Publisher Information: Edinburgh: W. & R. Chambers.
Chambers, Robert (1802-71). Ancient sea-margins, as memorials of changes in the relative level of sea and land. vi, 337, pp. Frontispiece, folding map; text illustrations. Edinburgh: W. & R. Chambers; London: W. S. Orr & Co., 1848. 230 x 140 mm. Original blindstamped cloth, skillfully rebacked, retaining original spine. Gilt seal of the Solicitors of the Supreme Courts’ Library on the front cover. Signature unobtrusively erased from title, small library stamp on title, small tears in folding map but very good.
First Edition of Chambers’s only work devoted entirely to geology. Chambers is best known as anonymous author of the sensational Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), the first full-length exposition in English of an evolutionary theory of biology. While the Vestiges succeeded in introducing evolutionary ideas to the broader reading public, it was justly criticized for its author’s naiveté and lack of scientific experience. Chambers remedied this fault in Ancient Sea-Margins, conducting his own geological research on the phenomenon of naturally terraced landscapes and attempting to define what constitutes a marine terrace. He hypothesized that terraces, such as those observable at Scotland’s famous St. Andrew’s golf course, had been caused by changes in sea level, which he believed had been caused by oscillations in the ocean floor. Chambers illustrated his work with several images of terraced landscapes, including a folding map of the Lochaber region of Scotland, and included a number of tables summarizing data on terrace levels from both Europe and the United States. Murray-Wallace & Woodroffe, Quaternary Sea-Level Changes, p. 22.Book Id: 50283