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- The Antiquity of Man - 2/91 -

were submerged under the sea to a depth of many hundreds of feet, at any rate as regards the region north of a line drawn from London to Bristol. Later authors, however, explained the observed phenomena on the hypothesis of a vast ice-sheet of the Greenland type, descending from the mountains of Scotland and Scandinavia, filling up the North Sea and spreading over eastern England. This explanation is now accepted by the majority, but it must be recognised that it involves enormous mechanical difficulties. It is impossible to pursue the subject here; for a full discussion reference may be made to Professor Bonney's presidential address to the British Association at Sheffield in 1910.

It will be seen, therefore, that the "Antiquity of Man" opens up a wide field of speculation into a variety of difficult and obscure though interesting subjects. In the light of modern research it would be an easy task to pile up a mountain of criticism on points of detail. But, though easy, it would be a thankless task. It is scarcely too much to say that the dominant impression of most readers after perusing this book will be one of astonishment and admiration at the insight and breadth of view displayed by the author. When it was written the subject was a particularly thorny one to handle, and it undoubtedly required much courage to tackle the origin and development of the human race from a purely critical and scientific standpoint. It must be admitted on all hands that the result was eminently successful, taking into account the paucity of the available material, and the "Antiquity of Man" must ever remain one of the classics of prehistoric archaeology.

This edition of the "Antiquity of Man" has been undertaken in order to place before the public in an easily accessible form one of the best known works of the great geologist Sir Charles Lyell; the book had an immense influence in its own day, and it still remains one of the best general accounts of an increasingly important branch of knowledge.

In order to avoid a multiplicity of notes and thus to save space, the nomenclature has been to a certain extent modernised: a new general table of strata has been inserted in the first chapter, in place of the one originally there printed, which was cumbrous and included many minor subdivisions of unnecessary minuteness.

The notes have been kept as short as possible, and they frequently contain little more than references to recent literature elucidating the points under discussion in the text.

R.H. RASTALL. 1914.


The passage of the Beresina (in verse), 1815.

Principles of Geology, being an attempt to explain the former changes of the earth's surface, by reference to causes now in operation, 1830-33 (third edition, 1834; fourth, 1835; fifth, 1837; sixth, 1840; seventh, 1847; ninth, entirely revised edition, 1853; tenth, entirely revised edition, 1867, 1868; eleventh, entirely revised edition, 1872; twelfth, edited by L. Lyell, 1875).

Elements of Geology, 1838 (second edition, 1841).

A Manual of Elementary Geology (third and entirely revised edition of the former work, 1851; fourth and entirely revised edition, 1852; fifth, enlarged edition, 1855; Supplement to the fifth edition, 1857; second edition of the Supplement, revised, 1857).

Elements of Geology, sixth edition, greatly enlarged, 1865.

Travels in North America, with geological observations on the United States, Canada, and Nova Scotia, 1845.

A Second Visit to the United States of North America, 1849.

The Students' Elements of Geology, 1871 (second edition, revised and corrected, 1874; third, revised, with a table of British fossils [by R. Etheridge], 1878; fourth, revised by P.M. Duncan, with a table of British fossils [by R. Etheridge], 1884).

The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man, with remarks on theories of the origin of species by variation, 1863; (second edition, revised, 1863; third edition, revised, 1863; fourth edition, revised, 1873).

There has also been published The Student's Lyell: a Manual of Elementary Geology, edited by J.W. Judd, 1896 (second edition revised and enlarged, 1911).


On a Recent Formation of Freshwater Limestone in Forfarshire ("Transactions of the Geological Society" 2nd series, volume 2, 1826, part 1).

On a Dike of Serpentine in the County of Forfar ("Edinburgh Journal of Science" 1825).

English Scientific Societies ("Quarterly Review" volume 34; three papers with Sir Roderick and Mrs. Murchison ("Edinburgh Philosophical Journal," 1829; abstract in "Proceedings of the Geological Society" 1; "Annales des Sciences Naturelles" 1829; abstract in "Proceedings of the Geological Society" 1).

Address delivered at the Geological Society of London, 1836.

Lectures on Geology--Eight Lectures on Geology, delivered at the Broadway Tabernacle, New York ("New York Tribune" 1842).

A Paper on Madeira ("Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" 10, 1853).

On the Structure of Lavas which have Consolidated on Steep Slopes ("Philosophical Transactions" 1858).

Address (to the British Association) 1864.


Antiquity of Man, translated into French by M. Chaper, 1864; and into German by L. Buchner, 1874.

Elements of Geology (sixth edition), translated into French by M. J. Gineston, 1867.

Report, extracted from the "Aberdeen Free Press" and translated into French, of Sir C. Lyell's address before the British Association, 1859, under the title of Antiquities antediluviennes: L'homme fossile.


Life, Letters and Journals of Sir Charles Lyell, edited by his sister-in-law, Mrs. Lyell, 1881.

See also:

Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, 1887.

Life and Letters of Sedgwick, by Clark and Hughes, 1890.




Preliminary Remarks on the Subjects treated of in this Work. Definition of the terms Recent and Pleistocene. Tabular View of the entire Series of Fossiliferous Strata.



Works of Art in Danish Peat-Mosses. Remains of three Periods of Vegetation in the Peat. Ages of Stone, Bronze, and Iron. Shell-Mounds or ancient Refuse-Heaps of the Danish Islands. Change in geographical Distribution of Marine Mollusca since their Origin. Embedded Remains of Mammalia of Recent Species. Human Skulls of the same Period. Swiss Lake-Dwellings built on Piles. Stone and Bronze Implements found in them. Fossil Cereals and other Plants. Remains of Mammalia, wild and domesticated. No extinct Species. Chronological Computations of the Date of the Bronze and Stone Periods in Switzerland. Lake-Dwellings, or artificial Islands called "Crannoges," in Ireland.



Delta and Alluvial Plain of the Nile. Burnt Bricks in Egypt before the Roman Era.

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