The Making of the Geological Society of London
1 May 2010
In celebration of its 200-year history, this book commemorates the lives of the Society’s 13 founder members and sets geology in its national and European context at the turn of the 19th century
The editors were particularly keen that this volume would first look in depth at the founders and the contributions each man made to the Society, and then examine the context of the Society’s birth and the various developments that caused it to come into being. They hope to draw readers away from the conventional narrative about how the Society was inaugurated and challenge some of the myths that have grown up over the past 200 years. “As a consequence,” says Lewis, “we could not help feeling somewhat conscious of the responsibility imposed on us from the future – were we creating our own myths to be challenged in a hundred years’ time?”
The tremendous energy and co-operation of these 13 men, about whom little was previously known, quickly mobilised like-minded men around the country and fuelled the nation’s passion for geology, which reached its peak in the 1830s; an enthusiasm that soon spread to the new countries of America and Australia. Two previously unpublished works from this period, essential to understanding the founding of the Society, are reproduced in this volume for the first time. The book closes with a review of the Society’s 2007 bicentenary celebrations.
Geological Society Special Publication, 2009