1834)
09
1837

Charles Babbage
(1791-1871)

Charles Babbage, Ninth Bridgewater Treatise: A Fragment


1835
 

Edward Hitchcock
(1793-1864)
Edward Hitchcock, The Footmarks of Birds on new Red Sandstone in Massachusetts.
1835
 

Adam Sedgwick
(1785-1873)
Adam Sedgwick, A Discourse on the Studies of the Universtity 
1837
 

John Phillips
(1800-1874)
John Phillips, A Treatise on Geology 
1838

George Johnston, M. D., A History of the British Zoophytes
1839
 
Louis Agassiz
(1807-1873)

Louis Agassiz, Description des Echinodermes Fossiles de la Suisse.

First scientist to recognize evidence for an  ice age in Europe.
 
1839

Gideon Algernon Mantell
(1790-1852)
Gideon Algernon Mantell, The Wonders of Geology

First scientist to describe the dinosaur.
1840
 
No Portrait Available
John Pye Smith
(1774-1851)
John Pye Smith, On the Relation between the Holy Scriptures and some parts of Geological Science.
1844
 
Group of Fossils -- Ammonites Turrilites Costatus, Fucoides, Echinus and Fuscus.
Gideon Algernon Mantell, Medals of Creation  
1845
 
Sir Charles Lyell
(1797-1875)
Sir Charles Lyell, Travels in North America (2 Volumes 1845) and Second Visit to the United States (2 Volumes 1849) 
1845

Charles Darwin
(1809-1882)
Charles Darwin, Journal of Researches (2nd Edition, 1860)
1845
  Charles Wilkes
Charles Wilkes
Commander, U.S. Navy
(1798-1877)
Charles Wilkes,  Narrative of the Explratory Expedition During the Years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842
Complete in  Five Volumes.
1850
 
Temple of Serapis at Puzzuoli
Sir Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology; or, The Modern Changes of the earth and its Inhabitants.  
1851
 
Volcano Cross-section
Edward Hitchcock, Religion of Geology and its Connected Sciences.
1851
  
Trilobite
Trilobite
David King, The Principles of Geology Explained
1851

Hugh Miller
(1802-1856)
Hugh Miller, First Impressions of England and its People.

Biographical.
1852


Alexander von Humboldt
(1769-1859)
Alexander von Humboldt,
Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of America During the Years 1799-1804

1853
  

Thomas Chalmers
(1780-1847)
Thomas Chalmers, On Natural Theology
1855
 
Ammonite
Sir Charles Lyell, A Manual of Elementary Geology, also known as The Elements of Geology.
1855

John Phillips
(1800-1874)







John Phillips, The Rivers, Mountains and Seacoast of Yorkshire, second edition.
1857

Medusa
Medusa
Cyanea Artica
from Vol III, Plate 3
Louis Agassiz, Contributions to the Natural History of the United States
1857

Edward Hitchcock, Religious Truth, Illustrated from Science.
1858

W. Mullinger Higgins, The Earth: Its Physical Condition and Most Remarkable Phenomena
1858


Alexander von Humboldt
(1769-1859)
Alexander von Humboldt, Cosmos: A Sketch of A Physical description of the Universe
1858
Osteolepis
Osteolepis
Hugh Miller, Foot-Prints of the Creator
1858

Hugh Miller
(1802-1856)
Hugh Miller, My Schools and Schoolmasters

Auto-biography
1858

Hugh Miller
(1802-1856)
Hugh Miller, The Old Red Sandstone (8th Edition, 1858)
1858


William Whewell
(1794-1866)
William Whewell, A History of the Inductive Sciences
1859

Sir Charles Lyell, The Elements of Geology
1860
Plesiosaurus
Plesiosaurus
Edward Hitchcock and Charles H. Hitchcock, Elementary Geology
1863
Plesiosaurus
The Fossil Record
Louis Agassiz and A. A. Gould, Principles of Geology
1863
Sir Charles Lyell
Sir Charles Lyell
Sir Charles Lyell, The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man
1863

James D. Dana
(1813-1895)
James D. Dana, The Classification of Animals
1865
 
Western Canada
Geological Map of Canada from the 1863 Report
1867
Sir John Herschel
Sir John Frederick William Herschel
(1792-1871)
Sir John F. W. Herschel, Familiar Lectures on Scientific Subjects. (Second Edition, 1867).
1869
 
Hugh Miller
Hugh Miller, Sketch-book of Popular Geology. The 1869 edition was published post-humously and includes a preface by his wife,  Lydia Miller.
1869

Hugh Miller, Essays, Historical and Biographical, Political and Social, Literary and Scientific.
1870
dragonfly
Fossil Dragon-fly
Hugh Miller, The Testimony of the Rocks
1870
 
Nautilis
Alexander Winchell, Sketches of Creation: A Popular View of Some of the Grand Conclusions of the Sciences in reference to the History of Matter and of Life.
1870

The Polar Seas
Louis Figuier, Earth and Sea.
1871

Hugh Miller, Tales and Sketches
With a Preface by Mrs. Lydia Miller
1872
 
Nautilis
Louis Figuier, The World Before the Deluge
1875
James Dana, Corals and Coral Islands
1876
 
