BLAKE, John Frederick. Annals of British Geology, 1890 [ --1893]. London: Green, M'Allan and Feilden, Limited [I], Rait, Henderson & Co., Ltd. [II], Stephen Austin and Sons [III-IV] for Dulau and Co, 1891-1895.
8vo (215-221 x 132-141mm), 4 volumes (all published). [?Original] blue cloth by Kelly & Sons, London, spines lettered in gilt and with gilt crest at the feet; pp. I: x, [2 (blank p., 'Notice to the Reader')], 352, [2 (publisher's advertisement)]; II: x [including frontispiece], [2 (errata, editorial note on verso)], 404; III: [10 (half-title, verso blank, title, imprint on verso, preface, contents, illustrations, corrigenda)], I-XLIV, -310, [2 (advertisement for other works by Blake, verso blank)]; [10 (half-title, verso blank, title, imprint on verso, preface, contents, illustrations)], I-XXIV, -365, [1 (blank)]; frontispieces retaining tissue guards in vols II-IV and 12 plates, explanatory slip tipped in opposite plate III/V, illustrations in the text; cloth a little marked, extremities very lightly rubbed, occasional light marginal dust-marking, nonetheless an internally-fresh and complete set; provenance: The Royal Institution (discreet blindstamps on titles, crests on spines).
First edition. The clergyman and geologist J.F. Blake (1839-1906), was the author of a number of geological works, Lecturer on Comparative Anatomy, Charing Cross Hospital (1876-1880), Professor of Natural Science, University College, Nottingham (1880-1888), President of the Geologists' Association (1891-1892), and the winner of the Geological Society's Murchison Fund Award in 1877 and its Lyell Medal in 1895. As the author explains in the preface to the first volume of the Annals, the publication was to be complementary to the Geological Record, and was to provide a survey and brief abstracts of geological publications on Britain and British publications on foreign geology, together with critical comments upon them. The volumes conclude with 'Personal Items' on figures in the world of British geology (this was subsequently omitted after volume I) and indices of authors and publications. Blake's comments and critiques seem to have provoked some criticism in turn (in the preface to vol. II, he claims that, 'one writer, whom one would wish to respect, completely lost his temper over [Blake's comments], and wrote a libel instead of a review [of volume I]' ), and the format was amended through successive issues; in the preface to the third volume, he states that, 'On the reception accorded to the present volume depends the continuance of the publication; the experimental stage is ended', whilst in the preface to the fourth (after acknowledging various objections to the work and his methods), he comments that, 'I am glad to find that the support of the work is gradually, although, slowly, increasing, and to anticipate that the present volume will be approximately self-supporting, in which case it is probable that it will be followed by at least one other'. However, the fourth was to be the last volume of the work to be published, and complete sets of the publication are rare on the market.
BM(NH) I, p. 51.