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Stock# 86149

"It is a pity that books of this sort are published, as they can do no good." Nature, 3 June 1875

A fascinating look at misguided theory on volcanos and geology, published in William Lowthian Green (1819-1890), a British adventurer who served as the Kingdom of Hawaii's Prim Minister (1880-1882), as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance (1887-1889).

A true rarity, due to author's failing health only a few copies of the work reached England, and these were sent by him personally to leading scientific men.  

This is the second volume of William Lowthian Green's Vestiges of the Molten Globe, devoted to Hawaiian volcanoes, and featuring the map "The Hawaiian Islands and Craters" by Frank S. Dodge. Also contains the chart "Tabular Statement of the Eruptions of Mauna Loa and Kilauea for Sixty-Four Years, From 1823 to 1887." 

After failing to find fortune in the California Gold Rush, London-born William Lowthian Green found work as a sailor on a China-bound ship. However, he found himself unsuited for life as a sailor and remained at his Honolulu port of call. There, he was hired by Robert Cheshire Janion into his trading firm Starkey, Janion & Company and after Starkey's departure, made partner. In 1851, he became the first president of the British social club "The Mess," known today as The Pacific Club.  Lowthian helped reestablish Honolulu Iron Works after it suffered a fire in 1860.

Green was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1874 and then Prime Minister in 1880. He long held a keen interest in geology, fascinated by the volcanos that dotted Hawaii, and in 1875 published his tetrahedral hypothesis Vestiges of the Molten Globe. The now-obsolete theory attempted to explain the distribution of the earth's oceans and landmasses and was criticized by Nature. After serving as Minister of Finance from 1887 to 1889, Green died in Honolulu on December 7th, 1890.

His grandson, George Freeth, introduced the sport of surfing with Duke Kahanamoku to the continental United States in the early 20th century.

Condition Description
Small 8vo (5.75" x 8.5"). Reddish-brown, fine-grained cloth-covered boards. Bookplate of Russell Wight Osborn. Errata leaf. Dedication in pen on flyleaf, "To Andy from Bire[?] July, 1944." Map present but separated from binding.
Vestiges of the Molten Globe . Nature 12, 85 (1875).