Georges Cuvier, Fossil Bones, and Geological Catastrophes: New Translations & Interpretations of the Primary Texts

By M. J. S. Rudwick; George Cuvier | Go to book overview

FURTHER READING

Full details of the publications mentioned below are given in the "Bibliography of Works by Historians of Science."

Three books, all in English, together provide an excellent basis for further study of Cuvier. The biographical narrative that links the texts printed in this volume has drawn on them so extensively that it would have been pointless to cite them repeatedly in the notes.

Coleman's Georges Cuvier zoologist ( 1964) was the first major study to make full use of the rich collections of Cuvier manuscripts preserved in Paris. It was also the first modern work that delved behind Cuvier's mythic reputation as the big baddie of nineteenth-century opposition to organic evolution, and tried to understand his work on its own terms rather than as ammunition for modern biological controversies. As the title implies, however, it focuses on Cuvier's zoological work, and specifically on the issue of transformism (as evolutionary theories were then known) and his conception of the animal organism and the nature of animal classification. One chapter deals with Cuvier's paleontological research, but that work is not adequately embedded in its contemporary geological context. Nonetheless, this is a fine starting point.

Negrin's Georges Cuvier. Administrator and educator ( 1977), with a title clearly echoing Coleman's, set out to complement the earlier work with a study of Cuvier's nonscientific career; it too was based on extensive archival research. It presents a very clear description of his background and

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