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Item #: OP2181
VOYAGES DANS LES ALPES PRECEDES D'UN ESSAI SUR L'HISTOIRE NATURELLE DES ENVIRONS DE GENEVE [TRAVEL IN ALPS PRECEDED BY AN ESSAY ON THE NATURAL HISTORY AROUND GENEVA] Horace Benedict De Saussure
By de Saussure, Horace Benedict
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Detailed Product Description
Neuchatel, Louis Fauche-Borel,
1779/1786/1796/1796
1803-1804-1796.
4 volumes in-4
 

de Saussure's opus concerning the first ascent of Mont Blanc, which was the seminal climb in the development of mountaineering as an activity for humans. The first edition, from the late 1700s, is one of the rarest and most desirable books in mountaineering.
 
This is a new copy of this great classic on the geology of the Alps as well as a milestone of Alpine literature. It is the first work to give a detailed account of this great mountain range of Central Europe.
 
'During these years he crossed the whole chain of the Alps no less than fourteen times and made in addition sixteen other traverses from the plains flanking the range to its central axis, and this at a time when there were but few roads in that part of Europe, which was then shunned by all travellers and where the passage of the mountains was not only difficult but often dangerous.
 
'He climbed all the accessible summits, collected specimens of rocks . He was a contemporary of Werner and with Werner believed that this granite had crystallized out of the water of the primitive ocean. While De Saussure's book deals chiefly with the geology of the Alps, it contains many references to the inhabitants of the mountains,their hard conditions of life and their sterling traits of character. He also speaks in the most glowing terms of the pleasure of mountaineering and Alpine explorations.' (Adams, The birth and development of geological sciences, pages 387-391).
 
De Saussure performed experiments on the fusion of granites and porphyries and is considered the first experimental petrologist. He popularized the term 'geology' which replaced 'geognosy'. His work provided James Hutton with fundamental documentation. And without doubt his book and researches contributed to the mid nineteenth century passion for mountain climbing in the Alps (the 'Golden Age'), from which all modern climbing evolved.
 
Hardcover, pictorial cover, No DJ issued, as New.
 
Horace-Bénédict de Saussure

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Horace-Bénédict de Saussure (February 17, 1740 – January 22, 1799) was a Swiss aristocrat, physicist and Alpine traveler, often considered the founder of alpinism.

His early interest in botanical studies led him to undertake journeys among the Alps, and from 1773 onwards he directed his attention to the geology and physics of that region. This work did much to clear up the topography of the snowy portions of the Alps, and to attract the attention of tourists to spots like Chamonix and Zermatt.

In 1760 he first visited Chamonix, and offered a reward to the first man to reach the summit of Mont Blanc, as yet unscaled. He made an unsuccessful attempt himself in 1785, by the Aiguille du Goûter route. Two Chamonix men, Dr Michel Paccard and Jacques Balmat attained the summit in 1786, by way of the Grands Mulets, and in 1787 Saussure himself made the third ascent of the mountain.

In 1788 he spent 17 days making observations on the crest of the Col du Géant (3,371 m). In 1774 he mounted the Crammont, and again in 1778, in which year he also explored the Valsorey glacier, near the Great St Bernard in 1776 he had ascended the Buet (3,096m).

In 1789 he climbed the Pizzo Bianco near Macugnaga, to observe the east wall of Monte Rosa, and crossed the Theodulpass (3,322 m) to Zermatt, which he was the first traveller to visit. On that occasion he climbed from the pass up the Klein Matterhorn (3,883m), while in 1792 he spent three days making observations on the same pass without descending to Zermatt, and then visited the Theodulhorn (3,472m).

In 1780 he climbed the Roche Michel, above the Mont Cenis Pass. The descriptions of seven of his Alpine journeys, with his scientific observations gathered en route, were published by him in four quarto volumes, under the general title of Voyages dans les Alpes in 1779-1796. There was an octavo issue in eight volumes, issued 1780-1796, while the non-scientific portions of the work were first published in 1834, and often since, under the title of Partie pittoresque des ouvrages de M. de Saussure.

