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Born in London, the geologist G. B. Greenough FRS (1778–1855) initially studied law. His studies took him to the University of Göttingen where, almost by chance, he attended lectures on natural history. He was immediately hooked, gave up his legal studies, and devoted himself to geology, going on a series of scientific tours of France, Italy, Britain, Ireland and lastly India. He helped to found the Geological Society, and under its auspices, he organised a cooperative project that led to his famous geological map of England and Wales. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1807 for his services to geology. This influential series of essays, published in 1819, debunked a range of geological theories that were popular at the time, and by so doing, Greenough helped to reform much of geological thinking. The book also includes transcripts from his presidential addresses to the Geological Society.