The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two.

VIII. The Literature of Science

§ 41. William Smith

William Smith, whom Sedgwick called the “father of English Geology,” became interested in the structure of the earth’s crust, at first, from a land-surveyor’s and engineer’s point of view. He was one of the earliest to recognise that each of the strata he studied carefully contains animal and plant fossils peculiar to itself, by which it can be identified. In 1815, he published his geological map of England and Wales; and, between 1794 and 1821, he issued separate geological maps of many English counties. Further he is responsible for introducing many terms—“arbitrary and somewhat uncouth,” as Sedgwick remarked—which have become the verbal currency of British geology.