Baltimore: W. Perchin for D. Porter, 1797. 8vo. 1st American ed. 268 pp. First American edition. Contemporary calf, lightly browned. Item #14515
First American edition, with the rare Baltimore imprint. This influential treatise, translated from the French, describes the author's theory of the earth. Maillet proposed that the earth had evolved by means of slow changes over billions of years and that the continents had expanded while a universal ocean diminished. He suggested that all forms of life had undergone transformations in adapting to new environmental conditions.
Maillet (1656-1738), geologist, oceanographer, and cosmographer, was a forerunner of Lamarck, and in spite of his unorthodox and materialistic views, influenced many early naturalists, including Buffon and Cuvier.
Blake, p. 283; Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1461; Linda Hall Library Catalogue, Theories of the Earth, 24.