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Telliamed, ou entretiens d'un philosophe indien avec un missionnaire françois sur la diminution de la Mer, la formation de la Terre, l'origine de l'homme etc. Mis en ordre par J.A.G[uers] by  Benoit de MAILLET - First Edition - 1748 - from Michael Laird Rare Books LLC (SKU: 1641)

Telliamed, ou entretiens d'un philosophe indien avec un missionnaire françois sur la diminution de la Mer, la formation de la Terre, l'origine de l'homme etc. Mis en ordre par J.A.G[uers]

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Telliamed, ou entretiens d'un philosophe indien avec un missionnaire françois sur la diminution de la Mer, la formation de la Terre, l'origine de l'homme etc. Mis en ordre par J.A.G[uers]

by MAILLET, Benoit de

  • Used
  • very good
  • hardcover
  • First
Condition
Very good
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Seller rating:
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Lockhart, Texas
Item Price:
$1,750.00
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About This Item

Amsterdam: Chez l'honore et fils, libraires, 1748. First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. 2 vols. in one. 8vo. I: [10], cxix, [7], 208 pp. + 1 f. ("Errata" for Tom. 1). II: [2], 231 pp. + 1 f. ("Addition") + 1 f. ("Errata" for Tom 1 [sic]). First title page with unobtrusive paper defect on lower margin, not affecting text; this copy is lacking half-title and Errata leaf for Tom. 2. Very attractive 19th-century French red glazed boards, red morocco spine, lettered in gilt directly (two insignificant worm-holes on lower hinge, leading nowhere; trifle wear to binding extremities. Completely unsophisticated. First printing of "Telliamed," in every way a remarkable book. Disguised as an Oriental fantasy, it contains perhaps the earliest appearance of one of the most important of all evolution speculations, namely the so-called ultra-neptunian theory: that the entire Earth was, and is, a marine deposit, and that all life on land originated from creatures of the sea. Maillet hypothesized that the earth was once entirely covered with water, and that the water gradually evaporated into space, causing land masses to appear. Maillet also created an ingenious methodology to calculate the age of the Earth: he concluded that the Earth is 2 billion years old (evolutionists today consider this figure to be more like 4.5 billion). It is known that Buffon, Lamark, Cuvier and Darwin read this book, and that they were very much influenced by Maillet's unorthodox, heretical views. Well aware that such an immense figure would incur the wrath of the Church, de Maillet presented his conclusions in the guise of a dialogue between a French missionary and an Eastern mystic named Telliamed, i.e. de Maillet spelled backwards. The manuscript remained unpublished until a decade after Maillet's death. In order to present his radical conclusions in the guise of an Oriental tale, Maillet interspersed monsters and mythological creatures into his text. Overtly anti-Christian, "Telliamed" dismisses the Flood of the Old Testament as a fable because rainfall that lasted forty days would have been insignificant to submerge entire mountains. Maillet asserted that the Earth's history could not be read from the Bible but through the rocks themselves.

With uncanny prescience, Maillet describes how species have overlapping physical characteristics that suggested a common life origin, namely the sea. Through a Oriental mystic we are told that: "The little Wings had under their Belly, and which like their Fins helped them to walk in the Sea, became Feet, and served them to walk on Land."

REFERENCES: Caillet, No. 7009. Versins Utopie p. 640. LITERATURE: "Charles Darwin et ses Precurseurs francais (Paris, 1870) Chapter 1: "the moss-grown fragments from the ruins of another world." See also Albert Carozzi, "De Maillet's 'Telliamed' (1748): An Ultra-Neptunian Theory of the Earth" in: Toward a History of Geology; Proceedings of the New Hampshire Inter-Disciplinary Conference on the History of Geology, Sept. 7-12, 1967. Mary Efrosini Gregory, "Evolutionism in Eighteenth-century French Thought" Chapter 1. See also the article on Maillet in DSB, IX, pp. 26 et seq: "Maillet's ideas unquestionably influenced many leading naturalists for almost a century, notably Buffon and Cuvier.

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Details

Bookseller
Michael Laird Rare Books LLC US (US)
Bookseller Inventory #
1641
Title
Telliamed, ou entretiens d'un philosophe indien avec un missionnaire françois sur la diminution de la Mer, la formation de la Terre, l'origine de l'homme etc. Mis en ordre par J.A.G[uers]
Author
MAILLET, Benoit de
Format/binding
Hardcover
Book condition
Used - Very good
Quantity available
1
Edition
First Edition
Binding
Hardcover
Publisher
Chez l'honore et fils, libraires
Place of Publication
Amsterdam
Date published
1748

Terms of Sale

Michael Laird Rare Books LLC

14 day return guarantee, with full refund including original shipping costs for up to 14 days after delivery if an item arrives mis-described or damaged.

About the Seller

Michael Laird Rare Books LLC

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio.com member since: 2007
Lockhart, Texas
Ask Seller a Question

About Michael Laird Rare Books LLC

Welcome to Michael Laird Rare Books, LLC. We specialize in fine and rare books, manuscripts, documents, ephemera, fine and historic bookbindings, and illustrated books of every description. Michael Laird is a member of the ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America), ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers), and the Appraisers Association of America (USPAP compliant, and AAA certified in the appraisal of Rare and Antiquarian Printed Books). Michael Laird earned his masters degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin (1989) and has more twenty years experience in the antiquarian booktrade. He is the principal Rare Book and Document appraiser at Winston Art Group (New York) and Gurr Johns (New York). Since 2002 he has taught advanced graduate level courses in Rare Books and Special Collections, most recently at the University of Texas at Austin (School of Information).We invite you to browse through a selection of our inventory: we strive to present the greatest historic detail and bibliographic accuracy, even for lesser priced - but no less interesting - items.We are happy to provide further images of any item: please inquire.Order with confidence: we select every item with great care and discernment; moreover, we examine every page of every book. We are always interested in purchasing fine and rare books, manuscripts, and ephemera; please inquire. We very much appreciate your interest in our work, and your patronage. Thank you!

Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

gilt
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...[more]
title page
A page at the front of a book which may contain the title of the book, any subtitles, the authors, contributors, editors, the...[more]
morocco
Morocco is a style of leather book binding that is usually made with goatskin, as it is durable and easy to dye. (see also...[more]
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...[more]
spine
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....[more]
errata
Errata: aka Errata Slip A piece of paper either laid in to the book correcting errors found in the printed text after being...[more]
New
A new book is a book previously not circulated to a buyer. Although a new book is typically free of any faults or defects,...[more]
hinge
The portion of the book closest to the spine that allows the book to be opened and closed.

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