Geology & Earth Science
Aikin, John | The Calendar of Nature
Third edition of this charming little book on the changing of the seasons from month to month by the “physician and man of letters” John Aiken (1747-1822) (Hahn, The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature).
Aiken charming combines practical knowledge of nature and gardening with literary references. For April he writes: “This month gives the most perfect image of Spring; for its vicissitudes of warm gleams of sunshine, and gentle showers, have the most wonderful effects in hastening that universal springing of the vegetable tribes, from whence the season derives its appellation. April generally begins with raw unpleasant weather, the influence of the equinoctial storms still in some degree prevailing, Its opening is thus described in a poem of Mr. Warton’s: ‘Mindful of disaster past, And thinking of the northern blast, The fleety storm returning still, The morning hoar; the evening chill; Reluctant comes the timid Spring...’ Early in the month, that welcome guest and harbinger of Summer, the swallow, returns. The kind first seen, is the chimney, or house, swallow, known by its long forked tail, and red breast. At first, here and there, only one appears, glancing quick by us, as if scarcely able to endure the cold. ‘The swallow for a moment seen, Skims in haste the village green’.”
A very nice copy in an attractive contemporary tree calf binding. With the ownership inscription and notes of a woman, Eliza Davenport, who obtained this copy in 1810. Davenport’s short pencilled notes at the rear of the volume relate to a handful of observations of flowering plants and other phenomena.
...Designed for the Instruction and Entertainment of Young Persons. The Third Edition. London: Joseph Johnson, 1787.
Duodecimo (155 x 95mm). Contemporary tree calf, spine gilt in compartments, marbled endpapers. 1810 ownership inscription to the verso of the front free endpaper, pencilled notes of a similar date to the verso of the rear blank. Binding lightly rubbed at the extremities, the corner of B6 torn, not affecting the text, light spotting to the contents. Very good condition.
Bigelow, Frank H. | Balloon Ascensions
- A substantial, 196-page manuscript of measurements obtained during meterological balloon flights in South America, Europe, Africa, and the United States between 1906 and 1911 (the title gives a date range of 1911-1913, but there do not seem to be any entries after 1911).
The compiler of this manuscript, meteorologist and astronomer Frank H. Bigelow (1851-1924), grew up in Concord, Massachusetts and was educated at the Episcopal Theological School in nearby Cambridge. During the 1870s and 80s he served two stints as assistant astronomer at the Argentine National Observatory at Cordoba, where many of these measurements were made, and also worked as a professor of mathematics at Racine College, as assistant in the National Almanac Office in Washington D. C., and as a professor of meteorology at the National Weather Bureau.
Neatly written on graph paper, each entry in this manuscript is laid out as a grid with the columns headed by elevations. The rows are labelled with a variety of mathematical formula that often relate to each other as they descend the page, “T₁ - T₀” followed by “log T₁ - T₀”, or “T” followed by “log T” then “Log T₁ - T₀” and “Log (Log T₁ - T₀)”. There are also rows where work is presumably checked (check) and various rows are added together (summ). Unfortunately, we cannot locate a guide to the symbols used here, making it difficult to determine exactly what Bigelow was studying. Prose notes occasionally appear, however, and seem to indicate that his measurements were connected with heat and possibly solar activity. “Since z increases upwards the (-) sign indicates loss of heat energy from level to level outwards... The evidence is strongly against the theory that absorption is proportional to the density or path length...” “The assumed (E₁ - E₀) solar near surface seems to require special modification because the p values are impossible...”.
As well as meteorology, Bigelow studied the solar corona, aurora, and terrestrial magnetism, and it may be in pursuit of these subjects that the present ascensions were made. It is also unclear whether Bigelow or a colleague actually went up in the balloons, or whether they were uncrewed weather balloons which had first been used in the late 1890s by the French meteorologist Léon Teisserenc de Bort. We suspect the former, as results are given for multiple elevations during each flight. Unusually, within the manuscript the flights are bound entirely out of date order, and it’s unclear whether this was an accident or a way to highlight or connect certain results. This manuscript would benefit from attention by an informed cataloguer or scholar, in connection with similar materials....Cordoba - Argentina 1911 - 1913. Europe and United States. 1906-1911.
