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LYELL, Sir Charles.

The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man.

With remarks on theories of the origin of species by variation. Illustrated by Woodcuts.,

Published: London: John Murray, 1863

Stock code: 109838

Price: £800

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First edition in the original cloth, from the library of the Earl of Lovelace. Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875), considered one of the foremost geologists of his day, is best known as the author of Principles of Geology (1830-3) which popularised James Hutton’s concepts of uniformitarianism, and showed that the earth was older than the 6,000 years ascribed to it in the Bible. He was a close and influential friend of Charles Darwin, whose theories Lyell publicly supported and whose Origin of Species he remarks upon in this book. In the main this title concentrates on glaciers, evolution, and the age of the human race. This copy bears the library stamps and armorial bookplate of William King, 8th Baron King and Earl of Lovelace, who in 1835 married the mathematician Ada Lovelace, née Byron, the poet Lord Byron’s only legitimate daughter. Ada’s notes to her translation of General L. F. Menabra’s Sketch of the Analytical Engine Invented by Charles Babbage contain what is regarded as one of the earliest computer programs. Through his marriage King acquired the title Earl of Lovelace in 1838, Ada becoming Countess of Lovelace. The Ben Damph Forrest library stamps derive from their sporting lodge in Scotland, which he built several decades after Ada’s premature death in 1852.

Octavo. Original green cloth, titles gilt to spine, fossil design gilt to front board, both boards panelled in blind, tan coated endpapers. Half title, woodcut frontispiece and one other plate, woodcut illustrations in the text. 32pp. publisher’s advertisements at the rear, dated January 1863. Corners lightly bumped, some very minor rubbing, small library stamps and armorial bookplate of the Earl of Lovelace, front free endpaper split at hinge but holding, otherwise internally fresh, a smart copy in excellent condition.

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