WOODWARD, Arthur Smith. Outlines of Vertebrate Palaeontology for students of zoology. Cambridge: University Press. 1898.
8vo. Original blue cloth, lettered in gilt to front and spine; pp. xxiv + 470, 228 illustrations, 1 folding chart, extra chart tipped in to front pastedown; very good.
First edition. Scarce. At the time of writing this invaluable and comprehensive guide, Woodward (1864-1941) was the rising star of British palaeontology. As assistant keeper of geology at the British Museum he was engaged in writing the catalogue of fossil fishes held by the museum which would become one of the most important contributions to palaeoicthyology and would earn him the Royal Medal of the Royal Society, among many other honours. His reputation was dented by his enthusiastic identification of Piltdown Man as a new species of hominid - that he had had been duped by a forgery was not discovered until after his death. Nevertheless, his work on fossils continues to inform modern research, and this well illustrated manual of palaeontology is a monument to the breadth of his expertise.