Paris: Chez Briasson, 1735. First French edition. 4to, contemporary full calf, gilt spine, tan morocco label, gilt lettering, xiv, 389,  pages. Folding plate. Old damp stain throughout; old damp stain to the boards, front joint starting but sound, spine a trifle chipped at the head and foot; a good, sound copy. Item #18876
The French edition of Woodward’s celebrated Essay Toward a Natural History of the Earth, first published in English in 1695. “Much of Woodward’s theory was inspired by close inspection of his own fossil collection. While he believed, as few did at the time, that fossils were the remains of once-living plants and animals, Woodward argued that they were also the relics of the Great Flood” (Ian Jackson, The Melvin E. Jahn Collection of Early Geoscience 1550-1850, Berkeley: Schoyer’s Books and Serendipity Books, 2004,  Woodward). This edition in French (as with the German and Italian translations) includes sections tken from two of Woodward’s other works, Natural History of the Earth, illustrated (1726) and Fossils of All Kinds (1728). (See Jahn, “A bibliographical history of John Woodward’s An essay toward a natural history of the Earth, pp. 197-199.) This copy with the attractive contemporary book label on the rear pastedown with the arms of Austrian diplomat Aloys Graf von Harrach (1669-1742), attribution for the label (captioned only with arms and the motto “Hinc Occidit, Inde Resurgit”) taken from the article, “Ein Gräflisch Harrach’sches Bibliothekzeichen,” Exlibris: Zeitschrift für Bücherzeichen-, Bibliothekenkunde u. Gelehrtengeschichte, vol. 6, no. 4 (Berlin, October 1896).