By any measure this is a wonderful addition to the mineralogical literature, a compilation which provides a window into the mid 18th to early 19th century world that was rapidly changing and becoming vibrant with discovery, invention and industry. However, it was also a world of enormous political turmoil, particularly on the near-continent with the French revolution, and rise and fall of Bonaparte.

The Introduction (68 pages) duly sets out the historical context with details of the nature of the archival resources and relationships within the trio and outside. Political, national and local events are detailed and the rationale behind...

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