- Publisher: Whittingham ...and published by Robson, et al.
London: Whittingham ...and published by Robson, et al., 1811. FIRST EDITION. I. Vegetable Kingdom. 1804. [iv]-vi-xii, 471, , - index, works by author and leaf of preparing for the press A Cabinet of Fossilsd or an introduction to the study of Oryctology...With frontispiece, engraving on title and 9 hand coloured plates.II. The Fossil Zoophytes, 1808. [v],-iv-xiv, 286, . frontispiece, engraving on title, and 19 hand coloured plates. includes index, advertisements, instruction for binder,... descriptions of frontispiece, errata..III. Vegetable and animals of the ANTEDILUVIANWORLD generally termed extraneous fossils. [ix]-x-xv,[i-errata], 455, 477-78 Memoirs of Cuvier, 479 Lamarck's memoirs on fossils of Paris, plus  pages index, frontispiece, engraving on title, 22 plates with leaf of descriptions. First edition of one of the earliest systematic works on fossils. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, there was very little definitive teaching of geology in Britain. In London the best collection of fossils and minerals was to be found at the Royal Institution, under the charge of Humphry Davy. "The epistolary style (of Parkinson's work) was selected as the most easy of comprehension and the most likely to stimulate popular interest in fossils" (Zittel). Many fossil species are introduced in these pages for the first time, including plant, zoophyte, amphibia and mammals.The first volume provides a short history of paleontology, an account of the various views about fossils and a discussion of the surface forms and physical constitution of the earth. Peat, coal, and bitumen, among other matter, was described according to their properties, their mode of occurrence, state of preservation, and the changes through which they had passed. The second volume treats corals, sponges, and crinoids, and introduces the Linnean method of nomenclature. Parkinson expands on his own views in the third volume, "where he becomes more and more convinced the numerous fossil species belonged to extinct forms of life." He is convinced, for example, that the Mosaic account of creation could only be accepted in its general intent, that the "days" of the Biblical account in reality indicated very long periods of time in the development of the earth. He here provides an in-depth treatment of the research conducted by Lamarck, Cuvier, and the recently published William Smith. A significant amount of valuable data is added to scientific knowledge through these volumes.Parkinson (1755-1824) was an important physician (in 1817 he first described a shaking malady now known as Parkinson's Disease) as well as an amateur geologist. "While devoted to fossils as a whole, this work is of considerable interest to the lapidary and gemologist because the author includes much information on silcified woods, amber, and jet, with remarks on their uses in the lapidary arts" (see Sinkankas).more