IN the preface of this book, written by way of dedication, it is represented to be a “small and cheap volume suitable to the ‘general reader’ and tourist.” It is impossible to say that it is not a useful and interesting one. So much good work has been done on the county, though scattered through very various publications, that a short résumé cannot fail to be of value; but there are books and books, and if we measure this by what it might have been, it is poor indeed. It resembles, in fact, geologically speaking, a kind of boulder clay, full of fragments of solid rock, brought from a distance—we will not say to be deposited in mud—but certainly scratched and rubbed in the process. In the beginning of the volume is a list of the surrounding mountains whence the boulders have been derived, but it is not a complete one; and the source of each fragment is not indicated in the body of the text. Its great defect is that it is unstratified; in other words, the extracts are not duly digested, but thrown together with out sorting, and with very little alteration; so little indeed that it would not be difficult to trace them to their sources. Thus under the head of “The Carboniferous Period” we have a brief explanation, from a popular lecture, “how from the general mineral character of a rock the circumstances under which it was formed can often be predicated.” Then under the head of “Salt water deposits” we have twelve pages on the origin and contents of the Victoria Cave, which ought surely to belong to the chapter on the “Recent Geological History of Yorkshire,” only that the latter happened to be written by one who confined himself to the Holderness drift. Under the head of “The Permian Rocks” there is an exposition of the views of those who would reintroduce the old (not recently suggested) name Poikilitic to include the Trias. It was a pity the author was not acquainted with any recent papers on the series above the Lias, for there are no good boulders in this part of the book. Mr. Hudleston's admirable papers on the Yorkshire Oolites seem to have been written in vain, and there have been modern papers also on the Yorkshire Chalk. It was perhaps excusable for our author to conclude that the third edition of Prof. Phillips' “Yorkshire Coast” contained all the most recent information, though every East-Yorkshire geologist knew that it did not. In examining a work on local geology it is always well to see where the author lived, for the surrounding country will be the best described. So it is here; the best part of the book is the description of the Middle and Upper Coal-measures, which are well developed in the neighbourhood of Bradford. For East Yorkshire and the coast the book is of little value.
A Short Sketch of the Geology of Yorkshire.
By Charles Bird (Univ. Lond.) (London: Simpkin, Marshall, and Co.; Bradford: Thomas Brear, 1881; pp. 187 and Map.)
Geological Map of Yorkshire.
By the same Author. (Edinburgh and London: W. and A. K. Johnston; Bradford: T. Brear, 1881.)
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