Folio (352 x 215 mm), single leaves oversewn in sections onto sawn-in cords. 196 page manuscript in black and red ink and pencil, rectos only. Leaves numbered in blue crayon. Contemporary quarter black skiver, black pebble-grain cloth, titles to spine gilt, marbled endpapers, graph paper leaves. Spine professionally relined and reattached to text block by Bainbridge Conservation, binding rubbed and worn, particularly along the spine, endpapers and blanks tanned, contents a little toned, a few contemporary ink blotches. Very good condition.
Boos, C. Maynard & Margaret Fuller | "Tectonics of Eastern Flank and Foothills of Front Range, Colorado"
Offprint inscribed by Margaret Boos on the title, “To Sherman Wengerd, with appreciation for his prompt and careful editing of the manuscript, Margaret and Maynard Boos”.
Geologist Margaret Boos (1892-1978), known as Peggy to her friends, was one of the 20th century’s leading experts on the geology of the Rocky Mountains, principally the structure and stratigraphy of the Front Range; carried out important work on minerals and petroleum reserves in the region; and taught at universities across the American West, including establishing and serving as head of the Department of Geology at the University of Denver. She met her husband, C. Maynard Boos, while both were graduate students at the University of Chicago and he became “an ideal field partner”, helping her expand on her own work (Jacobson, “Margaret Fuller Boos: Colorado Pegmatite Geologist”, Matrix vol. 5, summer 1998. p. 74). Boos became one of the first female members of the American Geological Association and in 1975 the US Board of Geographic Names designed a previously unclimbed mountain in Alaska “Peggy’s Peak” in her honour. “Boos was very interested in supporting women students studying geology at Northwestern University; following her death, the Margaret Fuller Boos Scholarship was established as a permanent endowed fund for women graduate students at Northwestern” (Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science). The present paper is on the subject for which Boos and her husband are best know, the geology of the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies, and is listed as a key work in the Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science.
The recipient of this inscribed offprint, Sherman Wengerd (1915-1995) was a distinguished petroleum geologist at the University of New Mexico and a leader in his field, responsible for more than 140 academic publications and the supervision of 30 masters theses and PhD dissertations.
...[offprint from] The Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, volume 41, number 12.
Denver, CO: The American Association of Petroleum Geologists, December, 1957.
Duodecimo, stapled. Small arrow in ink pointing to the authors’ names. A few of the outer leaves split at the head and tail of the spine, but still firmly bound. Excellent condition.
Cadbury, Deborah | The Dinosaur Hunters
First edition, first impression of this well-received popular history of the discovery and scientific documentation of dinosaur fossils in Britain during the early 19th century, notable for its emphasis on the work of Mary Anning in addition to that of Gideon Mantell, William Buckland, and Richard Owen. Though Anning’s work as a fossil collector has been well-known to specialists and historians since the Victorian Era, this volume was an early part of the revival of popular interest in her life which began in 1999 at the 200th anniversary of her birth, and which has continued in recent years with novels and films, as well as an initiative to place a statue of her in Lyme Regis.
...A Story of Scientific Rivalry and the Discovery of the Prehistoric World. London: Fourth Estate, 2000.
Octavo. Original brown boards, titles to spine gilt, green endpapers. With the dust jacket. Illustrations throughout the text. Very slight indentation at the head of spine and shallow bump tot edge of the upper board, light spotting to the top edge of the text block. An excellent copy with the jacket, of which the lower edges of the inner flaps are slightly curled from being in a jacket protector.
Chapman, C. H. Murray | Dragons at Home
First and only edition of this rare children’s book describing a fanciful tour through prehistory led by talking dinosaurs. A lovely copy in the scarce jacket. WorldCat locates only eleven institutional copies, and none appear in recent auction records.
