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Title: James Geikie - The Man and the Geologist
Author: Newbigin, Marion I. (Marion Isabel), Flett, J. S.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber’s Note

Variant spelling is retained.

Footnotes have been moved to the end of the paragraph to which they

In this text version of “James Geikie” italic typeface is
represented by _underscores_ and  small caps typeface by UPPER CASE.

Changes that have been made are listed at the end of the book.



[Illustration: [_Photo by John Horsburgh._






  _Editor of the Scottish Geographical Magazine_


  J. S. FLETT, M.A., LL.D., F.R.S.

  _Of the Geological Survey of Scotland_



This biography of Prof. James Geikie is based upon his own letters,
papers, and diaries, and upon information supplied by many of those who
were closely associated with him, both during his earlier days on the
Geological Survey and the later in Edinburgh. Much of the material was
sorted and arranged by Mrs Geikie before it was placed in my hands, and
to her I am indebted for many notes, memoranda, and verbal statements
which supplemented the documents supplied. Mrs Geikie had herself
composed, for the use of the family, a brief account of her husband’s
early days, and on this manuscript the first chapter is largely based;
without its aid the composition of that chapter would have been very

For later years I am under great obligations to Prof. Geikie’s many
friends and correspondents, at home and abroad. Correspondents across
the seas, especially, deserve warm thanks for their willingness
to trust valuable original documents to the post, at a time when
the phrase “perils of the sea” had taken on a new meaning. It is
satisfactory to be able to state that in no case was such material lost
as a result of hostile action. Prof. Stevenson of New York and Prof.
Chamberlin of Chicago must be specially mentioned as having supplied
much material. It should perhaps be added that the circumstances under
which the book was written made it impossible to obtain letters or
information from many continental geologists, who, in happier times,
would doubtless have been glad to render assistance.

A large amount of material was also kindly supplied by geologists and
others in this country. Among those who have taken a keen interest
in the progress of the work, and have rendered notable assistance,
mention may be made of the following friends and correspondents of
Prof. Geikie:--Dr John Horne, who supplied many letters and much
detailed information--to his kindly and unfailing help this memoir
of his old friend owes much; Dr Peach, whose accounts of early days
on the Survey were most helpful; Mr Lionel Hinxman, Mr H. M. Cadell,
and many others, to whom application was made in regard to matters
of detail. Among the last mention may be made of Dr W. B. Blaikie of
Messrs T. & A. Constable, Mr T. S. Muir of the Royal High School, and
Mr John Grossart. To all who have rendered assistance I desire to offer
most cordial thanks, and trust that they and others will feel that
the biographical sketch, in however imperfect a fashion, does present
a lifelike picture of one who rarely failed to inspire affection and
admiration in those who came to close quarters with him.


  EDINBURGH, _October 1917_.




  CHAP.                                                        PAGE

     I. BOYHOOD AND YOUTH, 1839-61                               3

    II. FIRST YEARS ON THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, 1862-64           19

      1865-71                                                   34

    IV. “THE GREAT ICE AGE”: (2) PUBLICATION, 1872-74           52

     V. MARRIAGE AND LIFE AT PERTH, 1875-77                     62

    VI. LAST YEARS ON THE SURVEY, 1878-82                       82

   VII. EDINBURGH AND THE PROFESSORSHIP, 1882-88               100

  VIII. FINAL EDITION OF “THE GREAT ICE AGE,” 1889-1903        116

      DAYS, 1904-15                                            130






  XIII. INTERGLACIAL CONTROVERSIES                             194

        LIST OF PUBLICATIONS                                   213

        INDEX                                                  221


      John Horsburgh)                                   _Frontispiece_

  A STUDY OF PROF. GEIKIE IN 1884. (From Mr William
      Hole’s Etching in _Quasi Cursores_, published
      for the Edinburgh University Tercentenary
      Celebrations)                                   _to face p. 104_

  PROF. GEIKIE IN 1888. (From a Photograph taken in
      Philadelphia)                                   _to face p. 108_

  PROF. GEIKIE AT THE AGE OF SIXTY. (From a Photograph
      by Messrs Elliott & Fry)                        _to face p. 116_






James Geikie was born on 23rd August 1839, in a house in Edinburgh
which was later pulled down to make room for the University Union. He
was the third son and the third child in a family of eight, consisting
of five sons and three daughters, and was baptised as James Murdoch
Geikie. He abolished--to use his own word--the Murdoch in boyhood.

His father was in business in Edinburgh, but by taste and inclination
was a musician, and in later years, after retiring from business,
devoted himself entirely to music, and was the author of a number of
compositions, sacred and secular. A little anecdote, recalled by his
son in later years, suggests that it had always been his ambition to
be a professional musician, and that he had been thwarted in youth.
The story relates that one day he said to James somewhat sadly:--“If
ever you have a son who wants to make music his profession, do not
oppose his wish.” In the fulness of time, it is interesting to note,
one of James Geikie’s sons did express this desire, and his father
scrupulously observed the injunction of the long-dead grandfather. The
point is not without importance, from more than one aspect, and is at
least a partial refutation of the pessimists who, like Samuel Butler,
maintain that each generation repeats the mistakes of the last in
dealing with youth.

Another artistic strain in the family was represented in the person of
Walter Geikie, an uncle, who was a well-known painter of Scotch scenes
and left also some good etchings. Of him James Geikie, in an undated
fragment of what was apparently intended to be a history of the family,
says:--“Of my Uncle Walter I will say nothing: the Life prefixed to
his etchings having already forestalled anything I could tell. He was
a capital mimic and possessed of boundless good nature. Had he been
longer spared he might well have become famous in his profession, but
Death, to whom the genius and the numbskull are one and the same,
carried him off in the year 1837--two years before I was born.” James,
it may be noted here, had himself considerable skill as a draughtsman,
as both his published works and his geological note-books show clearly,
which adds interest to this note upon his artist uncle. Another uncle,
who was a minister and went out to the United States when James was
young, was the father of Cunningham Geikie the divine, author of a
widely-read _Life of Christ_.

The latter lived with the Geikie family in Edinburgh for some time in
his student days. The MS. from which the above quotation is made,
which is annotated in pencil by its author, is, as stated, a mere
fragment and undated. Internal evidence, however, suggests that it may
have been written about 1856, the writing and composition recalling
some extant letters of this period, and it shows, as further quotations
will indicate, that its author, with all his obvious immaturity, was
even then feeling after a style.

James Geikie’s mother was a Miss Thom, a daughter of a merchant
captain, who was born in Inverness but established himself at Dunbar.
Here he married the daughter of a local shipbuilder, whose family was
connected by marriage--to quote again the MS. already mentioned--with
“that Roderick MacKenzie who suffered his head to be taken from him
that he might save that of Prince Charles Stewart”; a fact of which
the boy James confesses himself very proud. In his later days Captain
Thom often visited his married daughter, and the important part which
he played in developing the imagination of the children is suggested
in the following sentences (from MS.):--“My Grandfather Thom when I
first knew him had not ceased to plough the sea for his living. He was
of a middle stature, well-made, and muscular. I can still see his fine
head nearly bald--what hair he had was of a beautiful silver white--his
Roman nose. I can still at this late period follow him in his walks.
I see him sitting with his old cronies--relics of fights by land and
sea--on that seat between the two old trees--long since pulled down to
make way for those improvements, so-called, which have altered entirely
what in my young days went by the name of ‘The Meadows.’ His stories
of adventures with the robbers of the sea are rife in my memory. His
voyages to places whose very names smack of fairy-land--his hairbreadth
escapes--his deeds of daring--the recollection of all these rises
vividly before me at the mere mention of his name. I looked upon him
as another Sinbad--a second Robinson Crusoe; and my acquaintance with
his queer old friends served to heighten the romantic colours in which
I viewed him! Alas! all these school-boy dreamings are past; but they
will sometimes flit before me as I lie gazing up into the deep blue
of a summer sky, recalling the old days which have gone away into dim
forgetfulness: and they will sometimes come again as I sit alone musing
by the winter fireside. Verily there is a something--call it what you
will--about the past which renders it infinitely more endearing to us
than all the brightest dreams of the future.”

The only comment which it is necessary to make upon the above is
to repeat that it was apparently written when the boy was about
seventeen, and thus, as we shall see, at a period when he was engaged
in uncongenial work, and when his future was uncertain: these facts
help to explain what the James Geikie of a later day would have
contemptuously denounced as the “high-falutin” style.

In addition to the visits of Captain Thom to Edinburgh, family
intercourse was kept up by return visits of the children to Dunbar,
where the ships appealed strongly to the imagination of James. He was
fond of saying in later years that he used to watch them dipping below
the horizon and longed to follow them to see what lay beyond; and the
_Wanderlust_, so early developed, lasted till the end of life. In a
letter to one of his sons, written to Egypt in 1901, he says:--“Old man
tho’ I am, I’m just as keen to knock about the world as ever I was. It
is like renewing my youth even to think about it!”

In connection with the seafarer’s blood which he inherited from
his mother’s side, it is also of interest to note that James was an
excellent traveller both by sea and land; the sea had no terrors for
him, and his voyages were a source of continuous pleasure, both at the
time and in recollection.

As to his immediate intellectual heritage, it seems probable that James
took the majority of his qualities from his father’s side. But his
mother, of whom he was very fond, was a woman of great ability and much
ambition for her clever sons, whom she spurred on in their careers. Her
extraordinary skill as a needlewoman, and her capacity for hard work,
are enshrined in the family traditions, and it is probable that James
took from her his remarkable perseverance and his manual dexterity.
The father was full of _bonhomie_, probably as deeply impregnated as
his son with the _joie de vivre_, and like him more desirous of a full
life than given to the narrow concentration which achieves a particular
purpose at the expense of so much.

From his father James seems to have inherited his imagination and
the touch of constructive genius which enabled him to do such
noteworthy work; but one can well believe that the instinct which led
the son to interleave his scientific observations in his geological
note-books with verses, prevented the father from devoting himself as
whole-heartedly to the pursuit of worldly prosperity as his wife may
have thought desirable in view of the large and growing family.

It is at least certain that money was not very abundant in the early
days, though the house contained many books, and there seems to have
been much music and liveliness, the father, like the son, being a
capital story-teller. He must also have been a traveller in his day,
for James in a letter to his brother William speaks of him as going off
to the Continent in 1858, a much rarer adventure for a man of moderate
means then than now. The occasion was a musical festival at Bonn, and
was apparently taken advantage of to the full, the tour being extended
to Paris and elsewhere.

Details in regard to the early life of James Geikie are scanty. These
were days long before the time when conscientious parents recorded in
neatly kept note-books all details as to the growth and development
of their offspring; while with babies following each other at regular
intervals throughout a long period of years, the mother had probably
little time to put on record any signs of precocity in the elder
boys, if such existed. Two little stories, however, emphasise the
statements made above as to the effect on the children’s imagination
of Captain Thom’s yarns. When very small James, in company with his
brother William, who was two years older, set off to walk down to
Joppa, some three and a half miles from Edinburgh, to see the world,
and incidentally to visit an aunt who lived in the district. The two
arrived very tired, only, after a meal and a rest, to be ignominiously
taken home again by their aunt. In those days communications between
the shore and the city were difficult, and the party had to trudge back
on foot, the small James, whose ambition on this occasion had somewhat
outrun his strength, having to be carried most of the way.

But this inglorious finale did not quench the ardour of the youthful
pair, who were probably slow to grasp the attitude of grown-up people
towards displays of initiative on the part of the young. Next time
they planned to make a voyage on their own account, and to place the
water between them and over-zealous family affection. They were so
far successful as to reach Leith and find their way on board a ship.
But alas! even here they were met by a display of the adult passion
for interference, and were taken home by a sailor who, regardless of
the soul within, maintained that their diminutive stature debarred
them from seeking life and adventure on the high seas. As one of the
grandfather’s most popular stories related how he had sunk a pirate
boat in the Bay of Naples, by means of a small gun loaded with scrap
iron, and how in consequence he had been fêted by the Neapolitans, and
had had his portrait painted, one can imagine that the brothers were
very bitter at this second check to their own ambitions. James had to
wait many years before he faced Italian pirates and brigands, and then
it was the milder variety which requires to be treated with another
metal rather than iron, and cannot be disposed of by Captain Thom’s
summary methods.

Another story of childhood is interesting because it shows how
completely the boy was the father of the man. At some unknown
but early date he had a serious illness. So desperate seemed his
condition that the doctor, speaking in the presence of the apparently
unconscious boy, permitted himself to tell the mother that recovery
was practically impossible, and was not to be desired, as the child
would be feeble-minded. After the doctor had left, the poor mother came
back into the room crying, but little Jamie found strength to whisper
feebly: “I’ll no dee yet, mother.”

Long years afterwards, in a bad illness some four or five years before
his death, somewhat similar incidents happened. One day after he had
seen the doctor exchange a grave glance with the nurse, he managed,
after the doctor had left the room, to say: “Tell him I have a return
ticket.” On another occasion one sick-room attendant volunteered to
another the statement that she did not think the professor would last
till the morning, and was considerably startled to hear the apparently
dying man, who was lying with his eyes closed, say distinctly, if
feebly, “The professor will last till the morning, and he’ll last
till he sees you out of the house.” Needless to say he did more than
this, for he lived to tell the tale with his old glee and vivacity.
Perhaps the medical science of a later date will be able to find an
explanation of this power of resistance, and of its association with
the nervous temperament rather than with strong physique. Meantime it
is interesting to have another confirmation of the frequent experience
that in a death-struggle, whether with internal or external foes, the
“muscular Christian” can often give a less good account of himself than
the nervous one. The boy, who if he lived was to be feeble-minded, not
only lived but added notably to the world’s stock of knowledge.

Only one early letter has been preserved, and it gives no clue as to
its date, beyond the fact that it is printed in childish capitals,
which are, however, wonderfully straight, and shows an uncharacteristic
uncertainty as to spelling. It reads:--

 DEAR FATHER AND MOTHER,--We are very much disappointed, at youre
 not leaving London on Saturday. We hopet to have the pleasure of
 seeing you pull down the pears for us but since you have not come,
 we will have to bigin ourselves and take them down. We are all in
 good health we wer all up at the castle with Thom to day and saw Mons
 Meg. Write us soon and let us know when yoo ar really to leave.--Your
 affectionate son,


James Geikie’s early education was obtained at a private school,
where he seems to have been unhappy. The master was brutal in his
methods, and ill-suited to have charge of a delicate, nervous boy.
The climax came when one day he approached James from behind, and
seized his ear roughly between his finger and thumb, giving it a
painful wrench. The boy, maddened with pain and fright, sprang up,
and seizing the nearest object, which happened to be an inkpot, flung
it at his assailant. He then made for the door, his exit closing one
educational chapter. Afterwards, in 1850, when he was eleven years of
age, he went to Edinburgh High School, then under the rectorship of Dr
Schmitz. Here James Geikie seems to have distinguished himself chiefly
in classics. The classical master was Dr Boyd, who evidently perceived
his abilities, for he told him that he expected to hear of him in later
years either as a poet or as a literary man.

Under Dr Boyd James Geikie gained a prize for a translation from
Virgil into English verse, and his knack of verse-making seems to have
been carefully fostered. A number of his verse translations have been
preserved, some written out in his brother William’s extraordinarily
neat hand, others printed by James himself at a later date.

On the whole, however, it would seem as though the education of the
boys was carried out more outside school than in it. In those days
Scottish schools were unaffected by English traditions in the matter of
sport. There were no organised games, and the boys obtained exercise
in whatever way pleased them best. The Geikie children kept many pets
in their garden, and James’s considerable manual dexterity was often
called upon in connection with the welfare of these. A family tradition
led the children to give those of their pets who died before their
time an elaborate funeral, and James’s skill in coffin-making is still
lauded by the remaining members of his family.

Of more importance for his future career were the long excursions by
which the boys as they grew satisfied their _Wanderlust_. Edinburgh
is, of course, even to-day singularly favoured by Nature in the number
and variety of the possible excursions within easy reach of the town,
and in those days conditions were still better. In later years, when
he took his geological students over Arthur’s Seat, James Geikie used
often to lament what he regarded as the spoiling of that park by the
construction of roads, which for him took away the feeling of wildness,
and part of the impressiveness of the wonderful volcanic scenery. He
did not live to see a further stage in which the citizens were shut off
by the exigencies of war from the enjoyment of the most attractive part
of the park.

A little anecdote that he often also told on his excursions is not
without interest. As a boy he was lying on the hill one day reading a
book when he was accosted by a party consisting of a tall gentleman, a
little lady, and a group of children. The gentleman asked the way to
the top of the hill, and James not only volunteered to guide them, but
ultimately carried the smallest girl pickaback up part of the climb.
The party had a pleasant stroll, and parted the best of friends. As
the boy came down the slopes towards Holyrood, however, he found a
considerable crowd waiting, and learnt that his help had been asked by
the Prince Consort, that the lady was Queen Victoria, and the little
girl he had carried the Princess Alice.

One motive for the long holiday rambles seems to have been
butterfly-collecting, if one may judge from the enthusiasm with
which in later years, when himself the father of growing boys, he
entered into the pursuit for their sakes. Some of his letters written
to his sons during his travels on the Continent and in America are
thoroughly boy-like in their enthusiasm for the beautiful creatures,
and in their descriptions of the efforts necessary to obtain perfect
specimens. But like many an Edinburgh boy before and since, he was
keenly interested in fossils and in the rocks and minerals represented
in the neighbourhood of his native town. Fossil-hunting expeditions to
the famous limestone quarries of Burdiehouse and Gilmerton, and to the
coprolitic shales down on the shore at Wardie, were often undertaken in
company with two future colleagues on the Geological Survey--his eldest
brother Archibald, later Director of the Geological Survey, and now Sir
Archibald Geikie, and the boy who afterwards became Prof. John Young of
Glasgow. James was considerably younger than either, and, as he himself
indicates in a Memoir prefixed to Dr Young’s _Essays and Addresses_
(1904), was only allowed to accompany his seniors occasionally and as
a special favour. Indeed, throughout all this early period it seems
clear that “Jamie” was only a little boy, not of great account in a
family whose hopes were concentrated on the eldest son. The latter
seems to have settled his own career early, for it is recorded that
one day while walking up the South Bridge with his little brother, he
said:--“Do you see that big building with the iron gates? I am going in
there, and one day I shall be a professor there.” The little brother’s
feelings at the time are not recorded, but it seems probable that no
one in the family contemplated that the great iron gates would open for
him also as a professor.

With two older brothers, and two more following after, it is not to
be wondered at that James Geikie’s school-days soon ended. In 1853 he
left the High School, and at the beginning of 1854 was apprenticed to
Mr Thomas Constable, the printer. His life here does not seem to have
been happy. The confinement and long hours did not suit his health,
the occupation did not appeal to his tastes, and among his chief
consolations seem to have been occasional geologising holidays and
books. These he read on his way to and from his work, for the family
by this time lived on the other side of what, despite the past tense
of the MS. quoted on p. 6, is still called The Meadows, and this open
space had to be crossed daily.

In October 1855, however, his brother Archibald joined the Geological
Survey, and this, which opened a possible avenue of escape for James,
then only sixteen, marked an important turning-point in his career.
Of the period as printer it is only necessary to add that, much as he
disliked it at the time, he was fond of saying in later years that it
was a useful experience, for it gave him a knowledge of the routine
of printing work which stood him in good stead in his own constant

He stayed at Constable’s till the summer of 1858, and some letters to
his brother William have been preserved which give interesting glimpses
of his character in this period of drudgery and development. William
had gone out to relatives of the family in the United States, and the
letters were written to him there. His death, it may be noted, took
place as the result of an accident, shortly after the date of the last
of the letters. Some extracts from them may be quoted:--

  HOPE PARK, _31st Dec. 1856_.

 I have met with very little in my daily routine, since I went to
 Constable’s, that could entertain you, and will therefore skip over
 my past years and come to the _pint_, as Cousin Archie used to say.
 When you left you’ll remember I was still _daidlin’ mong drudgery_.
 I had to do so for a good while after that, till so it chanced I
 was _promoted_ to a _frame_. I got on pretty well, considering
 the long hours, and badly ventilated room, which were playing the
 very mischief with my health, so I hung on (if you’ll excuse the
 expression) until summer had come with its usual slackness in trade,
 and then I got rest. But summer, alas! like everything beneath the
 sun, is perishable, and so the crows’ nests began to peer through the
 thinly clad trees once more, and autumn coming sighing and weeping,
 but bringing with her, as her recompense and consolation, the richly
 laden field and the clear cloudless moon.... Well I went back to the
 office, and winter, and spring, and summer and autumn passed away, and
 “the new year’s coming up” (of which I wish you and all the _natives_
 very many happy returns), and here I am at home away from the office
 again. The late hours (9 to 10) have knocked me _up_ (or, as you are
 a bit of a Yankee, “_down_” if you like) and I have got leave for a
 week or two, which I intend spending with Archie. He, the Professor,
 delivered a lecture at Penicuik the other day on the “_Geology of the

  _Aug. 1858._

 I am home at present on the sick list, and it is not likely I’ll be
 back to office before the end of autumn. We have glorious weather here
 at present,--and if I go to the country I have not the slightest doubt
 but I’ll enjoy myself. B----’s master has failed; but the General is
 not as yet out of his employment altho’ he expects soon to be so.
 I wish I were out of mine; I verily believe it will land me in a
 premature grave. It never has agreed with me.

 Mother is anxious to go off to the country with me. We are just
 looking about for a place. Perhaps Melrose or Lanark, but lodgings in
 both places are dear. I go at any rate with Archie next month to Fife;
 to be located probably at Aberdour; where I will be able to prosecute
 my geological studies, for I hope, if I am spared, to be able to join
 the Survey.--My dear Willie I will now close. I never forget you nor
 ever shall. You become all the dearer the further and longer you are
 away. God grant that we meet again on earth, if not we are always sure
 of meeting in a far better place.--I am your affect. brother,


The gloomy prognostication that his work at the printer’s office would
land him in a premature grave was not fulfilled, but the statement
helps to explain why he left the work in the same year as that in which
the letter was written, having apparently never returned to the office
after writing it. In order to leave he broke his apprenticeship, and
this was strongly opposed by his employer, who told him that a man who
changed his profession would never succeed, a prophecy--in any case
somewhat extreme--which was not fulfilled in this case.

But after leaving the printing-works there was still another interval
of waiting before the boy settled down to his life-work, and found his
vocation. He did not finally enter the Survey till October 1861, a few
months after his lifelong friend Dr Young. The period of waiting was
spent partly at the University, where he attended among other classes
Prof. Allman’s natural history course, a subject with which geology was
then united. He was also in a lawyer’s office for a time, while waiting
for a vacancy on the Geological Survey.

To enter this he had to pass what was called a “Qualifying
Examination,” which then included what the profane called Civil Service
“tots.” These were long sums in compound addition, which had to be done
within a limited time and with great accuracy. Though the operation
became more or less mechanical to those who practised it assiduously,
it presented considerable difficulties to those who were not accustomed
to such work, especially when, like James Geikie, the victim had not
what are called “business” instincts. The difficulties were, however,
overcome, and in October 1861, as already stated, he entered the
Geological Survey, forming a member of the small Scottish staff, which
consisted of Messrs H. H. Howell, Archibald Geikie, Dr Young, and
himself, with the addition, a few months later, of Mr (now Dr) B. N.
Peach. Of this band only Sir Archibald Geikie and Dr Peach now survive.

With this appointment to the Survey the period of uncertainty and
waiting ended, and James Geikie, at the age of twenty-two, entered on
his life-work, and henceforth found his way clear before him.




James Geikie was connected with the Geological Survey for a period of
twenty years, for he only gave up the work, with great reluctance, on
his appointment to the Murchison Chair of Geology in the University of
Edinburgh in the year 1881. It seems only fitting, therefore, that some
general account of his life while a member of its staff should precede
any detailed description of the occupations of the successive years.
The Survey years were singularly happy ones, were perhaps the most
fruitful in original work, and definitely determined the whole future
course of his life.

From the official standpoint the tale of events is soon told. In 1861
he was appointed Assistant Geologist. Six years later, when for the
first time the Scottish Survey was organised as a branch separate from
the English one, he was made one of the two geologists of the staff.
Two years later, that is in 1869, he was promoted to be District
Surveyor, which made him second in position after the Director, who
was then his brother Archibald. The post of District Surveyor he
held till 1881, when the posts of Director and the Professorship at
Edinburgh became simultaneously vacant by the promotion of his brother.
It was intimated that the two appointments would not again be combined,
and, though as stated with great reluctance, James gave up the Survey
to take the Chair.

Of great interest in its effect upon his future work was a change
in the policy of the Survey which practically synchronised with his
appointment. Previous to this time, the loose superficial deposits in
Scotland had been ignored by the surveyors, who confined themselves
to mapping the solid geology, _i.e._, the actual rocks, which in many
parts of Scotland are mantled by a thick covering of drift or peat.
It was decided, chiefly on economic grounds, especially in connection
with agriculture, that not only should these superficial deposits be in
future mapped along with the solid geology, but that the areas already
surveyed should be re-mapped, with the object of adding the omitted
beds. As already stated, Dr Young and James Geikie joined the Survey in
1861, and Mr Peach at the beginning of 1862. All three soon after their
appointment were entrusted with this work in Fife and the Lothians,
which had already had their solid geology mapped. It was a kind of
mapping which could be done with considerable rapidity, and therefore
involved frequent changes of quarters. Thus, as Prof. Geikie says in
the account already mentioned, which he contributed to the Memoir
attached to Prof. Young’s _Essays and Addresses_, “in a year or so we
[Young and himself] had tramped carefully over the major portion of
Fife and the Lothians.”

For all three novices this introductory period seems to have left
delightful recollections. In the Memoir already quoted, Prof. Geikie
says:--“Those were halcyon days, and I am sure Young enjoyed them to
the full. Often in subsequent years, after he had finally settled in
Glasgow, he would recur to them, recalling with delight old scenes
and old faces which he and I had known together. The life of a
field-geologist is, from many points of view, an enviable one, and
could youth and strength endure, one might well be content to follow it
to the end.”

Though spoken but of one member of the trio, one may suspect that the
statements had a wider application. In the case of James Geikie, but
recently liberated from distasteful drudgery, having changed a life
of close confinement for the open air which he loved, with reasonable
prospects for the future opening out before him, it would have been
strange if the “premature grave” of the letters of a few years’ earlier
date had not disappeared into the background, and life become suddenly
a great good, for youth and strength were both there, as yet untouched
by time.

Though the three new members of the Survey were all engaged on the
same kind of work, it must not be supposed that their work was done
in common. Each had his particular task assigned to him, and though
they often met, sometimes indeed lodged together, as was the case, for
example, with Young and Geikie at Peebles in the early part of 1863,
and Peach and Geikie in the spring of 1864, it was only their leisure
hours which were spent in each other’s company. One may, without
incurring the reproach of cynicism, suspect that this greatly increased
the joys of companionship. If they had worked together, or even in
couples, the inevitable rubs and difficulties of daily work, however
congenial, might have checked exuberant intercourse. But meeting as
they did when the day’s work was over, or only at intervals, with the
tie of common interests, with many experiences to hear and to tell, the
companionship became one of the great joys of life.

The brief account in the Memoir of Young is impregnated through
and through with the recollection of this gladness of comradeship,
and a few more phrases may be quoted to emphasise the point still
further:--“Seated by a cosy peat fire, enveloped in clouds of tobacco
smoke, confabulating, discussing, speculating, laughing over quaint
scenes and droll experiences, life (if we had only known it!) had not
much better to give.” We read also of the wine of life, and can feel
that the writer of the account, who was then a man of sixty-five,
could, despite the forty odd years which lay between, still feel its
flavour upon his palate as he wrote. Some of the jokes and quips and
tales of those old days have become Survey property, transmitted by
word of mouth from generation to generation, forming part of that
invisible strand which binds together the members of an organised body,
so that while the individuals come and go, are separated by the seven
seas, by life and by death, the spirit remains. For each individual
in turn youth goes and strength decays, but something remains; and if
in their dumb northern fashion the individuals in this case generally
passed away without leaving enshrined either in art or in the written
word a direct record of all they felt and did, it may yet not be amiss
to indicate the enthusiasm, the devotion, and the joy that went to the
making and colouring of those maps, and were embodied in those formal

But the immediate purpose here is only to suggest that those early
days were for James Geikie a conscious escape from prison, a conscious
means of self-realisation, and that it was probably the accident that
his first official field-work was given to the drifts which determined
the trend of his future scientific work. He states, it is true, in a
short account of his career which appears in the _Geological Magazine_
for June 1913, that his interest in the superficial formations,
especially boulder-clay and the associated gravels and sands, dated
from his school-days. One may well believe that, like many another
born in a region where the till is abundant, he early succumbed to
the fascination of that untidy but delightful occupation of digging
stones out of the tenacious clay with nature’s weapons, washing them
in the nearest stream, and then following with loving finger-tip those
scratches and striations which bear so romantic a message. Like many
others he doubtless pressed the cherished pebbles against his cheek,
and verified practically, long years before he wrote it down in a
printed book, the statement that they are smoothed and polished. Like
many another also he probably early got into trouble for transferring
in the course of his investigations more of the sticky tenacious
deposit to his garments than was good for them, and was often under
the sad necessity of discarding a proportion of the much-loved and
much-fingered witnesses of an earlier age, because their abundance made
the collection grow with unreasonable rapidity. But there is reason
to believe that his early interest in the rocks was not confined to
glacial phenomena, but was disseminated among a variety of geological
subjects; and it seems probable that the concentration of attention,
throughout long years, on the Ice Age was largely due to the effect of
his first work on the Survey, and to the flood of pleasurable emotion
with which that work was accompanied.

But it must not be supposed that his work, even in the early years,
was confined to the mapping of the superficial deposits. So early
as 1863 he was already doing solid geology, and thereafter went on
with the mapping of solid and superficial deposits at the same time.
But while he did much good work quite apart from glacial questions,
and was interested in many kinds of geological problems, it was the
history of the Ice Cap of Europe which especially appealed to him. His
holidays--brief in early days--were devoted to the study of glacial
phenomena outside his own region. His leisure hours, spent by some of
his colleagues in fishing or other forms of sport, or in visiting,
were largely devoted to keeping himself abreast of the literature of
the subject; and this was also one of the motives which led him to
study languages so assiduously, with the result that he was able to
make first-hand acquaintance with the papers of all the continental
geologists who wrote on his own subject.

