The Face of the Earth (Das Antlitz der Erde)


ENGLISH-SPEAKING geologists will be grateful to Dr. Hertha Sollas and the Clarendon Press for this excellent translation of the first volume of the work which has probably had the deepest influence on geological thought since the publication of Lyell's “Principles.” No higher compliment could be offered to such a book than that, twenty years after its publication, it should be worth while to issue a translation without amendment, comment, or other addition than the author's charming letter of introduction. This fact is all the more striking as this volume is mainly a description of the geology of the mountains of the world, and it describes areas of which comparatively little was known in 1884. As Prof. Suess remarks in his introduction, “the reader will meet here and there in the two first volumes with a description already antiquated.” This matters the less since we have already an excellent French edition, which has been brought up to date by abundant references to recent literature, and been illustrated by an additional series of maps. The example of the French translators has not been followed, perhaps from the sentimental feeling that as this work is now one of the recognised classics of geology, it should be rendered into English exactly as it came from the hands of the master. This decision will no doubt increase the value of the Oxford edition to future geologists, though it may detract somewhat from its immediate educational usefulness. The absence of the extra maps is an especial drawback to British students, since many of the place-names used are synonyms or transliterations not usually adopted in British atlases. Anything that lessens the educational value of this edition is regrettable, as Suess's work is such magnificent educational material. Prof. Suess's method is to give the detailed evidence upon which he relies; and his readers have the pleasure of working up to the conclusions by the path the author trod. We see his mental process as well as read his results.

The Face of the Earth (Das Antlitz der Erde).

By Prof. Eduard Suess. Translated by Dr. H. B C. Sollas, under the direction of Prof. W. J. Sollas, F.R.S. Vol. i. Pp. xii + 604; illustrated. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1904.) Price 25s. net.

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G., J. The Face of the Earth (Das Antlitz der Erde). Nature 72, 193–194 (1905).

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