BOOK REVEW, by Professor Colin Waters
This book provides an affectionate description of the life and works of the 19th century geologist John Phillips, concentrating on his connections with Yorkshire and northern England. This book goes a long way to promoting the incredibly broad range of his interests as inventor, talented artist, noted meteorologist and astronomer (with features on the Moon and Mars bearing his name).
The book is well illustrated throughout with modern photographs of the landscape visited and described by Phillips, plus images of the great man and his associates, and contemporary images relevant to his travels, including copies of some of Phillips’ excellent lithographs. These help make the book visually interesting.
Much is made of his humble background and that, despite no formal qualifications, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society and became Professor of Geology at King’s College, London, the University of Dublin and ultimately at Oxford University.
There is a bibliography of Phillips’ important publications, but also a helpful list of sources both from Phillips’ contemporaries and more modern writings, including popular publications that put the landscape and geology described by Phillips into a modern context. Throughout the book, the author faithfully acknowledges the information sources used and takes time to acknowledge the characters of the many people who touched Phillips’ life and helped develop his career.
Prof. Colin Waters
The full book review is available in YGS Circular 629 - available in our archive.