If, however, throughout his long life his geological first love
commanded his unswerving devotion, it was not because the charms of
other paths did not appeal to him. Some of the letters speak of an
ardent desire, apparently never gratified, to deal thoroughly with
Carboniferous problems, to which his attention was drawn during his
prolonged and toilsome mapping of the Lanarkshire coalfield; and in an
interesting letter to the writer, which dates from the early part of
1909, he speaks of other questions which had also always attracted him.
Some passages from this letter may be quoted:--

 Curious how the revision of old charts of the Mediterranean have
 re-awakened my interest in the structure of that basin or series of
 basins! At one time I had a notion of writing a detailed memoir on the
 subject, but I found it would be necessary to visit many parts of the
 Mediterranean coast-lands which I had not seen and to revisit other
 parts which I had looked at. I still think there is much interesting
 work awaiting investigation there--the Italian geologists seem to me
 to have missed the meaning of some of the evidence which their own
 maps supply! If I were only twenty years younger I believe I should
 start off at once--that bothering glacial work quite drew me away from
 the Mediterranean problems. Now there is no hope for me, unless on
 the other side of time I may be permitted to resume investigations.
 In that case I shall be independent of railways, steamboats, and even
 motor cars, while I presume no hotel accommodation will be required.
 Perhaps by means of telepathy I may be able to communicate results
 to you as Editor of the Magazine. Unfortunately, however, it would
 seem from the records of the Psychical Society, that when one becomes
 disembodied and is interviewed by his bereaved and sorrowing friends
 he is invariably found to have become little better than a drivelling
 idiot, having lost any sense he may at one time have possessed.
 Instead of enlightening you on the origin of the Mediterranean, I may
 be anxious rather to get you to inform my wife where she will find the
 discharged account of some nefarious tradesman who is dunning her for
 a sum of 2s. 6d. which I had already paid.

The letter shows that he realised what his devotion had cost him; but
when we reflect not only upon what he himself accomplished but on
the extraordinary stimulus which his conclusions, some of which were
at first fiercely criticised, gave to the investigation of glacial
problems by others, here, on the Continent, and in America, we can
hardly believe that he regretted seriously his own whole-heartedness.
The period of his working life, from 1861 onwards till his death,
witnessed an extraordinary change in the views of geologists upon
problems connected with ice, saw an enormous output of material in the
way of papers and articles and books, and the world has to be grateful
to James Geikie for both directly and indirectly opening its eyes to
much that was previously hidden.

His glacial work and its significance are alike discussed by Dr Flett
in the second part of this volume, and need not be treated here,
but a word or two is necessary to explain the intense interest which
glacial problems aroused among all the Survey men during the period we
are considering, and in James Geikie in particular. A quotation from a
letter of thanks written by Charles Darwin, after receiving a copy of
the second edition of _The Great Ice Age_, will throw some light upon
this. The letter is dated 26th October 1876, and Darwin says:--“The
subject [_i.e._, the Ice Age] is one which fascinates me, chiefly owing
to a little incident which I will mention as showing the grand progress
of geology. When I was a boy an acute old gentleman who had attended
to geology and natural history showed me a boulder in Shropshire, and
assured me solemnly that the world would pass away before any one could
explain how this great stone came from Cumberland or Scotland. This
made a deep impression on me, and you may believe how delighted I was
some forty years ago when floating ice action was first broached, to be
followed some years afterwards by glacier action.”

We see from this letter that the thought of the mystery of the great
boulder haunted Darwin for years, but the young geologists of the
Survey were confronted not with one boulder, but, day after day, week
after week, with an accumulation of only half-explained mysteries.
When they started work the view that a large part of the British
Islands had been covered by land ice, and that the boulder-clay was
the record of its passage, had, after a period of neglect, again come
into prominence; but it was very far from being universally accepted
(see the historical discussion in Part II.). Then, and for many years
to come, the view that the boulder-clay, erratics, and so forth had
been dropped by floating icebergs still commanded many followers. The
suggestion that there was not one Glacial Period only but a series of
advances and retreats, with well-marked interglacial periods between,
had yet to be born. Thus the subject was a burning one at the moment,
and in their meetings, whether in the field or, when the field-work
was done for the season, at headquarters, the members of the Survey
had much to discuss and to tell, many fragments of evidence to piece
together. They seem all to have been greatly interested in the subject;
but that James Geikie made it so peculiarly his own was partly due
to the constructive imagination which enabled him to visualise, in
a series of brilliant flashes, not the country as he saw it, but
the former conditions to which it bore testimony. This constructive
imagination was aided also, as has been indicated, by constant toil and
by ceaseless comparison, by means both of personal visits and through
the writings of others, of local conditions with those of other regions
and of other lands.

It is also not without significance to note that his own first work,
and indeed generally most of his Survey work throughout his period of
service, lay in what is described as the peripheral area of the old
glaciation. In any area which is or has been glaciated it is possible
to distinguish between a central area where erosion is at a maximum,
and where the evidence of the existence of former ice-sheets is almost
necessarily masked by the work of later glaciers, and a peripheral area
where ice work takes the form of deposition. In this latter area it is
often possible to unravel the complex evidence to an extent sufficient
to determine the question whether more than one Glacial Period existed
or not. It was to this problem that James Geikie devoted much of his
attention, and this fact must be regarded as largely explained by the
other that his geological field-work was done in Lowland rather than in
Highland areas.

In so far as the details of the Survey work go, we may note that
theoretically the summer was devoted to field-work and the winter to
indoor work, at first either in London or at the Industrial Museum in
Edinburgh, and later, after the establishment of the Survey Office
in Edinburgh, at that office. But this general scheme was modified
considerably by circumstances. Summer and winter, notably, had a
somewhat different sense from that which the calendar gives. For
example, an entry in his official diary for 1863 states, under date
17th February:--“Pack-up in Office for country;” while in the same year
field-work seemed to continue, with short interruptions, till December.
In the following year, 1864, a start was made even earlier, on 1st
February. That somebody was taking too optimistic a view of Scotch
weather is, however, obvious from the entries in the diary, where
“snow,” “snow,” “snow and rain,” “wet day,” “snow, 8 or 9 inches”
follow each other with a steady persistency, which justifies the brief
entry on 14th March: “Begin to grow desperate--lock up my razors.”
At this time Mr Peach and James Geikie were endeavouring to map the
Ochils from Kinross as a centre, and Dr Peach informs the writer that
the two made strenuous but mostly ineffectual efforts to get on with
their outdoor work at a time when rocks and superficial deposits alike
were concealed in a thick mantle of snow. Apparently, however, there
were some alleviations, for one of the tantalisingly short entries in
the diary mentions a “Pisgah view of Ochils,” obtained apparently from
Rumbling Bridge; while Dr Peach states that out of working hours the
two toiled hard at their German.

The mode of study took a direction which had some influence on James
Geikie’s future, and is of interest on this account. The first impetus
to the study of the language came apparently from Dr Young, who
was very friendly with Dr Schmitz, the Rector of the High School,
whose daughter he married at a later date. Young had apparently a
good knowledge of the language, and he, early in their association,
urged upon Mr Peach the necessity of acquiring at least a reading
acquaintance with it, and recommended the learning of German poetry as
a capital means of obtaining a vocabulary. By the spring of 1864 Mr
Peach had already a considerable repertory, and his recitals roused in
James Geikie his old passion for verse-making. The songs were first
put into rough English, with many jokes about their sentimentality,
and then James Geikie turned the rough translations into English
verse. This was the beginning of a pastime which he carried on during
a large part of his life. A selection of the verses was published in
1887 as _Songs and Lyrics by Heinrich Heine and other German Poets_.
In the preface the author says that all the renderings there given
were done “for his own amusement in those ‘brave days of youth,’ when
difficulties and impossibilities are hardly recognised.” Many of the
verses were published practically unaltered after more than twenty
years’ interval, for most of them were made in very early days. They
occur in letters, in note-books, diaries, and in various other places
among his papers of the later sixties, and were evidently a true labour
of love.

As frequent mention has been made of the diaries, it may be well to
state that these for the most part contain little or nothing save
the barest records of mapping done, hours of work, memoranda as to
expenses, and so forth. Those of the first year or two, however, not
unnaturally, since the work was entirely new, are a little fuller. That
for 1862, if it ever existed, does not seem to have been preserved;
but 1863 contains one or two interesting entries, which emphasise
still further the point already made as to the enthusiasm, plans,
and ambitions with which the Survey was entered. On its first leaf
the following lines are written:--“Was not so old last year as I am
this--fact for the curious biographer who is no doubt destined to
reap immortality by the interesting use he will make of the copious
entries in this diary.” But as for many weeks afterwards the “curious
biographer” finds no written word beyond the statement that drawing
pens were bought at an outlay of 1s. 6d., it is to be feared that
no superstructure in regard to an expectation of future fame can be
built upon the entry. The corresponding page on next year’s diary is
more prosaic, for it bears only a series of “Memoranda” which include
an injunction to get a wife when income allows, and to have only
three children, two boys and one girl. Rather oddly there is a letter
extant which announces the birth of his third child, many years later,
and bewails the fact that it is another boy, when a girl would have
“rounded off the family so nicely.” The much-loved daughter did not
appear on the scene till many years afterwards.

From the 1863 diary two short entries may be quoted, for they stand
side by side on the same page, and are in many ways very characteristic
of the man. The first relates to a day spent in indoor work, though
with the careful corollary that this was not due to the weather.
Opposite this formal entry is written:--“Mouth filled with cursings and
my heart with evil thoughts, all owing to the squalling and girning of
an ill-natured, red-headed, unwashed, petted, fractious imp--the son
and heir of our landlord, the shepherd.” Some of the epithets have been
omitted--the provocation was doubtless extreme!

The following day was spent in the open air, and opposite stands
this:--“Meet J. Y. on top of Black Law; walk back to Summerhope by way
of the old churchyard. Exquisite moonlight night. Scene inexpressibly
sad--feel of course very sentimental; and have a whole troop of
depressing thoughts and reminiscences,--some of which cause me to
heave sighs like the bellows of the Village Blacksmith. The ingenious
biographer will never guess what these sighs were for, nor have I any
intention of enlightening him.”

Finally, we may note that the holidays of the years 1863 and 1864 were
both spent in Scotland, the first on the shores of the Solway and on
the coast of Ayrshire; the second on the Moray Firth, then north to
Brora and south-west to Fort William and Oban. Both seem to have been
largely devoted to geological work, but were on a less ambitious scale
than many of those of later years.

The late spring and summer of 1864 saw James Geikie beginning work in
Ayrshire, where he was stationed for some years. With the end of 1864
we may say that his introductory period of life on the Survey closed.




The year 1865 saw James Geikie, as already stated, doing Survey work in
Ayrshire, and this, with its continuation, the laborious and sometimes
tedious mapping of the Lanarkshire coalfield, kept him in the west
till 1872. Of these years of patient toil, diversified by independent
research upon the drifts, by geological holidays, and by the making of
translations of Heine and other German poets, comparatively little has
been preserved. His correspondents in these early days were chiefly the
members of his own family, and most of his letters have been destroyed,
except where the presence of some cherished verses determined their
preservation. From the scanty records in the diaries, from the few
letters that remain, and from the published account of his surveys, it
is, however, possible to indicate broadly the course of his daily life.

In 1865 he was stationed in South Ayrshire, Girvan and Cumnock being
two of his centres there. The most notable event of the year, however,
was a visit to Norway in July to August. Unfortunately, only the barest
notes of this visit remain, and, except for the descriptions of fiord
scenery in _Prehistoric Europe_ and elsewhere, we do not know what
impressions were obtained.

It was apparently chiefly a steamboat journey, with short excursions to
glaciers and other areas of special interest to the traveller. Boat was
taken from Newcastle to Aalesund, then _viâ_ Molde and Christiansund
(where a brief note records an exquisite sunset about eleven, with
sunrise following at one) to Trondhjem. After a day in this town the
journey was continued to Rödö and Melövar. From this point a trip was
made in a boat with four men for twenty miles up the fiord to visit the
Fondalen ice-field. Several days were spent here, and various glaciers
were visited and presumably studied. A return was then made to Melövar,
and the steamer journey continued to Tromsö. After a day here James
Geikie went on to Skjervö, where he arrived at 2 A.M., as is carefully
recorded, and put up at a merchant’s house, no inn being available.
Here he was most hospitably received, and enjoyed his brief glimpse of
a Norwegian interior. Next day a boat was taken across the fiord to the
Jökul-fjeld, and an apparently profitable excursion, which included
icebergs and icefalls among the objects seen, ended at a fisherman’s
cot at midnight. Next day was spent idling about, because the wind was
adverse, which suggests that the boat was a sailing-boat, and the start
was not made till evening, so that the whole night was passed on the
water, Skjervö not being reached till six in the following morning. Two
days were spent here, and then the steamer taken to Loppen, from which
an excursion was made to Bergsfiord, where the glacier was visited.
Another excursion was made to Öksfjord, and the steamboat rejoined as
far as Hammerfest, the furthest point reached. On the return journey
the call at Christiansund permitted of an expedition, taken in company
with the geologist Dr Dahll, during which a “fierce controversy” took
place. Finally, a Dutch steamer brought the traveller from Bergen to
England after what must have been a most instructive tour.

The following year, 1866, found him still in Ayrshire. Little record
of it is left, beyond the tale of work, and the publication of his
first scientific paper. By this time he had moved to the north of
Ayrshire, where he was also in the following year. This year, 1867,
witnessed the appearance of his first glacial paper, this being “On
the Buried Forests and Peat Mosses of Scotland, and the Changes of
Climate which they indicate,” a subject which was to engage his
attention more or less closely for the remainder of his life. His spare
time was still occupied with the translations, many examples of which
occur in his letters to his sisters. Occasionally his muse took less
serious forms, as may be seen from the lines given on next page, which
appear in a letter much of which is taken up with translations from
“that lugubrious poet in whose stanzas the word _weinen_ is rarely
omitted--it may be sweetly rendered by the English whining.” The lines
mentioned follow some criticisms of the habits of the inhabitants of
an Ayrshire town, where the society, in James Geikie’s words, was
“eminently peeous and drouthie.” The lines are as follows:--

    Takin’ toddy a’ the week,
    Comes the Sabbath day,
    Then to Kirk three times they gang,
    And sleep the fumes away.

In the same letter he complains that in this particular town the
invariable question put to you by strangers whose acquaintance you
make is, “What church do you attend?” He adds that he had not acquired
the reputation of a regular church-goer, so that one suspects that
something less than the three times a day had to suffice in his case.
From this period probably dates an anecdote which he used to tell
himself of a somewhat unfortunate visit to a place of worship where,
tired out by his week’s work in the open air, and not perhaps greatly
interested in the discourse, he fell asleep so soundly as ultimately
to fall out of the pew--at the end of which he was sitting--headlong
into the aisle. He had the presence of mind to remain there with his
eyes closed, and was carried out by sympathetic acquaintances, who
thought he had been suddenly overtaken by serious illness. But when
the feet of the young men were already at the door, the apparently
unconscious patient opened his eyes and winked at one of his friends
to indicate that the fate of Eutychus had not overtaken him on this
occasion. The bearer opposite, with an innocence which did credit to
his piety, had not thought of the obvious explanation of the accident,
and in his astonishment nearly dropped his burden. History does not,
unfortunately, tell whether his loyalty enabled him to keep the matter
to himself and so preserve his friend’s reputation. For these, it must
be remembered, were days when a geologist invariably ran the risk of
being suspected of “unsoundness,” by the mere fact of his occupation,
and was, therefore, one for whom jesting on the threshold of a church
was particularly dangerous.

In this year of 1867 Mr (now Dr) John Horne joined the Survey, and
very shortly afterwards made James Geikie’s acquaintance. There thus
began a friendship which lasted to the end. Almost from the first Mr
Horne shared Geikie’s enthusiasm for glacial work, and so early as
2nd April 1868 a letter from the latter to one of his sisters records
the fact that “Young Horne has got me a lot of information, and I
shall certainly get a lot more.” From this time, indeed, James Geikie
constantly asked his colleagues for notes about the glacial phenomena
in the areas they were respectively surveying, and for friendship’s
sake was freely supplied with these. Thus in the course of time he
acquired a large amount of detailed information about the different
parts of Scotland, with answers to many questions which cropped up in
the course of his own investigations. It was not till his early papers,
and especially the publication of _The Great Ice Age_, had attracted
the attention of a wider circle of geologists, that this correspondence
was enlarged to include most parts of the civilised world. As we shall
see later, his early foreign letters gave him great pleasure, even
though, until he realised the value of a feeling for languages and
a good stock of dictionaries, he had often to ask for help in their

A few lines from a letter to Mr Horne, written from Eaglesham on 8th
May 1868, may help to show the kind of work he was doing, and reveal
also those characteristics which made his colleagues willing to give
him all the help they could:--

 DEAR YOUNG MAN,--I hope you are still in the land of the living and
 the place of hope wherever that may be. These lines I write unto you
 not that your joy may be full but that you may know that I take (I
 won’t say a fatherly) interest in your welfare, but any other kind of
 interest you like but self-interest. What are you about, and how do
 you like the work? Is the Drift blinding your eyes and do you yet see
 as through a glass darkly? I suppose your Boulder-clay in the high
 grounds will give you no bother. If you get any gravel will you be so
 good as let me know whether it occurs in valleys whose watershed is
 over or under 1000 feet?

Mr Horne was then working in the Nith valley, being stationed at
Thornhill. James Geikie by this time had moved from Ayrshire into
Renfrewshire and Lanarkshire.

But the great event of 1868, apart from the publication of two more
glacial papers, was a trip up the Rhine and on to Switzerland, of which
one of the note-books contains a very full and jovial record, which
has been supplemented by the recollections of some of the surviving
members of the party, who were all Survey men. The record is too long
to quote in full, but certain passages may be given. The opening gives
so lively a picture of the party, and of the rollicking spirits with
which they started, that it cannot be omitted. In connection with
the informality of tone, it must be remembered that the diary was
only a private record of a gay holiday. It is interspersed, quite
characteristically, by very neat diagrams and sketches, and details of
the geological observations, which were no doubt worked up afterwards.

  _Wednesday, 29th July 1868._

 Edinburgh to London--Peach, Skae, Horne, and Archie in company. Arrive
 infernally hungry and dirty at St Catherine’s dock. Have to swear at
 a cabman, etc. This of course was Thursday, 30th. Friday, 31st--Start
 in the _Orion_ for Antwerp--ship none of the best, but passable. Of
 course a number of English on board. None of them I know. Have a kind
 of luncheon and satisfy hunger pangs. Brisk breeze gets up towards
 the afternoon, and puts to flight notions of dinner in the respective
 buzzums of Skae, Horne, and Archie. Peach and I wait so long that
 our hunger vanishes. Ladies laid out in corpse-like fashion all over
 the deck, and a good deal of basin work performed. Two very pretty
 English girls on board--as pretty I think as I ever saw before.
 Both hold up for a while, but after a time they give in and close
 up their eyes like daisies. Skae off to bed--Horne having meanwhile
 mysteriously disappeared. Archie follows suit. I smoke, and Peach in
 despair hovers about the door of the feeding saloon in hopes of being
 able to see something like preparations for tea. Tea at last! Only 5
 out of nearly 150 passengers sit down--one of them a lady. Peach and
 I make a furious onslaught to make up for loss of dinner. Horne, to
 our surprise, enters, tastes a cup of tea and beats a hasty retreat.
 The place is close and stifling, and the sounds issuing from the
 surrounding berths make appeals which cannot be resisted. Peach and I
 make for the deck, where the fresh air revives us, and I finish off my
 meal with a pipe.

There follow, by one of the sudden transitions in which the diary
abounds, notes on the colour of the water, and on the jellyfish seen.

A night’s sleep seems to have restored the party, for they landed at
Antwerp the following morning apparently all in good spirits, and after
a stroll round the town took train for Cologne, passing Liège, “which
lies beautifully in a lovely wooded valley,” _en route_. After a short
visit to Cologne--“here I was pleased to find Heine’s good Christopher
in the Dom”--the party went on by boat to Königswinter. “Sail up the
Rhine not very interesting, but the evening is exquisite and the
flat country looks well.” At Königswinter they spent some days--very
hot ones--climbing the Siebengebirge and geologising, with lighter
intervals. One of the interludes may be mentioned:--“Peach swam across
the Rhine in twelve minutes (before breakfast).”

After a day or two at Königswinter the party went down the Rhine to
Bonn, to see Prof. Zirkel there and to visit the museum. Bonn is
somewhat briefly dismissed:--“This is a lost day. I hate Bonn ...
hooked it back to Königswinter--and loafed about.” At Bonn the party
met Sir Roderick Murchison, then Director-General of the Geological
Survey, profanely called “the Duke” in the diary, for his mannerisms
made a strong appeal to the sense of humour of the more lively members
of the party. The veteran geologist--or at least so the juniors
asserted--graduated his greetings in careful accordance with the
official position of each. But the old chief’s genuine interest in
geology was shown by his eager questions about the recent results of
the Survey work in the Southern Uplands.

Finally Königswinter was left, “with regret,” for the Laacher See, a
detailed visit to the Eifel country being one of the great objects
of the tour. James Geikie’s early work in the Ochils had aroused his
interest in volcanic phenomena, and his geological notes in regard to
the next section of the tour are singularly full.

The party took steamer to Brohl, and then drove to the lake, being,
as is carefully recorded, cheated both by the boatman who took them
off the steamer and by the driver. Perhaps the fact accounts for the
next entry:--“I have seen prettier places than the Laacher See.” The
party had an introduction, obtained presumably through Prof. Zirkel, to
one of the fathers at Laach Abbey, and he and a companion accompanied
them on a tour round the lake, in order to point out the objects of
geological interest. A trip to the Bausenberg was also made. Next day
the members of the party walked to Niedermendig to see the famous
quarries there. Here they tasted the beer stored in the caverns, and
characteristically--for James Geikie did not have to wait for Mr
Chesterton to sing the merits of beer--the diary devotes nearly equal
space to the geology and the beverage. “It was deliciously cold and I
like the flavour. I had heard much of the coldness of this beer, viz.,
that no one could drink more than a small glassful at a time. But I
found no difficulty in taking down a good pint, and if I had not had
the mine to get out of, I could easily have stowed away double the

Some other interesting excursions were made in the neighbourhood of
the Laacher See, in company with the friendly monks, and then finally
the party set off in a farm wagon for a thirty-mile drive to Daun, in
the heart of the Eifel country, over very rough roads. The vehicle was
cheap, but this seems to have been its only merit, and the driver, a
prosperous peasant with money in the bank, as he explained to them,
had the disadvantage of not knowing the way. The journey took over
twelve hours, and when the tired party reached the village it was to
find that it was market-day there, and rooms were difficult to obtain,
so that the weary scientists had to seek lodgings where they could,
some in an inn, where they were “nearly eaten up with fleas,” and
others in a private house. After a day here, another long drive was
taken to Bertrich, where the better hotels, an indirect result of the
local medicinal springs, revived the drooping spirits of the diarist.
Unfortunately the bill next morning proved that the presence of the
visitors had another effect also, and the tone of the diary again
becomes subdued, till, after a long drive, the Moselle was reached, and
its scenery had a restorative effect.

At Cochem the geologists engaged a boat and two men to row them forty
miles down the Moselle to Coblentz. The first twenty miles, it is
carefully explained, were delightful; but darkness came on long before
the destination was reached, and it was midnight before an unwilling
dockkeeper allowed the boat to enter Coblentz. But in spite of the
fatigue and tedium of the long journey, the diarist expresses himself
as highly delighted with the trip.

Coblentz did not make a favourable impression on the travellers, and
the diary contains some caustic remarks on the Prussian soldiers, with
whom the town was full, and on the Prussian officers whose manners at
table in the hotel were a trial to persons accustomed to place reliance
upon a fork rather than a knife as an implement for conveying food
into the mouth. The subject is one which recurs more than once, for
James Geikie, who was singularly susceptible to feminine charm, seemed
to resent strongly the general lack of it among the German ladies
met with, and could not reconcile himself to the sight of a Fräulein
disposing of peas by a method whose only advantage was its rapidity.
If the sound reflection that a lady who habitually uses a broad-bladed
knife for this purpose is rarely so clumsy as to slit her mouth
completely from ear to ear in the process occurred to him, it evidently
afforded no consolation, and he found it difficult to sit out a meal
in a German hotel if peas entered into the menu. He himself attempted
no missionary work, however, though he records meeting two “Yankees,”
one of whom “had induced one or two German ladies to use their forks
instead of their knives for pitching in the victuals. They were
surprised, they told him, that the fork could do the work so nicely!”

At Coblentz two of the party, Messrs Horne and Skae, turned back,
while the rest went on to Goarshausen, where they passed a delightful
couple of days. “It is one of the prettiest spots in all the Rhine
country.” The next stop was at Heidelberg, where the customary sights
were visited, and the scarred countenances of the students commented on
with true British disgust; the journey was then continued _viâ_ Basle,
Berne, Thun, and Interlaken to Grindelwald. Here the famous guide Peter
Michel was engaged, and the party spent “a most interesting day” on
the glaciers. “The ice phenomena were well seen, but best on the lower
glacier.” So successful was the excursion that it was resolved, though
all were inexperienced, to make the crossing of the Strahlegg to the
Grimsel. Bad weather made it necessary to stop two nights at the Bäregg
hut, and of these and the day’s imprisonment an amusing description
is given. On the second day the weather cleared and the chalet was
left at five, and, after a tiring day, the party reached the Grimsel
at six in the evening, some of the members being much fatigued. Some
interesting observations were made _en route_. From the Grimsel the
party made their way down the Rhone valley to Lake Geneva, and at this
point the diary ends abruptly. The excursion, it is clear, was one of
great interest, and coupled with the previous visit to Norway, must
have played an important part in helping James Geikie to visualise the
Europe of the Ice Age.

The next three years, 1869, 1870, and 1871, were spent for the most
part in hard and continuous work on the coalfields, though in all three
years the published papers, no less than the letters, show that all the
energy which could be spared from the daily routine was being given to
glacial work.

In the spring of 1869 James Geikie started work at Carluke, and an
entertaining letter to his mother has been preserved, dated from here
on 4th April. It is long and largely about family affairs, but a few
quotations may be made, for the tone throws light upon the character
both of mother and son. The letter begins abruptly as follows:--

 This being a day of rest not only for the beasts that do the work of
 men, but also for the men that do the work of beasts, it behoveth me
 thy son to throw aside the cares of the world and the many humbugs
 that do so easily beset me, and to refresh my soul and peradventure
 thine also by inditing these few words, to the intent that thou, O my
 maternal parent! may know of a surety that I thy son am well, and that
 thy two daughters who sojourn with me here in the wilderness are even
 as I am....

 Write unto me, O my maternal parent! and tell me how it fareth with
 thy trees which yield fruit of their kind, and with the flowers which
 thou dost tend in the house that is heated with pipes and hot water
 in the pipes. And say unto my paternal parent that he hath forgotten
 me--that I am even as one of the dead--that I long to see the writing
 of his hand.

 Here many friends visit me not--but I am not grieved--and my
 waistcoats grow tight about me....

 Thy daughters salute thee and the paternal--so I salute ye all in
 like manner. My blessing abide with ye--and in the bonds of love I
 subscribe myself.--Yours affectionately.

Other family letters in the same year are written from Hamilton,
one, dated 19th July, containing the information in regard to his
translations that “I have so many now that I think if I go on for a
month or so longer I shall have enough to make a small volume.”

The allusion to fruit-trees, in the letter quoted above, it is
interesting to note, was especially to a pear-tree which grew in the
garden of the house in Duncan Street where the family lived at this
time. The house is one of two which a few years ago were converted by
the Edinburgh School Board into a special school, and in the course
of the alterations the jargonelle pear-tree, which figures in many of
the family letters, was cut down. It seems to have been a prolific
bearer in its prime, and in one of his letters James Geikie alludes to
receiving a basket of the fruit, and at the same time to the prolonged
silence of the members of the family, which he explains as the result
of the “pear-disease,” _i.e._, the absorption of his sisters in the
task of consuming the fruit. He himself sends some rhymes in return for
his share.

The year 1870 finds him still busy on the coalfield, his diary for that
year being full of notes of appointments with people connected with the
pits, while he seems to have been constantly moving from place to place
in Lanarkshire.

Two letters from Prof. Ramsay in July of this year have an historical
interest. The first suggests a joint tour on the Rhine to solve a
geological problem, and is followed almost at once by another, saying,
“Now I fear my Rhine journey is blown to the winds.... This most wicked
and accursed war will upset half the Continent of Europe, and it is by
no means impossible that we may be dragged into it”--upon which one
feels disposed to make the comment that if we had been it is possible
that infinite suffering might have been saved forty-four years later! A
letter from James Geikie to Mr Horne, written later in the same year,
says:--“My holidays, I think I told you, were all botched. I could not
get abroad, and I had nowhere particular to go at home.”

At this time he was stationed at Salsburgh by Holytown, where he made
several friends, notably Dr Grossart, with whom afterwards he kept up a
correspondence for many years.

In the letter to Mr Horne quoted above he says:--“I have been doing
a little at those German translations, and have now finished the
volume, and am on the outlook for a publisher who won’t cheat me. I
wish to have the thing published this winter”--a wish which was not,
however, fulfilled for many winters. In the same letter he adds:--“I
am still among coal ... but Xmas is coming, and then one will have an
opportunity of washing the dirt away. I like this place very well. The
house is clean, and the district is moory--just on the outskirts of the
great coalfield. I mean to work out as much as I can from here so as to
shorten my stay in Glasgow, of which (I) got tired. After all there is
nothing like the free fresh air of the country.”

The next year, 1871, saw the finishing up of the coalfield work,
and simultaneously the beginnings of a gathering together of the
accumulated mass of glacial material which was a year or two later to
take shape in _The Great Ice Age_. Letters in the early part of the
summer to Mr Horne contain detailed plans for a tour in the Hebrides
“for the purpose of ascertaining the direction of ice-striæ, and
quizzing the drifts.” It proved impossible for his friend to join him,
and the tour was made in company with Mr William Galloway, one of many
friends made in the west.

Mr Galloway has kindly supplied a few notes on the tour. The two sailed
from Glasgow to Stornoway by the Crinan Canal, and walked to the north
point of the island, carrying their belongings with them. Both had a
special purpose in view, James Geikie being engaged, of course, in
studying glacial action, while his friend had been commissioned to
investigate the possibility of establishing a meteorological station
at the lighthouse on the Butt of Lewis. On their way back to Barvas
they came across an old highland woman who made cups and saucers
of unbaked clay. James Geikie was much interested in her work, and
ordered a set. It was despatched to Lady (then Mrs) Ramsay, the wife
of Prof. Ramsay, then Senior Director of the Geological Survey (_cf._
Part II.), as a sample of prehistoric ware from the Outer Hebrides.
The joke was explained later, but not before, or so it is asserted,
some high archæological authorities in London had been taken in by the
“primitive” appearance of the work.

