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A reprint of a classical work in the Cambridge Library Collection.
Mary Somerville (1780-1872) would have been a remarkable woman in any age, but as an acknowledged leading mathematician and astronomer at a time when the education of most women was extremely restricted, her achievement was extraordinary. Laplace famously told her that 'there have been only three women who have understood me. These are yourself, Mrs Somerville, Caroline Herschel and a Mrs Greig of whom I know nothing.' Mary Somerville was in fact Mrs Greig. After (as she herself said) translating Laplace's work 'from algebra into common language', she wrote On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences (1834), also reissued in this series. Her next book, the two-volume Physical Geography (1848), was a synthesis of geography, geology, botany, astronomy and zoology, drawing on the most recent discoveries in all these fields to present an overview of current understanding of the natural world and the Earth's place in the universe.
1. Geology; 2. Form of the Great Continent; 3. The high lands of the Great Continent (continued); 4. The high lands of the Great Continent (continued); 5. Secondary mountain systems of the Great Continent; 6. The southern low lands of the Great Continent, with their secondary table-lands and mountains; 7. Africa; 8. American continent; 9. The low lands of South America; 10. Central America; 11. North America; 12. North America (continued); 13. Greenland; 14. The continent of Australia; 15. The ocean; 16. Springs; 17. Asiatic Rivers; 18. River systems of North America; 19. Lakes; 20. The atmosphere; 21. Vegetation; 22. Vegetation of the Great Continent; 23. Flora of Tropical Asia; 24. African flora; 25. American vegetation; 26. Distribution of insects; 27. Distribution of fishes and of the marine mammalia, phocae, dolphins and whales; 28. Distribution of reptiles; 29. Distribution of birds in the Arctic Regions; 30. Distribution of mammalia throughout the Earth; 31. The distribution, condition and future prospects of the human race.