Primæval Switzerland 1

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THE veteran Swiss professor, Dr. Oswald Heer, is not more distinguished for his ability and indefatigable industry in original research than he is for his brilliant powers of popular exposition. His admirable work, “The Primæval World of Switzerland,” of which both German and French editions have already appeared, has been so favourably received, alike by the scientific and the general public, that we are happy to be able to announce the publication of it in the form of an English translation, adorned with the whole of those numerous and excellent illustrations which contributed so greatly to the value of the book as it was originally issued. A work like the present, in which accuracy of scientific detail is in no degree sacrificed to its main design—that, namely, of producing a succession of lively descriptions leading up to clearly-enunciated generalisations—must be largely dependent not only on the literary skill of its translator, but on his competence for dealing in an intelligent manner with the various branches of natural history treated of; and when we state that the interpreter of Prof. Heer's views to English students is so erudite a naturalist as Mr. W. S. Dallas, the Assistant Secretary of the Geological Society, we have said enough to predispose our readers in favour of the present translation. Nor does a careful perusal of the work serve to disappoint the high expectations we have been naturally led to entertain with regard to it, for both editor and translator have evidently performed their respective tasks in a most skilful and conscientious manner. Neither in respect of accuracy or of elegance do we notice any very serious failures; under the former category, indeed, we only feel called upon to draw attention to a little confusion which exists in some parts of the work with respect to the English and German measures; and, under the latter, to what appears to us to be the rather awkward adoption of the third person, which, however suitable for abstracts or reviews of the writings of an author, seems somewhat out of place when employed in a full translation of one of his works.

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J., J. Primæval Switzerland 1 . Nature 15, 140–142 (1876) doi:10.1038/015140a0

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