The travellers, presumably on the homeward journey, began a joint
composition in heroic verse describing their adventures; but this
masterpiece seems never to have been committed to paper, and perhaps
never progressed very far.

The tour was apparently short, for James Geikie writes from Bathgate,
under date 28th November:--“This last year has been a year of close
work and some anxiety, and not having had any holiday to speak of I
feel jaded and down in the mouth.”

In all his letters of this year he speaks of his laborious work among
the collieries, and his note-books are filled with the usual details
of appointments made and notes of information received from different
quarters. The following spring saw him in more congenial surroundings
in the Border counties, and this chapter may fitly end with the
completion of his coalfield work. It may be added, however, that
letters from Ramsay, received at the close of the year, and dealing
with the problems raised by James Geikie’s paper on “Changes of Climate
during the Glacial Epoch,” a paper of which Ramsay thought highly, show
clearly what the years of preparation had done for him, despite their
almost ceaseless toil.

It must not be supposed, however, that life was made up of nothing but
toil, alleviated by occasional holidays. For many years a considerable
amount of the Survey work was done in London, and parts of many winters
were spent there. In addition to the Survey men, James Geikie had
a considerable number of friends and acquaintances in London, his
father’s musical connections opening various musical and artistic
circles to him. Both in scientific and artistic circles his social
gifts were much appreciated, and he himself must have found the winter
glimpses into a wider social life than he could find either in the
country districts or in the smaller towns of Scotland a most welcome




In the year 1872 James Geikie was somewhat late in beginning
field-work, but the end of April saw him established at Kelso. An
interesting letter to his friend Dr Grossart at Holytown, dated 4th
May, may be quoted as showing his feelings in regard to his new

 I found I could not make out a flying visit to Salsburgh before
 leaving the west country for good. But I hope to see you some time
 before the year is very old. I have been knocking about a good deal
 since I saw you, but, praise be thankit! I have at last got back into
 the country. And what a lovely country it is! Coming so soon after
 Airdrie and Coatbridge it looks quite like another world. I can hardly
 believe that I am in the same planet where coal and iron are being
 worked. Here is nothing but the sandstones below the limestones and
 the Old Red with its trap rocks. The people too are as sleepy and
 old-fashioned and “respectable” as the rocks they live upon or rather
 _above_. This is the kind of land that would be after your own heart.
 Here are old abbeys and tumble-down castles, and every field and
 stream has some old-world story connected with it. At first I hardly
 could thole the quiet of Kelso. I have lived so much of late amongst
 smoke and din that for a week or so I felt like a fish out of water.
 The big market-place here, with nobody in it, was depressing to look
 at. I didn’t like the way either that the shopkeepers rushed upon me
 when I ventured into their shops--it looked for all the world as if
 they never had had any customer but me since the New Year. And yet
 they tell me that Kelso is a thriving country town. It may be so--very
 likely it is so--but it seems to one newly come from the stirring
 “west” like a dead-alive place.

 What are you about? How does the great “work”[1] progress? I have been
 compelled to drop scribbling for a little, having rather overdone it
 this winter in Bathgate and Edinburgh. But the smell of the spring
 woods and hedges has set me up again, and I meditate an early assault
 on pen and ink.

    [1] A book on _The History of the Shotts_ upon which Dr Grossart
    was engaged. It appeared in 1880.

A letter to Mr Horne, from Kelso, in the same month of May, strikes a
somewhat similar note:--

 Here I am, in the midst of green trees, purling brooks, whistling
 mavises and love-sick young ladies. I feel quite a new man now that I
 am released from the presence of coal smoke and pits; up to any amount
 of fun as of yore.

In the same letter he speaks of the reception met with by his glacial

 I have had some very gratifying letters from Sweden and Switzerland
 from geologists there--saying how much they are pleased with my
 results, and giving me more notes which help out my conclusions. It
 seems they have interglacial periods in Sweden also. Of all places in
 the world I had also a letter from a Prof. Szabó of Pest in Hungary.
 So that you see a prophet is not without honour save in his own

Another letter, also written from Kelso, on 15th June, says:--

 Man--I feel awfully tempted to go to Sweden, where I have the promise
 of meeting with a warm welcome from some of the geologists. But
 I can’t go, and have reluctantly had to delay a visit till next
 year. I continue now and again to get a gratifying letter about my
 papers which cheers me up amazingly. Woodward the editor[2] writes
 to-night congratulating me on the wind-up, and saying that everyone
 speaks highly of my lucubrations. After trying my hands at many
 things I think I have at last got into the right groove. The noble
 hammer-bearing fraternity have not heard the last of my “theories.”
 ... What a fertile source of amusement this blessed Glacial Epoch has

    [2] Of the _Geological Magazine_, in which the glacial papers had

The summer holiday this year was spent in Lewis, but the chief record
which remains is that contained in papers contributed to the _Quarterly
Journal of the Geological Society_ and the _Geological Magazine_. In
September he writes from Norham an affectionate letter to Dr Grossart,
expressing longing for a “haver,” and giving news of his glacial work.
The letter goes on:--

 How does the _magnum opus_ progress? I am still working away at
 mine--nearly finished--both me and my book. I got some very startling
 facts this summer in the island of Lewis which I shall send to the
 London Geolog. Society--the facts, not the island.

A month later he writes from Duns to Mr Horne in regard to some
specimens which he wants for a course of lectures to be given to
working-men at the Museum of Science and Art during the winter. In this
letter he speaks of being attacked by a form of nervous prostration
which renders him incapable of continued work, so that the _magnum
opus_ is at a standstill. The task was evidently proving more severe
than he anticipated, and the illness was prolonged, for in a letter to
Dr Grossart, written from Edinburgh on 4th January 1873, he says:--

 This winter things have gone back with me. I was laid up most of
 November and December, but am now all right again. But this enforced
 idleness has kept back my book, which the longer I stick at it seems
 to grow and grow till I begin to get frightened at its dimensions.
 This summer, however, I hope to send it to the printer.

In the same letter he speaks of his lectures at the Museum of Science
and Art, and also of another on the “Antiquity of Man in Britain,”
which he was to give at Birkenhead at the beginning of February. The
lecture, which was duly delivered and also published, dealt with a
subject to which he had been led by his glacial work. It was one in
which his interest increased as time went on, and in later years “Man
during the Ice Age” occupied a good deal of his leisure, up to the very

At Duns James Geikie made a number of friends, and indeed throughout
his work in the Border counties he seems to have met with much
hospitality, and this even before his sojourn in Jedburgh led to his
acquaintanceship with the family in which he found his wife, and to
the region becoming a second homeland for him. During his stay at Duns
the book was progressing steadily, despite his hard work in the field.
In June he was writing to Mr Horne and Prof. Ramsay for information in
regard to certain special points, and the latter was very anxious for
James Geikie to accompany him on a geologising holiday to the Rhine,
to investigate some disputed questions. This proposal was not accepted,
however, apparently because James Geikie was dissatisfied with the only
information he could obtain about glacial deposits on the south side
of the Alps, and made up his mind to seek satisfaction by a personal
tour to the district. This trip is mentioned in a letter written to Dr
Grossart from Kelso on 20th July, in which he says:--

 My summer has been spent in a ram-sham desultory sort of way. I have
 hammered out the geological structure of the Cheviots, which is
 something interesting and new, and I have also got some interesting
 glacial results. I have had a hard time of it with the lawyers
 though, having been summoned twice to London to give evidence before
 Committees of Parliament about that confounded Edinburgh water of
 which every honest man in Edinburgh is heartily sick. I know I am.
 But that is over now. In a fortnight I start for Italy, and am going
 to make a long tour of it: Paris, Geneva, Martigny, Aosta, Turin,
 Bologna, Verona, Venice, Trieste, and Vienna, then back through the
 Tyrol and down the Rhine to Rotterdam, Amsterdam, etc., and home. I
 shall be a fortnight or three weeks scouring along the foot of the
 Piedmontese Alps looking at the glacial things.

 My book is finished and off to the printers at last. But I fear that
 it will be delayed by the engraver, who does not get on with the
 illustrations as fast as I could wish. Anyhow I hope I shall be able
 to send you a copy this winter.

No detailed account of the Italian trip has been preserved, but various
letters make allusions to it. Thus writing to Mr Horne from Jedburgh on
17th September, he speaks of his visit to Lake Como, ending up:--“Alas!
all the sunshine is over, and here I am in dull Scotch autumn, thinking
sadly that the world and one’s destinies are not more amenable to
one’s wishes. But Scotland is not so bad after all.” His next visit to
the lake was made in company with his wife and her sister, and during
the trip he told how on his first visit he had lost himself in the
Alps at dark, and after some difficulty and various adventures reached
a little hamlet. Here there was no inn, but the priest of the village
kindly put him up for the night, the two conversing in Latin in default
of any other means of communication.

He speaks also of his Italian tour in a letter to Dr Grossart, dated
from Jedburgh on 11th October, in which he says:--

 Did I write you giving an account of my Italian trip? I know that I
 meant to do so. I enjoyed myself amazingly, and picked up a lot of
 wrinkles which will stand me in good stead. Ods man! but it was hot
 spielin’ the hills with the thermometer 94° in the shade. God knows
 but I thought it not far short of 500° in the sun.... I’m going to
 take it easy this winter--if I can. I have now got my _magnum opus_
 off my hands, and hope to send you a copy next month. It makes some
 500 pages of demy 8vo!--a wiselike size!... The illustrations will
 please you, I hope. They have been beautifully engraved.... The
 country here is looking beautiful--woods having all their autumn
 colours on. I don’t wonder that emigrants who were born on the Jed,
 the Teviot, and the Tweed should aye have such intense longings to
 get back again to their native howffs. It makes one young as a boy to
 wander up the sweet glens and ravines in this lovely district. If I
 were in love I’m afraid I should use up whole reams of paper in the
 composing of passionate songs and sonnets. But not being so I can only
 croon as I trot along the half-forgotten words of some old Border

Some other passages in this and other letters suggest that with the
finishing of the great book, and the lifting of the strain, the young
man felt _désœuvré_, was beginning to think that youth was slipping
away and he was perhaps not getting the best out of life, and was
liable to alternate fits of depression and of a cynicism which was
probably largely a pose intended to hide his true feelings. In brief,
he was becoming aware that it is not good for man to dwell alone, and
the Glacial Epoch, whatever its charms, proved a chilly substitute for
the kind of companionship which his affectionate spirit craved. A few
extracts from a letter, undated, but written from Jedburgh, apparently
about the same time as the foregoing, may help to make the position
clear. The letter may be entitled--anything more specific being
avoided--“To a Young Man contemplating Matrimony,” and the quotations
must necessarily be disjointed:--

 You know your own affairs best. But if I were in your place, and the
 girl were a really good girl and suitable, hang it I would propose
 and get her.... Something like fate whispers in my ear, “Jim, my
 boy, you’ll never have a wife, altho’ you should live to the age of
 Methusaleh.” ... With the uncertainty of temper and feeling that I
 have, I seriously doubt whether I would be other than miserable if I
 were to marry. So lest you should get into the same state, O young
 man! either flee temptation or be bold and seize the tempter. What
 more can I say. Perhaps you were only laughing when you wrote me, and
 are now laughing at me and my soft-heartedness. All right, laugh away.
 I have had my day, and some time you shall have had yours also.

Perhaps it may be added that when this letter was written its author
was thirty-four. His marriage took place some eighteen months
later, after an engagement which had lasted more than six months.
He was destined to experience nearly forty years of happy married
life, to see his children grow up, to welcome the advent of his
grandchildren--either it was not fate who did the whispering, or she
displayed a more than feminine contrariness.

Other letters during the autumn months give merely notes on the
progress of the book, which was unexpectedly delayed, and information
as to his prospective plans for the winter in Edinburgh. One to Dr
Grossart, dated from Jedburgh on 22nd November, may be quoted as
summing up what is said in various other letters which have been

 With this I send you a short lucubration of mine on the Island of
 Lewis, the chief point in which is the proof given that the Outer
 Hebrides were overflowed by land ice from the mainland!

 I am happy to say that I am nearly out of the hands of the printer.
 My book has swelled out beyond what I intended, making close on 600
 pages. The illustrations, which have kept back the printing, are now
 finished, and I expect to have a bound copy in my hands in ten days or
 so. It won’t be published, however, much before Xmas, as we have made
 arrangements with an American firm to publish it at the same time in
 Yankee land. This is a great stroke of good luck, as it will lessen
 the cost of production and make the book payable. Some of the maps I
 believe you will find very interesting. In fact, I have so written the
 book that whether geologists accept all my general conclusions or not,
 they will at least know a good deal that they did not know before,
 after they have perused it.... I am booked for a series of lectures
 this winter at the Museum of Science and Art, my subject being the
 Carboniferous Epoch. I am going to treat it in a pictorial way, trying
 to reproduce for them the kind of scenery and climate then enjoyed in
 Britain. I have also a lot more literary work in hand--_A Manual on
 Coal-Mining_--in which I do the geology and an engineering celebrity
 does the practical part. This and other matters keep my hands full.
 Nevertheless I have still an occasional dig at my German Songs.
 (Strange mixture! you will say. But then man is a queer mixture
 altogether.) Some time or other the Songs will see the light--but as I
 look on that matter as pleasure, and the scientific work as business,
 the Songs must stand aside till their betters are served. Write and
 give me your news. You see, like an old bachelor I have nothing to
 write about but myself. So you must under the circumstances excuse the

The book appeared early in the New Year, and the fact that the author
was then in Edinburgh and must have presented copies to his nearest
friends in person, no doubt accounts for the absence of many letters
acknowledging receipt among his papers. Two notes from Prof. Ramsay, to
whom, as his “dear friend and teacher,” the book was dedicated, may,
however, be quoted. Both are dated from Jermyn Street, and are written
on successive days, 20th and 21st January 1874. The letters are as

 MY DEAR GEIKIE,--I have got your beautiful vol. quite late in the day
 and am now engaged in physically cutting it up. Your dedication makes
 me so proud that since reading it I have held my head quite like the
 Duke of Argyll, and I only hope it will not fall off behind. I must
 close, and will take the book home with me to read the dedication
 aloud in an impressive way after dinner.--Ever sincerely,


 MY DEAR GEIKIE,--I will read all your book, mair by token that I read
 4 chapters of it last night after dinner and liked them all. The plan
 is good and it is admirably written, as indeed it was sure to be....
 As for your converting every reader to all your views, that is not
 likely as long as the Duke of Argyll remains alive. When a man does
 anything really in advance he may be well pleased if in 10 or 14 years
 he gets a fair proportion of the best men on his side. So no more this
 bout. From yours consumedly,


In May of the same year Ramsay writes again, saying:--“I am delighted
to hear of the success of your book, which indeed I never doubted, for
I always considered it a first-rate production, though I have only read
it by snatches.”

But though James Geikie had lingered long in the company of the Ice
Maiden, he had not given her that embrace which is fatal to the
earth-born, and the summer of this year brought him other thoughts than
those of glaciers and moraines, brought him to a new phase in his life
which demands another chapter.




In the spring of 1874 James Geikie returned from Edinburgh to the
Cheviot region. Before starting his field-work he made a brief visit to
the Continent, in regard to which his diary only contains records of
dates and places. The motive of the visit is of interest as throwing
light on his strong family feeling. At his instigation his youngest
sister had gone to Germany to improve herself in the language. On
arriving in the place arranged, however, she found herself very
uncomfortable and unhappy, and informed her brother of the fact. With
characteristic energy he set off at once, met his sister, arranged for
her transference to more congenial surroundings, and in a little more
than a week was back to work again.

Shortly afterwards he went off to Jedburgh to take up again his survey
in the Cheviots. Here he made many friends, and during his stay in the
region acquired an intense love for the scenery of the hills, whose
long gentle slopes and soft melancholy always appealed to him more than
the stern grandeur of the Highlands. This feeling was perhaps not
wholly æsthetic, however, for the district soon acquired associations
for him which are briefly hinted at in the diary for the year. This--of
somewhat unusual form--is adorned, oddly enough, with a portrait
of John Stuart Mill as frontispiece. The philosopher’s serious,
intellectual countenance has, it is to be feared in derision, been
decorated by the owner of the diary with a long pipe. It would indeed
be difficult to imagine two men of more different type; for James
Geikie, the utilitarian’s long years of waiting and longing would have
been as intolerable as the brief fever of the last days.

The entries in the diary are as usual short in the extreme, but under
12th August, which it is carefully noted was a wet day, the diarist was
at a picnic in the Cheviots. He adds the word “lost”? to the laconic
entry. Later entries record calls made to Crailing Hall with brief
comments. About this time James Geikie was writing to his friend Mr
Horne, saying:--“John Horne--come to the Cheviots.... I’ll do what I
can in the way of introductions.” Much of the letter is occupied with
geological matters, and the writer goes on to express a hope that he
won’t be asked to give a course of lectures to working-men during the
coming winter:--“I want all my time for literary work this winter,
seeing that I have agreed to write two books--one for a London house,
the other for an Edinburgh one. Besides, I have at last made up my mind
to go and get married, and as soon as I come across a likely girl, will
lose no time in taking the grand header. I hope never to see another
autumn as a bachelor. So what with hunting libraries for notes, and
hunting up families for a nice wife, I have my winter’s work laid out
before me.”

It will appear from this letter that James Geikie did not keep his
heart on his sleeve. The letter is not perhaps wholly candid, but
candour was doubtless not to be expected at such a time.

A few details may be added to make the story clear. None of the towns
or hamlets at the foot of the Cheviots was near enough to form a good
centre of work, and the region being given up to large sheep farms,
habitations of any kind among the hills are few and scattered. Among
James Geikie’s acquaintances in the Jedburgh district was Mr Simson,
Oxnam Row, to whose farm on the lower slopes were added the hill
grazings higher up the Kale Water. Here, right among the hills, was
the old farmhouse of Buchtrig, in the occupation of a shepherd and
his wife, but with some rooms so furnished as to permit of the family
making occasional visits to the region. Through Mr Simson James Geikie
was able to arrange for accommodation here in the early spring of
1874 to facilitate his work. A few notes of his visit are left in his
own handwriting, in what he styles a “Copy of a Fragment of some very
ancient Manuscript.” This opens as follows:--

 It happened once upon a time that a certain youth, who dreamed strange
 dreams and wandered about the hill-tops and sojourned in lonely
 places, came unto a lonely dwelling among the mountains and there
 abode for many days. And an old woman ministered unto his wants with
 fear and trembling, for she looked upon him as one that was beside
 himself. “Verily,” said she unto herself, “he looketh for some hidden
 treasure, and is a magician who smiteth the rocks with a hammer and
 writeth strange incantations and evil words in a book.” And she
 looked, and behold he brought with him from the mountains pieces of
 stone which he treasured and laid in safe places.... Now after many
 days the old woman, who was called Katie, put away her fear, for the
 young man seemed not to hold communication with the Evil One, neither
 was the smell of brimstone perceived in the place. And so she showed
 him much kindness, and baked cakes of flour upon the girdle and
 brought these to him, and eggs, yea, and much fine butter.

In the early summer of the same year James Geikie went for his holiday
to Skye and Lewis. Not long after his return he was invited to the
picnic already mentioned, which, owing to the weather, was adjourned to
Buchtrig farmhouse. The picnic was given by Mr Simson, and included his
sister, Mrs Johnston, Crailing Hall, and her three daughters, with two
of whom James Geikie was already acquainted. The MS. may be allowed to
take up the story at this point:--

 And so the days passed away, and the young man went into a far
 country, yea unto the furthermost isles of the sea. But in the
 fullness of time he returned, and found the place which had been a
 desert now filled with the hum of voices and laughter of damsels. And
 he looked, and behold there were chariots and a wagon filled with
 good things. And he entered into the house where he had sojourned
 aforetime, and lo! a fair damsel met him and bade him welcome. And
 she said unto him, “Enter now, and embrace my sisters and my mother,
 yea and my mother’s brother’s wife and her daughter.” And it was so.
 And when the young man entered into an upper room, behold a maiden
 stood near the window.... And his eyes followed her whithersoever
 she went--and he spoke unto her presently as one speaketh unto an
 old friend. And the sound of her voice was like the music of the
 birds in spring, and the heart of the young man began to sing a new
 song. Listen and ye shall hear what the young man sang: Here ends the

This happened in August, and before Christmas James Geikie was engaged
to Mary, youngest daughter of Mr Johnston, Crailing Hall, to whom he
was married on 8th July 1875.

But in addition to what we may call the major associations with the
Cheviot region due to these incidents, he had many minor ones of a
pleasurable nature. He came into contact with all sorts of people in
the course of his wanderings, and in that sparsely peopled district it
was easy to make acquaintances. Among his temporary dwelling-places in
the hills was the little inn, called Carter Bar, which then stood on
the slopes of Carter Fell, and was but little more than a rest-house
for drovers going over the border into England with their sheep. On one
stormy day in spring James Geikie was returning to this poor shelter
over the moor, when he encountered an old lady, somewhat oddly dressed,
drenched with rain, and struggling against the wind. He went to her
assistance, and she was glad to accept the offer of his arm to help
her back to the inn. Here she borrowed dry garments from the hostess,
and sat and talked over the fire with her new-found friend, who found
her full of Border lore, while he no doubt contributed his full share
to the conversation. Eventually, her own garments being dry, and she
herself refreshed, the old lady drove off in a waiting carriage, urging
James Geikie to come to see her. She proved to be Lady John Scott, a
well-known Border personage, famous for her antiquarian tastes, her
Scotch songs, and her great individuality of character.

Another similar meeting which led to a long friendship, though it took
place several years later, may fitly find a place here. This was with
Sir George Douglas, of Springwood Park, Kelso, the author of _The New
Border Tales_, _Poems_, and a number of other works, many referring to
the Border region. Sir George has kindly supplied the following notes
upon the subject:--

 I owed my acquaintance with the late Prof. Geikie to a chance meeting.
 Starting on a solitary walking-tour, in the summer vacation of the
 year 1878, I called at the Collingwood Arms, Cornhill, for tea, and
 found him there. He was not yet professor at that date, but was a
 member of H.M. Geological Survey, the work of which had brought him
 to Cornhill, where he was waiting for a train to Tweedmouth. He was
 then in the early prime of manhood, and his work being of a more
 active nature and taking him more into the open air, the cheery
 vigour which at all times characterised him was more pleasantly
 noticeable than ever. I remember that his beard, which he afterwards
 wore close-cropped, at that time descended over his chest and was
 of a golden colour. I believe that we began by talking of inns, for
 I remember that he poked some good-natured fun at the commercial
 travellers of those days (“bagmen,” as he perversely preferred to call
 them), and told me two or three amusing stories of experiences with
 them. But, ere long, we were talking of literature, and especially
 of poetry--the poetry of the day. Here was a delight for me! I was
 at the poetry-reading age, and had just left Cambridge, where I had
 primed myself with Swinburne, William Morris, the Rossettis--that is,
 with such of their works as had at that date appeared; and not only
 with these, but with such poems as the “Angel in the House,” “White
 Rose and Red,” “The Human Tragedy”: the works of lesser masters, then
 on their probation, and now, it may be, seldom heard of. Well, here
 in a wayside inn at the extremity of Northumberland, I had chanced
 upon an unknown traveller who had all these authors and books, so to
 speak, at his fingers’ ends. One would have liked, at that age, to
 pose him, to make some pedantical allusion, as to a matter of common
 knowledge, to something of which he had not happened to hear. But
 it was vain to hope to go beyond him. And, if we were fairly evenly
 matched in our discussion, it must be borne in mind that I was, as
 it were, staking my all in it, whilst he was merely gambling with
 his small change. For of course he never professed literature, but
 merely turned to it for a change of idea in hours that were not
 occupied by science. What was really remarkable in this conversation,
 I should say, was the readiness and whole-heartedness with which
 he threw himself into it, the stimulus given by his never-failing
 interest and occasional enthusiasm, the fine good-nature with which
 he unquestioningly put himself on equal terms with one who was many
 years younger than himself, and whose opinions, however confidently
 expressed, must often have been crude and immature. Neither then, nor
 at any subsequent time, was there anything whatever that was pedantic
 or academic about Geikie. When I met him next, I was approaching the
 middle term of life, but the recollection of that single conversation
 suffices to make quite clear to me the power which he wielded over
 his students and the popularity which he enjoyed among them. I doubt
 if the very best that was in him really made itself felt upon the
 lecture-platform. It was in the give-and-take of life--in his Saturday
 geological tramps and other more informal relations with his students,
 if I may hazard a guess--that the man really stood revealed. He could
 impart life and glow to his subject, as perhaps few can. But he did
 so best, if I may pretend to judge, when he was talking rather than

 I had evidence of this later. On parting after our two or three
 hours’ talk at Cornhill, we had exchanged cards, and when I heard
 that, in order to be near Mrs Geikie’s relations, he was renting
 Kalemouth on Teviot, four or five miles from my house, during one
 summer vacation, I hastened to renew acquaintance with him. Since
 our former meeting ten or twelve years had passed, and though it had
 remained delightfully memorable to me, I did not presume to suppose
 that he would remember it, nor was any allusion made to it. Being such
 near neighbours throughout that summer we met often, and it was then
 that I really got to know the character and qualities which had been
 merely suggested at Cornhill. From the geological point of view, Prof.
 Geikie knew the Borderland as no one else knew it; but he had also a
 remarkable knowledge, not only of its scenery, history, and tradition,
 but also of its people, collectively and individually; and this gave
 us a strong interest in common.

Some other moorland experiences were of a more humorous nature. Thus
one Sunday night he was walking back from Crailing Hall to his lodgings
at Morebattle, and came in the dusk past the hamlet of Cessford. He
was carrying a small handbag, and as he passed the cottages a woman
ran out and called out in a loud whisper:--“Man, man, can ye gie me
half a pound o’ tea?” She had mistaken him for a pedlar, perhaps not
unwilling to earn an ungodly penny. The situation appealed strongly
to his sense of humour, and he rated the woman severely for tempting
an honest man on the “Sawbath” day, and told her to go home and make
porridge. For him the jest was doubtless seasoned by the fact that
rigid “Sabbath-keeping” did not appeal to his tastes, and that he was
an inveterate tea-drinker--making up for enforced abstinence while out
on the hills by copious draughts at night. Thus to bring down, as it
were, two birds with one stone--the rigid Sabbatarians, and those who
trace the degeneracy of the Scottish people to the substitution of
tea for the ancestral porridge--must have been a real joy to him. The
occasion perhaps permits of the comment that though a Scotsman, he
was a Scotsman with a difference, and had wandered too far, alike in
mind and in body, to have any intense attachment to the pattern of the
parish pump.

The spring of 1875, which saw him still working in the Cheviots,
brought him his first great honour--the fellowship of the Royal Society
of London. A note, undated, written from Morebattle to his future wife,
immediately after he had received the news, is full of justifiable
pride and joy:--“I suppose I am the youngest F.R.S. on the roll ... you
will believe me, I know, when I say that I am pleased as much for your
sake as my own, that my work is recognised. It is no small honour to
be elected F.R.S. out of 57 candidates for the 15 vacancies.” The note
encloses two letters, one from his old friend and honoured chief, Prof.
Ramsay, saying:--“You came in triumphantly yesterday for the Royal
Society, having the largest number of votes of any candidate,” and
another from Mr H. W. Bristow, the Director of the Geological Survey of
England and Wales, which shows clearly with what friendly feeling James
Geikie was regarded by his English colleagues:--

  28 JERMYN ST., S.W.,
  _17th April 1875_.

 MY DEAR JAMES GEIKIE,--It gladdens my heart as one of your “Royal”
 sponsors, to congratulate you upon your election into _the_ Society,
 which I hope you may live long to adorn. Etheridge[3] is also very
 full of rejoicing, and I only regret that the earliest announcement of
 the glad tidings did not reach you from one of us.--Believe me, your
 faithful confrère,


    [3] Mr R. Etheridge, another member of the Survey staff.

As the Survey work in the Cheviot region was finished in the year that
James Geikie married, his friend Prof. Ramsay so arranged matters that
it was possible for him to take a house at Perth, which remained his
headquarters for six years after his marriage, that is until he went to
Edinburgh to take the Chair of Geology.

At Perth Mr and Mrs Geikie made many friends, and the former threw
himself actively into the life of the place, taking especially a great
interest in the Perthshire Society of Natural Science, of which he
became president later. This brought him into contact with Sir Thomas
Moncrieffe, also at one time president of the Society; Mr Andrew
Coates, who took a very great interest in the establishment of the
excellent Perth Museum; Dr Buchanan White, and others. James Geikie
also gave courses of lectures to ladies on geology during his stay
in Perth, and generally did not a little to stimulate an interest in
natural science in the town.

The year 1876 was a very full one. In spring he paid a short visit to
Norfolk and Suffolk to study some interesting glacial results which
his colleague Mr Skertchly had obtained there. At the same time he was
working at _The Great Ice Age_, which had done so well that a second
edition was required. Under date 27th June he writes to Mr Horne:--“My
new edition will be out, I expect, in October--the first of the season!
It is in the printers’ hands now, and we are settling about the size of
page and type. Printed the same size of type as last, the volume would
be 900 pages, which shows that I have made some additions!”

At the beginning of July Prof. Ramsay wrote to ask him if he would
be willing to go to Gibraltar to assist in an investigation of the
water-supply there, the work to count as a piece of Survey duty. The
invitation was promptly accepted, and on 11th September James Geikie
left Perth on his long journey to the South. He stopped a couple
of days in London, and did not finally reach Gibraltar till 19th
September. Here he remained till 25th October, much longer than he had
expected, and in addition to doing a large amount of geological work,
in what both he and Prof. Ramsay found most oppressive heat, received
much kindness and hospitality from the civil and military officials,
and made many interesting excursions. It was apparently the first
time he had seen subtropical vegetation, and his letters to his wife
are filled with accounts of all he saw, written in a spirit of almost
boyish glee, and accompanied by much groaning over the heat, and the
resultant thirst. Even bathing afforded little refreshment, for he says
ruefully:--“Even in the water one has much the feeling that a herring
must have when it is newly put into a pot upon the fire. All the
springs,” he adds, “yield half-warm water--everything indeed is baked,
blistered, and boiled.”

