Some day or other … we shall know, too, whether continents and seas alternately elevated and depressed as if by some secular tide, are slowly shifting their positions round the planet (E. Reclus, 1872).
Textbooks and geologic historians have largely ignored the works of one of the pre-eminent researchers of the nineteenth century, Elisée Reclus. Although his publications regarding supercontinents and continental drift preceded those of Wegener by some fifty years, the work of Reclus was apparently unknown to Wegener. Reclus also showed great foresight regarding the antiquity of the Earth, convection-subduction, the “Ring of Fire” around the Pacific, glacial drift, the nature of earthquakes, animal reactions as precursors to earthquakes, and other aspects of geology regarded by many modern scientists as developments of the twentieth century. The works of Reclus, the so-called French Darwin, should be re-examined and reprinted, and his name should be ranked with the great geologists of the past.