Dragons at Home was published posthumously following the death of author C. H. Murray Chapman (1892-1918), who studied geology at the University of Manchester. “His fascination with geology and astronomy was a constant source of inspiration to him and he contributed to several journals and wrote a book on pre-historic animals which he hoped to publish. Unfortunately, he struggled academically and left Manchester University in 1912.” (University of Manchester Roll of Honour biography). Chapman enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1914 and was commissioned to the Royal Naval Air Service for pilot training in 1915. He endured with good humour a series of accidents, including one that broke his jaw, and apparently “relished the opportunity it gave to write vivid accounts of the sensations of crashing to earth”. Chapman died in February 1918 when his plane was involved in a mid-air collision during an escort flight. His wife, Olive Murray Chapman, later became a well-known adventurer and author, and it was she was was responsible for the publication of Dragons at Home.
The plot of the book follows four English children who, in a nod to Peter Pan, are spirited away to prehistoric times by a friendly Pterodactyl named Ptero who “casually picks up with them at the Natural History Museum” (preface). The tour begins in the Jurassic, where they meet a Stegosaurus and are introduced to him as “four young animals from the Holocene”. A series of gentle adventures follow, in which the group traverse the geological ages and speak with creatures such as a Diplodocus, Brontosaurus, Archaeopteryx, Triceratops, Iguanadons, and Plesiosaurs, and eventually find themselves in the Eocene, where they encounter early mammals – the Mastodon and Deinotherium – followed by the Ice Age mammoth and Irish deer.
Though much of the text is taken up with dialogue, Chapman’s prose is witty and engaging, and it’s clear that he had a talent for describing nature. He writes of Ptero presenting “a lizardy grin. It was funny to see him smile. His grin seemed to meet at the back of his head, and all his sharp teeth showed white” and describes the Pterodactyl’s skin as “so funny... like a piece of warm, shrivelled-up gutta-percha, very light and squashy”. Later, formations in a cave are likened to “upset ice-creams” and the waves of a calm sea “crept onto the shore, and tumbled over each other with a faint murmur, as if they did not dare break the stillness of this hot day”.
...Illustrated by the Author. London: Wells Gardner, Darton & Co. Ltd., .
Octavo. Original blue cloth blocked in orange with the image of a triceratops on the spine and a stegosaurus on the upper board, publisher’s device in blind on the lower board. With the dust jacket replicating the design on the binding. Frontispiece and 12 engravings within the text, 1 plate from a photograph of the author. Gift inscription dated Christmas 1924 to the front free endpaper. Spine rolled, just a little rubbing at the extremities but otherwise the cloth fresh and bright, small spot of dampstain and minor abrasion to the top edge of the text block, endpapers partially tanned, light spotting to contents and edges of text block. A very good copy in the rubbed and lightly spotted jacket with a short split and streak of dampstain to the lower panel and slight loss at the corners.
Emiliani, Cesare | Ancient Temperatures
- Offprint of an early popular article on ancient climate by one of the founders of the field, Cesare Emiliani (1922-1995).
During the late 1950s Emiliani studied the tests (shells) of marine amoebas called foraminifera that are found in samples taken from the floors of the deep oceans. He realised that the oxygen isotope composition of the tests was influenced by atmospheric conditions at the time they were alive and that the deep-sea cores could be used to chart climate going back millions of years. This work laid the foundations for modern analysis of past climates. It also established that the ice ages were a cyclic phenomena; contributed to our understanding ocean floor spreading and plate tectonics; and provided influential support for the hypothesis of Milutin Milanković that climate changes in the deep past had been driven by long-term alterations in the Earth’s orbit and geology. Emiliani remained a leading figure in the study of Earth’s climate history through the 1990s, and was awarded both the Vega Medal and the Alexander Aggasiz Medal.
...Reprinted from Scientific American, February 1958. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1958.
12 page pamphlet, stapled. Illustrations throughout. Very faintly toned at the extreme edges of the spine and wrappers. A superb copy.
