Users of Google Scholar will be familiar with the phrase ‘Stand on the shoulders of giants’. Georges-Louis Leclerc, le comte de Buffon, was one of these, but although copies of his works appear frequently in Antiquarian and second-hand book sales, because they were written in French his ideas have been less well known. Jan Zalasiewicz, Anne-Sophie Milon and Mateusz Zalasiewicz set out to redress this imbalance and to draw attention to Buffon's wide-ranging contributions to geological thought. The translation seems excellent, preserving both the original, albeit repetitive, precision and what we would now regard as the ‘mannered’ language of the...

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