Ernst Haeckel
(1834-1919)
Ernst Haeckel, The History of Creation
1877
Joseph Cook
Joseph Cook,Biology, with Preludes on Current Events
     The Boston Lectures: A series of lectures on topics related to Evolution, particularly the origin of life,  including: the source of the "life principle" (in response to Huxley's "Bathybius" as the progenitor of all life) and Haeckel's promotion of evolution as a panacea to explain modern life. A critique of  Haeckel''s History of Creation.
1877

Correspondence relating to the H.M.S. Challenger Expedition.
1878
 
Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay
(1814-1891)
A. C. Ramsay, The Physical Geology and Geography of Great Britain: A Manual of British Geology. This book includes a high-resolution geological map of Great Britain.
1880
 
 
(image not available)
A. Wilford Hall

A. Wilford Hall, Problem of Human Life Here and Hereafter: Embracing the "Evolution of Sound" and "Evolution Evolved," with A Review of the Six Great Modern Scientists, Darwin, Huxley, Tyndall, Haeckel, Helmholtz, and Mayer.  (Revised Edition, 1880).
1882


Sir Archibald Geikie
Sir Archibald Geikie
(1835-1924)



Archibald Geikie, Geological Sketches at Home and Abroad,
1886
 
Alexander Winchell
(1824-1891)
Alexander Winchell, Walks and Talks in the Geological Field, An easy-going popular discussion for young people
1886
Section p.016
Charles Doolittle Walcott
(1850-1927)

Charles Doolittle Walcott, Second Contribution to the Studies of Cambrian Faunas of North America (Bulletin of the USGS #30)
1887

Sir Archibald Geikie
(1835-1924)
Archibald Geikie, The Scenery of Scotland
1887

Charles Darwin
(1809-1882)
Charles Darwin, The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domesticaion. (2 Volumes, 2nd Edition, 1887)
1888

Sir John Willliam Dawson
(1820-1899)

Sir J. William Dawson, The Geological History of Plants
1893

Sir John Willliam Dawson
(1820-1899)

Sir J. William Dawson, Some Salient Points in the Science of the Earth.
1893

Elizabeth Cary Agassiz
(1822-1907)

Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, Louis Agassiz: His Life and Correspondence.
1896
 p. 599-fig918
Trilobite Phacops Rana
James D. Dana, Manual of Geology, Treating of the Principles of the Science with Special reference to American Geological History.
1897
 p. 599-fig918
Fridtjof Nansen
Fridtjof Nansen, Farthest North, Being the Record of a Voyage of Exploration of the ship "Fram" 1893-1896 and of a Fifteen Months' Sleigh Journey by Dr. Nansen and Lieut. Johansen. This Voyage reached 86° N. Latitude, the closest to the North Pole reached at that time.
1899
 
 

J. Arthur Thomson
(1861-1933)
J. Arthur Thomson, The Science of Life: An Outine of the History of Biology and its Recent Advances. (Second Edition, 1899).
1899

Ernst Haeckel
(1834-1919)

Ernst Haeckel, The Last Link: Our Present Knowledge of the Descent of Man
 (Second Edition, 1899).
1901

Ernst Haeckel
(1834-1919)

Ernst Haeckel, The Riddle of the Universe at the Close of the Nineteenth Century.
 (1901).
1901

Karl Alfred von Zittel
(1839-1904)
Karl Alfred von Zittel, History of Geology and Palæontology to the End of the Nineteenth Century. Included are biographical sketches of the prominent geologists of the period.
1902
 
Sir Archibald Geikie
(1835-1924)
Sir Archibald Geikie, Text-Book of Geology 
1904
 
Eduard Suess
(1841-1914)
Eduard Suess, The Face of the Earth (Das Antlitz der Erde) in Five Volumes, English translation between 1904 and 1924.
1905
 

Sir Archibald Geikie
(1835-1924)
Sir Archibald Geikie, The Founders of Geology 
1905
 
 

Sir Oliver Lodge
(1851-1940)
Sir Oliver Lodge, Life and Matter: A Criticism of Professor Haeckel's "Riddle of the Universe" (1905)
1906
 
Ernst Krause (Carus Sterne)
(1839-1903)
Carus Sterne (Ernst Krause) Werden und Vergehen [Generation and Decay]
German Language
English Translation of Preface and Memoriam


FORWARD TO THE VOLUMES (English and German)

BIOGRAPHY AND MEMORIAL TO  CARUS STERNE
(English and German)

1906
(image not available)
John Theodore Merz
(1840-1922)

John Theodore Merz, History of European Thought in the Nineteenth Century
1907

Horace B. Woodward, The History of the Geological Society of London.
1913
 
(image not available)
Lawrence Joseph Henderson
(1878-1942)
Lawrence J. Henderson, The Fitness of the Environment. This book discusses chemical properties that are essential for life to exist, in particular the unique properties of water and carbonic acid. See also Alfred Russel Wallace, Man's Place in the Universe (1902).
1920
(image not available)
John Theodore Merz
(1840-1922)
John Theodore Merz, Fragments on the Human Mind.



Geological Map of Canada and Northern U.S.
prepared in 1865.


map at 100 ppi (320 Kb)
map at 400 ppi (2.3 Mb)
map at 1000 ppi (7.2 Mb)

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Geological Map of Great Britain
From Ramsay, 1878

map at 100 ppi (320 Kb)
map at 400 ppi (1.9 Mb)
map at 1000 ppi (4.4 Mb)




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Last Update 19 March 2012  -
All books are now available as an Acrobat PDF volume, accessible  from the book's entry page.
Hugh Miller, The Old Red Sandstone (8th Edition, 1858)