Principles of Physical Geology


A GEOLOGICAL author who introduces the word 'Principles' into the title of his work is wittingly inviting a comparison with Charles Lyell's masterpiece, "The Principles of Geology", which, more than a century ago, laid the foundations of the modern science. Whereas Lyell's was a work of genius, the present book is not; but this is no matter for the slightest regret. It may be debated whether geological science at this present time needs a genius or could make much of one were he to appear, but there can be no question at all that it needs an expositor—and here is one with a rare combination of lucidity and sprightliness. Geologists have wailed of late about the neglect of their science and of themselves in many fields both warlike and peaceful, and have traced this neglect to the ignorance of geology among all classes of the community in Great Britain and especially among those classes which should know better. Their laments have certainly been justified, but they have proposed few workable remedies. It seems that the cure has lain all the time in the hands of the geologists themselves; they cannot expect many people nowadays to struggle for knowledge, and they must accordingly make their wares attractive and take them to the customers. Here is a very attractive article indeed.

Principles of Physical Geology

By Prof. Arthur Holmes. Pp. xii + 532 + 95 plates. (London and Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson and Sons, Ltd., 1944.) 30s. net.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.