The Alps formed the center of Saussure's investigations. He saw them as the grand key to the true theory of the earth, and they gave him the opportunity for studying geology in a manner never previously attempted. The inclination of the strata, the nature of the rocks, the fossils and the minerals received close attention.

He acquired a thorough knowledge of the chemistry of the day; and he applied it to the study of minerals, water and air. Saussure's geological observations made him a firm believer in the Neptunian theory: he regarded all rocks and minerals as deposited from aqueous solution or suspension, and attached much importance to the study of meteorological conditions.

He carried barometers and boiling-point thermometers to the summits of the highest mountains, and estimated the relative humidity of the atmosphere at different heights, its temperature, the strength of solar radiation, the composition of air and its transparency. Then, following the precipitated moisture, he investigated the temperature of the earth at all depths to which he could drive his thermometer staves, the course, conditions and temperature of streams, rivers, glaciers and lakes, even of the sea.
 

Item Description: Neuchatel, Louis Fauche-Borel, 1803-1804-1796. 4 volumes in-4 (24x25) full carton to bradel of the time, gilded nets, titles and volume numbers back rooms, (1f + XXII + 452), (1f + ft + t + 568), (1f + ft + t + XX + 532 + 1f), (1f + ft + t + 594pp + 2H + pl.). RARE SET, although full of vignettes 4 tickets, 4 bands, 2 folding maps and 21 boards h-t including a double. Our edition is presented with the first 2 volumes subsequent to the last 2 (see following note and give precise details of the various editions). One of the most important works and complete rare Alpine literature. 'Saussure is a famous physicist and geologist, also a professor of philosophy and natural science. It runs through the Alps for 30 years, and his ascent of Mont Blanc in 1787 is considered a major fact of scientific exploration. It advances almost all sciences: botany, physics and electricity, humidity, mineralogy, and above all it is the real founder of modern geology it is the reference book of the Alps, published at the end of the Enlightenment by. Geneva's most famous naturalist. ' Perret: Focus on the Alps, p. 87; Guide, 3911. The set has defects related to the use and time: pitting the paper without gravity; traces and friction to flat cardboard and wetness on the edge of a volume, without serious harm; higher cap browned Volume 1. Yet all is correct, see pleasant enough cartonnage of the time; clean interior; typography is good, only a few boards have lower contrast. Ex-dono manuscript. The large folding map 'section of the Alps that is around Mont Blanc' was wisely joined to share in the same carton posterior (tbe). For the bibliophile curiosity we would like to mention the work of an amateur collector and scholar who achieved a particularly remarkable detailed descriptive note: The editions of Travel in De Saussure HB Alps are not consistent unabridged editions, but are consisting of successive editions (sometimes with different publishers) connected thereafter in complete sets, 4 volumes for 4to, 8 volumes for 8vo. Originally, the first volume was published in 1779 as a first volume in-4, the second volume in-4 appears in 1786, the third tome tomes and fourth 4to in 1796. After this long period 1786-1796, the first two volumes have not always been complemented by the last 2 of 1796, which explains the relative ease of finding today the first 2 volumes, without the 2 last. And at the time, for new buyers last only tomes from 1796, it took in 1803-1804 republish the first 2 volumes to form new complete sets of 4 volumes. (NB: the same remarks apply to 8 volumes 8vo, which probably made the trips accessible to a wider audience: the first 2 volumes in-8 appeared in 1780, text and boards are those of Volume 1 4to. in 1786 appear the volumes 3 and 4 8vo, the texts and boards are those of Volume 2 4to. 5,6,7 and 8 volumes 8vo were published in 1796 with texts and boards of volumes 3 and 4 4to. as with 4to, edit again in 1787 the first two volumes in 1780 exhausted after the volumes 3 and 4, 1786, to allow establish new sets of first 4 volumes later in 1803 the first 4 volumes are reissued after the last 4 volumes of 1796 to form new sets of 8 volumes for the many applicants) the information and following information on boards and cards are important for collectors, but they do not claim to be exhaustive. As for us, here are the details of the volumes 4to - all 1779/1786/1796/1796: the most. Bookseller Inventory # GAS-21913
 

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