Friday, July 10, 2015

Extinct Monsters

H.N. Hutchinson - Extinct Monsters: A Popular Account of Some of the Larger Forms of Ancient Animal Life (1896)

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Odd as it seems now for a clergyman to write a popular science book book that wasn't uncommon in Victorian England.  (See Bernard Lightman's Victorian Popularizers of Science for more.)  Hutchinson (1856-1927) wrote several of them and this was his most popular.  It's full of accounts of fossil discoveries and reconstructions of dinosaurs and other large extinct animals (no insects here!).  Hutchinson fully supported evolution but according to Lightman slowly moved away from Darwin towards a more Lamarckian conception.  His other titles include The Autobiography of the Earth, The Living Races of Mankind and Marriage Customs in Many Lands.