Miscellaneous Discourses concerning the Dissolution and Changes of the World. Wherein the Primitive Chaos and Creation, the General Deluge, Fountains, Formed Stones, Sea-Shells found in the Earth, Subterraneous Trees, Mountains, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, the Universal Conflagration and Future State, are largely Discussed and Examined. John RAY.

A Lovely Copy in Richly Gilt Contemporary

Red Morocco

Miscellaneous Discourses concerning the Dissolution and Changes of the World. Wherein the Primitive Chaos and Creation, the General Deluge, Fountains, Formed Stones, Sea-Shells found in the Earth, Subterraneous Trees, Mountains, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, the Universal Conflagration and Future State, are largely Discussed and Examined.

Title within ruled border. 14 p.l., 259, [1] pp. 8vo, cont. red morocco (joints a trifle rubbed), covers gilt tooled in a panel design with roll-tooled flowers around the central panel, scroll-work tools outside outer panel, and the royal cipher of William and Mary stamped in the four corners, spine gilt with repeated royal cipher in compartments, a.e.g. London: S. Smith, 1692.

First edition, and a splendid copy in richly gilt contemporary red morocco, of one of Ray’s most important paleontological and geological works, which displays his considerable knowledge of the subjects. “During much of the 1690s Ray was engaged in correspondence with Edward Lhwyd and others about the nature of fossils. In general he was inclined to accept that they were the remains of once-living creatures, and he also suggested that their current distribution might owe something to observable changes in the nature of the surface of the earth. He qualified these opinions, however, by stressing that the fossils which had so far been discovered were not unlike known plants and animals, and that their burial might owe something to the action of the biblical flood, as well as to natural effects. He argued that those remains which seemed to be unfamiliar might represent species of which the surviving representatives had not yet been discovered. Although fossils were mentioned in the preface to his Synopsis (1690), his fullest treatment of them was in Miscellaneous Discourses Concerning the Dissolution and Changes of the World (1692).”–ODNB.

A very fine and fresh copy and just about the nicest copy you will ever see. Signature of August Maitland on front flyleaf dated 9 January 1795, and again on title. Signature on title of A.C. Stirling, dated 1855. Inscription on free front endpaper of Helen M. Everard, the gift of her mother in 1865.

❧ D.S.B., XI, pp. 313-18.

Price: $15,000.00

Item ID: 5543

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