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Prospectus for 'Accurate Delineations and Descriptions of the Natural order of the Various Strata...', 1801

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This extremely rare item is the printed prospectus for William Smith's projected first published work, 'Accurate Delineations and Descriptions of the Natural order of the Various Strata that are found in the Different Parts of England and Wales with Practical Observations Thereon', 1 June 1801.

The four page prospectus advertised a single volume work which was to have been published by November 1802 at the price to subscribers of two guineas. Arranged under the separate headings of each strata, it would have included a map and sections in proper colours "to make them more striking and just representations of Nature". 

The prospectus provided an exhaustive list of professions who would find the work extremely useful, from philosophers, miners, artists, architects, glass-makers, chemists, colour-men, brick-makers to potters. "Indeed" claimed the prospectus "there are but few of the most necessary occupations of life, that may not derive from this Work some useful hint or improvement."

In the end, the work was never published, principally due to the repeated bankruptcy of Smith's publisher John Debrett.

The pamphlet was one of a number of items gifted by Smith to the Geological Society in 1831 in thanks to his being awarded the Wollaston Medal. The writing is Smith's.


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