By: Leonard G Wilson
472 pages, 39 illus
Leonard Wilson's new volume, 'Lyell in America', is an important addition to the literature about one of the nineteenth century's most significant figures in the history of geology and evolutionary biology. It is especially valuable for making available much unpublished material from Lyell's wife Mary's prolific and beautifully written correspondence from America. Wilson gives us a fuller picture of the Lyells' observations of and reflections upon slavery and other social issues in America than we have previously had, and he provides a good account of Lyell's scientific views on speciation, including his criticisms of both catastrophist and creationist explanations and his unwavering (if ultimately mistaken) skepticism of the progressionist explanation. This rewarding book significantly enriches our knowledge of Charles Lyell.--R. H. Dott, Jr., University of Wisconsin Madison
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