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'Conversations with Little Geologists on the Six Days of Creation' (1878)

Section
Section from Conversations with Little Geologists on the Six Days of Creation', London: Edward Stanford, 1878. (Tract QP Misc 18). Click to enlarge.

In the early 19th century a significant number of geologists, such as the Reverend William Buckland (1784-1856), incorporated their religious beliefs into their interpretation of the science. After the 1860s, notably due to the arguments over the ‘Antiquity of Man’ and the publication of Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of the Species’ (1859), this became less common but as can be seen by this work it still occurred.

Title page
Title page to 'Conversations with Little Geologists on the Six Days of Creation', London: Edward Stanford, 1878. (Tract QP Misc 18)

Its author, John William Grover (1836-1892) was a civil engineer who worked in Britain and Venezuela, where he constructed railways, harbours and other water works. He was notably involved in construction of the wrought iron roof of the Royal Albert Hall, the Clevedon Pier and the conservatory of the Royal Horticultural Society.

The work entitled 'Conversations with Little Geologists on the Six Days of Creation’ (1878), was aimed at children. The text takes a form of a dialogue between a father and his two children who are asking him questions about the creation of the Earth and its long extinct creatures. The accompanying section, clearly based on Buckland’s ‘Ideal section of a portion of the Earth’s Crust…’ from his book ‘Geology and Mineralogy Considered with Reference to Natural Theology’ (1836), cleverly correlates the six days of Biblical Creation with the geological timescale.