The abundant hospitality, delightful though it was, naturally took
up much time, the hosts perhaps not fully realising that the two
geologists had a fairly heavy piece of work on hand, and James Geikie
complains that it was difficult even to find time to write letters to
his wife, in the midst of the ceaseless round of work and pleasure. An
interesting fact, which he does not fail to record, is that at a Mess
dinner at which he and Prof. Ramsay were the guests of honour, the
military band played Scotch music in compliment to their nationality,
and among the airs James Geikie recognised a selection arranged by his
father for a Scotch regiment many years before.

Among the excursions was included one to the African coast, where
the two made a short stay in Tangier: the diary, with characteristic
orderliness, records the purchases made here for the people at home.
But in addition to making these, the two found time to study the
geology of the coast between Ceuta and Cape Spartel.

A letter to Mr Horne, written from Perth on 18th November, not long
after his return home, makes some mention of the tour, and of the other
events of a crowded summer.

 I heard all about your Shetland work. It did my heart good, and
 right glad I am that it has been done by a Survey man.... You would
 hear about Skertchly’s find. I was down there again ten days ago at
 Ramsay’s request, to see the evidence again.... In my new edition,
 which is out (and selling well!), I go much more fully into the
 English Drifts. I got to-day a long letter from Darwin, along with a
 copy of his new edition of _Geological Observations_. His letter is
 very complimentary, and of course that is gratifying to me, for I look
 upon Darwin as a real genius.

 I enjoyed my Gibraltar trip very much. Ramsay was very jolly and in
 excellent spirits all the time. We did have some fun, I can tell
 you. Also we crossed over to Africa and had a run amongst the Moors.
 The result of our Survey was so far satisfactory as it enables us
 to say very positively what is best to be done in the matter of the

There are two letters from Darwin about this date. One has been
already quoted (p. 27). In the other, which is taken up largely
with a geological discussion, he says:--“Allow me to tell you with
what extreme pleasure and admiration I have just finished reading
your _Great Ice Age_. It seems to me admirably done and most clear.
Interesting as many chapters are in the history of the world, I do
not think that any one comes nearly to the glacial period or periods.
Though I have steadily read much on the subject, your book makes the
whole appear almost new to me.”

In this month of November also another sign of appreciation of his
work reached James Geikie in the offer by the University of St Andrews
of its LL.D. degree, which was conferred the following year. About
the same time he was approached informally to know whether he would
care to have a knighthood. This was at this date a much rarer honour
than it became later, and the young couple decided that their income
was not large enough to support it. Very many years later, after his
retirement, James Geikie’s friends again urged his claims to the title,
but the matter was dropped at the outbreak of the war, and death came
not long after.

Other letters of the same autumn refer to the “Ice Age,” and to the
report upon the Gibraltar work. In addition to the _Memoir_ upon the
question of the water-supply, a general article on the geology of the
region was contributed to the _Quarterly Journal of the Geological
Society_. Rather curiously, even at Gibraltar Geikie found evidence of
use to him in connection with his glacial work.

In the early spring of 1877 his eldest son was born, and the summer
saw him wandering about the Hebrides, of which he sends so racy a
description to his wife that large extracts from the letters may be

  OBBE, HARRIS, _7th July 1877_.

 This is written out on the hill-side--I will tell you why presently.
 Yesterday we walked from Tarbert, twenty-three miles, by a wild and
 lonely track-road, through a desolate and dreary region--nothing
 but bare rock, and a little heather and grass growing in rocks and
 crevices. It was all very interesting to me, however, as every square
 yard of rock was marked and scored and smoothed by the great ice-sheet
 that flowed out from the mainland. We took our time by the way, making
 notes and sketches. Every now and then we passed standing stones and
 ruins of Picts houses. At each bend in the track there were always
 two or three cairns of stones, which mark the spots where coffins
 have been rested. When the Harris folk bury anyone they have to carry
 the body often for many miles, as there is only one burial-place for
 the island. The poor people must rest by the way, therefore, for
 refreshment. Much whisky and kebbocks of cheese and scones go down,
 and then they raise a cairn to mark the spot. We met no one all the
 way for fourteen miles.... The road wound along the sea coast, across
 which we had lovely views to the islets that dot the horizon. You
 have no idea of the lovely shades of blue and green and saffron and
 orange and gold that streak and flush the sea--the water is so clear
 and crystalline, too, that one feels as if he should like to throw
 his knapsack down and take a header! There are few or no houses. We
 passed the ruins of several villages, but the poor people were driven
 out some forty years ago, and most of them emigrated to Canada. I
 believe they were very unwilling to clear out, and the soldiers had
 to be marched upon them. It is very sad to see their poor huts, all
 roofless, and grass and nettles growing over them. As we had much to
 look at on the road it was nearly ten o’clock before we came to Obbe,
 and we passed the inn--not knowing it. Losh keep us a’, what an inn!
 It was a mere hut--just like that used by the “natives.” There are
 only two rooms--a kitchen and a double-bedded room. The peat-reek
 circulates freely through the whole cottage, and the walls are mouldy
 and damp. We had a peat fire in our room, and did what we could to
 make ourselves jolly. But salt ham is not good to feed on after a long
 walk. However, we were satisfied, and after a while got to bed.

 To-day we started to climb Roneval, the highest mountain in South
 Harris. It has been polished by ice all over, a splendid confirmation
 of what I had already described in my book. What a magnificent view
 I had from the top! Far away to the west was St Kilda and the little
 island of Berneray. Southwards stretched the various islands of the
 Outer Hebrides--North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, and Barra. How
 plainly seen they all were--high mountains with broad plains at their
 feet, over which were dotted lakes innumerable. In the east, Skye with
 its wonderful Coolins lay spread out before us; and north of Skye I
 could see our old friend Ben Slioch, and the mountains of Loch Maree
 and Loch Torridon. Harris, of course, lay under our feet: and you can
 form no idea of its sterile desolation. Endless round-backed hills and
 rocks, scraped bare of any soil, and supporting hardly a vestige of
 vegetation; great rocky mountains, smoothed and polished all over and
 equally bare and desolate, with blue lakelets scattered in hundreds
 among the hollows and depressions of the land--such is the appearance
 of Harris. Then there lay the great blue sea shining like sapphire in
 the sun, and flecked with tiny sails where the fishermen are busy at
 their calling.--I began this letter outside to escape the peat-reek,
 but the midges have driven me in again!


  _Tuesday, 10th July 1877_.

 We got here yesterday, after a long and very tedious sail in an open
 boat. With a good wind we should have crossed the Sound of Harris
 in two hours--instead of which we were nine hours. We kept dodging
 about from islet to islet, sighing for a breeze, but no breeze would
 come--what little wind there was being in the wrong direction. We
 landed hungry as hawks, or any other animal of prey, and found a very
 comfortable inn. Of course we were offered the usual ham and eggs,
 but prevailed upon the landlady to give us fish instead. This place
 is like the sweepings of creation. It is made up of irregular bits of
 land, all jumbled about in a shallow sea--or of bits of sea running
 into the flat land in all directions--so that to get to a place one
 mile in direct distance you may have to walk five or six or even
 ten miles, if you can’t get a boat. It is a land of desolation and
 dreariness. Bare rocky hills form the eastern coast, and from the
 foot of these the low undulating rocky and peaty land stretches for
 some ten or twelve miles to the Atlantic. The land, as I have said,
 is everywhere intersected by the sea, and sprinkled with innumerable
 lakes and peaty tarns. Along the flat Atlantic coast there are dreary
 stretches of blown yellow sands that form hills like those of Barry,
 near Carnoustie. Near these are a few huts and a kirk and manse! Not a
 tree, not even a bush higher than heather is anywhere to be seen--peat
 and rock and water--water and rock and peat--that is North Uist.... I
 have been vastly pleased with what I have seen, and will have a lot to
 tell geologists that is new.


  _11th July 1877_.

 This place is still further out of the world than Lochmaddy. We walked
 to it to-day accompanied by one of the Inland Revenue officers, a
 very good intelligent fellow, who is quite an antiquarian and takes
 an intelligent interest in geology. He knew of me quite well and had
 read my “great work.” The road lay for twelve miles through bogs,
 morasses, rocks, and lakes, and passed over as dreary a stretch of
 country as I ever set eyes on. The sky was cold grey, and the wind too
 was none of the kindest. Here we found a wretched inn, where we were
 waited on by a great hulking Heeland lassie with a back as broad as
 a barn door, and bare feet which haven’t been in a tub since the day
 she saw the light of this weary world. She is shy, the dear creature,
 and has not one word of English. When I ring for her with the bell
 that lies on the table, she looks into the room with a grin on her
 face. I want salt, so I take up a bit of the Australian meat and dab
 it on the side of the plate. She twigs at once what I want, makes a
 guttural sound, and in half-an-hour or so returns with a soap-dish
 full of dirty salt. However, she gives us good scones and not bad tea,
 and strong peat-reekie whisky. The landlord has been a soldier, I
 think, for he speaks of Hyderabad. Fancy a man coming from the sunny
 plains of India to this fearful howling wilderness. It would make
 a fine penal settlement. You see poor, ragged, dirty women bending
 under their creels of peat, and men digging the mosses as for dear
 life. It is hard living for them, poor devils. There is no shelter in
 the land, even the heather is low and stunted, and the wind howls in
 from the Atlantic with a long melancholy sough that is depressing in
 the extreme. No sportsman ever comes here, for there is nothing to
 shoot. It is said that there are fine trout in the lakes. It may be
 so; but the man who could fish such peaty holes and feel happy in the
 occupation, could only be an escaped convict or downright lunatic.
 The inn at Lochmaddy was snug, if the country was miserable. Here
 everything is in keeping.... Most of the houses are mere stone-and-mud
 huts with mud floors and heather roofs. Cattle enter them freely and
 mingle with the family. I was amused with an old man who came up to
 us and asked our friend the Inland Revenue man what we were doing. He
 took us for drovers come to buy cattle. When he heard that we had come
 to look at rocks and stones he said--“We were great fools, and must
 be very idle, and light in the head.” And indeed when I looked round
 the miserable dreary wilderness I was half inclined to agree with him.
 Who but a geologist would ever think of visiting such a land. Well, it
 won’t be my fault if I ever revisit the place.

  LOCH BOISDALE, _15th July 1877_.

 Some days have passed since I last had an opportunity of writing to
 you. We have had much walking and no time to write since we left
 Cairnish in South Uist. We started from Cairnish about twelve o’clock
 on the 11th in a broken-down gig with a one-eyed horse, which was led
 or rather pulled along by a native named Angus Macdougall.... North
 Uist and Benbecula are separated by an arm of the sea which is some
 five miles in breadth, but is so shallow that at low water it can be
 forded. What a peculiar scene it was! A long stretch of mud-flats and
 sand-banks broken here and there with reefs of tangle-covered rocks
 and low green islets on which a few black cattle were grazing. Men
 and women were busy cutting the tangle for kelp-burning, the smoke of
 the fires rising here and there from various points of the dry land
 on the Benbecula coast. Heavy drizzle wetted me through and through,
 and it was most cheerless. At the opposite side of the ford we reached
 a little inn, as dirty and clarty as all the inns are. We now got
 out of the trap to walk, as we wished to save the poor horse as much
 as possible, for the weary tramp before us. At the pace we went we
 calculated we should reach Loch Boisdale about two or three in the
 morning. Benbecula is about eight or nine miles in length, and is
 perhaps the dreariest bit of land I ever traversed. It is nothing but
 a big peat-moss, with a lot of lakes or boggy holes running through
 it in all directions. Indeed there is about as much water as land.
 Cultivation is a mere parody, everything bespeaks poverty. The people
 are as usual haggard and ill-clad, and dirty in the extreme. Things
 looked a little better as we got near the shore at Creagorry. Here
 our friend Mr Carmichael met us and took us into his house.... It
 was pleasant to get into a real house again and to sleep in a clean
 comfortable bed. Next morning we were up at three o’clock in order to
 catch the early ford between Benbecula and South Uist.... The ford
 between Benbecula and South Uist is not nearly so broad as the North
 Ford, but it is deeper. We got across about half-past four, and then I
 got out to walk so that I might make observations as I went along. It
 rained heavily for the first six miles and then cleared off, so that
 I had time to dry again. The road goes through much the same kind of
 scenery as Benbecula, but there are fine mountains immediately to the
 left, and these we gradually neared, and skirted the base of them for
 many miles. I saw so much glacial geology that I did not feel in the
 least degree fatigued.... As we took our time by the way, stopping to
 look at this, that, and t’other thing, it was nearly eight o’clock
 when we reached a place called Askernish about six miles or so from
 Loch Boisdale.... At five we set off again, and loitering by the way
 to chat and smoke and do geology, we did not get into Loch Boisdale
 until nine o’clock at night, having been out since four o’clock in the
 morning. So off to bed somewhat fagged. Next morning we were astir by
 six o’clock and set off in a boat for a sixteen-miles sail up the east
 coast to Loch Eynort, intending to land there and climb Ben More, the
 highest hill in South Uist. It was wet and cold, but we determined
 to go on. The cliffs are wild and dreary, and fearful places to be
 wrecked upon, for deep water runs up to the very rocks. We landed at
 a place where Prince Charlie lay in hiding while the King’s cruisers
 sailed past. It was a picturesque spot. Wild bare mountains cleft
 by mountain-torrents surrounded the small glen, down which leapt a
 noisy stream, on the bank of which were one or two thatched cots. The
 shepherd came out and asked us to drink milk. It was a picturesque
 interior that we were introduced to. There was the peat fire in the
 centre, dogs, cocks and hens, cats, and a small pig crowded round the
 fire, and the wife and lassies were bustling about. The spinning-jenny
 stood in a corner. None of the women looked well. They were all white
 and haggard. Carmichael told me afterwards that they wanted me to
 prescribe for them, as they had imagined I was a medical man! Poor
 things! I could not help thinking they were consumptive. Yet they all
 seemed happy enough, and certainly though I have seen much poverty
 all through these islands, yet I have not noticed any of that squalid
 misery which is so common in our large towns. The people are poor, but
 they always have something to eat. Their wardrobe can’t cost much, for
 they make everything themselves, and what they make seems to last half
 a lifetime. But to return to the shepherd’s house, we got our milk
 and after sitting for a while rose to go. They are very polite these
 Highlanders, much more so than most country folks in the mainland of
 Scotland. I was only sorry I could not speak Gaelic, for few of them
 had more than one or two words of English. The shepherd told us it
 had been a bad year for the sheep, but not so bad, he thought, as it
 seems to have been on the mainland. We bade good-bye and sailed into
 Loch Eynort at a wild part of the coast, where we landed and dismissed
 the boatmen and boat. But mists hung heavy on all the hills, and after
 much climbing we were compelled much against our will to give up all
 hope of getting to the top of Ben More. However, we managed to see a
 good deal, and then struck right across the mountain tract to the flat
 ground of the east coast, along which we had walked the day before.
 Just before we got down to the road, the mists cleared away, and the
 mountain-peak shone brilliantly forth; but it was now too late to
 think of climbing Ben More. We had been tramping over rock and bog and
 hill and dale for six hours, and we had still some twelve miles to
 walk before reaching Loch Boisdale, and were reluctantly obliged to
 abandon Ben More. But I was able nevertheless to make out all the main
 geological points that were important--so that, after all, we did not
 lose much.... I shall be right glad when my face is homeward turned.
 It is so wet and dismal it makes one dull whether he will or no. But
 I have very much enjoyed my visit, and have gathered material for a
 great geological paper, which will bring me much credit, I know.

The rest of the year 1877 was occupied with the writing of the Hebrides
paper, published in the following year, and in various geological
controversies, especially in regard to the superficial deposits of
Norfolk and Suffolk. These years at Perth were thus a period of severe
and productive work, for after long days in the field he would sit
and write far into the night. He kept himself also carefully abreast
of all recent work in his own subject, and with the help of grammars
and dictionaries, read in the original the papers of all his foreign
confrères, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, etc. The Norwegian geologist,
Dr Amund Helland, afterwards professor at Christiania, it may be
noted, paid a visit to the house at Perth in 1877, and James Geikie
and he became great friends. A couple of years later they paid a visit
together, an enjoyable and profitable one, to the Färoe Islands.




The spring of 1878 saw James Geikie engaged in active correspondence
with Prof. Ramsay in regard to their joint paper on the Gibraltar work,
and also occupied, in his own words, in fighting with wild beasts at
Ephesus and elsewhere, that is to say, in sundry controversies over
glacial matters.

His happiness at home was clouded by the severe illness of his little
son. In his letters he speaks of being knocked up with night-nursing,
for he walked up and down the greater part of the night with the child
in his arms during the most anxious period. Happily the baby made a
good recovery, and in a letter to Mr Horne towards the end of the year
he says:--“‘The boy’ is hale and flourishing, and a great amusement in
the evenings when I come home. I prefer his company even to that of a
pipe! Excuse the ‘eavy fawther.’” He was very fond of children at all
times, and his own were a source of great joy to him.

In summer he went back to the Cheviot region for a couple of months to
finish off his work there, and revisited Buchtrig. It was during this
visit that he met Sir George Douglas (_cf._ p. 67). In August he went
abroad with his wife and her sister, the baby, now quite recovered,
being left with his grandmother. The tour was _via_ the Rhine to
Switzerland, and then across the St Gothard by carriage into Italy.
Some interesting letters to the home people record the experiences met
with, but as the ground covered is very well known they need not be
quoted here. During the course of the tour some geological observations
were made bearing on points treated in _Prehistoric Europe_, which was
being written during this year.

Signs of overwork and some worry were, however, observable as the year
went on. In an undated letter to Mr Horne he complains of not feeling
good for much:--“I was busy at a new book, but being in the blues now
for some time, the MS. lies aside, and I sometimes wonder whether I
shall ever finish it. I thought my trip abroad would have cleared up my
faculties, but no such luck!”

Among his causes for anxiety were his own future and that of the
Survey. Prof. Ramsay’s health was breaking down, a fact which grieved
James Geikie very much, and the possibility that difficult days for the
Survey and its members were coming loomed ahead. In an unwonted fit of
melancholy he says in the same letter:--“It makes one sad to think that
the ‘brave days of old’ are all passing or past away. One gets sick of
the strife and din and wishes for peace and rest, which, however, will
only come when one shuts his eyes for the last time.” He found also
that his distance from a good library was a great drawback in his work.
The letter, with all its sadness, speaks of the pleasure which he found
in the company of the “small chick,” who seems to have had a potent
charm wherewith to dispel his father’s clouds of gloom.

Among the letters of the spring of 1879 are several to Mr Lamplugh,
now of the Geological Survey. In regard to these Mr Lamplugh says:--“I
do not know that they contain anything that is now of sufficient
consequence to warrant their reproduction. But they illustrate very
well the kindly attention and trouble that the late Prof. Geikie was
always ready to give to a beginner in science. I was under twenty years
of age when the first of these letters came to me, and I have kept them
as treasures from those days.”

The letters in their friendliness and unaffectedness bear out this
description, and some other letters of the same period show that
while the writer was never deaf to the appeal of a common interest
in the progress of knowledge, when to this was added the stronger
appeal of friendship, he gave himself whole-heartedly. His friends
Messrs Peach and Horne had written a paper on “The Glaciation of the
Shetland Islands” for the Geological Society of London, and in this
James Geikie took the keenest interest, giving advice freely both on
the method of presenting the contents, and on the technical points
connected with the effort to obtain for the paper a fair hearing and
speedy publication. A hitch in the matter of publication brings from
him a letter full of genuine and practical sympathy, combined with a
whole-hearted espousal of his friends’ cause.

During this spring also he was still engaged, with varying fortunes,
upon his _Prehistoric Europe_, a task of great magnitude on account of
the enormous number of references and the labour which these involved.
Thus a letter written early in March represents, as it were, the trough
of the wave--he tires of the book at intervals, thinking it will never
do, and throws it aside in a “kind o’ scunner.” Another letter at the
end of May shows him on the crest of a new wave of enthusiasm. He had
just received many new pamphlets from “furrin’ parts,” mostly inspired
by his own glacial work, often accompanied by letters from the authors.
Thus he says:--

 Dr A. Penck of Leipzig writes to the effect that it was the reading
 of _Great Ice Age_ that first opened his eyes to the meaning of the
 Diluvium of Northern Germany. He says he has got evidence of three
 glaciations with intervening glacial deposits! He says he has all the
 burning enthusiasm of a convert! His letter has greatly gratified me,
 of course. I see he is an old hand and has done a lot of geological
 work. Then I have a long letter from a Dr R. Lehmann of Halle, who is
 also congratulatory at the success with which the German Drifts have
 recently been explained on the principles laid down in my book!! Also,
 some duffers have sent me their photographs! I wonder what has so
 suddenly wakened them up. Helland has a long and interesting paper on
 the German Drift which I suppose you will see: also a batch of papers
 on same subject from Prof. Berendt of Berlin. I don’t know how I am
 to get through all the Swedish and Norwegian papers I have received.
 They are so hard to read.

A postscript to this letter says:--“Pray excuse the exulting egotism of
this epistle. I would not write so to anyone else.”

But while glacial work was thus occupying most of his attention,
lighter subjects were not altogether forgotten. In another letter to Mr
Horne, written on Good Friday, he says:--

 In a few days I am going to ask you to do me a favour, which is to
 run your eye over some MS. I shall send you. You need not read it all
 through--that would be too much of a good thing--but just dip into
 it here and there, and see what it is like. You will laugh when I
 tell you that the MS. is poetry, translations from the German. These
 have been lying beside me for some ten or twelve years. I was urged
 by several friends of good judgment to publish them long ago. But I
 would not be induced to do so, so I laid them aside until I had quite
 forgotten them and could read them and criticise them as if they had
 been the lucubrations of another man. They bore this better than I
 expected, and I gathered together all I could find and have had them
 copied out and stitched into a volume.

It is perhaps needless to say that this MS. was the translation of
Heine’s poems, of which mention has already been made here repeatedly.
The intention to publish at this time was abandoned, partly because of
the possible effect on the “new book,” i.e., _Prehistoric Europe_.

During this spring James Geikie was also corresponding with Dr Helland
on glacial topics, and had arranged to accompany him to the Färoe
Islands, to study the glacial phenomena there. A start was made at
the end of May, and the two spent a delightful time together, Prof.
Helland’s knowledge of the language being a great help. James Geikie’s
paper on his observations was published a year or two later, and his
note-books contain long descriptions of his experiences, with many
sketches and diagrams. A more informal account is given in a letter to
Mrs Johnston of Crailing Hall:--

 I enjoyed my trip very much though I had to rough it more than most
 people would care to do. But what I saw was quite enough to make me
 forget all discomforts. Perhaps the most striking features of the
 Färoe Islands are their sea-cliffs. These range in height from 300
 feet to 2000 feet. I sailed in a little boat round a large part of the
 coast-line and was very much impressed. The cliffs rise sheer up out
 of deep water, seeming in some places almost to overhang. Fancy the
 sun shining brightly on a great wall of brown rock 2000 feet high--a
 wall which shows an infinite number of little shelves and ledges, and
 all these ledges thickly set with sea-birds in myriads, while the air
 is filled with them, wheeling and screaming above you, and the water
 is alive with them swimming, diving, floating, and capering! The great
 Atlantic rollers come smoothly up to the base of the cliffs and sweep
 into the caves, only to rush out again with a hoarse roar, and a wild
 splash of spray and broken water.

Not very long after his return from the Färoes, at the end of July, his
second son was born.

Several letters from Prof. Ramsay, on the Färoes work and other
subjects, in the course of the summer show the friendly terms upon
which the two were. Thus in announcing that he (Ramsay) had been chosen
President of the British Association for the Swansea meeting in 1880,
he adds:--“And unless you write the Presidential Address for me, I
will take steps to have you dismissed from the Survey!” Unfortunately
for James Geikie, the time during which Ramsay had anything to say upon
Survey matters was fast drawing to a close. A few days later Ramsay
writes in jubilant spirits because their joint work at Gibraltar had
proved correct, although certain borings had seemed at first to cast
doubt upon some of their conclusions. Prof. Ramsay’s feelings in the
matter are expressed as follows:--“Ho ho ho! Ha ha ha! also he he he!”
In the same letter Ramsay speaks of Prof. Penck’s results, saying:--“It
is a grand coup for you.”

Among James Geikie’s other correspondents this summer were Prof.
Stevenson of New York, a very warm friend of later years after the
two had met in the flesh, and Mr T. F. Jamieson, who like Ramsay was
greatly interested in the Färoes work. Towards the end of the year he
writes to Mr Horne:--

 I have recently got heaps of new facts from Germany, France, and
 Austria, not to mention Italy, which will greatly aid me in working
 off my present book. That same book drags its slow length along, but I
 hope to finish it in time for publication next year.

After giving a general sketch of the contents of the book he goes on:--

 My references to foreign writers will astonish you with their “learned
 profundity”--what do you think of Italian, Greek, Spanish, Austrian,
 German, Hungarian, French, Danish, Dutch, Russian, Swedish, Norwegian,
 and Icelandic references! The time I have spent over these with
 grammar and dictionary, and the trouble in having others translated
 for me by learned pundits, are such that I will never, I think,
 undertake anything of the kind again. Sometimes two or three long
 nights’ work is summed up in a short line; or even has no mention at
 all! I only hope the result will justify the time expended. It is all
 intensely interesting, however.

Perhaps it may be well to repeat in connection with this letter that
this laborious work was the occupation of what should have been leisure
hours, and that in addition to it James Geikie was putting in some
eight or nine hours’ work per day in the field or at office work, was
carrying on an extensive correspondence, was lecturing in various parts
of Scotland, and was writing scientific papers. Much of his writing had
thus to be done by curtailing the hours of sleep, and most of those who
came into close contact with him at this time regarded his capacity for
work as something almost superhuman. But despite his heavy labours,
this year seems to have been a happy one, and perhaps helped him to
bear the period of storm and stress which was to come.

The chief incident of the following year, 1880, was the completion
and publication of _Prehistoric Europe_, and the letters are full
of allusions to it. Thus towards the end of January he writes to Mr
Horne:--“Still grinding away at my tome. Got about a third to write
yet. The thing swells out, I am sorry to say; there is so much more to
tell than I had any idea of.” The severity of the strain was, however,
obviously telling upon him, for only a week or two later he says:--“All
at present is at a standstill. My head has given up work, and I must
leave it alone a little: been going at it early and late too much!”
A little later he says again:--“I am going to rest and do nothing but
read. You have no idea what a loathing one takes to paper and pen
sometimes! But doubtless you have the same.”

It was nearly the end of July before the MS. was finally completed, and
the nature of the effort is indicated by the fact that the concluding
sentences of the book were written in his sleep! He was working at it
as usual till far into the night, and could not find a fitting sentence
to round off the whole. After trying for some time ineffectively, he
decided to leave the matter till the morning, and went off to bed, the
time being 2 A.M. In his usual orderly fashion he had placed the last
sheets on his writing-table, putting two books on top to prevent the
papers from being scattered by a chance draught. In the morning he
found them scattered over the table, to his great disgust, for it was
a stern household regulation that papers were _taboo_ for all hands
save their owner’s. The maid when taxed, however, denied indignantly
that she had touched them, and when the injured author gathered up his
treasures he was astonished to find, written in his own handwriting,
though not with his usual neatness, the sentence which now stands as
the final one. Evidently he had dropped to sleep and come down to
complete the unfinished task in a subconscious condition. The story
shows clearly that it was time the book was done with.

But the labour did not cease with the completion of the MS. The
holiday, which began early in August, was spent partly in London,
looking up final references, and partly in South Wales, with a view to
making out some further glacial points. A letter to Mr Horne suggests
the mixed feelings which the completion of the task brought. He
says:--“I am well pleased now to have the thing off my hands. I will
not soon begin another such work. It is too much worry and labour--and
yet pleasant withal.” Later he writes:--“Now that my book is off my
hands, time in the evenings hangs heavy on my hands”--the Nemesis, a
psychologist would say, of overwork, for it was obviously the condition
when nothing but work had become possible!

Various pleasant little incidents, however, occurred this autumn. Thus
the French geologists, MM. Falsan and Chantre, sent him a copy of
their Monograph on the old glaciers of the Rhone basin. In sending the
book M. Falsan spoke with gratifying warmth of _The Great Ice Age_,
and of the many new ideas which he and his confrère had obtained from
its perusal. “I feel as if I shall get cocky,” says James Geikie in a
letter, “and, as pride goes before a fall, am beginning to dread lest
_Prehistoric Europe_ should be damned.” M. Falsan also asked permission
to translate _The Great Ice Age_ into French, and there were German
offers to translate both _The Great Ice Age_ and _Prehistoric Europe_.

The latter appeared towards the end of November. Copies were sent,
among others, to Charles Darwin and to Prof. Ramsay, whose letters in
reply were a source of great gratification to James Geikie. Darwin
wrote both immediately upon receipt, and later after he had read the
book. In the second letter he says:--“Yours is a grand book, and I
thank you heartily for the instruction and pleasure it has given me.”
That this was not mere flattery is apparent from the keen discussion of
certain special points in which he was interested.

The next year, 1881, was one of great stress, though the tale of its
external events is soon told. That Prof. Ramsay’s health was failing
had long been known, and though his actual resignation did not take
place till the end of 1881, the fact that it was impending was obvious
long before. It was also known among the Survey men that his retiral
would mean extensive changes, likely to affect directly and indirectly
most of the members of the staff. As has been already stated, it led
to James Geikie’s resignation and his acceptance of the professorship
at Edinburgh University. Something must therefore be said in regard to
the reasons that induced him to leave highly congenial work for a post
which was not, certainly at first, wholly so, and which further, at
least in early days, did not materially improve his financial position.

It must be noted first that by this time he was the author of two bulky
books (produced, as we have seen, at the cost of great and continuous
toil) which had been hailed at home and abroad as “epoch-making.” He
had correspondents in most parts of the civilised world; men of mark
in their own countries had publicly acknowledged him as a leader of
geological thought, a fount of inspiration, an opener up of new paths
of research. At the same time, to those immediately above him he was a
subordinate, with a very moderate salary, a recipient of orders, with
little opportunity for initiating changes or improvements, and was
living in a small provincial town, to some extent remote from the main
current of public life.