Farlow, James O. & M. K. Brett-Surman, editors | The Complete Dinosaur
First edition, first printing. A beautiful copy of one of the most scholarly and best-selling of the dinosaur encyclopedias published during the "dinomania" of the 1990s.
The Complete Dinosaur, copiously illustrated and accessible to both professional and popular audiences, contains forty-three essays by leading geologists and palaeontologists on dinosaur physiology, behaviour, and evolution; the history of palaeontology around the world; and the appearance of dinosaurs in popular culture. The Quarterly Review of Biology described it as “the most readable and interesting book on many aspects of dinosaurs that I know” in which “even the dinosaurian veteran will find novel insights and perspectives”. They cite in particular the chapters on the history of dinosaur studies as “the most comprehensive and historiographically integrated treatment of the subject to date” as well as “Mary Higby Schweitzer’s thoughtful and rational review on how we study the biomolecular resides in fossil organisms, the ‘dialogue’ on dinosaur extinction between a gradualist (Peter Dodson) and a catastrophist (Dale A. Russell), and R. E. H. Reid’s powerful and comprehensive treatment of dinosaurian physiology” (The Quarterly Review of Biology vol. 73, no. 4, December 1998).
Still in print, a second, revised and expanded, edition was published to much acclaim in 2012.
Bloomington & Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press, 1997.
Tall quarto. Original grey cloth, titles to spine and T-rex design to upper board in black, yellow endpapers embossed with patterns of dinosaur scales. With the dust jacket. 8 double-sided colour plates, greyscale illustrations throughout the text. Just a single tiny crease at the edge of the dust jacket. An exceptional copy.
Goin, Peter & Peter Friederici | A New Form of Beauty
First edition, first printing of this significant work on the changing landscapes of the American West, as represented by the Glen Canyon reservoir. Signed by both authors on the title, with an additional inscription by Friederici, “Off into the ‘Great Unknown’!”.
Photographer Peter Goin focuses on human-altered landscapes and is best known for his series on nuclear test sites, published in 1991 as Nuclear Landscapes. His work has been exhibited at more than fifty US and international museums, and he has been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, as well as nominated for an Emmy for his work in experimental video.
Co-author Peter Friederici is an award-winning journalist and academic specialising in science and the environment. As he writes in the introduction, “This book is about that moment of falling when the solid ground under us gives way to something new. It is about the vanishing of the second-largest artificial lake in America in the face of the new, potent phenomenon we call climate change... Though the book focuses on one reservoir in the Colorado River Basin, it is really about all our known landscapes as we watch them shape-shift into new forms.”
...Glen Canyon Beyond Climate Change. Photographs by Peter Goin. Essays by Peter Friederici. Tucson, AR: The University of Arizona Press, 2016.
Oblong quarto. Original dark blue cloth, titles to spine in orange. With the dust jacket. Colour illustrations throughout, including 1 folding plate. A fine copy in the jacket.
Gould, Stephen Jay | Dinosaur in a Haystack
- First edition, first printing and a beautiful association copy inscribed by the author on the half title, “For Richard & Judy, All the best, dear old friends, Steve. Stephen Jay Gould”.
Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was one of the leading evolutionary biologists of the 20th century. His theory of punctuated equilibria challenged the idea that evolution is a slow and constant accumulation of changes, pointing out that instead it often occurs in rapid bursts of speciation followed by periods of stasis. He was a prominent defender of teaching of evolution in schools and a leading critic of the field of sociobiology, which he saw as providing a pseudoscientific basis for discrimination. But he was best known as a popular science writer, penning three hundred essays that were originally published in Natural History Magazine.
Dinosaur in a Haystack collects thirty-four of these essays, most notably the title piece, which discusses how rates of fossil survival influence theories of mass extinction, and “Dinomania”, his review of the film Jurassic Park and astute analysis of the explosion of interest in dinosaurs during the late 20th century. “...dinosaurs were just as big, as fierce, and as extinct forty years ago, but only a few nerdy kids, and even fewer professional palaentologists, gave a damn about them... why now and not before?”
