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Distributed for French National Museum Natural History

Cuvier’s History of the Natural Sciences

Twenty-four Lessons from Antiquity to the Renaissance

With a Foreword by Philippe Taquet
 Available for the first time in English, Georges Cuvier’s extraordinary History of the Natural Sciences provides a detailed chronological survey of the natural sciences spanning more than three millennia. Cuvier had encyclopedic knowledge, an incomparable memory, and fluency in many languages, making him the ideal person to investigate and interpret firsthand the scientific literature of Europe. Supplying a set of useful references to a vast ancient literature not easily found elsewhere, this first of five volumes offers new insight into the renowned French naturalist’s concept of the natural sciences and the breadth of this human endeavor.

734 pages | 50 figures | 6 1/2 x 9 1/2

History of Science


“I need to tell you about a book that is astonishing, prodigious, and colossal. Reading it was a labor of lust, an escape into clear thinking, and a delight on many levels. These superlatives apply to the book’s author, its content, and to the scholarship evident in bringing the work to a modern audience. . . . So what’s so enthralling about some lectures from 1829? Nearly everything, as it turns out. . . . No matter whose work Cuvier reports, these discussions are lucid, insightful, and fascinating. . . . In the end, the wonder of this book is in the vast panoply of names, dates, ideas, places, wars, and theories that make up our ancient history. The vastness of the story and the clarity with which it is told is a marvel. One wonders at the brilliance of Aristotle, but equally at the brilliance of Cuvier who tells the story so well, and at the perseverance and scholarship of Pietsch for making this package intelligible. For those who never thought much about the history of science this book will be an eye-opener. I couldn’t put it down.”

Jerry Freilich, US National Park Service | Biological Conservation

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