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Rare first edition, printed in Calcutta, of an attempt to reconcile Biblical Creation
with geological science as 19th-century liberal views on earths history and species development emerged

HUTTON, Thomas.
The chronology of creation; or, geology and scripture reconciled.
Calcutta, W. Thacker and Co. (back of title-page and colophon: printed by J.C. Sherriff, Bengal Military Orphan Press), 1850. Large 8vo. With a coloured lithographic frontispiece of a camel, lithographed by T. Black at the Asiatic Lithographic Press in Calcutta, and 3 coloured lithographic plates illustrating Huttons theories about the creation of the earth (2 orthographic azimuthal projections and 1 cross-section). Contemporary green cloth. [2], XVI, [2], 503, [1 blank] pp.
€ 2,950
Rare first edition of a very rare geological and natural theological work, written by Thomas Hutton, Captain in the Bengal Army, discussing the chronology of the creation and history of the earth from a geological, but also a theological perspective, by refusing the more liberal ideas of William Buckland (1754-1856) on earths history and species development. Buckland in his Geology and mineralogy considered with reference to natural theology (1837), proposed a progressive development from an initially hot earth, showing a continuous transmutation and evolution, but also the progress of organic life. Hutton, a strict Biblical literalist, rejects Buckland's theory of successive creations. In the present work, he challenges Buckland by proposing that God created the earth only from materials intended for that purpose, and not from any materials of worlds preceding the earth, as if our earth arose out of the "ruins" of former worlds. Hutton's views on the creation of earth and organic life are collected in the present The chronology of creation, an attempt to reconcile geology and the Bible (in particular Genesis) again in a period when evolutional theories and more liberal ideas on earth history and species development were upcoming (he wrote nine years before Darwins On the origin of species). The two orthographic views of the earth show it first entirely covered by an ocean, then with the first land appearing, while the cross-section shows his idea of the earths interior structure and a theory of volcanos.
With an owner's inscription on the half-title by Wilfred R. Barker, dated 14 April 1917. Binding slightly worn and soiled, some stains on the first leaves, but overall a good copy of a very rare first edition printed in Calcutta. WorldCat (8 copies).
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Natural history  >  Exploration & General Works
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