The recipients of this volume were Richard and Judy Milner. Richard and Gould were childhood friends, and Richard eventually became a historian of science and Gould’s editor at Natural History Magazine. “In 1953, two sixth graders in Bayside, Queens, became best friends after they discovered their shared passions for Gilbert & Sullivan operas, dinosaurs, the American Museum of Natural History and Charles Darwin. In their pantheon of heroes, Darwin ranked above even Joe DiMaggio. Their classmates, of course, considered them geeks and bestowed appropriate nicknames: Fossilface and Dino. Fossilface grew up to become an evolutionary biologist better known as Stephen Jay Gould” (Tierney, “Darwin the Comedian”, The New York Times, 9 February, 2009).
- ...Reflections in Natural History. New York: Harmony Books, 1995.
Octavo. Original black quarter cloth, black boards, title to spine in red. With the dust jacket. Illustrations within the text. A fine copy in the jacket.
Hansen, James | Storms of My Grandchildren
First edition, first printing of this important popular work by leading climate scientist James Hansen (1941 - ).
Hansen, currently director of the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions at Columbia University, has been studying climate change since the 1970s, making important contributions to our understanding of the atmosphere of Venus; how the global average temperature is measured and calculated; the effects of black carbon (such as that produced by forest fires and burning coal); and the design and analysis of climate models, showing that climate change has been occurring faster than most early models predicted.
Hansen first came to public prominence when he testified to Congress in 1988 on the causes and effects of climate change, and in recent years he has been an outspoken activist, critical of ineffectual mitigation policies, and being arrested three times during 2011 demonstrations against the Keystone Pipeline. Storms of My Grandchildren explains the science of anthropogenic climate change, why it threatens humanity’s future, discusses the political issues that kept it from being adequately addressed, and proposes a way foreword for the economy and environment.
...The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity. Illustrations by Makiko Sato. New York: Bloomsbury, 2009.
Octavo. Original black boards, titles to spine in silver. With the dust jacket. Illustrations and charts within the text. Spine a little rolled. An excellent, fresh copy in the bright jacket.
Hibbert, Samuel | History of the Extinct Volcanos of the Basin of Neuwied
First and only edition of this rare work on the effect of volcanic activity on the development of the Rhine Valley, in the original cloth. WorldCat locates only three copies, at Berlin, Göttingen, and the University of Manchester. Only two have appeared at auction in the last decade, this copy at at Forum Auctions in 2017 and one in library cloth at Dominic Winter in 2013.
Author Samuel Hibbert Ware (1782-1848) was an antiquarian and geologist who spent most of his life in Edinburgh, where he was a member of numerous learned societies and was friendly with notables such as Sir Walter Scott. “In 1817 Hibbert visited Shetland, where he discovered 'chromate of iron' and undertook a geological survey of the country. For this discovery the Society of Arts awarded him in 1820 the Iris gold medal. In Shetland he also discovered what he described as 'native hydrate of magnesia'. In 1822 he published his Description of the Shetland Islands, in which he described the local geology and antiquities. Hibbert contributed various papers to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, of which he was secretary from 1823 to 1827, with responsibility for obtaining contributions for meetings and preparing them for publication. He remained an active member of the society, editing volumes and helping run the museum, under what were sometimes difficult conditions.... In 1824, at the request of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, Hibbert delivered at Manchester a course of lectures on geology, and in 1827 a further course for the Manchester Royal Institution... He and his family also spent two or three years abroad, chiefly visiting the volcanic districts of France, Italy, and northern Germany, and he published a History of the Extinct Volcanoes of the Basin of Neuwied on the Lower Rhine (1832) on his return to Edinburgh” (ODNB).
