Edinburgh: Pirnted for J. Dickson, 1788. First Edition. Hardcover. Very good- condition. Item #019719
-306 pages of text, complete with two engraved plates and one leaf of explanation, extracted from "Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Vol. I" and bound with two other works. Bound by Bayntun of Bath in 1972 in three quarter maroon morocco, with marbled paper-covered boards. New endpapers. Handwritten vulgar title page added. Minor foxing scattered throughout text, with minor browning or small stains to numerous page edges. Moderate offsetting of plates onto adjacent pages. There is a notation on the "title" page that the "THEORY..." section of this book was "used for the Hafner facsimile - 1969." This would explain why this section has pencil numbering in the top margin, and light blue colored pencil markings and a small (15mm x 7mm) rectangle of adhesive residue staining in the bottom margin. Bound in, preceding "THEORY OF THE EARTH" is Hutton's controversial "THE THEORY OF RAIN" (pages -86) which was attacked by J.A. Deluc among others. Also, John Playfair's "ON THE CAUSES WHICH AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF BAROMETRICAL MEASUREMENTS" (pages -130). This is the first appearance of Hutton's epoch-making publication on the history of geology "THEORY OF THE EARTH". His fundamental concept was that the formation of the surface of the earth is one gradual and continuous process which can be studied through ordinary methods of examination (called the doctrine of uniformitarianism). This work "...firmly established the conception of the geological cycle and insisted on the length of geological time." (Challinor p.69). Included in this work is a second work by Hutton, which though warmly debated endured as a profound deposit into the catalogue of important works of meteorology, particularly regarding an explanation of rain as condensation of water vapor in the air naturally occuring through cooling. Geikie "Founders..." 150-184. Dibner "Heralds of Science" 93. Measures 289 mm x 225mm (11 3/8" x 8 13/16"). First edition(s).