The circle of the sciences. With an introductory discourse of the objects, pleasures, and advantages of science.
[after 1868] · London
by Wylde, James; Henry Brougham; Richard Owen, and others.
London: London Printing and Publishing Company, [after 1868]. Later printing. Hard cover. Good/From the apex years of Victorian science comes this home companion. It first appeared in this form in 1867, but it incorporates some material from an earlier "Circle of the Sciences" published in parts in the 1850s. We estimate this printing to have appeared in shortly after the death of Brougham in 1868. True to intention, the contents are encyclopedic in scope, valiantly covering physics, chemistry, mathematics, mechanics, astronomy, meteorology, natural history, zoology, ethnography, botany, and geology, with many sub-headings. The editor, James Wylde, apparently picked up articles by leading scientists of the day, including Michael Faraday, and John William Frederick Herschel. Glaringly absent from the roster is Charles Darwin. The section on comparative physiology was assigned to Darwin's adversary, Richard Owen (1804-1892). The editor explains that he has "carefully avoided that modern heresy which would make man the result of a constantly progressive, and, at last, culminating form of the Vertebrata." Much of the text is fascinating for its comprehensive and accurate presentation of the material within the limits of contemporary understanding, and for the attractive illustrations, particularly illustrations of contemporary "futuristic" machines, such as the "magneto-electric light apparatus," an electric lamp the size of a cable car. . 2 volumes, quarto (28 cm); 1254; 1092 pages. Wood-engraved illustrations in text; steel-engraved plates (several folding), tables, maps. Bound in original industrial-grade pebbled morocco, rather worn and scuffed at extremities. Lower hinge separating in volume 1. Crease tear to folding map of Africa. Contents unblemished. Extra shipping charges will apply. (Inventory #: 5544)