A History of the Extinct Volcanos was well received in the scientific community. A near contemporary, Edward Hull, described it as a work of “remarkable merit, if we consider the time at which it was written. For not only does it give a clear and detailed account of the volcanic phenomena of the Eifel and the Lower Rhine, but it anticipates the principles upon which modern writers account for the formation of river valleys and other physical features; and in working out the physical history of the Rhine Valley below Mainz, and its connection with the extinct volcanos which are found on both banks of that river, he has taken very much the same line of reasoning which was some years afterwards adopted by Sir A. Ramsay when dealing with the same subject. It does not appear that the latter writer was aware of Dr. Hibbert’s treatise” (Hull, Volcanos Past and Present, p. 7).
...on the Lower Rhine. With Maps, Views, and Other Illustrations. Edinburgh & London: W. and D. Lang; Treuttel and Wurtz ad Richter, 1832.
Octavo. Original brown silk morieé, printed paper label to spine. 2 hand-coloured maps, one being the double page folding frontispiece, 6 lithographed plates of which 3 are double page, 18 illustrations within the text. Table and directions to the binder at rear. Publisher’s advert on the front pastedown, covered by a late-19th century Munden family bookplate. Splits at the head of the spine, some small worn spots at the extremities, joints cracked, some light offsetting affecting the maps, some of the plates darkened, light spotting to the edges of the text block. Edges untrimmed. Very good condition.
Jenyns, Leonard | Observations in Meteorology
First edition of this significant contribution to 19th century meteorological records, uncommon in such nice condition.
By the close of his career author Leonard Jenyns (later Blomefield, 1800-1893) was considered a “patriarch of natural history studies in Great Britain” (ODNB). Interested in science from a young age, Jenyns attended Cambridge, where he became a close friend and collaborator with J. S. Henslow. In 1823 Jenyns was ordained, and his first post was as curate of Swaffam Bulbeck, where he made the meteorological observations published in the present volume. Cambridge was nearby, and he maintained strong relations with his colleagues there, becoming friends with the younger Charles Darwin during the naturalist’s time as an undergraduate. Most famously, Jenyns was invited to join the Beagle voyage but declined and recommended Darwin instead, later writing that, “no better man could have been chosen for the purpose” (Darwin Correspondence project biographical sketch). Darwin and Jenyns remained friends and correspondents for the rest of their lives, with Jenyns describing the fish specimens that Darwin collected on his journey, culminating in Fishes of the Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle, published between 1840 and 1842.
Jenyns was a tireless observer, and made numerous contributions to the field of natural history. Other than the Fishes, his most important publications were A Systematic Catalogue of British Vertebrate Animals and A Manual of British Vertebrate Animals; “the latter work was held in high estimation as a work of reference” (ODNB). “In 1856 at the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Cheltenham, he read a paper entitled 'The variation of species', a paper of which Darwin asked to be sent a copy. (Jenyns broadly supported the latter's ideas, subsequently published in Origin of Species.) In 1869 Jenyns was the donor of the Jenyns Library, a munificent gift of some 1200 volumes, which went to Bath's Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. He also donated to this institution his choice herbarium of British plants, consisting of more than forty folio and an equal number of quarto volumes, the result of his life work in this branch of science... The Proceedings of the Bath Field Club abound with papers and addresses from his pen. Not the least valuable are those on the climate and meteorology of Bath. It was entirely at his instance that the small observatory was erected in the Institution gardens in 1865” (ODNB).
...Relating to Temperature, the Winds, Atmospheric Pressure, the Aqueous Phenomena of the Atmosphere, Weather-Changes, etc., Being Chiefly the Results of a Meteorological Journal Kept for Nineteen Years at Swaffham Bulbeck in Cambridgeshire... London: John van Voorst, 1858.
Octavo. Original green cloth, titles to spine gilt, decorative roundels to spine and borders to boards clocked in blind, yellow coated endpapers. Single leaf of publisher’s ads at rear. Lightly rubbed at the extremities, spine a little rolled, endpapers and half title tanned, occasional small spots to contents. An excellent copy, the cloth fresh.
Mantell, Gideon | The Wonders of Geology
Fourth edition, published in the year after the first. A rare early edition of this popular work on the Earth’s history by the founder of dinosaur palaeontology Gideon Mantell, with the remarkable mezzotint frontispiece “The Country of the Iguanodon” by Romantic painter John Martin, as well as illustrations by Mary Ann Mantell, who has been credited with discovering the first Iguanodon tooth.