Second, and this is a point which is much less familiar to the general
public than in a democratic country it ought to be, his books were
not of the kind which bring direct monetary reward to their author.
His family was increasing, for his third son was born in this year of
1881; he himself was past forty, and the probability that he could
continue to go on working for many years more at the rate at which he
had been toiling during the last twenty was necessarily diminishing.
Now it is universally admitted, as a general proposition, that when a
man without private means has done and is doing important and highly
specialised work for his country and for the world, work which does
not bring direct pecuniary gain, then it is the duty of those in high
places to see that he be established in such a position as to free
him from financial anxiety for the future, to enable him to face his
responsibilities with a calm mind, to obviate the necessity for his
wasting his strength and intellect in hack-work in order to supplement
his income. But, while this is admitted as a general proposition, there
is always the possibility that petty personal interests will intervene
in a particular case. James Geikie left the Survey partly under the
pressure of such interests, which seemed to threaten his prospects of
immediate promotion, and partly under that of friends who thought that
the professorship offered more scope for him. Whether he was right or
wrong it is difficult to say, but there is evidence that at least at
first he regretted his decision. He might have quitted the Survey of
his own free will, and would certainly have done this with a pang, but
the thought that his decision to leave was not wholly voluntary, made
the pang excessively bitter.

Many of the letters of this year of anxiety are too intimate to
be quoted. We shall only insert sentences and phrases to make the
narrative plain.

One of the first indications of coming events was an attack upon
_Prehistoric Europe_ in the early part of 1881, an attack which it
seems quite clear was not motived wholly by an honest desire to promote
the cause of science. It was this element which made the matter so hard
to bear.

 The affair has affected me more than I can tell.... You will laugh,
 but it is true all the same, that I can hardly eat or sleep. For the
 attack itself I don’t mind, I know that my book is a bit of honest
 true work, and will outlive the attempts ... to stifle it.... I wish
 the snow would go and let me out to have a walk. Sometimes I wish that
 I had kept clear of writing books altogether.... I remember wondering
 once when Green told me that when he was vexed with anything a romp
 with his bairns made him quite hearty. It seemed to me overstrained.
 I don’t think so now that I have bairns of my own. Their quaint and
 funny ways quite carry you out of yourself.... Dearly as I love life,
 I can already foresee that the time will come when I shall be glad
 to lie down and sleep the sleep that knows no waking.... Verily I
 do believe a good wife and loving mother is the only treasure of
 treasures that is worth striving for in this world!... How much you
 and I have to be thankful for!

These are a few extracts written to his friend Mr Horne at the moment
when the history of the incident was just becoming plain, and at a time
also when Mr Horne’s first child had just been born; they throw perhaps
more light upon it and upon the character of James Geikie than any
ordered narrative could do.

Later letters of the same spring emphasise the effect which the
incident had upon him. “The whole thing,” he writes in one letter,
“has worried me more than I can tell;” but a journey south, where,
_inter alia_, he lectured at Hull, and led a big geological excursion,
helped to change the current of his thoughts, while his reception at
Hull gratified him greatly. Fresh letters from continental geologists
also, not only praising his book but discussing the bearing of his
results upon their observations in various parts of Europe, must have
helped to assure him that it was worth while to do honest work, despite
detractors. Further, the family moved from Perth to Birnam, where they
took a charming cottage at the foot of Birnam Hill, covered with roses,
and with a large untidy garden. The early summer was brilliantly fine,
and the fresh air and open life of the country must have made it easier
to take a more philosophical view of the affair, unpleasant as it was.

The letters of early summer show at least a perceptible recovery
of balance and cheerfulness. His third son was born in June, and
in answer to congratulations he says:--“A _third_ boy was a great
disappointment--a girl would have ‘completed’ all the family any
reasonable man could desire!”

The arrival of the baby prevented him from accompanying Dr Helland on
a projected trip to Iceland in early summer, but, rather curiously, an
opportunity to visit the island occurred a little later in the same
year, for he went to report on some sulphur mines.

On 17th September he writes to Mr Horne:--“I have just returned from
Iceland, where I have had some very hard but very interesting work.
What a country! Fancy me riding eleven hours over lava-beds, mountains,
etc., devil a road or even path! However, all was fresh and new.”

By this time the question of changes in the Survey was becoming acute,
and James Geikie was beginning to debate with himself as to whether he
ought to try for the Chair in Geology at Edinburgh for his children’s
sake. The indecision he found very unsettling. “I can settle to
nothing--reading and writing are alike out of the question.” More than
a month later he writes:--“I am pulled two ways--my own desire and wish
is to remain in the Survey.” “My repugnance to that Chair,” he says a
few days later, “increases as the days go past.”

Perhaps nothing, however, shows better his fundamental repugnance to
all the weighing of questions of worldly advantage, to the scheming
and plotting and wire-pulling which go to the making of appointments,
than a letter written to Mr Horne in the thick of the conflict. This
begins with an account of information which had reached him in regard
to the position of affairs as to the Edinburgh Chair, and glides off
insensibly into an account of letters just received from Prof. Penck
and Prof. Gandry, the one a German and the other a French geologist.
Both letters contained much of great interest to him, and the letter
becomes a full discussion of the points raised, the question of his own
future meantime sinking entirely out of mind.

Obviously he wanted to be let alone and allowed to do his work in
peace, to have reasonable security for his children. In one letter he
laments his own lack of worldly wisdom, and his willingness to take
advice from his various friends; and the rather pathetic balancing of
the advantages of one apparently possible position against another,
merely meant that his mind was set on other things altogether, and
that in consequence he allowed himself to be swayed by the different
influences brought to bear upon him. His own candour and frankness made
him singularly willing to accept advice offered under the guise of
friendship, without stopping to investigate the question whether his
advisers were or were not wholly disinterested. But his unwillingness
to be separated from his old colleagues remains the dominant note, even
when he yielded to what seemed sound arguments brought to bear upon
him. His instant response to kindliness is shown by the following
quotation:--“Isn’t old Ramsay a trump. He wrote me a short, but such
an affectionate letter that I declare I could not read it without wet

His final decision to apply for the Chair was due to the receipt of a
private letter which informed him that the Home Office was prepared to
appoint him immediately on his sending in an application, on the ground
that he was the man obviously best fitted for the post. It was also
indicated to him informally that the reputation which he had obtained
owing to his books was such that any other testimonial was unnecessary.
Inquiries had been made which had satisfied the Home Office that no
other possible candidate had such high qualifications for the post. In
announcing to his friend Mr Horne the receipt of this flattering though
unofficial letter, James Geikie cannot forbear adding:--“I shall quit
the Survey dead against my desires. But yet I feel I am doing best for
myself and for my children.”

Both his natural modesty, and perhaps the painful memory of his
controversy in the spring, made him uneasy about the fact that the
appointment was made without, as he says, any chance being given
to other possible candidates. Thus he forwarded the unasked-for
testimonials, the writers including all the leading men of the day in
his own branch of science. But amidst all the bustle of arranging about
the testimonials, and about the leaving of his work and the finding
of a house in Edinburgh, the note of regret recurs constantly. “I
can’t realise that I am leaving the Survey. How vexed I am--no one can

Not all his own regrets, however, could quench his enthusiasm for the
service he was giving up. Thus he took up cudgels with the utmost
vigour for his friends on the Survey, whose interests he thought likely
to be affected by certain proposed changes. These changes he thought
regrettable not only on this account, but also because they seemed to
him contrary to the interests of the whole Survey.

His new work at Edinburgh was not to begin till the autumn of 1882, and
though the house in Edinburgh was taken in spring, the family stayed on
in the country all summer, partly to let the new-made professor finish
off his Survey work, and partly that all might enjoy the country air.
But the respite did not ease the pain of the prospective parting:--“It
makes me sad at heart when I think that the old Survey days are for
me so soon to end. So life wags--some day soon I shall be ending work
for good and all, and then for a long rest, and no heartaches and no
headaches. My heart gets heavy whiles at the thought of leaving the
green fields over which I have wandered so long and happily. After
forty years of life it is almost too late to change. But what I have
done I hope will turn out for the best. Anyhow, I hope you fellows will
not forget the old comradeship, but come often and see me. I can’t yet
realise that I am leaving work in the field, and going into town to
become fat, greasy, and respectable.” And so the summer months slipped
away, and autumn brought Edinburgh and the new sphere.




Official work in Edinburgh began with the delivery by the new professor
of his inaugural address on 27th October 1882, the subject being “The
Aims and Methods of Geological Inquiry.”

In early days the class was small, and as the income derived from
Sir Roderick Murchison’s endowment was supplemented by the students’
fees, then paid direct to the professor, their number was an important
matter. Further, at the time of the appointment, as for many years
later, geology was not compulsory for any degree, and was not even
an optional degree for the ordinary course in Arts. This meant that
the professor had not a status in the University comparable to that
of those of the Arts professors whose courses were compulsory, or of
the members of the Medical Faculty. On the other hand, it meant that
the students who took the class did so from a genuine interest in the
subject. The fact that Prof. Geikie soon acquired much weight in the
Senate was due entirely to his strong personality, unassisted, at
least at first, by any advantages of position.

The letters of this first winter session are filled, as might be
expected, with the business of settling down in Edinburgh, the buying
of furniture and carpets, the “grind” of getting up the lectures, and
recurring regrets at parting with old friends. A letter to Mr Horne,
written at the beginning of January 1883, illustrates very clearly
the dawning of genuine interest in the new work, still mingled with
longings for the old. The following passages may be quoted:--

 I was at the office the other day.... But how the days flash by.
 And how the dear old days are gone when you and I and the others
 used to chaff and make a noise o’ winter in that office. It makes
 me melancholy sometimes when I think of it all. I am Professor in
 Edinburgh University, but my heart is in the Survey with my old
 Survey chums. Here are tall hats, black coats, pompous windbags--and
 in a word, starch and humbug. My boy, I have been caught too old.
 Had I come here earlier I might have become “respectable” too--but
 it is too late! However, I get on well with my students who, being
 young, understand fun and such improvised nonsense as I endeavour
 to cheer them with. I fancy some of my colleagues would have their
 hair elevated if they heard me. I like the work much better than I
 expected, but eh man! I miss the freedom of the country.

The office alluded to above was, of course, the Survey Office, and
Prof. Geikie’s colleagues record that at first he found it difficult
to keep away from it. He generally dropped in on his way to or from
the University to see how things were getting on, and never missed an
opportunity of meeting his old friends. When he began to have students’
parties some of the Survey men were generally asked also, so that the
students might have an opportunity of coming into direct contact with
the men who were making geology in Scotland.

Many allusions in the early letters show that the new professor found
the task of arranging his class work irksome. In certain branches
of geology he had himself taken little interest, having specialised
early, and as at first he had no assistant, all the work fell on his
own shoulders. For microscopic work and some aspects of mineralogy he
had always expressed contempt, as being only suitable for the men who
could not or did not work in the field; and these despised subjects
he now felt himself constrained to “get up” for class purposes, and
this necessity drew from him many groans. One must admit that there
was a certain tragedy in this taking of a man of forty-four off his
own highly specialised work to grind up a subject of practically no
use to him in that work; but such tragedies are frequent when original
thinkers are placed in professorial chairs which demand much elementary
teaching. Preparing for his microscopic class, he complains, means
sitting up half the night, and is “fiddling work,” requiring little in
the way of brains.

A letter to Prof. Stevenson of New York, dated 26th January 1883, is
not without interest in the same connection, in showing the effect of
this drudgery on his own work. In acknowledging one of the former’s
publications, he says:--“I am sorry I have no papers to send you. My
preparations for a new start as professor in our University here
have absorbed nearly all my leisure time, so that several papers I
had chalked out have been laid aside for the present.” A letter to Mr
Horne, written a few weeks later, while the author was invigilating
a class examination, shows where his thoughts turned as soon as the
strain was lifted for a moment. It records the receipt of a letter from
Prof. Nathorst of Stockholm, who had been doing work in Spitsbergen,
and had come independently to the same conclusion in regard to certain
points as James Geikie. The latter adds:--“He says he is delighted
that his conclusions, arrived at independently, should corroborate and
support mine. Very nice.”

The same letter to Mr Horne contains an allusion to an odd form of
compliment which had just reached the writer. A lady in Nova Scotia,
apparently a total stranger, had written to ask if the author of _The
Great Ice Age_ would stand godfather to her baby. The cream of the jest
was, however, that the said baby was not expected to enter this vale
of tears till some three or four months after the date of the letter.
History, unfortunately, does not record whether or not the infant
put in an appearance, nor whether it had to be baptised as James or
Jamesina, but the professor gave his consent without, as he says, any
ungentlemanly reference to common proverbs.

At the close of this, his first winter session, the new professor
took a party of students on a long geological excursion to the Border
district, his old hunting-ground. During the course of the excursion,
which lasted several days, the party visited Buchtrig, whether wholly
from geological or partly from sentimental reasons does not appear.
Some fine tramps were taken over the hills, and the fact that the
leader had himself worked out the geology of the district must have
added much zest to the excursion.

In May the first summer class in geology was held, this being one of
Prof. James Geikie’s innovations. It was well attended, twenty-six
students taking part, and consisted of both indoor work and excursions.
After this year this summer course became a part of the regular
routine, and while it was a great improvement from the point of view of
teaching, it naturally still further diminished the professor’s spare
time, and placed him at a disadvantage, so far as independent work was
concerned, with his colleagues of the Arts Faculty who then had only a
short winter session.

The summer holiday was spent at Largo in Fife, and the summer was
clouded by the death of Prof. Geikie’s father, who passed away at the
age of seventy-three, having seen both his geologist sons established
in positions of importance.

The work of the following session, 1883-1884, proved easier than the
first, “but just yet the Chair is not a ‘bed of roses.’ It takes up
more time than I had reckoned for.”

[Illustration: [_From an etching by Mr William Hole, A.R.S.A._


Spring brought two distractions, the Tercentenary celebrations of
Edinburgh University, and preparations for a visit to Canada and the
United States in connection with the British Association meeting
at Montreal. Of the former Prof. Geikie soon wearied, and voiced
his weariness, and perhaps some remains of resentment in regard to
those winter nights spent--fruitlessly from his point of view--in
“getting-up” uncongenial subjects, in a series of verses. These at the
time were shown only to privileged friends, but may be quoted here now
for the sake of those who can see a joke, even if it is partly at their
own expense. They make it clear that the author was not yet wholly
reconciled to academic life.



    Hail stately pile! hail treasure-house of lore!
    Dear nurse of many a wit and many a bore!
    What mingled thoughts have we in this late time,
    Reviewing all the glories of thy prime!


    Three hundred years ago thou hadst thy birth,
    And now thy name is known o’er all the earth:
    In making ropes of sand once great thy skill--
    Thy fame is now the scalpel and the pill.


    O Alma Mater, ’neath thy learned shade,
    How many a plot against mankind is laid!
    And ghouls in hundreds every year stalk forth,
    To testify to all what thou art worth!


    Tramp! tramp! they come, the ministers of death,
    At their approach the boldest holds his breath:
    “Your money and your life!” they gleeful cry--
    And awestruck patients pay their fees and die.


    These ghouls thy children are: nor these alone,
    O bounteous mother, hail thee as their own!
    Nursed in thine arms, the vacant--void no more--
    In countless numbers issue from thy door!


    Confusion tightly pack’d within each brain--
    Or air, compress’d, distending the inane,
    Thine is the gas they own, and thine the lead,
    The tongue untiring, and the addled head.


    To pulpit and to platform see them fly,
    For, wind-distracted, they must speak or die;
    Bored and perplex’d the audience shifts about,
    Those only happy who can snooze it out.

          .      .      .      .      .


    But I, unlucky, whither shall I go,
    Who of this lore of thine so little know!
    What academic prize to me shall fall,
    Content to know a little, and not all!


    Forgive me, O my mother, if I still
    Keep some brain-space for after years to fill!
    Nor chide if I decline this awful cram
    Of unassorted victuals for exam!

The spring brought also the offer of the honorary fellowship of the
Geological Society of Stockholm.

In August he started for New York, this being his first journey across
the Atlantic. He enjoyed the voyage very much, being one of the very
few passengers who were able to appear at meals during a stormy period
met with soon after leaving Ireland. Later the weather improved and
the party became very lively, Prof. Geikie participating in all the
entertainments and gaiety which went on. “I feel already 20 per cent.
better in mind and body,” he says; “twenty years younger am I too, or
I would not enjoy such high jinks as go on here.” Several friends were
made on the ship, and one of these, a Boston gentleman, showed much
kindness to Prof. Geikie on his arrival in New York. Thanks to him, it
was possible to see something of the city during a brief stay there,
the incidents including a visit behind the scenes of a theatre, where
the stage manager announced that he had read _The Great Ice Age_.

From New York the journey was continued to Chicago, which did not make
a very favourable impression, and on to St Paul, much of geological
interest being seen _en route_. From St Paul the party went to
Winnipeg, the furthest point west reached. The crossing of the prairies
made a great impression on Prof. Geikie. He says:--

 I have often pictured the prairies to myself, but somehow the picture
 never comes up to the reality. How strange it is to gaze over a
 seemingly limitless extent of grass-land as flat as any Scottish
 haugh-land. The sky was exquisitely bright--white clouds sailing over
 a delicate blue--but the colours of the prairie surpass my powers
 of description. The wild flowers fairly took my breath away--there
 were blues, purples, whites, and yellows, the latter predominating.
 Standing outside of the car one never tired watching the changing
 hues--here were broad belts of yellow, there patches of blue and
 white and purple. Or all the colours were commingled in a dazzling
 confusion. The rails are laid flat on the prairie and the sweet
 flowers grow up to the rails. Butterflies in absolute clouds--great
 big fellows--danced and flitted about, and now and again a flight
 of birds appeared. But huts or houses were seen only at very wide
 intervals--sometimes many miles were passed without any sign of human
 habitation. I enjoyed the ride of 500 miles through the prairies much
 more than anything else I have yet seen. It was a new experience.
 What an expressive silence seemed to overhang the vast stretch of
 grass-land. A heavy storm of rain and sheet lightning suddenly came
 on and drove us into the car at sunset. When I woke this morning at
 four o’clock and looked out of the carriage window I saw an exquisite
 sunrise--a beautiful pink flushed all the east, and the prairie fairly
 gleamed with golden yellow and blue.

[Illustration: [_Photo by Gutebrunst, Philadelphia._


The notes on Winnipeg and on the journey thence to Toronto are
interesting as showing how little future developments were expected at
this date. Of Winnipeg, described as being “in the far west,” Prof.
Geikie says:--“Winnipeg is a surprising place for so far distant a
region. Here are some 25,000 inhabitants: it is quite a considerable
town--with churches, theatres, etc., etc., and a Scientific Society.”
Speaking of his journey eastwards he says:--

 We left Winnipeg on Wednesday (20th) and travelled all day
 through rough rolling ground, very rocky and sprinkled with my
 friends--boulder-clay, morainic gravel and sand, and large erratics.
 The country was upon the whole rather dreary, dense thickets of spruce
 fir covering the rocky knolls, and swamps and morasses lying in the
 hollows. Here and there where the ground was more open the prairie
 flowers flourished, and butterflies and dragon-flies fluttered and
 darted about in the sunshine. Night overtook us while we were still in
 the same monotonous country. A number of British Ass. folk had joined
 us at Winnipeg, among them Prof. Ramsay,[4] a nephew of _my_ Prof. R.
 The night we passed in the sleeping-car, and next morning found us
 still sweeping along through the same kind of forest land. Very fine
 evidence of ice-work was seen all the way--just like what I know in
 Wester Ross and Sutherland. We breakfasted at a rough station in those
 dreary backwoods. Houses are few and far apart in such a desolate
 region, and I can’t see how the railway can ever pay. We passed over
 1000 miles of land, most of which seemed to me as barren and hopeless
 as the poorest tracts of the Outer Hebrides. The trees are small
 miserable sticks, and everywhere one sees rising above these small
 trees tall ragged and naked trunks, marked with fire, showing that
 much forest land must have been destroyed by fire in earlier days. We
 stopped at last at Port Arthur, at the upper end of Lake Superior,
 where we spent the day and night. This is a small backwoods town of
 some 2000 or 3000 inhabitants. The view over Thunder Bay is fine, and
 I enjoyed a walk into the country.

    [4] Later Sir William Ramsay.

Next day the party sailed down the lakes to Owen Sound and took train
for Toronto. From here Niagara was visited, and after that the journey
continued to Montreal.

From Montreal Prof. Geikie went south to Philadelphia, where he found
the heat very trying, and then back to New York and on to Boston. The
latter town attracted him greatly. “I feel more at home in Boston than
I have felt since leaving Auld Reekie. The people are more like our own
people too.” Here he met and made many friends, and tells an amusing
experience with a German lady doctor, who made wine from grapes grown
in her own vineries. She and Prof. Geikie got on very well together,
and the latter was invited to visit the vineries and taste the wine.
Having received a private warning, the professor resolved to display
extreme abstemiousness when confronted with the fluid, but the lady
ceremoniously proposed the health of her guest from across the seas,
who felt constrained to return the compliment with a brimming goblet.
Fortunately the proceedings came to a close soon afterwards, and Prof.
Geikie and his friend were able to hurry home to the latter’s house in
order to correct the influence of the concoction with a modest “dram.”
They took a long drive afterwards, and no results followed, apparently,
beyond the acquisition of a conviction that the climate of Boston was
unsuited to the juice of the grape.

Shortly afterwards Prof. Geikie returned home, and in December he
writes to Mr Horne bemoaning the amount of work which he found waiting
for him. He says:--“But know one thing, O Horne, that here in Auld
Reekie I am pestered to death with correspondence. People scribble on
all sorts of subjects, and expect answers, and I begin to hate the
sight of notepaper. And so the letters that I ought to write and like
to write remain unwritten, while those I detest to write take up more
time than I like to waste. You should have seen the piles waiting for
me on my return from Yankee land--some of the rubbish is not answered
yet.” He goes on in the same letter to say:--“I find living in town
more expensive than the country, there are so many calls upon one, and
the class does not pay as well as I had hoped. But that is mending
and I have good hopes.” He also speaks of a “pot-boiler” he was busy
with, to wit, his _Outlines of Geology_, which though far advanced at
this time did not appear till more than a year afterwards.

The same note occurs in other letters of the following year, and a
projected visit to the Hebrides in the summer of 1885 had to be given
up owing to “circumstances over which I have no control (_i.e._, empty
purse).” “Living here is not so easy as in the country,” he adds again.
But he also says:--“I have got into the ways of my new sphere and jog
along very comfortably.”

More interesting than the “pot-boiling” of which he speaks frequently,
was his work in connection with the Scottish Geographical Society,
in which he took an active part in the autumn of 1884. Thus in the
letter already quoted he says:--“I have been sair taigled with that
Geographical Society, but I think it will do; and I mean to work it
to some purpose. We are going to bring out the first number of a
Geographical Magazine in January, for which I have promised to write a
short article on the Physical Features of Scotland.”

At the first meeting of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society,
it may be noted, which was held on 28th October 1884, Prof. Geikie
moved--“That this meeting, recognising the scientific and general
utility of a national society for the promotion of geography,
resolves that a Geographical Society for Scotland be now formed.”
He was associated with the Society till his death, and took a very
active part in its management, as Hon. Editor from 1888 onward, as a
Vice-President, and for the period 1904-1910 as President. Beginning
with the first number also he made frequent contributions to the
_Scottish Geographical Magazine_, contributions of great scientific
importance, and in addition was always ready to put his knowledge and
experience at the disposal of the Acting Editor. During a long period
of years his work for the Society must have made large inroads upon his
time and energy, and thus geography in Scotland, no less than geology,
owes him a great debt of gratitude.

No very noteworthy events took place in the year 1885. The _Outlines
of Geology_ was finished, though it did not appear till after the New
Year, and in autumn a visit was paid to Louisa, Lady Ashburton, who
became a great friend of the family. The visit was to Lady Ashburton’s
country house at Loch Luichart in Ross, and was very enjoyable, many
drives being taken to surrounding places. On the homeward journey Prof.
and Mrs Geikie stayed with their friends Mr and Mrs Horne at Inverness.

The party at Loch Luichart was evidently a very gay one, and Prof.
Geikie, freed from strain and at leisure, seems to have been full of
life. Letters from members of the party, written on receipt of Heine’s
_Songs and Lyrics_, which saw the light in the autumn of 1887, are full
of allusions to the visit and to the songs that had been sung during
the drives, allusions which cast a pleasant light on the geologist’s
human side.

In the early part of 1886 the _Outlines of Geology_ appeared, and was
so successful that a second edition was called for less than two years
afterwards. During 1886 also Prof. Geikie’s fourth son was born.

As the year went on, signs of strain due to the process of adjustment
to the conditions of town life began to make themselves apparent, one
of the most distressing symptoms being insomnia. A sleeping-draught
which gave five or six hours of sleep was welcomed with a fervour which
tells a pitiful tale. Perhaps in some ways even more serious for one
who was lecturing daily was loss of voice, which occurred at Christmas.
The brief vacation failed to produce permanent improvement, and the
early part of the year 1887 saw a losing struggle between ill-health
and James Geikie’s strong sense of duty. As soon as the spring vacation
freed him he went off to the Canary Islands to recuperate. A letter
from Teneriffe, dated 18th April 1887, indicates a characteristically
rapid rebound of spirits:--“This place is a paradise on earth!” The
hotel (at Orotava) he describes as “simply fairy-like. It is bowered
in trees, palms and others. Fountains and lakes are all round, lovely
gardens one blaze of gorgeous colour, and rich green, cool colonnades
with lounges where you can sit and dream and gaze on the sunlit sea.
The mornings and evenings are simply heavenly.”

During his stay Prof. Geikie climbed the Peak on foot, an exhausting
excursion in the heat, and one for which he was probably not fit.
His account of the effect of rising above the mountains noontide
cloud-cap is interesting:--“When we got above the clouds the sight
was very grand. The upper surface is approximately level, and, rising
above it, the higher ridges and mountains look so many islands in a
tumbled and rolling sea. But such a sea! Imagine the sun blazing down
from a perfectly clear and cloudless sky--the mountain tops rugged
and serrated, and coloured red and yellow--and the cloud-sea shining
with the most silvery brilliance. Now and again the wind would cause
the clouds to rise up like billows and roll for some little distance
up the hill-slopes above the general level of the cloud-sea, but the
invading billows were soon torn to shreds and disappeared.” Of the
top he says:--“What a weird scene it was. Here were numerous extinct
volcanoes, craters looking raw and red just as if they had vomited
forth yesterday. The ground was sprinkled all round with slags and
cinders and volcanic sand and dust, and not a blade of grass was to be

Prof. Geikie did a certain amount of geologising during his stay in the
Canaries, and said in his letters home that he was greatly the better
for his trip:--“My voice is as strong as ever, and I feel braced up in
every way.” Unfortunately the improvement did not last after his return
home. He had a disappointing summer, and with winter the insomnia
returned. He could do little save his class work, and this was a sore
struggle. But the fact of his being cut off from his own special work
had the effect of turning his attention again to the German poems, and
the book, as stated, finally appeared in the autumn of 1887. A good
many of the letters acknowledging receipt have been preserved, for the
poems had always been very dear to him. A pathetic letter from Lady
Ramsay records the pleasure which the book gave to Sir Andrew Ramsay,
now an invalid and sadly changed from what he had been in his prime.
She had read some of the verses to him as he sat in his bath-chair at
Beaumaris, where the family were now living, and they had brought back
some flashes of his old animation.

Prof. Geikie’s health continued to give cause for anxiety throughout
the winter of 1887-1888, and in summer he and Mrs Geikie went to the
Engadine, in the hope that the high altitude and bracing air would
do him good. As the weather became colder they went down into Italy,
coming home eventually by sea from Naples. Some charming letters to the
boys, who were left at home, and to others of the family connection,
have been preserved, but deal for the most part only with the usual
incidents of travel in the Alps. “The boys” were by this time old
enough to be keenly interested in butterflies, and their father
gives some humorous descriptions of his attempts to increase their

Among the minor incidents of the tour were a meeting with Huxley at
the Maloja, and the delivery by Prof. Geikie of a lecture on the Ice
Age at Pontresina to an audience of two to three hundred people. The
latter part of the visit to the Engadine was marred by the cold, and
the altitude did not seem to suit him so well as he had hoped. On the
journey through Italy a stop was made on Lake Como, of which Prof.
Geikie speaks with the same enthusiasm as of old. On the whole, the
tour seems to have been very beneficial, and to have been an important
factor in restoring him to health.




At the beginning of 1889 Prof. Geikie was awarded the Murchison
medal of the Geological Society of London, “in acknowledgment of his
important contributions to the geology of North Britain, and especially
of his investigation of glacial phenomena.” A letter of cordial
congratulation from his old friend Mr Whitaker on the award speaks of
the writer’s own debt to the author, and of his adoption of a number
of the latter’s conclusions. In this year also he was made a D.C.L. of
Durham University.

[Illustration: [_Photo by Elliott & Fry._


At this time Prof. Geikie had added to his university work proper a
course for women, who were as yet excluded from classes within the
building. At the end of the course, in the spring of 1890, he took the
members of the class on a long excursion to Birnam, to give them an
insight into field geology. The party was a gay one, and their doings
were celebrated by the leader in a series of verses, of which the
first runs as follows:--

    Of the Geologic Class
      Sing the glorious days’ renown
    When to Birnam it did pass
      From the tumults of the town--
    A score of earnest students in their frocks,
      Behold the learned band,
      Each with hammer in her hand
      Prepared to pound to sand
            All the rocks.

Prof. Geikie’s muse was also active the same summer at the dinner of
the Edinburgh Royal Society Club, held in honour of Dr Nansen’s return
from Greenland, where he sang a song of his own composition which met
with a great reception. Its _motif_ was the joys of Greenland as a
place remote from civilisation, and a lament over the fact that, except
for that happy land, “the hale round world is tounifeed.”

In this year also he was President of the Geological Section at the
Newcastle-on-Tyne meeting of the British Association, and devoted his
presidential address to the subject of “Glacial Geology.”

In 1891 he returned to America, this time to deliver a course
of lectures at the Lowell Institute in Boston. This gave him an
opportunity to renew many pleasant friendships made during his previous
visit, but his stay was somewhat marred by an attack of influenza.
Among his papers are many notes of invitation and greeting, an
interesting one being from Prof. William James, which contains careful
instructions as to how the host’s house might be found, accompanied by
a sketch-map.

