By Archibald Geikie
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2011
Online Publication Date:September 2011
Original Publication Year:1875
Subjects: History of science: general interest , Palaeontology and life history
Sir Roderick Impey Murchison (1792–1871) was an influential Scottish geologist best known for his classification of Palaeozoic rocks into the Silurian system. After early military experience in the Peninsular War, he resigned his commission; a chance meeting with Sir Humphrey Davy led him subsequently to pursue a scientific career. The Silurian System, published in 1839, was a highly influential study, which established the oldest contemporary classification of fossil-bearing strata. Murchison was appointed President of the Royal Geographical Society in 1843. These volumes, first published in 1875, use information taken from Murchison's private journals and correspondence. Archibald Geikie (1835–1924) provides a detailed account of his mentor's life and work in the context of geology as a developing science in the early nineteenth century, and provides a fascinating insight into the life and work of this eminent Victorian geologist. Volume 1 describes Murchison's early life and geological studies until 1842.