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British Wildlife

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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

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Good Reads  Earth System Sciences  Geosphere  Regional & Local Geology

The Greywacke How a Priest, a Soldier and a Schoolteacher Uncovered 300 Million Years of History

By: Nick Davidson(Author)
280 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Profile Books
The Greywacke
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  • The Greywacke ISBN: 9781788163774 Hardback May 2021 In stock
Price: £19.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

The story of three 19th-century geologists whose fraternal rivalry ended up rewriting the history of our planet

Adam Sedgwick was a priest and scholar. Roderick Murchison was a retired soldier. Charles Lapworth was a schoolteacher. It was their personal and intellectual rivalry, pursued on treks through Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, Devon and parts of western Russia, that revealed the narrative structure of the Paleozoic Era, the 300-million-year period during which life on Earth became recognisably itself.

Nick Davidson follows in their footsteps and draws on maps, diaries, letters, field notes and contemporary accounts to bring the ideas and characters alive. But this is more than a history of geology. As we travel through some of the most spectacular scenery in Britain, it's a celebration of the sheer visceral pleasure generations of geologists have found, and continue to find, in noticing the earth beneath our feet.

Customer Reviews


Nick Davidson is a documentary filmmaker and amateur geologist. He lives in London.

By: Nick Davidson(Author)
280 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Profile Books
Media reviews

"A colourful and joyous romp through the not-so-sedate world of mid-nineteenth-century geology [...] Davidson reveals the barely credible amount of hard work that was expended in unearthing the mysteries of the rocks, and reminds us that just because everyone agrees with you, it does not mean that you are right"
– John Wright, author, The Forager's Calendar

"Engaging and persuasive [...] Everyone interested in geology should know about Murchison, Sedgwick and Lapworth"
– Richard Fortey, author, The Earth: An Intimate History

"This is history with its boots on. Deciphering the early records of life on earth demanded imagination, ambition, cooperation and controversy – and years of patient detective work in some of Britain's wildest landscapes [...] Packed with vivid stories, The Greywacke brings to life an unlikely cast of characters who changed the way we view the world"
– James A. Secord, author, Visions of Science

"Whether trudging down Welsh ravines, scrambling in the Lake District, covering vast distances across rural Russia or hard going amid the crags of north-west Scotland, the writing puts us there, in the field, on the ground [...] A great story well told"
– Andrew Greig, author, At the Loch of the Green Corrie

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