The following year saw the publication of an important paper “On the
Glacial Succession in Europe,” in regard to which the author says,
in a letter to his friend Prof. Stevenson of New York:--“I sincerely
believe that the conclusions will stand, no matter how extravagant they
may now appear to be.” This year also he was President of Section E
(Geography) at the Edinburgh meeting of the British Association, the
subject of his presidential address being the “Geographical Development
of Coast-lines.” Among the foreign guests at this meeting was the
Norwegian botanist, Prof. Blytt, who writes to thank him “most heartily
for all your great kindness to me during my stay in your beautiful

By this time Prof. Geikie’s university work had considerably increased,
for in 1891 he had been elected Convener of the Science Degrees
Committee, and, after a Faculty of Science had been instituted by
the Royal Universities Commission in 1894, he was elected Dean of
the Faculty, a post which he held till a year before his retirement
from the professorship. This brought him into contact with all the
science students, and gave him much to do in the way of organising and
arranging courses. As a result his feeling of strangeness to university
life seems to have passed away entirely, and he became thoroughly
absorbed in the life of the institution. The work of the Universities
Commission also greatly improved the status of his subject, and his
position as Dean gave him much influence in moulding the policy of
the University in regard to scientific education. A series of verses,
apparently never published, but written in support of an appeal for
more funds for university purposes, adopts a very different note from
the earlier verses which we have quoted, and show that too much stress
should not be laid upon those as representing more than a passing mood.

In 1893, in addition to various papers, a volume of collected essays
and addresses was published as _Fragments of Earth Lore_. But this
must have been merely a piece of byplay, as it were, for during 1892
and 1893 the laborious task of bringing _The Great Ice Age_ up to date
was being carried on. Thus on 29th January 1893 he writes to Prof.
Chamberlin of Chicago, saying:--

 I have been busy of late in completing a new edition of my _Great
 Ice Age_. So long a time has passed since the publication of the
 last edition that I have found it necessary to rewrite the book. The
 labour of boiling down the evidence obtained by the geologists of
 Scandinavia, Russia, France, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, etc., has been
 very great, and has rather taken it out of me, so that for the present
 I am compelled to lay my MS. aside and do nothing!

But the interval of rest can only have been brief, for he writes again
on 12th March, saying:--

 I am again slowly working at my book, in hope that I may have it
 in the printer’s hands by the end of summer.... I have been truly
 astonished to find that the voluminous materials which have been
 collected during the last seventeen years in Europe, group themselves
 without the least difficulty into a coherent and intelligible whole.
 Until I had tabulated the results I was hardly prepared to find that
 the evidence from all parts of Europe tallied so closely. Each bit of
 the puzzle seems to drop into its place with ease.

The hope expressed in this letter was not fulfilled, for nearly a
year later, on 20th January 1894, we find him writing again to Prof.
Chamberlin, saying:--

 In the course of week or two I hope to complete my new edition of
 _The Great Ice Age_. The revision has given me more trouble than I
 expected, chiefly on account of the large number of foreign papers
 which I have had to read and digest, for I was anxious to exhaust the
 evidence as far as I could....

 I am hoping to put the manuscript in the printer’s hands by the end
 of March or middle of April. I give myself that additional time, for
 I wish to take another look at some of the deposits on the Baltic
 coast lands before finally parting with my MS. As soon as I get rid
 of my College duties I shall start on my flying visit to Denmark,
 etc. Some very remarkable evidence has turned up recently in Tasmania
 and Australia. Geologists will have to reconsider their notions as
 to glaciation of our Antipodes in the light of the newly discovered
 evidence. I much wish that I had a long purse, unlimited time at my
 disposal, and a younger earthly tabernacle, for under those happy
 conditions I should sail straight away for the South, to see what I
 could see.

Prof. Chamberlin was supplying a sketch of the glacial phenomena of
North America, which forms Chapters XLI. and XLII. of the completed
book, and the correspondence between the two went on during the greater
part of this year, for the book was not published till autumn.

On 4th May he writes:--

 I have just returned from a few weeks’ holiday in the Baltic coast
 lands of North Germany and Denmark, where I had another opportunity of
 studying the great moraines of the Baltic Glacier.... I am quite ready
 for press--all the maps are engraved--and am most anxious to have the
 book set up and corrected for press before the end of July. I shall
 probably go abroad then: and it would be impossible to revise proofs
 away from my library.

In the summer Prof. Geikie had a visit from his friend Prof. Stevenson
of New York. In an undated letter to the latter, apparently written in
early summer, arranging details about the visit, he says:--

 I am sorry to hear about the nervousness. Having had it myself--for
 three years--I know what it means. But, courage! _mon ami_, with care
 you can stave off the enemy. The beast has been threatening me again
 for some months past. But the work which caused him to look in upon
 me, with his infernal grin, is now all but finished. In a fortnight I
 shall be a free man! Then geology may go hang till winter. I wish I
 had a long sail across the briny again, to Fiji or anywhere out of the
 busy haunts of man.

The summer holiday was spent at Traquair on the Tweed, and in a letter
to Sir George Douglas written from there on 10th August, Prof. Geikie

 I had thought at one time of going to the Continent, but here it is
 more restful and that is what I wish. I have no news of any kind, but
 am happy to say that I have at last escaped from the printer’s devil.
 My _Penelope’s Web_ is out of my hands at last: and I shall do nothing
 for the next month or two save loaf about the hills.

But as always there were delays at the last, and a month later he
writes to thank Prof. Chamberlin for some additional notes, saying:--

 The notes were quite in time to be inserted in the proofs. The book
 will not be “out” before October. The engravers have kept us back a
 little; but it is no joke revising the proofs of 850 pages.... You may
 be sure that an early copy of my book will be sent to you as soon as I
 can get it out of the publisher’s hands. I am sorry, however, that it
 is so big. I did what I could in the way of compression; but there is
 so much new to tell.

In the autumn a very pleasant incident occurred, and as it is recorded
in letters sent to Prof. Chamberlin, they may be permitted to tell the

  _19th Oct 1894._

 A short time ago I had a most gratifying letter from the Glacialists’
 Excursion-party of the Geological Congress. The party (thirty in
 number) embraced some of the best known European glacialists, and was
 under the guidance of Penck, Brückner, and Du Pasquier. They went over
 the sections showing the glacial succession in the Alpine Lands, and
 were convinced that Penck’s interpretation of the facts were correct.
 In short, they admit that there have been at least three separate
 glacial epochs, and each separated from the other by long-continued
 valley-erosion during interglacial times. The letter sent to me was
 signed by all the excursionists. The evidence, indeed, is so striking
 that one wonders that Alpine geologists should have been so tardy in
 recognising it!

  _29th Nov. 1894._

 I do not think there would be any impropriety in publishing the letter
 I received from the glacialists, and you are welcome to use it for
 the _Journal_ if you think it worth while. The import of the letter
 appeared in some German newspapers at the time; but I never thought
 of publishing it here. Yet I see no reason why it should not appear
 in your _Journal_[5]--only, I may be accused of personal vanity in
 sending it to you. But there is really no vain-glory in the matter,
 all that the writers say is simply that I would be pleased to see
 that they had studied the evidence adduced by Penck, Brückner, and Du
 Pasquier, and were convinced that the Alps had been glaciated three
 times. I therefore enclose a copy of the letter, the signatures being
 copied exactly as they are given. You will see the list includes some
 of the best known glacialists of Europe.

    [5] _The Journal of Geology_, of which Prof. Chamberlin is joint


  _Sept. 23, 1894_.

 DEAR PROFESSOR GEIKIE,--As members of the Glacialists’ Excursion we
 have studied the superposition of three successive glaciations and
 their interglacial deposits on both sides of the Alps, and we desire
 to address our congratulations to the Author of _The Great Ice Age_
 and to express our regret that you were unable to be one of the party
 and see for yourself a series of exposures which would have a very
 special interest for you.--We are, with sincere regards,


  Dr ANDR. M. HANSEN, Kristiania.
  Dr K. KEILHACK, Berlin.
  Dr S. ZIMMERMANN, Berlin.
  Professor Dr A. JENTZSCH, Konigsberg.
  PROF. Dr G. BERENDT, Berlin.
  Dr GREIN, Darmstadt.
  LEO WEHRLI, Zürich.
  Professor Dr WAHNSCHAFFE, Berlin.
  A. W. PAVLOW, Moscow.
  Dr WILLI ULE, Halle a/S.
  Prof. Dr FRITZ REGEL, Jena.
  Prof. A. P. PAVLOV, Moscow.
  Dr AUG. AEPPLI, Zürich.
  Dr F. MÜHLBERG, Aarau.
  E. FLOURNOY, Genève.
  J. LORIÉ, Utrecht.
  Prof. A. WOEIKOF, St Petersbourg.
  DUGALD BELL, Glasgow.
  Mrs D. BELL.
  Dr A. SCHENCK, Halle a/S.
  BERNARD HOBSON, Manchester.

The third edition of _The Great Ice Age_ duly appeared in the autumn
of 1894, and some extracts from a letter written by Prof. Stevenson
may help to show the impression produced on a fellow-worker by the
contemplation of the toil involved. Prof. Stevenson says, under date
30th May 1895:--

 I have been working away over your _Ice Age_. It is a wonder you
 were not frozen solid during the work. Collation and comparison of
 observations upon the American Carb.[6] are bad enough, but the
 conflicts are as nothing compared with those with which you have had
 to deal. I can well imagine that [you] felt as you penned the last
 chapter as Captain Marryat did once, when he closed the title of his
 last chapter with “And the author says ‘Thank God.’”

    [6] That is the Carboniferous beds of North America, the work
    upon which Prof. Stevenson was himself engaged.

The next few years were passed in the usual round of writing and
teaching. In 1896 a third edition of the _Outlines of Geology_
appeared, and in 1898 a number of lectures and papers were collected
together in book form as _Earth Sculpture, or the Origin of
Land-forms_, which ran through several editions.

In 1897 the Edinburgh Royal Society Club entertained Dr Nansen to
dinner on his return from the _Fram_ expedition, and Prof. Geikie,
who was always the life of such gatherings, sang a song of his own
composition which was greatly appreciated.

Among the letters of these years, which include many to American and
continental friends, is one to Prof. Stevenson from which the following
passages, as representing a considered opinion, may be quoted:--

 It is certainly a pity that the men who can work and would fain devote
 themselves to original investigation, are often prevented doing so by
 the necessities of life. I am not so sure, however, that some of them
 would do work if they were placed in an independent position.... I’m
 much afraid that man on the whole is a lazy beast, and needs some kind
 of whip or bribe to make him live laborious days.

During the course of 1900 Prof. Geikie had a pretty compliment paid to
him from across the Atlantic. On his first journey across he made the
acquaintance of Mr Louis Elson, a professor of music at Boston. The
friendship so begun was kept up in later years, and Mr Elson dedicated
one of his books, _Shakespeare in Music_, to “Prof. James Geikie,
LL.D., D.C.L., of Edinburgh University, with cordial remembrance of
many pleasant conferences on this and kindred topics.” Another American
recognition of his work was the naming by the U.S. Geological Survey
of Mount Geikie, in the Wind River range of the Rocky Mountains in
Wyoming, in his honour. The mountain reaches a height of 12,546 feet.
The information has been kindly supplied by Mr J. G. Bruce of the
Forest Service, Lander, Wyoming.

In the spring of this year Prof. Geikie made a tour with a friend to
the Pyrenees, a tour which made a great impression upon him, and seems
to have been an unqualified success. Some charming letters to his wife
describe incidents of the journey, the letters, like all similar
family correspondence, being full of regrets that no members of his own
household accompanied him. Though the visit was made very early in the
season, in the month of April, and the snow still lay deep in the high
valleys, the weather was almost perfect, and the two friends took many
long excursions. Among these was one to St Bertrand de Cominges, which
attracted Prof. Geikie strongly. In a letter written from Luchon to Mrs
Geikie in regard to it he says:--

 Yesterday we had a most interesting excursion to see an old fortified
 mediæval cathedral town. You would have enjoyed it. It was quaint and
 picturesque beyond measure. Evidently, now, cathedral and town are in
 a backwater--the flood of life has long gone past them. The church,
 however, contains magnificent wood-carving of the 13th century. It
 was the kind of town of which one sometimes dreams--hardly a town,
 but a sleepy village perched on a high rock with a wide outlook over
 the lowlands, and a grand view of the snow-capped mountains to the
 south. I saw one old house--or the top of it, rather--was for sale.
 It had quaint dormer windows and corbel gables, and was shut off from
 the narrow street by a high gate of weather-worn carved oak, hundreds
 of years old. I was tempted to buy it--when you and I tired of the
 world we could retreat to the seclusion of that sleepy old village,
 and dream the days away. The sun was as usual blazing from a cloudless
 sky, and as I leaned over the old battlements of the wall I could see
 that the wall from top to base was aflare with wallflowers and other
 plants, while mosses, ferns, and lichens were everywhere, every stone
 encrusted with moss and every crevice of the masonry stocked with
 flowers, etc.

In the same letter he says:--

 Walking in the scorching heat is most fatiguing. I had over
 twenty miles of such walking the other day, and will not repeat
 the experience. All the same I delight in the blaze--the heat and
 lightness seem to penetrate your skin and work their way to your very
 vitals. How one’s blood courses! and how the old youthful feelings
 come back!

Another passage from a later letter, written from Argelès, may be
quoted, less for its description than for the light it casts upon the
character of its author. It may be noted that by this time he was the
father of the much longed-for “wee lassie,” who had been born a few
years before. He says:--

 The wee lassies are most delightful to look at. Many of them, as I
 have already mentioned, are little beauties. Such sweet, demure,
 kissable wee things they are, with their hair neatly done up, and
 hanging down in a plait behind. They are all bare-headed and all are
 dark. Brown to black hair, with soft liquid brown eyes, rich red lips,
 and a rosy flush in their tawny faces.... In years to come I will
 often dream of the bonny wee toddlers I stopped on the road to pet and
 fondle in these beautiful valleys. R. was as much struck as I with the
 children. But as I have my own wee lassie in my thoughts, he probably
 did not feel his heart in his mouth and his eyes water as the wee ones
 passed us on the road.

To these letters, written during the trip, may be added some extracts
from one written to a member of the family circle after his return
home. On 29th May he writes from Edinburgh:--

 Since my return from France I have been driven from post to pillar,
 doing my best to clear off arrears. Now I am in a way “redd up,” and
 able to look round.... I feel quite rejuvenated with my trip.... I saw
 much that was very interesting to me as a geologist and much also that
 was beautiful, so that my memory is now stored with a fresh series of
 lovely visions--of picturesque and quaint people.... I have looked out
 one or two places to which some day I hope to take Mary and (if my
 purse is long enough) the wee lassie--that is when she is bigger! But
 half my life has been spent in dreams and plans for the future, and
 _some_ only of these have been realised.

The letter goes on to speak of that great May function in Edinburgh,
the Commissioner’s garden-party. Mrs Geikie and their eldest son were
to go to this--“Stewart will go as ‘Professor Geikie.’ The professor
himself can’t be induced to go, and (as this is a holiday for him at
college) he is taking Mary Dorothea out to Mortonhall Golf Club-house
for afternoon tea. The young lady has been looking forward to this
treat ever since I came home.”

The identity of the “young lady” will perhaps be apparent without

In 1901 Prof. Geikie was made an Honorary Member of the New York
Academy of Sciences, his name having been brought up by his friend
Prof. Stevenson. In writing to thank the latter he speaks of his hope
of being again able to visit America, saying that as soon as “my lads
clear out from the nest, it will be easier for Mrs Geikie and me to go
off on a long holiday.” The future careers of his sons were at this
time occupying a large share of his thoughts, for the three elder boys
were ready to begin life on their own account.

He had a few years before taken to bicycling, and was full of the
pleasure and health he found in the exercise. During this year also
his friend, Mr Elson of Boston, paid the family a visit at Beauly
during the summer holiday, a visit of which Mr Elson speaks with
both enthusiasm and gratitude in later letters.

The next year or two repeat the same tale of work and play, the latter
including much bicycling, and a visit to Norway in 1903. In 1903 he
writes to his eldest son:--“To-day I am sixty-four, and feel no older
than I was twenty years ago. Indeed I am younger than I was four or
five years ago.” Of work it need only be said that new editions of two
of his books appeared in these years, _Earth Sculpture_ in 1902, and
_Outlines of Geology_ (fourth edition) in 1903. Mention of an entirely
new book may be reserved for the next chapter. A pleasant little
incident of the summer of 1903 was a postcard from the Glacialists’
Excursion of the International Geological Congress, who sent, from
Telfs in Tyrol, “Greetings and best wishes to the Nestor of Glacial
Geology.” Such greetings were a frequent and always a pleasant




During 1904 Prof. Geikie began to suffer from an affection of the
knee which troubled him for some years, and proved to be a form of
rheumatism. In October he writes to his son telling him of the progress
of his new book, which was published the next year as _Structural and
Field Geology for Students_, and in a few years’ time ran into a second
edition. With his usual optimism he hoped to have it out early in
the New Year, if not before, but by the following April he was still
busy with proofs, and publication did not occur till June. Writing in
April he says:--“The last sheet of my book will be off to the printer
to-morrow, and the book itself will, I hope, appear before the end of
the month. I shall feel like a fish out of water with no scribbling
on hand. Nothing like it for filling up vacant hours.” When writing
this letter he was on the eve of starting off for a visit to Ayr, in
the hope that a course of bicycling would “supple” the leg. In this,
however, he was disappointed, and in summer he and Mrs Geikie went to
Wildbad in Würtemberg, where he hoped to find a cure.

The baths, temporarily at least, did him much good, but his
fellow-patients, mostly of German nationality, did not please him, and
his letters are full of humorous complaints in regard to them. He was
keenly interested also in the nature of the water, being convinced that
its curative properties were not due to the constituents apparent on
analysis but to some of the rarer elements, such as radium, present
though undetected. The suggestion has been made and confirmed in regard
to other waters since, but his keenness on the problem is of interest
as showing that there was no failure of mental power. His letters to
his doctor son on the physiological effects of the waters are full
of his old _verve_ and clearness of exposition. Characteristically,
however, he breaks off the scientific discussion to speak of the “fat
Fraus and Herren,” whom he and his wife daily watch “as they slowly
waddle and roll to and fro” near the Trinkhalle. His impressions he
sums up in the following verses:--

    The typical Frau, to my British mind,
    Is preposterous in front and prodigious behind:
    Her digestion is sound--for, ’tis very clear,
    Her grub she dissolves in an ocean of beer.
    Her lord, who is equally round and obese,
    Rolls along by her side, with a grunt and a wheeze--
    Rolls along, did I say?--they do not roll far,
    But rotate within reasonable reach of a bar.

With perhaps some recollection of his early studies of Heine, he takes
eye measurements of the average German lady, and winds up with a vivid
description of an ordinary German’s meal, and a disgusted--“But the
most of these people are gross eaters.”

During 1906, as indeed until his death, he was carrying on a constant
correspondence with Prof. Stevenson of New York, in which many
questions--geological, social, political, personal, and so forth--came
up for discussion. Thus in January 1906 he says, speaking of his sons
and their careers:--“All the birds are out of our nest now, all save
one wee lassie who remains to brighten our hearts with laughter and
song.” By this time his eldest son was established in a practice at
Ayr, the next two were working as mining engineers in Borneo, and the
youngest was studying music in Germany.

During this year the rheumatic knee still troubled him, and a visit
to Harrogate to try the waters there did not produce much permanent
benefit. The summer was spent in Ayrshire, but was saddened by the
sudden death of a favourite niece, who had been almost a daughter of
the house during the long years when the family consisted only of boys,
and was on holiday with her uncle and aunt at the time of the acute
illness which caused her death.

In 1907 his eldest son was married, and there is a charming letter
written to him on his wedding tour, with much wise advice about
matrimony, mingled with personal experiences. Among other things the
writer says:--“When I went on my honeymoon I took a geological hammer
with me, but the geology did not count for much. I think the hammer
was used chiefly for digging up roots and ferns for your mother, or
for knocking off bits of rock that were covered with gay lichens.” The
young couple had gone to Devonshire, and this sent the father back to
Herrick, and that writer’s description of “dull Devonshire.”

In the autumn Prof. Geikie had the pleasure of meeting Prof. Stevenson
of New York, who came to London for the Centenary Celebration of the
Geological Society there. At the end of November he writes to his
eldest son, saying:--“My work at College is easy this winter, for I
feel in much better health than I have done for two or three years.
My lameness is practically cured, and I begin to think that I may yet
be able to go with May to her first ball, and dance a reel with the
nicest-looking girl in the room--as usual.”

In the spring of 1908 Prof. and Mrs Geikie and their daughter, together
with a niece, went to Portugal, which they all enjoyed greatly. In the
early part of this year also the first grandchild, a little girl, was
born. Another event of the year was the translation of _Structural
Geology_ into French.

The correspondence with Prof. Stevenson was still going on, and
there was an interesting letter from the latter in August. He was
contemplating retiral from his professorship, while Prof. Geikie had
no wish to give up his own post, and the two discussed the question of
the desirable age for the event. Prof. Stevenson wished to have leisure
to complete some private work of his own, and his letter contains the
following interesting passage:--

 You were a fortunate man: you struck out into an unexplored field and
 you lived to correct your own errors. Yours became the monumental
 monograph on the Glacial period: the volume is in all libraries
 and it never can be ignored safely by even the shrewdest and most
 unscrupulous of borrowers. A merciful Providence directed your steps
 toward a problem of world-wide interest. Your great-grandchildren will
 see your work quoted in all standard treatises. Like the rest of us
 you have brought many loads of bricks for the geological edifice, but,
 unlike most of us, you have shared in the work of construction.

The summer of this year was spent at an east coast watering-place,
where the weather was wet and cold. Prof. Geikie was frankly bored, and
expresses himself in a letter to his eldest son with a vividness which
will appeal to all who have had a similar experience. The letter is
long--its composition was doubtless the occupation of a hopelessly bad
day--and we shall quote only some extracts:--“Our rooms are so small we
are constantly tumbling over each other and gnashing our teeth at each
other.... I have got to loathe that beach, and to hate the sound of the
waves, and the smells of the village, and the raucous voices of the
natives and their sluttish ways. I have been reading a very interesting
book upon the cemeteries of Etruria. Some of the painted sepulchres
must be quite cheerful, and I really think if one could hire such a
tomb for the summer it would be better than taking a house in Caledonia
stern and wild. Of course we should only sleep in the sepulchre--a
good lamp would give all the light required. We should select one on
a hill-side near to which no motors could possibly come, quiet and
retired, with only sheep and cattle for our neighbours.... From the
doorway of the tomb we could feast our eyes on unrivalled scenery, bask
in the sun, scent the soft zephyrs with the aroma of tobacco, and envy
no man.... The geology would interest me, but what I would chiefly
enjoy would be blue skies, warm sunshine, absence of whirlwinds and
tornadoes, with none of that blighting easterly haar. No wonder the
majority of Scotsmen are Calvinists and Radicals--their country is
enough to make them that--and worse, if it were possible.”

A little later in the letter, however, he admits to having had
one really good day, when he and Mrs Geikie made an excursion
together:--“We had a bag loaded up with grub, kettle, teapot, spirit
lamp, etc., the weight of which was not inconsiderable. I would have
dropped it, but your mother was so happy with the prospect of tea by
the sad seashore, that my heart melted within me. (I must say, however,
that my whole body was in a melting condition before we got back.)”

In 1909 his second grandchild was born, another girl, which brings from
the grandfather the remark:--“Girls are far the nicest, especially when
a father gets old and wants some one to bring him his slippers, or to
fill and light his pipe. Boys are of no use in a family; they only make
noises, damage the furniture, harass their mothers--and, in short, they
are the very devil.” Writing in March to his son, he returns to the
question of his resignation, saying:--“For myself, I don’t feel like
resigning just yet! I can walk like any other Christian, and enjoy my
work as much as ever: and my class keeps up its numbers.”

In the summer he had an invitation to go to Boston to be present at
the inauguration of Dr Abbott Lawrence Lowell as President of Harvard
University, and at the same time to deliver another series of lectures
at the Lowell Institute in Boston. He refused the invitation, however,
though with regret, for he shrank from the long voyage across the
Atlantic. Another pleasant incident of the year was the publication
of Profs. Penck and Brückner’s _Die Alpen im Eiszeitalter_, which was
dedicated to “James Geikie, dem Verfasser von _The Great Ice Age_, dem
Landsmann von John Playfair.”

One of the two authors of the book, Prof. Penck of Berlin, was, as has
been indicated here, an old friend of Prof. Geikie’s. The two first met
in 1883, and, as we have already stated, Prof. Penck had repeatedly
acknowledged his scientific debt to the author of _The Great Ice
Age_, while there was a personal tie in addition. In 1914 Prof. Penck
received the Gold Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, and
was Prof. Geikie’s guest at the time when the presentation was made.

In the summer of that fateful year, however, Prof. Penck was one of the
foreign guests at the Australian meeting of the British Association,
and was in Australia at the outbreak of war. In the opinion of his
hosts, his behaviour, in an admittedly difficult situation, lacked
the perfect “correctness” which was desirable, and this both in
Australia and on the homeward journey. Some indiscretions in the way
of sketching and photographing in the vicinity of military works led
to his being detained for a time in London on his return. During this
period he corresponded with Prof. Geikie on geological matters. After
the latter’s death he wrote to Mrs Geikie from Germany a letter which,
in spite of the circumstances indicated above, and in spite also of
certain phrases which jar, cannot be regarded as anything but sincere.
We quote from it the following passages, which form a notable tribute.
The letter, it should be stated, was written in English:--

 James Geikie belongs to those who have influenced most my scientific
 evolution. His clear way of seeing things and his reasoning made a
 convincing impression on me, and though I never listened to one of
 his lectures, I felt always to be one of his students. He was my
 master. His _Great Ice Age_ showed me the ways to understand the
 glacial deposits of Central Europe: his _Prehistoric Europe_ arose my
 interest for prehistoric questions: his views on mountains, valleys
 and lakes gave me the base for my morphological work. He made me also
 acquainted with English and Scotch, with the life on the other side of
 the Channel, with English poetry, for he was a poet himself. And now
 he is dead, and he died in the year of the great war, which breaks the
 strongest links between our peoples.

 I am not superstitious and I do not lay stress on this coincidence
 of facts. I hope what I believe he would hope too, that the struggle
 of the nations will have one day its end, and that peace will come
 again which unites the different nations for great scientific works.
 But while the peoples are still fighting, I must express my heartiest
 sympathy to my old friend’s wife.

Returning to the chronological order of events in Prof. Geikie’s
last years, we find that the year 1910 was an unfortunate one, for
he had a sharp attack of pneumonia in the spring. From this he made
eventually a wonderful recovery, but the process was somewhat slow.
Before his illness he had begun the book which was published in 1913
as _Mountains: their Origin, Growth, and Decay_, but his health, and
the time it took to collect the beautiful illustrations, delayed its
appearance. A letter from his brother, Sir Archibald, in September 1910
to Mrs Geikie speaks of his wonderful recovery, and goes on to say:--“I
hope he won’t overtax his strength at College. With so splendid an
installation for the Geological Department the temptation to do so must
be great. I don’t know of any college or university that is better
fitted out for geological teaching than Edinburgh now is.”

In this year Prof. Geikie retired from the presidentship of the Royal
Scottish Geographical Society, and his retiral was the occasion of the
presentation of his portrait, painted by Mr A. E. Walton, R.S.A., to
the Society, a replica being at the same time given to Mrs Geikie. The
ceremony of unveiling took place in the Society’s Rooms on 7th November
1911, when Prof. Geikie’s old friend and colleague, Dr John Horne,
gave a short address on the scientific career of the original of the

It may be noted here that the fact that Dr Horne had for many years
been living in Edinburgh explains the absence of letters in later
years, for personal intercourse had taken the place of correspondence.
Dr Horne retired from the Geological Survey in this year of 1911, and
in a letter to Prof. Stevenson, Prof. Geikie speaks of a dinner given
to him by present and former colleagues on the occasion of his retiral.
Writing in March, he says:--“Last night Dr Horne (Geol. Survey)
was entertained by his present and former colleagues. My brother,
wonderfully hale and hearty, was in the Chair. Horne retires from the
Survey in June. It seems a short time ago when he first started work in
the Survey as a lad under my guidance. But upon reflection I see the
‘short time’ = 44 years! When I think of it, old age seems to have come
upon me all at once.”

Other incidents of 1911 were a spring holiday in Devonshire and a
summer one in Switzerland, while in autumn Prof. and Mrs Geikie were
at the Centenary celebrations at St Andrews University. Of these,
Prof. Geikie sends a lively description to his daughter. He enjoyed
the proceedings very much on the whole, but found many of the meetings
and entertainments too long for his taste and strength. Of one dinner
he complains that the speakers “not only exhausted time but encroached
upon eternity.”

Towards the end of the year, now that the question of resignation was
beginning to demand an early decision, Prof. Geikie resolved to present
to the University the large collection of books and pamphlets which he
and his brother Sir Archibald had made for the use of the students of
the geological classes. A letter from the Secretary of the University
Court, written at the close of December, says:--“The Court desires me
to communicate to you, and through you to your brother, Sir Archibald,
in conjunction with whom this valuable collection of scientific works
was made, their most cordial thanks. The loyalty to ‘Alma Mater,’ on
the part of Sir Archibald and yourself, has been warmly appreciated by
the Court.”

The chief incident of 1912 was a visit to London to take part in the
celebrations of the 250th anniversary of the Royal Society, of which
his brother, Sir Archibald, was president. In the following year
Prof. Geikie was elected President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh,
an honour of which he was very proud. He held this position while
his brother was still President of the London Society--a somewhat
remarkable coincidence. In writing to congratulate him on the
appointment, Sir Archibald says:--“I hope it will not give as much work
and worry as my Chair here has given me.”

In the early part of 1913 Prof. Geikie delivered in Edinburgh the
Munro lectures, which were published the following year as _The
Antiquity of Man in Europe_, and of it his old friend Prof. Stevenson
says:--“This is no old man’s book.” In 1913, as already stated, the
book on _Mountains_ was published, and was dedicated to the author’s
“Old Friends and Colleagues on the Council of the Royal Scottish
Geographical Society.”

The summer of 1913 was spent in Skye, and there Prof. Geikie employed
his leisure, as so often in holiday times, in writing verses. A few
stanzas may be quoted:--

    Tired of Auld Reekie’s stink and din,
      My thoughts fly far away,
    And bear me on until I win
      The shores of Broadford Bay.

    O there, I know, the heavens are bright,
      Keen is the air and pure,
    And calm the day, and still the night,
      And rest and sleep secure.

    Auld Reekie, very dear art thou,
      And yet, tho’ fair to see,
    Ten months within thy gates, I trow,
      Are quite enough for me.

    .      .      .      .      .

    Ended at last the weary round!
      Good-bye to leaden skies:
    With every mile we onward bound
      Our spirits higher rise.

    Onward o’er straths, thro’ mountain glens,
      Past shimmering lochs and streams,
    Until we view, with all its Bens,
      The island of our dreams.