Though educated as a physician, Gideon Mantell (1790-1852) made enormously important contributions to geology and palaeontology. “His assiduous investigations of the strata and invertebrate fossils of eastern Sussex culminated in The Fossils of the South Downs (1822), his first book (of twelve), with lithography by his wife. Having by then explored the rich vertebrate deposits of Tilgate Forest (near Cuckfield), he announced in February 1825 the discovery of Iguanodon, one of the various kinds of dinosaurs (not yet so called) with which he was subsequently associated. Although his earliest evidence consisted of teeth only, these were sufficient to establish the, at the time unique, identity of Iguanodon as an extinct gigantic herbivorous reptile and to secure for Mantell entry into the Royal Society” (ODNB). In 1832 he announced the discovery of the second dinosaur to be identified, Hylaeosaurus. “Heavily armoured, Hylaeosaurus confirmed that dinosaurs walked on solid ground and were not amphibian, as had earlier been thought” (ODNB).
For a time Mantell displayed his fossils in his private museum in Brighton, where the painter John Martin, already known for his fantastical compositions, “was among the stream of famous and fashionable visitors” (Rudwick, Scenes from Deep Time, p. 78). Mantell recorded in his journal that Martin “was deeply interested in the remains of the Iguanodon etc. I wish I could induce him to portray the country of the Iguanodon: no other pencil but his should attempt such a subject” (Rudwick, p. 79). The resulting painting hung in Mantell’s museum and was reproduced in mezzotint to serve as the frontispiece for the present book, a successful popular account that went through eight editions by the early 1860s.
As science historian Martin Rudwick explains in Scenes from Deep Time (1992), in Martin’s painting “The peaceful, pastoral tone of so many earlier scenes [of the prehistoric world] has been abruptly replaced by the nightmarish ‘Gothick’ melodrama of the Martinesque style. Three huge reptilian monsters are preying ferociously on each other, watched by a smaller winged one. Although evidently inspired by the iguanodon and pterodactyl, the animals are portrayed with scant regard for anatomical accuracy and are derived more from the long artistic tradition represented by innumerable paintings of ‘Saint George and the Dragon’... the application of Martin’s style to the nascent genre of prehistoric scenes vastly enlarged the imaginative repertoire available to those who designed such scenes. The deep past could now be depicted as idyllic, or nightmarish, or something in between, with little if any constraint from the prosaic evidence of geology itself” (Rudwick, p. 81).
...or, A Familiar Exposition of Geological Phenomena; Being the Substance of a Course of Lectures Delivered at Brighton. In Two Volumes. Fourth Edition. London: Relfe and Fletcher, 1839.
2 volumes, octavo. Original purple pebble-grain cloth elaborately blocked in blind with arabesque designs to the boards and spines, titles to spines gilt, yellow coated endpapers. Mezzotint frontispoiece to volume I, hand-coloured lithographic frontispiece to volume II. 10 hand-coloured lithographic plates at the end of volume II, illustrations throughout the text. 2 integral leaves of ads for Mantell’s work at the end of volume II. Ownership signature dated 1879 to each front free endpaper. Cloth browned and mottled, wear at the ends of the spines, particularly to volume I, bumps to the corners of both volumes and the head of the spine of volume I, occasional light spots to contents. A very good set.
Revelle, Roger, et al. | The Buffer Mechanism of Sea Water
Offprint of this important paper correcting the long-held assumption that most of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere was absorbed by the oceans, among the earliest work of Roger Revelle (1909-1991), one of the founders of modern climate change science.
Oceanography was a young field and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at La Jolla still a small marine station when Revelle arrived as a research associate in 1931. The following year he was engaged in cataloguing samples of marine sediments when he became interested in calcium carbonate and the “buffer mechanism” of seawater, its ability to regulate C02 in the atmosphere. He and his co-authors “found that only half of the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuel and other anthropogenic activities went into the ocean, not ninety-eight percent as had previously been thought. Revelle later cited this work as the beginning of his interest in the carbon cycle which eventually led him to an interest in measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide” (Day, Roger Randall Dougan Revelle Biography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography Archives).
