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Worlds Before AdamThe Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Reform$
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Martin J. S. Rudwick

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226731285

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226731308.001.0001

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Geology's Guiding Principles (1830)

Geology's Guiding Principles (1830)

(p.297) Chapter 21 Geology's Guiding Principles (1830)
Worlds Before Adam
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the first volume of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology. Lyell's long introductory chapters gave readers a foretaste of the massively elaborate “system” that the rest of his work would try to substantiate. Despite his renunciation of any speculation about the primal origin of the earth, or “cosmogony,” the ambitious scope of Lyell's work left his contemporaries in no doubt about the genre to which the Principles belonged. What he himself described repeatedly as a “system” was indeed what that word by long tradition denoted: a “theory of the earth” or geotheory.

Keywords:   Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, geotheory, geohistory

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