    And there we live the life that’s good,
      No care, no stress, no strain,
    With heart revived and brain renewed,
      Lost youth comes back again.

But if, as these verses show, holiday times still as of yore brought a
sudden rebound of spirits, the strain of life was obviously beginning
to tell. A pathetic letter has been preserved which was written to
an old student, now Dr M‘Alpine of the Department of Agriculture,
Victoria, in the spring of 1914. In it the writer says:--“Edinburgh has
changed much within the last thirty years. To me it is a very different
place, for I have seen so many of my old friends and companions pass
away. The ghosts of those I have lost crowd about me, and like every
old chap I feel the pathos of life. But I cultivate the philosophy of
Daft Jamie Gordon, and believe it ‘as weel to dee goin’ as sittin’.’ So
I work away and still find much to interest me in this workaday world.”

In an accompanying letter Dr M‘Alpine recalls an incident of his
student days which made a great impression upon him. One day, while
with a party who were being taken over Arthur’s Seat by Prof. Geikie,
the discussion turned from the igneous rocks of the hill to the
evidences of former glaciation. Prof. Geikie carefully removed the
turf from some rocks near the summit to show the finger-marks of the
vanished ice, and then as carefully replaced the grass in order that
the evidence of the past might be preserved. For one of his students at
least the unconscious act read an unforgettable lesson of reverence.

This message from across the sea may serve to suggest how much gain
came from those years which sometimes seemed to be spent largely in
a weary round of drudgery. It is not only in his books that the dead
man still speaks to the world. That, in fair weather and in foul,
in the prime of manhood and when age was creeping on, Prof. Geikie
led successive bands of often raw youths and maidens over those
hill-sides, has helped to give them an interest which Nature alone
could not give, a charm which untrodden ways can never attain. On those
grassy slopes an old man saw visions and young men dreamed dreams, and
the dreams and the visions have become a part of our island heritage.

In the spring of 1914 Prof. and Mrs Geikie went to stay at Appin. A
friend of the family, a keen entomologist, was to have been of the
party, but was at the last unable to come. From Appin Prof. Geikie sent
her a series of verses to console her for the disappointment, which was
not, he says, really a disappointment, for a heavy storm had destroyed
all insect life in her customary collecting-grounds. A few of the lines
may be quoted:--

    O come nae mair to Appin, lass!
    Here things are at an unco’ pass!
    A tempest rages o’er the land,
    Uprootin’ trees on every hand;
    Cauld rains and sleet in torrents fa’--
    The hills are hidden, ane and a’;
    Naething but waves and clouds we find,
    Naething we hear but screechin’ wind.
    Ahint the dykes, wi’ heads downcast,
    The kye seek shelter frae the blast;
    Distracted wi’ the wintry weather
    The sheep are huddled a’ thagether:
    The birds, puir things, are blawn awa’--
    Even the sea-mew and the craw.
    You needna come to Appin noo
    The wiley beetle to pursue:
    Clockers and bugs o’ every kind
    Are bashed and batter’d by the wind,
    And kill’d are a’ the chrysalises--
    Dear to the heart o’ learned Misses.

To Appin also the family returned in summer, after Prof. Geikie’s
retirement from the Chair at Edinburgh, and it was there that they got
the news of the outbreak of war. Prof. Geikie gave his last lecture at
Edinburgh on 19th June, and his successor, a former student of his own,
Prof. Jehu of St Andrews, was appointed shortly afterwards.

The rest of the story is soon told, for Prof. Geikie’s hope that his
retiral from the professorship would give him time for his own work
was not destined to be fulfilled. The autumn was spent--as all spent
that fateful autumn--in watching and waiting, but unlike some of his
fellow-countrymen, Prof. Geikie, if he never doubted of the ultimate
result, was yet sure from the first that the war would be long and
terrible. He was not well throughout the winter, for an attack of
influenza in November weakened him, and he seemed to have lost his
power of recovery. Later he suffered from his old enemy, dyspepsia,
though there did not appear to be any particular cause for alarm. On
the 1st of March he died suddenly as the result of a heart attack, some
months before completing his seventy-sixth year.

He died as he would himself have wished to die, without any slow
progress of decay, and without knowledge that the end was so near.

His contributions to science are discussed in the section which
follows: his personal character should be apparent from what has been
already said, without the need of an elaborate analysis. As a friend
wrote to Mrs Geikie in the first days of her loss:--“There was always
an out-of-door atmosphere about him, like a strong wind sweeping over
the moors bringing life and health with it;” for the hills and open
country which he loved had taught him much.

In sum, he was through and through one of the island folk, a true
native of “this little island, this England,” with its wide, wind-swept
moorlands, its disciplined freedom, its ordered life, and had in
addition the strong individuality of the northerner to whom nothing
comes without labour. Even the _milieu_ in which he was born is
significant, for it was that from which so many of the intellectuals of
Scotland have come; and it is noteworthy that he remained a Scot to the
end, at once fiercely critical of his country and fellow-countrymen,
and full of intense love for the one and of profound sympathy with the
other. He never, like some anglicised Scots, sold his birthright for
a mess of pottage, or faltered in the conviction that he was the heir
of a glorious heritage, won by the toil and sweat of generations, and
the result was to give something of that poise and assuredness which
those who are false to their own traditions can never possess. It
will be clear also that there was nothing of the dry-as-dust pedant
about him, for he was above all things a man, one for whom life in all
its aspects was sweet. He gave freely--to the world of his labours,
to his intimates of his affection, and he received much--honour from
his fellows, and what he perhaps prized more, the love of those who
knew the real man beneath the northern shyness and reserve.

All is transitory--his conclusions may be disputed, new lights may
be thrown on problems which seemed to him conclusively solved; but
the nation which can produce such men can never be poor, and his
uprightness, steadfastness, and simplicity of character enabled him to
leave an abiding imprint upon his day and generation.





In 1861, at the age of twenty-two, James Geikie, as stated in Chapter
II., became an officer of the Geological Survey and determined to
devote his life to scientific work.

For seventy years, ever since the time of the great discussions
about the theories of Hutton and Playfair in the closing days of the
eighteenth century, the inhabitants of Edinburgh had been keenly alive
to the attractions of geological speculation. These older controversies
had died down, and the science was gradually establishing itself on a
broad basis of recorded facts and observations. It was not yet included
among the subjects which had a place of honour in the University
curriculum, though the professors of natural history since the time of
Jameson had delivered lectures on geology (or geognosy as it was often
called). Prof. Edward Forbes, who succeeded Jameson, and Prof. Fleming
(of the Theological College) were both accomplished geologists. The
Edinburgh Geological Society had been established in 1834, and though
it did not as yet publish _Transactions_, it included many active
geologists in the list of its members. Geology, with its mixture of
open-air activities, hard facts of observation, and rich opportunities
for speculative controversy, has always possessed an attraction for
Scotsmen, and many of them have excelled in it. In the Scottish capital
in the early sixties the burly figure of Hugh Miller was very well
known. His writings, with their curious mixture of geological and
theological matters, of fossil fishes and final causes, were very
widely read at that time, and the sad tragedy of his death, the result
of an overworked brain, was fresh in the memory of all.

A man of very different qualities, but a brilliant and thoroughly
reliable geologist, who held a high place in the intellectual life
of Edinburgh, was Charles Maclaren, one of the founders and for many
years the editor of the _Scotsman_ newspaper. His special field of
work was the geology of the district around the Firth of Forth, a
region filled with the most striking examples of geological structure
and the effects of geological processes. Maclaren was constantly
exploring the phenomena of this neighbourhood, and the results of
his observations appeared regularly as articles in the _Scotsman_.
No doubt this kept the science prominently before the public; few
newspapers at the present time would venture to print columns of exact
and rather technical description of the geological features of the
district in which they are published. Maclaren died in August 1866, the
year in which a second and much enlarged edition of his volume on the
_Geology of Fife and the Lothians_ was published. In the same year the
_Transactions of the Edinburgh Geological Society_ began to appear, but
the Royal Physical Society, a successor of the Wernerian Society, had
for several years been issuing _Proceedings_. Archibald Geikie had read
a paper on the Geology of Strath in Skye to the Edinburgh Geological
Society in 1853, and among the geologists of note who attended the
meetings were Rose, Dr Page, Prof. Foster Heddle, and Dr Hunter of
Carluke. Dr Page, afterwards Professor of Geology at Newcastle-on-Tyne,
was a well-known popular lecturer on geology, and did a good deal to
keep alive an interest in the science.

In later years James Geikie often acknowledged his indebtedness to
Prof. George Wilson, and the stimulus he had received from him when
a young man bent on scientific studies. Wilson was Professor of
Technology in Edinburgh University, a subject no longer included in the
University curriculum. It seems to have comprised parts of dynamics,
mechanical engineering and applied chemistry. Wilson was a man of great
personal charm, exceedingly well informed, and always willing to help
young students along the path of learning. He was interested in geology
also, and undertook to write the life of Edward Forbes, but finished
only the first six chapters, and the work was ultimately completed by
Archibald Geikie.

Although James Geikie was always a great reader, it is not likely that
he had more than an elementary knowledge of geology when he joined the
Survey in 1861. Trained geologists, however, in those days were much
less common than they are now, and the Survey was prepared to enrol
men who had a good general education and showed special inclination
and aptitude for this line of work. Careful personal selection must
have been exercised, for many of those who then joined its ranks
rose subsequently to high eminence in science. In field geology no
better training could have been given than was adopted for these young
men. They were sent out day by day with surveyors who had acquired a
knowledge of field work, and were inspected regularly by experienced
geologists, who corrected their errors and helped to solve their
difficulties. As already noted in Part I. (see p. 20), his first work
was the addition of drift lines to the solid maps of parts of Fife and
the Lothians, and the drifts of the low grounds of Central Scotland
remained to the close of his life the subject which interested him
above all others, and with which he had the fullest acquaintance in the

When Geikie began to map both the solid and drift geology of a hitherto
unsurveyed district, he was sent to Ayrshire and West Lanarkshire,
where he undertook the survey of a large area stretching from
Eaglesham southwards to New Cumnock. His brother was mapping, or had
already mapped, a broad strip extending inwards from the coast-line
and reaching from near Largs in the north to Dailly in the south,
while to the east of him was Peach engaged in the survey of Southern
Lanarkshire. In those days a fairly large area (several hundred square
miles) was assigned to each geologist. The whole district had to be
very carefully examined and the results recorded on topographical maps
on the scale of six inches to a mile. Each geologist was expected
to make a complete examination of his ground and to note all the
particulars regarding it. Petrology was as yet in its infancy, and
no very minute classification of volcanic rocks was to be expected;
but the glacial geology and economic geology were to be carefully
investigated and fossil localities noted, though, for the purpose of
collecting fossils, the assistance of special officers was provided.
The determination of all fossils requiring critical skill was in the
hands of the Survey palæontologists. Each geologist surveyed from a
hundred to a hundred and fifty miles in a field season, which, allowing
for holidays, amounted to seven or eight months, and to do this
required regular hard work, much strenuous walking, and the power of
concentrating on the general features, and not allowing one’s attention
to be absorbed by inconsequent details.

James Geikie seems to have had no difficulty whatever in picking up the
essentials of field geology. He was very diligent and had sufficient
physical strength for his work. In time he became a great walker,
thinking nothing of covering fifty miles in a day. The open-air life
suited him perfectly. He had one of the gifts most valuable to a
field-geologist, sometimes described as “an eye for the country,”
the faculty of interpreting the geological meanings that underlie
surface features. Although never a professed palæontologist he had a
working knowledge of Carboniferous fossils, and he was always a keen
and critical observer of rocks both in a fresh and in a weathered
condition. His early maps, judged even by the standards of the present
day, were astonishingly good, and always give the impression that he
went thoroughly into the evidence so far as it was available. He was
cautious and thorough, and as a result of this his maps show very few
deletions due to changes of opinion as fuller information was acquired
during the progress of his work. From the first he exhibited great
ability as a draughtsman, and his maps and sections are not only very
clear, well-proportioned, and pleasing to the eye, but show also an
individuality which arose from natural gifts, and was not acquired by
copying models.

Although at that time geologists on the Survey were not moved about
the country so frequently as is now the case, but settled down for
several seasons in a well-defined area, James Geikie had no reason to
complain of a lack of variety in the ground allotted to him. His early
stations in Fife and Kinross included stratified and igneous rocks of
Old Red Sandstone and of Carboniferous Age, and in Peeblesshire he
made acquaintance with Silurian rocks, which at that time were still
very imperfectly understood, and presented many difficult problems
then unsolved. It was in Ayrshire, however, that his powers most fully
displayed themselves, and the long period of field work in that county
from 1865 to 1872 undoubtedly saw the development of his abilities
as a field-geologist. In after years many of the best illustrations
both of structural geology and of glacial geology that enlivened his
books and his lectures were culled from the note-books in which he
constantly recorded the results of his observations in that field. From
his letters it seems that he disliked the coalfield geology, which
necessitated the examination of mining plans, frequent attendance at
colliery engineers’ offices, and great absorption in details which are
of little general importance. But no one would have suspected this from
his field maps, which, if we remember how rapidly his work was done,
show much detail of underground structures taken from colliery plans.

In Ayrshire he had for colleagues Sir Archibald Geikie and Dr Peach;
one of these was ultimately to select volcanic geology as his province,
while the other attained great eminence as a palæontologist. Already
James Geikie was absorbed in glacial geology; and each of the trio
of geologists, though doing ostensibly the same work, had already
chosen the special line of investigation in which he was ultimately to
become a master. He had a great affection, too, for the warm-hearted,
hospitable people of the west of Scotland, and in “braid Scots” used
to relate many humorous episodes in which the sturdy farmers and “sma’
lairds” displayed their pawky humour. No full or adequate account of
the work he did in Ayrshire in these years has ever been published.
The short descriptions of sheets 22, 23, and 19, published by the
Geological Survey, were in large part written by James Geikie, but,
owing to the necessities of official publication entailing great
brevity, they contain merely an outline of his main conclusions. The
geologists who revised that ground forty years after the original
survey are unanimous in regretting that more adequate description of
the evidence which James Geikie had collected was not placed before the

After leaving Ayrshire he was transferred to Kelso, and subsequently to
the district ranging from Perth to Dunkeld. From a geological point of
view this ground was considerably less varied; but as his note-books
show, he was by this time deeply absorbed in glacial and Pleistocene
geology, and every scrap of information regarding the latest stages
in the physical history of Scotland was most carefully recorded and
its importance weighed. Many of the conclusions he had already arrived
at in Ayrshire were confirmed by fresh evidence in these years. And
the estuary of the Tay, with its rich succession of late-glacial
and post-glacial accumulations, became of great importance in his
interpretation of the “glacial succession,” a subject to which the
remainder of his life was devoted more than to any other.

The circumstances that determined his bent towards the investigation
of glacial geology cannot perhaps be fully elucidated now in the
absence of any statement from his own pen, but it is not difficult
to find many reasons that may have influenced him. In considering
this subject we may glance briefly at the state of knowledge of this
department of geology at the time when he began field work. The years
1861 to 1865 saw a very remarkable development of interest in glacial
geology, occasioned by a sudden appreciation of the importance of
many facts previously well known but imperfectly understood. Many
active geologists in Scotland were coming for the first time to adopt
the views which have ultimately obtained acceptance in regard to the
Pleistocene history of Scotland, and the change of opinion which
was going on was somewhat similar to the still greater change which
took place when evolution first began to take the form of a working
hypothesis or even an established law of Nature, and to sweep away a
great many honoured and treasured theories that had long held sway over
the minds of men.

The superficial deposits of sand, clay, and stones that cover the solid
rocks in the lower grounds of Scotland, often to a depth of many feet,
were considered by most geologists as being of somewhat mysterious
origin. It was well known that they contained boulders transported from
a distance. Around Edinburgh and Glasgow, for example, large blocks
of rock which must have been carried from the Southern Highlands,
fifty miles or more, were familiar to those interested in geology.
That the surfaces of the rocks on which the drift or boulder-clay
rested were striated, grooved, and fluted, was also a well-known fact.
Early in the nineteenth century a favourite explanation of these
deposits, which had been supported by the celebrated Dean Buckland,
was that they were the remains of the Deluge as described in Genesis.
This theory, however, was soon discarded though the name “Diluvial,”
still used by some writers to designate these strata, bears witness
to the former acceptance of that hypothesis. For a long time they
continued to be considered as flood deposits, laid down by “debacles”
of obscure origin. No rational explanation for these powerful “waves of
translation” could be formulated, and they failed completely to account
for the remarkable scratched surfaces on which the boulder-clay rested.
As the study of glaciers advanced, it became clear that moving ice,
bearing debris with it, could produce striations exactly like those
in question, and the boulder-clay gradually came to be considered a
glacial deposit. Very important confirmation of this hypothesis came
from the observations of Mr Smith of Jordanhill on the recent shelly
clays of the west of Scotland. Many of the mollusca which these clays
contained proved to be of species now living in Arctic seas, and the
inference was obvious that at no very distant epoch a glacial climate
had prevailed in Scotland. About the year 1837 Agassiz had been led by
his investigation of the boulder-clay of Switzerland to the conclusion
that at one time the glaciers had extended far beyond their present
limits, and had covered the plains at the foot of the Alps with a vast
confluent sheet of ice. Agassiz, in 1840, visited Scotland with Dean
Buckland, and as the result of his observations had not hesitated to
declare that Scotland also had been swathed in an ice-sheet. British
geologists, however, were slow to accept his conclusions, and the
favourite explanation of the “drifts” was that they had been laid down
at the bottom of a sea in which icebergs floated, transporting great
rock boulders from one place to another.

In 1866 the veteran geologist Charles Maclaren, then at the age of
eighty-four, published the second edition of his _Geology of Fife
and the Lothians_, and in his account of the “alluvial phenomena” of
the district he shows the transitional state in which opinion then
was passing from the iceberg hypothesis to the land-ice hypothesis.
“The dressed surfaces as well as the ‘Till’ or Diluvium [the lower
boulder-clay] seem to have been mainly due to a great envelope of ice
acting for ages; the newer alluvium, on the other hand [the upper
boulder-clay], appears to have been chiefly due to icebergs and ocean
currents. In thus attributing so much to the action of ice during
a long glacial period, it must ever be borne in mind that oceanic
currents preceded this ice action, and that similar currents must have
been in existence to transport the icebergs to which we ascribe the
erratic blocks and boulders. Alternate submergence and elevation of
the north of Europe, combined with ice on land and ice on water (in my
opinion), must satisfactorily explain these diluvial phenomena, which,
as unsettled problems, are still engaging the attention of younger

One of the ablest champions of the land-ice hypothesis
was Robert Chambers, who was widely known as a historian and a member
of the famous Edinburgh publishing firm. As early as 1852 he ranged
himself on the side of Agassiz, declaring that floating icebergs and
currents of water could not possibly be accepted as a satisfactory
explanation of the boulder-clay and striated rock-surfaces. Mr T. F.
Jamieson of Ellon was making a very careful study of the drifts of
Aberdeenshire and the adjacent counties, and had little hesitation
in accepting the theory of an extensive ice-sheet, covering these
districts and filling up all the valleys, as the explanation most in
accordance with the facts which he had observed. He admitted, however,
that subsequently there had been a great submergence during which many
of the uppermost drift deposits had been laid down.

Sir Charles Lyell, whose authority on questions of theoretical geology
at that time was paramount, was also willing to accept the former
existence of glaciers over very extensive regions of the British
Isles, and described moraines that occur in the upland valleys of
Forfarshire, though he considered the drifts of the lower grounds as
mainly at any rate deposited in cold seas in which icebergs floated.
Much more important than Lyell, or at least much more likely to exert
influence on the mind of James Geikie at an early stage in his career,
was Sir Andrew Ramsay, then local Director of the Geological Survey.
Ramsay was a man after James Geikie’s own heart, and there can be no
doubt that his influence on Geikie was very great. We should not be
far wrong, in fact, in regarding Geikie as the direct successor of
Ramsay in the line of scientific thought. Through his whole life James
Geikie hardly departed from the position taken up by Ramsay on glacial
geology, though of course he developed many new and important fields
of investigation. There was a remarkable similarity in their outlook;
they both relied on very much the same class of evidence, depending
specially on field geology as a basis, but prepared to build up
far-reaching deductions from the facts they had observed. Most of the
theories enunciated by Ramsay were strongly and consistently maintained
by James Geikie up to the close of his career. Ramsay also was more
than a glacialist. He left a deep mark in the study of physiography,
the origin and history of British scenery, and in structural geology;
and in these subjects also James Geikie found continual inspiration.

When Geikie joined the Survey, Ramsay was at the zenith of his powers.
He had been for twenty years an active field-geologist on the Survey
staff; had travelled very extensively over Great Britain on geological
work; was a well-known man in London scientific circles; and from
his official position had unrivalled opportunities of making himself
acquainted with the field evidence bearing on all geological questions
then under review. He was endowed with great energy and a warm
imagination; a genial and hearty comrade, very fond of a joke; well
read in poetical and romantic literature; but withal a hard, untiring
worker who never spared himself or any member of his staff where duty
was concerned. The two men were in many ways alike, and no doubt they
were very soon on terms of close friendship; and to the latest days of
his life James Geikie spoke of Ramsay with deep affection and respect.

To the influence of Ramsay we must add that of his brother. Archibald
Geikie was already widely known for his geological work, and second
only to Ramsay as an authority on theoretical questions affecting
British geology. He had been appointed to the staff of the Geological
Survey in 1855, six years before James Geikie, and had rapidly risen
into prominence. Although at first he had given his adhesion to the
iceberg theory, his views had changed under the influence of Ramsay,
and in a classic paper which he read to the Geological Society of
Glasgow in 1862 he had described the glacial deposits of Scotland in
an exhaustive manner. This paper, so full in its details and so lucid
and moderate in statement, produced a great impression, at any rate in
Scotland, and clearly marked out the way along which future progress
was to be made. Though Sir Archibald Geikie subsequently made few
contributions to glacial geology, deserting this field for the study of
volcanoes, and of other parts of physical and historical geology, he
did a very great service to science in so clearly defining his position
on a much debated subject by publishing this paper.

As time went on, some of the younger geologists who had joined the
Survey after James Geikie became enthusiastic workers at glacial
science, and came to earn a reputation only second to Geikie himself in
this department of geology. Of these, we may specially mention Dr John
Horne and Dr Benjamin N. Peach, both of whom became eminent authorities
on the glacial geology of Scotland. In early years they were James
Geikie’s most intimate friends; their observations were always at his
service, and their criticism and advice he greatly valued.



The first edition of _The Great Ice Age_ was completed in manuscript
in 1873, and in the previous year James Geikie had already published
a series of papers in the _Geological Magazine_ which clearly
outlined his main conclusions. All the essential features which were
to distinguish his life-work in this highly controversial field are
already recognisable in these papers. The principal characteristic
of _The Great Ice Age_ is its literary ability, the power of lucidly
expounding intricate scientific theories and sketching the evidence
on which they rest in a manner which equally avoids prolixity and
obscurity. Although, as we have shown, he was by no means the first to
champion the cause of land ice as against floating ice as the dominant
factor in the production of the drift, he was immediately accorded the
place of protagonist in this cause. In Scotland his views, at any rate
among his colleagues on the Survey, were those generally accepted. In
England also the Survey geologists were in agreement with him on most
of the essential points, though the submergence hypothesis and the
efficiency of floating icebergs were long held in esteem in the sister
kingdom, and have not yet completely fallen into disrepute. In Germany,
Norway, Sweden, Holland, and in North America there had as yet been no
general enlightenment on the real merits of this controversy. It may be
noted that in the first edition of his _Great Ice Age_, James Geikie
did not deny the fact that a great submergence accompanied the main
glaciation of Britain. He accepted it indeed, though in later years he
saw reason to modify this opinion.

The efficiency of land ice to explain most of the puzzling features
of the drifts was the main thesis which the book was written to
uphold. But there were many subordinate problems which came up for
consideration. One of these is the amount of erosion which the
ice-sheets and glaciers had produced. In this James Geikie followed
very closely in the footsteps of Ramsay; on the origin of rock-basins,
fjords, and sea lochs there is in fact practically complete agreement
in their views. This is the more significant, because Ramsay was at
that time far ahead of educated geological opinion on these matters,
and it is only quite recently that his views have received acceptance
in some of the most influential geological circles.

Another burning question which fell to be considered was the evidence
for or against interglacial warm periods; a question which even at
the present time is almost as keenly debated as it was in 1874 when
_The Great Ice Age_ was published. As years went past and successive
editions of the book appeared, the battle of land ice _versus_ floating
ice may be said to have been definitely closed; and James Geikie’s name
as an expounder of glacial geology came to be more and more closely
associated with his views on the glacial succession (the question, that
is, whether there was only one epoch of glaciation, or several epochs
separated by periods in which the climate was much milder). On this
subject, as on glacial erosion, James Geikie took up his position very
strongly from the first and maintained it to the end.

In considering this branch of James Geikie’s scientific work we may
trace a considerable amount of influence exerted on his thought by
James Croll, one of the most remarkable geologists that Scotland
has produced. Croll was a man who started life in a very humble
position; he educated himself, and by sheer power of intellect and
dogged perseverance he attained eminence in scientific work. He was
at once a metaphysician and a physicist, but it is only with the
latter aspect of his teaching that we are here concerned. Though
quite unschooled in mathematics he was daunted by no difficulties,
and by laborious calculation he worked out intricate problems of
astronomy; and the accuracy of his solutions was afterwards confirmed
by professional mathematicians and astronomers. Croll saw at a very
early stage that to land ice must be ascribed practically the whole of
the glacial phenomena of Scotland. He inferred from a number of facts
that the North Sea had been filled with Scandinavian ice during the
maximum stages of glaciation, and he suggested lines of research to
James Geikie, John Horne, and Benjamin Peach that led to important
contributions to the literature of Scottish glacial geology. Croll
pondered long and deeply over the causes of the Ice Age and the origin
of changes of climate in general, and the result was a series of
papers in which he maintained that changes in the eccentricity of the
earth’s orbit and the obliquity of the ecliptic, accompanied by other
astronomical processes, might produce epochs of cold climate in one
hemisphere with warmer conditions in the opposite hemisphere. These
changes might under certain conditions be sufficient to account for the
existence of ice-sheets. During the later years of his life Croll was
a member of the staff of the Geological Survey of Scotland, and this
silent, reserved, studious man was widely recognised as a most original

James Geikie was much attached to Croll, and while he never professed
to be versed in the mathematical branches of science, he was prepared
to accept the accuracy of Croll’s theories. The other causes of
glaciation which had been advanced by various geologists, such as
Lyell’s hypothesis of elevation and depression of the land, he believed
to be quite inadequate, and in the first edition of _The Great Ice Age_
he states Croll’s hypothesis with evident approval, or at any rate
regards it as the only explanation at that time offered which could be
held to be at all in accordance with the facts.

From this position Geikie never receded. In subsequent years Croll’s
hypothesis was the subject of strenuous discussion. Eminent astronomers
like Sir Robert Ball found in it a satisfactory explanation of
Pleistocene glaciation. Equally eminent astronomers like Simon
Newcomb after testing it found it wanting. The subject as a whole
was beyond the scope of Geikie’s work, which was geological rather
than astronomical or meteorological; and in his later years he rather
avoided the discussion of the causes of glaciation, but he made it
clear that in his opinion, if Croll’s hypothesis failed, no other
explanation could be regarded as adequate.

As a corollary of Croll’s theory, it followed that there had been more
than one period of arctic cold in the northern hemisphere, and that
intercalated between the cold periods there were epochs of warmer
climate--interglacial periods, as they are now called. The evidence
for the existence of interglacial periods had appealed to Geikie in
his field work, and he had become convinced that in Scotland there had
been at least one interval of mild climatic conditions separating two
epochs of glacial severity. This may have to some extent predisposed
him to favour Croll’s hypothesis as being in greatest accordance with
the geological facts. For it cannot be said that James Geikie was in a
hurry to maintain the complexity of the Ice Age. In the first edition
of his book, though much engrossed in the description of the beds
intercalated with the boulder-clay and “till,” and obviously inclined
to attribute great importance to them, he says very little about warm
interglacial periods, and the reader is not led to suppose that he
considers the evidence as of overwhelming strength. Three years later
the second edition of _The Great Ice Age_ appeared, and we find that
the author then took up a much more definite position on this subject,
and has made a great advance in his treatment of it. But already in
1873 he was convinced in his own mind that several warm interglacial
periods had interrupted the rigours of the Ice Age, though he did not
attempt to enumerate the interglacial epochs in detail, or to state
fully the conclusions at which he had arrived.

The post-glacial history of Scotland was a subject that early attracted
James Geikie’s attention. He had devoted much study to it, and was in
after years to present a masterly analysis of its stages and sequence.
To trace the connection between the Ice Age and the present day, and
to show the changes which had elapsed since the ice-sheets melted from
the surface of Britain, was to him one of the most alluring departments
of geology. A good deal of work had been done by Scottish geologists
on the study of the raised beaches of Scotland, but no general account
of their relation to one another and to the glacial boulder-clay and
moraines had appeared before the publication of the first edition of
_The Great Ice Age_. That the sea-level had undergone alterations
around our shores was sufficiently demonstrated by the raised beaches,
of which three were very well known, the 100-foot, 50-foot, and 25-foot
beaches. But some authors, such as Chambers and Mackintosh, were ready
to find raised beaches anywhere; gravel terraces at all elevations,
many of which are now known to have been the deposits of glacial rivers
and lakes, and rock escarpments and platforms of very varied origin,
were appealed to as evidence of former submergence beneath the sea.
Prof. Geikie at this stage was not altogether free from a belief in
the great submergence, or at any rate he was not prepared to challenge
its champions; but he knew how little value was to be attached to some
of the evidence cited in its support, and his own studies had led him
to a fuller understanding and a more satisfactory appreciation of the
meaning of the raised beaches and the light they threw on the varied
conditions that had prevailed in Scotland during and subsequent to the
melting of the great ice-sheet. In particular, he maintained that the
higher beaches were associated with the deposits of clay containing
glacial shells that were so well known through the researches of Smith
of Jordanhill, and belonged to a time when glacial conditions had not
completely ceased in Scotland. The 50-foot beach was associated with
the oldest relics of man in the midland valley of Scotland, while the
25-foot beach and lower beaches were laid down in climatic surroundings
differing little from those of the present day. Between the epochs of
depression which these sea-terraces recorded there had been intervals
when the land stood at a higher level, so that the earth movements
had been of an oscillating character, and not merely a succession of
uplifts with intervening pauses during which the beach-platforms were
produced. The buried forests and the peat-bogs furnished additional
evidence of the elevation and depression of the land, and hinted, not
obscurely, at the probability that changes of climate had also taken
place during post-glacial time, the warm continental epochs encouraging
the growth of trees, while the cold, damp, insular climates were
favourable to the accumulation of peat. Although these conclusions were
only sketched out and not fully stated, it is plain to the reader that
already Prof. Geikie had convinced himself of the importance of these

And in considering what is probably the most controversial problem
which the student of Pleistocene and recent times must investigate,
namely, the relation of prehistoric man to the glacial period, he
followed the same line of thought, considering that the evidence of
the mammalian remains found in caves and river gravels of Northern
Europe pointed to the conclusion that there had been great variations
of climate. The mixture of northern and southern types of animals was
not to be ascribed in his opinion to migrations arising from seasonal
changes, but was due principally to alternations of cold and heat,
each enduring for a considerable time. He advocated also the existence
of man in glacial times, and recapitulating views already enumerated
in some papers which he had published in the _Geological Magazine_,
he argued that the palæolithic gravels of England were to be regarded
as glacial and preglacial, and not, as was widely believed, of
interglacial and post-glacial age.