Revelle went on to a distinguished career, serving as director of the Scripps Institution between 1950 and 1964 and as a scientific advisor to the Kennedy administration, though he also supported nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific and anti-Communist loyalty oaths. He was instrumental in creating the International Geophysical Year and was founding chairman of the first Committee on Climate Change and the Ocean.
...Bulletin of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California, La Jolla, California. Technical Series, Volume 3, No. 11, pp. 231-278, 6 figures in text, 9 tables. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1934.
Octavo. Lacking the wrappers. Graphs and tables within the text. Lacing the wrappers, as noted. Some spotting to the lower edge of the text block. Very good condition.
Tickell, Crispin | Climatic Change and World Affairs
Second edition, published the year after the first, of one of the earliest books to tackle the potential effects of global warming, particularly on international relations, and promote international restrictions on greenhouse gases. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “Nigel Davies —with the affection and respect of Crispin Tickell, Mexico, 1 October 1981”. The recipient was almost certainly the prominent historian Nigel Davies (1920-2004), a specialist on the Aztecs, Toltecs, and Inca whose books are considered the standard references.
Both the 1977 Harvard University first edition of Climatic Change and World Affairs and this 1978 Pergamon press edition (with a different foreword) are rare in commerce. A revised edition published in 1986 is sometimes referred to as the “second edition”, but is in fact the third.
The distinguished diplomat Sir Crispin Tickell (1930-2022) began his career with responsibility for the British Antarctic Territory, which inspired his interest in the climate and other environmental causes. “In 1977, while taking a sabbatical at Harvard he wrote Climatic Change and World Affairs. This was one of the first, and for at least a decade, the only book on the coming climate crisis, and what governments should do to prevent it. He argued for mandatory international pollution control, something that is finally taking shape. Margaret Thatcher credited him with convincing her of the science of global warming and the danger that it posed for the planet, which resulted in her speech on the subject to the Royal Society in September 1988. This brought climate change into the mainstream of British politics. Tickell was also concerned with the controversial subject of world population and the fact that extra billions of people were inevitably going to cause problems for biodiversity and the climate. But rather than draconian measures to curb population growth his emphasis was on being positive – better reproductive health, education for women and lifting millions out of poverty. He thought economic security was the best way to reduce family size. Whenever the government position allowed him to do so he helped to steer environment goals in the right direction – and was proud of his successful efforts as permanent secretary at the Overseas Development Administration (1984-87) to put an end to all aid for anything to do with tobacco” (Guardian obituary, January 30th, 2022).
...Foreword to this edition by Lord Zuckerman of Burnham Thorpe. Foreword to the original edition by Paul Doty. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1978.
Octavo. Original red laminate boards, titles to spine and upper board and text to the lower board in black and white, illustration of fencers below a cloud to the upper board in black and white. A fine copy.
Williams, Paige | The Dinosaur Artist
First edition, first printing. Inscribed by the author on the title, “Paige Williams, Tucson Book festival, March 2, 2019”.
This best-selling true-crime tale centers on the remarkable 2013 legal case The United States of America v. One Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton, in which the court decided the fate of a skeleton smuggled to the US from Mongolia by fossil dealer Eric Prokopi. Author Paige Williams, of the New Yorker, explores important questions that have surrounded the practice of palaeontology since its earliest days — who gets credit for, and benefits from, fossil discoveries, and is it ever ethical to sell fossils on the open market? An important contribution to the public’s understanding of the history and ethics of fossil hunting.
...The Dinosaur Artist. Obsession, Betrayal and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy. New York: Hachette, 2018.
Octavo. Original white boards, titles to spine in copper. With the dust jacket. Corners very slightly bumped. An excellent copy in the fresh jacket with a little rubbing at the tips.