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'Principles of Geology' (1830-33) profoundly influenced Darwin as he voyaged on the Beagle and developed the theory of natural selection. A hugely ambitious attempt to forge links between observable causes - volcanoes, earthquakes, rivers, tides and storms - and the current state of the earth, the Principles proved crucial in the long-running dispute between science and Scripture. Its clarity, broad sweep, sheer intellectual passion and panache caught the imagination of Melville, Emerson, Tennyson and George Eliot as well as thousands of other readers all over the world. This abridged edition consists largely of complete chapters (with all their illustrations) on topics which have attracted the most discussion and debate, including Lyell's core theoretical principles, seminal analyses of evolution and ecological issues, and novel techniques for reconstructing the past. It thus makes freshly available one of the master works of the nineteenth century.