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Whatever is Under the Earth: The Geological Society of London 1807 to 2007

Product Code: HIST
Series: GSL Miscellaneous Titles - print copy
Author/Editor: G L Herries Davies
Publication Date: 30 March 2007
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The Geological Society has much to be proud of in its two hundred years of history. Not only is it the oldest society of its kind in the world, but it has also seen many of the important developments in the science played out within its premises. 

Gordon Herries Davies has expertly and entertainingly laid out this narrative for us, steering a skilful course between the necessary facts and the anecdotes that bring these facts alive. Institutional histories can be dull affairs – a litany of minutes and memoranda – but this history suffers from no such problem. 

This book will appeal to the historian of science, geoscientists in all branches of the subject and anyone with an interest in the development of scientific ideas in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 

Front cover illustration: ‘Royal Academy Courtyard 1963’ by Sir William Russell Flint (1880-1969), R.A.; reproduced by kind permission of the Royal Academy. (The physical book will show the front cover image. The cover image shown on the bookshop is blurred due to copyright.)

Type: Book
Ten Digit ISBN: 1862392145
Thirteen Digit ISBN: 9781862392144
Publisher: GSL
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 378
Weight: 1.0 kg


Chapter 1.  The Creation 1807
Chapter 2.  Primordial Life 1808-1825
Chapter 3.  The Volcano Erupts 1825-1844
Chapter 4.  The Dinosaurs 1844-1875
Chapter 5.  Placid Sedimentation 1875-1907
Chapter 6.  The Centenary Lode Autumn 1907
Chapter 7.  Seismic Convulsions 1908-1924
Chapter 8.  An Endangered Species 1925-1963
Chapter 9.  Thrusting And Overturning 1964-2005
Chapter 10. The Society Upon A Plate
Appendix.  Officers Of The Society 1807-2006
Informative Index


David Oldroyd

I would like to convey the impression, then, that this is a jolly kind of book. But it is also a work of serious scholarship, demonstrating the author’s immense knowledge of the Society’s history, and the relationship of that history to the social context in which geology evolved in Britain.

All in all, this is a fine book that does real credit both to the author and the GSL itself. GHD is renowned for his continuing use of a fountain pen. He has wielded it to great effect!

T.J.A Reijers

……It makes for amusing reading. The growth, flowering and historical events of the LGS, initially from a select group of gentlemen, regularly meeting to dine and discuss geological matters to the present professional organisation, regularly issuing authorative publications, a well read journal and regularly meetings, symposia and excursions is sketched against the background of the rise, culmination and decline of the British Empire, the Napoleonic wars and twice a world war.
…Wholeheartedly recommended.

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