Lastly, we may mention a feature of the first edition of _The Great
Ice Age_ that was to become more prominent in subsequent editions,
the comparative description of the phenomena described by geologists
of many different countries. For information regarding England he was
largely indebted to his colleagues in the English Survey, principally
Green, Tiddeman, and Whitaker. The Swedish, German, Norwegian, and
continental deposits generally had perforce to be described from the
literature of the subject, a literature already very extensive. Through
his whole life Prof. Geikie was a diligent student of the literature of
his subject. The most important European languages, as already noted in
Part I., he could read with facility, and as he was in constant receipt
of copies of glacial papers from their authors, much of his time was
taken up with a study of the contemporary literature of glaciation. It
was his familiarity with the work of other investigators in this field
of scientific research that gave him his position as the representative
British glacialist, and made his works so widely read and appreciated
by foreign scientific men.

With the publication of the first edition of _The Great Ice Age_ in
1874, Prof. Geikie’s reputation as a glacial geologist of the first
rank was at once established. The book had a cordial reception and a
ready sale. Prof. Green wrote a long and very sympathetic review of
it for _Nature_, and, whether its teachings were generally accepted
or not, the author had the satisfactory proof that it had not been
neglected by the rapid exhaustion of the first edition. Within a few
months he had to set seriously about the production of a new and
enlarged edition. Much of its popularity was no doubt due to the clear
and graceful style in which it was written. The more abstruse parts of
the subject were not discussed with too much detail; great insistence
was placed on the field evidence, and the discussion was such as could
be followed by the general reader who had no special training in
geological work. A studied moderation marked the conclusions arrived
at, and no attempt was made to force a revolutionary interpretation
of glacial phenomena into prominence. A great deal also was due to
the fact that the book embodied not only its author’s work and the
hypotheses he favoured, but also the results of the observations of
many of his colleagues on the Survey who had a very wide acquaintance
with field geology, and were, on the whole, very well agreed regarding
the interpretation of the facts. The author fully acknowledged his
obligations to colleagues on the Survey staff, but at the same time
it was clear that on this subject he was the leader and not merely a
compiler of other people’s results. The dedication to Sir Andrew Ramsay
is especially significant, for from Ramsay more than from any other
geologist had inspiration been received.

Probably the effect of the book was greater in foreign countries
than in Britain. In Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and the United
States many geologists were actively prosecuting the study of
glacial deposits, and so clear and authoritative a statement of the
observations and conclusions of the Scottish glacialists had much
interest to workers in other lands. This appreciation the author valued
greatly, and it was the cause of a great enlargement in the circle
of his correspondents. He followed keenly the advance of glacial
investigation in foreign countries, and especially the new evidence
brought forward regarding changes of climate during and subsequent to
the glacial period, and the early chapters in the history of man in

The second edition, which appeared three years after the first, showed
that the author had been led to modify his views in several important
respects. The great post-glacial submergence he now considered
unproved, following in this the conclusions arrived at by Dr Jamieson
of Ellon in his studies of the Scottish glacial deposits. He recognised
also that the shelly boulder-clay of many parts of Scotland, such as
Caithness, Orkney, Shetland, Dumbartonshire, and Ayrshire, was best
explained on the lines suggested by Dr James Croll as the deposit of
an ice-sheet that had invaded the land after travelling for a time
over the sea bottom. In this we see the influence of Dr Peach and Dr
Horne’s work on the glaciation of Caithness, Shetland and Orkney, and
of Geikie’s own investigation of the glacial phenomena of the Outer
Hebrides. These changes of opinion were undoubtedly well considered,
and have been supported by subsequent discoveries. He also took up a
much bolder attitude on the question of interglacial deposits and the
relation of man to the Ice Age. While still relying to the full on the
evidence cited from Scotland in the first edition of _The Great Ice
Age_ in favour of the existence of more than one interglacial period,
he adduced the results of Skertchly’s work at Brandon as proving
that the palæolithic deposits of south-eastern England are in places
overlain by genuine boulder-clay. More prominence was also given to
the continental evidence for interglacial periods, especially to that
obtained in the Dürnten lignite of the north side of the Alps, and
of the so-called Pliocene beds of Lombardy, which even in the first
edition he had confidently claimed as being really interglacial.

The next important work from Prof. Geikie’s pen was _Prehistoric
Europe_, published in 1881. He continued to keep abreast of the rapidly
increasing literature of his subject, and although the main lines of
his treatment of it required little modification, he was continually
adding to his store of facts. _Prehistoric Europe_ did not receive
the same welcome as _The Great Ice Age_, and this could hardly be
expected. Geologists were by this time familiar with the author’s
main conclusions, and the book in some measure takes us over familiar
ground. But to the general reader it remains one of the most enjoyable
of the author’s contributions to the literature of science.

Having already expounded in his previous works the essential phenomena
of glaciation, he devotes this book especially to the consideration
of many questions of subordinate importance, though in themselves
deserving of full consideration. The interglacial problem, of course,
comes up for treatment, but he has not much to say of it that is
really new to his readers. It is interesting to note, however, that
less insistence is now laid on the Scottish evidence in favour of
interglacial periods, and the British evidence in general, and more is
said of the interglacial beds of Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland,
and other European countries. The feeling seems to have arisen in the
author’s mind that much of the British evidence was not so strong as to
carry conviction, and the work of continental geologists was rapidly
adding details of the highest significance to the store of accumulated
observations in favour of repeated glaciations of Northern Europe. We
may readily believe also that he felt it desirable to enforce on the
minds of his readers the value of much recent research done by his
fellow-scientists in other countries. Many British geologists assumed
and still maintain a very sceptical attitude regarding the value of
the British evidence for interglacial periods, and Prof. Geikie was
undoubtedly right in appealing rather to well-established facts in
adjacent countries than attempting to discuss the minutiæ of sections
often of a temporary nature and by no means well-exposed, which were
familiar to many of his British readers. It is not to be supposed,
however, that he had changed his ground; to the last he maintained the
validity of the British evidence for interglacial periods, though in
some parts of it modifications of his original statements might have
become necessary. In the nature of things the evidence collected from
so small an area as Scotland was sure to be incomplete, and to treat
Great Britain as a region apart was more likely to lead to error than
to correct results.

Another subject which he handled more fully than in _The Great Ice Age_
was the antiquity of the human relics of palæolithic type which had
been found in caves and river gravels. Many British geologists of the
highest reputation held that these were of post-glacial date, but Prof.
Geikie had always contended strongly that some at least of the deposits
containing the implements of early man were interglacial or preglacial.
Time has justified his sagacity, and it is now fairly widely recognised
that these relics date back in some cases to periods anterior at any
rate to the last glaciation of Northern Europe. The old controversy
regarding changes of climate in Pleistocene time reappears in this
volume, and the author stoutly maintains the position he had taken up
in _The Great Ice Age_, that the association of the remains of mammals
of southern and northern types in gravel deposits can be explained only
on the hypothesis that periods of genial alternated with periods of
arctic climate.

But perhaps the main purpose of this book, as seems to be indicated by
the title selected for it, was to discuss the changes that had taken
place in Europe since the melting of the ice of the last stage of the
glacial period. The phenomena of the raised beaches that encircle
our Scottish coasts, with the alluvial or “carse” clays of the river
valleys intimately associated with the beach deposits, and the peat
and buried forests of our moorlands and coasts, had fascinated Prof.
Geikie since the beginning of his glacial investigations, and he felt
that for their proper discussion more scope was required than was
afforded by such a book as _The Great Ice Age_. These problems were
full of difficulties and the evidence appeared often contradictory
or misleading, but he managed to piece it together and to arrive at
a consistent and clearly reasoned interpretation. The raised beaches
indicate, of course, changes of the level of sea and land; but these
were far more considerable than the beaches alone would indicate, as
the submerged forests that in many places are intercalated with the
beach and carse deposits show that at certain stages the land area
had been far more extensive than at present. This was confirmed by
many facts regarding the present distribution of animals and plants in
the British Isles which could not otherwise be logically explained;
and in this field of investigation he gratefully acknowledges the
assistance furnished by his old friend Dr Buchanan White, with whom
he was in close contact since he was then living in Perth. The raised
beaches also were associated with the closing phases of glaciation
in Britain, since both the 100-foot and the 50-foot beaches in the
north of Scotland showed effects of contemporaneous glacial action,
and the older marine shell beds contained shells now living only in
Arctic seas. The interpretation of the evidence to be obtained from the
study of peat-bogs and buried forests was by no means so clear, but
indubitably pointed towards the recurrence of damp cold epochs suitable
for the rapid growth of peat, separated by epochs of a different
character during which the country was overspread by a dense growth
of forest. These hypotheses had long occupied the author’s mind, and
he had pondered deeply over the evidence in support of them. Fuller
investigation in future years was destined to bring out many striking
confirmations of his opinions. It may be said that so far as his
interpretation of the post-glacial history of Scotland is concerned,
the most authoritative opinion of Scottish geologists at the present
time is in accordance with the conclusions which he had arrived at.
This alone makes the book still worth careful study by those who would
appreciate the changes our islands have undergone in the most recent
stages of their geological history, and though notable additions have
been made to the store of accumulated observations, they readily find a
place in the scheme which he has outlined.



With his appointment in 1882 to the Murchison Chair of Geology and
Mineralogy in Edinburgh University to succeed his brother Sir Archibald
Geikie, a new epoch began in James Geikie’s career. For some years
he had been District Surveyor on the Scottish Survey, a post of
considerable responsibility, and requiring the exercise of tact and
firmness, but one which presented most valuable opportunities to a
keen geologist. The Scottish Survey at that time had an exceptionally
strong personnel, and in pure field geology was setting a standard of
excellence which has rarely been surpassed. Several of his colleagues
came to be recognised in the course of a few years as scientific men
of the highest distinction, and among them there was a spirit of
camaraderie and of friendly emulation in research which made their
daily tasks a constant source of novelty and of unflagging interest.
To many of his colleagues, such as Peach, Horne, Jack, Croll, Skae,
and Irvine, James Geikie had been indebted for important information
and for the most searching criticism, combined with unselfish
appreciation of the value of his work. The ground surveyed had most
of it been previously examined only in a quite unexhaustive way,
and had consequently the attraction of novelty; it was also of very
varied structure, and, more important from his point of view, it was
rich in evidence of glacial action. No better training ground for
a field-geologist who intended to devote himself to the study of
glaciation could well be imagined.

Among the Scottish geological staff James Geikie’s position as a
field-geologist and as a glacialist was fully recognised, and he had
the unquestioning support of his colleagues. His life was full of
variety and interest. No doubt, like other men, he had made mistakes
and had been severely handled by some of his critics. Some of his early
work on the Silurian volcanic rocks of Ayrshire, for example, had
suffered greatly from his insufficient knowledge of the chemical and
mineralogical foundations on which geology rests.

Probably this criticism taught him to be more careful in speculation
and more critical in accepting evidence. But his field work, as a
whole, was of the highest standard. His field maps of Carboniferous and
Devonian ground proved to be exceptionally thorough and accurate. In
these early years, of course, it was not intended to execute a survey
on a very minute scale. The large area upon which each surveyor was
expected to report each year prevented him from spending more than a
limited time on a small district. Moreover, the literature of the
geology of Scotland was as yet by no means large. Many of the more
specialised branches of geology, such as petrology, were as yet in a
very rudimentary state. Perhaps on that account the field-geologist was
expected to be more of an all-round geologist, and to rely less on the
guidance of specialists than his successors at the present time.

The opportunities presented to him he had made use of to the fullest.
He was a born observer. The retentiveness of his memory for localities
and for geological details was extraordinary; but that he did not
trust to it exclusively his well-filled note-books bear witness. What
distinguished him specially, however, was his power of maintaining
his interest in the abstract questions of geology and the indomitable
perseverance and industry with which he pursued his researches in
spite of the distractions of field work. Not many geologists after an
arduous day in the open air could sit down, as was his habit, and spend
many hours in literary work, or in the task of mastering the papers,
in many foreign languages, in which the progress of glacial geology
was recorded. Even admitting that he was a ready writer, we must
acknowledge that his power of work at this time was enormous, and we
cannot wonder that at times he felt on the verge of a breakdown.

The testimonials which he had printed when making application for
the Professorship of Geology in Edinburgh show how thoroughly his
reputation as a scientist was established in Europe and America. His
book on _The Great Ice Age_ receives high praise from Norwegian,
Swedish, Swiss, German, Italian, and American geologists, and among his
British supporters he could number Darwin, Evans, and Hooker.

It was not, as already seen, without reluctance that James Geikie
decided to leave the Geological Survey. The earnest scientific
spirit in which its work was conducted, the intimate fellowship with
scientific men of kindred spirit, and the free open-air life had great
attractions for him. The academic life was new to him, and must have
seemed at first a cabined and cribbed existence compared with that of
a field-geologist. Yet there is no doubt the choice was a wise one. In
the higher departments of Survey work his duties would have been mostly
of an administrative nature, and much of his time would have been taken
up by routine business, very largely of a non-geological character,
which would certainly have proved uncongenial. His opportunities of
visiting the field would also have been much curtailed. Residing in
Edinburgh, he could keep in intimate touch with his former colleagues
of the Survey, and glean the most valuable results of their work
when they returned to the office each year. They were now beginning
the survey of the North and West Highlands, and were to undertake
investigations of a kind with which he was quite unacquainted. A good
deal of new information on glacial geology was being collected by them
year by year, and of course communicated to him regularly. But the
main work in hand was the unravelling of the intricate history of the
Highlands and the palæontology and petrology of the older rocks of
Scotland. This was destined to yield most brilliant results, and the
Scottish Survey was to become more famous even than it had been in the
days of Sir Andrew Ramsay; but these fields of investigation were not
those which he had chosen for his own especial study, and there can be
no doubt that as a university professor, with ample time for research
in any branch of his subject which appealed to him, he was able to
follow out his own line of work far more untrammelled than he would
have been as an officer of the Geological Survey.

To the execution of the duties of his Chair he devoted himself with
characteristic thoroughness and energy. His brother had combined
the office of Director of the Geological Survey of Scotland with
the Murchison Professorship, but James Geikie was free to give his
whole time to university work. At first, at any rate, he had little
spare time on his hands. Well versed in Scottish geology and in the
physical and structural divisions of the science, he had also a wide
knowledge of stratigraphical geology and of the geological structure of
Europe and North America. He worked hard to increase his knowledge of
mineralogy, petrology, and palæontology, even setting up a laboratory
to carry out mineral assays. Ever a skilful draughtsman, he prepared
with his own hand many drawings of landscapes, geological sections,
and the microscopic structure of rocks. He was always rather averse
to the use of the lantern to illustrate his lectures, and preferred
large wall diagrams, many of which had cost great pains to make. From
every available source he collected specimens of rocks, minerals,
and fossils. He was unsparing in his efforts to make his subject as
interesting to his students as possible, and to relieve them of the
tedious work of taking voluminous manuscript notes. For this purpose he
prepared long series of memoranda, and had copies of them struck off by
a primitive duplicating apparatus.

As a lecturer he had rather an easy-going, colloquial style, which
undoubtedly had the merit of catching and holding the attention of
even the least intellectual of his audience. He spoke fast, and
covered a very large part of his subject in the course of the one
hundred lectures which constituted the work of the winter class, but
by the help of the memoranda above mentioned his students had little
difficulty in keeping abreast of his progress. Brimful of humour and of
fun, he was not above making an occasional joke to his audience; but
this aspect of his character was far more in evidence on his Saturday
excursions. However long the walk and however unpropitious the weather,
there was always a circle of admiring students around him, intent
on catching every detail of the amusing stories, reminiscences, and
snatches of old ballads or songs, of which he had an unfailing supply.
From the first he proved a very successful professor. His course was
at that time optional, in the sense that candidates for the recognised
degrees of the University did not require to take it. Only students
desirous of studying geology for its own sake were to be found on the
benches of his class-room. He had always also a fair number of men who
were not regular students but engaged in professional work, who desired
to widen the range of their intellectual vision, and took an occasional
class at the University. Many of these were teachers occupied all day
in the schools of the city; and to meet the needs of such men he fixed
his hour for lecturing at four o’clock in the afternoon, so as to
give them a chance of attending after their day’s work. Many of these
students afterwards became his attached personal friends, and in this
group were included missionaries home on leave, army men, journalists,
doctors taking postgraduate courses at the University, and planters and
mining engineers enjoying a long holiday at home after years spent in
foreign countries.

At first he conducted all the classes himself, but after a time the
University granted him an assistant, and he started a regular practical
or laboratory course. His relations with his assistants were of the
most sympathetic character. Always ready to take more than his fair
share of the drudgery of elementary teaching, he showed the most kindly
interest in the progress of his assistants, and encouraged them to
carry out original research on their own account. His fine library
and wide knowledge of the literature of geology were always at their
service, and as the University in those days was by no means liberally
endowed with funds for the purchase of scientific apparatus, he often
provided at his own expense the instruments necessary for special
researches. The rooms assigned to the geological department were
miserably inadequate--dark, half-furnished attics, draughty, cold, and
uncomfortable--but much good work was done there.

James Geikie lived to see the conditions of university teaching in
Edinburgh greatly altered for the better. The courses qualifying for
degrees were made much less restricted, and geology became a subject
in the curriculum for the Arts as well as the Science degree. The
number of students increased, and the status of the Chair was improved.
Better-paid assistants were provided, increased grants for the purchase
of apparatus, and a higher stipend for the professor. A very important
addition to the department was the provision of a library of geological
books, the gift of Sir Archibald Geikie and James Geikie in the first
place, subsequently taken over and maintained by the University
Library authorities. The prestige of geology in the University and the
condition of the department in 1914 when he resigned were incomparably
superior to those which existed in 1882 when he was appointed to the

In 1894 he became Dean of the Faculty of Science in the University, and
continued to hold this responsible appointment till a year before his
retiral. Although he did not by any means suffer fools gladly, he had
much sympathy with students and with his colleagues, the professors,
lecturers, and assistants, in the difficulties which they encountered
in their work, and he had good business faculties, being careful,
prompt, and industrious. The great esteem in which he was held by all
who came in contact with him was clearly proved by his long tenure
of this exacting post, and his success in smoothing the difficulties
inevitable in university life where so many interests have to be
considered. The time required for this work he gave ungrudgingly;
but as he was at the same time Honorary Editor of the Royal Scottish
Geographical Society’s _Magazine_, and eventually President of that
Society, and served on the Council of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
for many years, he felt that his time for research and literary work
was very seriously curtailed.

If we consult the list of Prof. Geikie’s contributions to scientific
literature which appears as an appendix to this volume, it becomes
evident that with his appointment to the Edinburgh professorship he
began to write on several topics which previously had not specially
engaged his attention. The voluminous notes from which his lectures
were delivered were abridged, rearranged, and ultimately published
as his _Outlines of Geology_. This work was expressly meant for the
use of his own students, and served to relieve them of a large part
of the tedious note-taking which was in those days a heavy burden on
members of the University classes. It found acceptance, however, in a
wider circle, and in time three large editions of the book were sold.
Its most distinctive feature is the ample space devoted to physical
geology, especially the processes at work to-day which throw light on
the structures and origin of rocks. The more technical portions of the
subject, such as petrology and palæontology, he considers in much
less detail. In fact, the book is quite as suitable for the general
reader as for the university student. This book appeared in 1888,
and seventeen years later his second and most successful text-book
was published, the _Structural and Field Geology for Students_. His
natural abilities as an observer, and his thorough training as a
field-geologist, made him especially competent to handle this subject
effectively, and he made judicious use of photographs taken by the
Geological Survey to illustrate the volume. The success of the book
was also in large measure due to his long experience as a teacher and
his clear and easy style; in fact, the foundations of the text-book
were laid in the courses of lectures on structural geology which he
used to deliver in the summer sessions. Something also, no doubt, was
due to there being no really good work on this subject for English
and American students. He was much gratified by its success, for he
felt that he had done something to stimulate accurate field surveying
by students of geology, and field work he always considered the most
educative part of geological training.

Here we may mention also his contributions to _Chambers’s
Encyclopædia_, for which he wrote many of the geological articles.
In 1875 he had prepared a small Elementary Manual for the well-known
Edinburgh firm of publishers, and as successive editions of the
_Encyclopædia_ were printed he continued to revise his geological
articles, so that he had a continuous connection with Messrs Chambers
lasting over forty years.

       *       *       *       *       *

His work as a geographer next claims our attention. The fields of
geological research which he especially cultivated have a very close
connection with geographical science. In the Scottish Geographical
Society, as already stated, he took a deep interest from the start.
For many years his face was a familiar one on the platform at the
lectures delivered by eminent geographers and distinguished travellers
in Edinburgh, and as these lectures are always very well attended,
probably his connection with the Society made him better known to
the general public than any other of his numerous activities. These
functions also brought him into contact with many explorers and
scientists who came to Edinburgh to lecture, and were the source of
many friendships which he valued highly. During the latter years of his
life the Geographical Society claimed almost as much of his attention
as his academic duties, and as he was fortunately assisted by very
competent lecturers in the University, he could spare the time required
to fulfil both functions.

His studies in geography were always in those fields which form
the border-land between geology and geography. The history of the
development of scenery and of earth-forms in general, and the relation
between geological structure and geographical configuration, were
favourite subjects for his pen. In this he was a true follower of
Playfair. He delighted also to prepare short notices for the Society’s
magazine, describing the results of recent work on prehistoric man, on
changes of climate in recent geological periods, and the action of ice
in the production of surface features. The magazine proved a useful
vehicle for conveying to the public the results of his wide reading
on topics such as these. Many of the articles which first appeared in
its pages were subsequently issued in book form, or were used in the
preparation of the third edition of _The Great Ice Age_, and the other
scientific treatises which he produced.

In 1893 he collected the most important and interesting of his
scientific lectures and addresses into a volume to which he gave the
title _Fragments of Earth Lore_. The book was published by his friend
Dr Bartholomew of the Edinburgh Geographical Institute, and served to
introduce the results of some of his researches to a wider circle of
readers than they would otherwise have reached, as they had originally
appeared in publications as widely different in purpose as _Good
Words_ and the _Transactions of the Geological Society of Edinburgh_.
Most of the papers, as was to be expected, treat of the progress of
glacial geology, and one of these is of special importance. It is
entitled “The Glacial Succession in Europe,” and was reprinted from the
_Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh_. It shows considerable
progress along the lines which his work on glacial and interglacial
periods had previously followed, and was the precursor of the third
edition of _The Great Ice Age_, in which the new developments of this
branch of science were to be more fully expounded. Among the other
papers are several which are excellent popular scientific articles,
such as the sketch of the “Geology of the Cheviot Hills,” originally
issued in _Good Words_ in 1876. These essays show him at his best as
an exponent of the simpler and more attractive themes of geological
literature. He had an easy, fluent style, and had he chosen to do so,
might have attained great popularity as an exponent of science for the
million. The fine illustrations of this book deserve special mention,
especially the maps, which owe much to the skill and artistic taste
of Dr Bartholomew, who in this matter had the cordial support and
co-operation of Prof. Geikie. Ever since his days on the Geological
Survey he had set a very high standard in the preparation of maps, and
paid the greatest attention to their artistic qualities as well as to
their excellence as scientific documents.

His book on _Earth Sculpture_ followed in 1898, and in this particular
field soon came to be recognised as a standard work. It was published
as one of a series, and the limitations of space probably did not
allow very complete discussion of so large a subject: in fact, it is
only a sketch of the relations between geology and surface features;
but the subject was one for which he had a great liking, and he dwelt
on it lovingly in the lectures which he delivered each winter to the
University students. In this, of course, he followed the Scottish
tradition, which since the days of Hutton and Playfair had assigned
to this branch of geology a special importance. The writing of this
little book accordingly was a real pleasure to him, and he drew nearly
all the illustrations for it with his own hand, feeling that the only
difficulty was to keep himself within the limits which necessity
imposed. His immense knowledge of geographical literature supplied him
with abundant material to illustrate the operation of natural agents in
giving rise to modifications of topographical form, and the change of
subject-matter from the always more or less controversial questions of
the glacial history of the northern hemisphere afforded stimulus to his



The second edition of _The Great Ice Age_ was sold out about the
year 1892, and the author set himself to the task of preparing a
third edition, incorporating all the most recent investigations. The
task was necessarily a very severe one, as an enormous increase had
taken place in the number of workers in this field, and the evidence
had accumulated at a very rapid rate. Prof. Geikie always regarded
this work as his principal contribution to geological literature, an
opinion which most of his critics seem to have shared; and certainly
the labour he spent on the third edition of his _magnum opus_ was
sufficient to entitle it to a high place in the history of glacial
investigation. With indomitable perseverance he undertook the work
of mastering the literature, and the number of papers he read may be
inferred from the fact that his collection of pleistocene and glacial
pamphlets, which now form a part of the noble library of the University
of Edinburgh, numbered over one hundred and sixty volumes. He aimed at
making the book not only a compendium of information on the subject
of which it treated, but also a critical review of the conclusions
which might fairly be drawn from the evidence to hand; and in this he
not unfrequently differed from the authors of the papers he cited, a
proceeding which was likely to awaken feelings the reverse of grateful.

The subject-matter was now, of course, so vastly enlarged that only
the more important contributions could be adequately noticed, and
much interesting detail had to be passed over or handled only in the
briefest way. Many of the old controversies which had bulked largely
in the first and second editions of the book had been decided, or had
been so fully discussed that there was no pressing need to devote
much space to them; but the subject as a whole was not less involved
in uncertainty and debate, for new topics of discussion had arisen,
hardly less keenly disputed than the old ones. In the main lines of his
argument Prof. Geikie still followed the teaching of Ramsay and Croll
and the geologists of the old Scottish school, and though, for example,
no longer inculcating the necessity of a great glacial subsidence, he
maintained most of the positions he had taken up in his early days.
In one respect, however, the work marked a great advance, for he now
believed it possible to subdivide the history of _The Great Ice Age_
into a succession of glacial and interglacial periods with far more
minute detail than he had hitherto attempted. In this he showed a
boldness which some critics might call rash, but which has been in
very large measure justified by the results of subsequent research. He
came to be recognised as pre-eminently the defender of interglacial
periods; and to this aspect of the book far more attention has been
directed than to any other. James Geikie, in fact, was soon considered
an ultra-interglacialist, if we may coin a ponderous but perhaps
expressive term. The technical details of the evidence cannot be
discussed in this place; it will be sufficient to say that he believed
there was good evidence in Scotland and in Europe generally for the
former existence of no less than six glacial periods separated by
intervals of milder climate which were truly interglacial.

At the time the book was published it is no exaggeration to say that
he was alone in holding these views. Glacial investigation had made
considerable progress in Scotland since 1877, when the second edition
of his book was issued; but most Scottish geologists, though in
agreement with Prof. Geikie on many points, would hardly have followed
him in the extreme position which he took up. That interglacial periods
had existed they generally admitted, but the searching criticism to
which the evidence in favour of them had been subjected had revealed
that much of it was of an indecisive character, if not actually
untrustworthy; and no British geologists of that time had Prof.
Geikie’s wide knowledge of the glacial literature of other countries.
They were consequently often unable to appreciate how far the
continental evidence filled up the gaps which were painfully evident in
the record of British glacial history. In certain circles, in England
especially, the evidence for interglacial periods was regarded with
sceptical distrust, if not completely disbelieved; but on Clement
Reid, his former colleague on the Survey, and one of the most skilled
and critical glacialists then living, it had produced a different
impression. He saw clearly the necessity for admitting the existence of
at least one interglacial period; but between his position and that of
James Geikie, who believed in five interglacial periods, a great gulf
intervened. Perfectly aware of his apparent isolation, and supremely
confident in the accuracy of his results, James Geikie pressed
strongly on his readers the necessity of appreciating more fully the
significance of the facts, and in consequence his book became very
obviously an argument in favour of Pleistocene and Recent oscillations
of climate rather than a critical and impartial review of the evidence
available. In every case he went as far in support of his conclusions
as the facts in his opinion could be interpreted to lead; and the
treatment of British glacial questions showed undoubtedly a stubborn
courage and a determination to make the best of his case, which only
his confidence in the general sufficiency of the evidence for the whole
of Europe could be held to justify.

In foreign countries generally he found more support, though
everywhere, it may be admitted, his views must have been regarded as
extreme. In Germany glacial investigation was still in a comparatively
backward state, but in Penck, Brückner, and Partsch (names subsequently
to figure most prominently in the story of the advance of this
department of science) he found disciples and supporters of the
highest value. The investigations of these geologists had led them
independently to the belief in the repeated glaciation of the Alps
and the mountains of Central and Eastern Europe. Their chief results
were still to appear, but enough was known of their conclusions to
define their attitude. In Norway and Sweden, though many notable
investigations into glacial geology had been made, no general consensus
of opinion had been reached as to the stages into which the glacial
history of that country must be subdivided, and Prof. Geikie still
found his old friend Axel Blytt the nearest in agreement with his
views among the Scandinavian geologists. In France the existence
of interglacial periods had warm defenders and keen opponents; but
attention was being directed more particularly to the successive phases
of palæolithic culture, in the study of which French geologists and
anthropologists have always been in the forefront. But in America a
school of geologists had arisen in which Prof. James Geikie had found
not only warm personal friends but also powerful supporters in his
theoretical views, and a most notable contribution to the third edition
of _The Great Ice Age_ are the chapters by Prof. Chamberlin (_cf._ Part
I., p. 120), in which the glacial history of North America is reviewed.
The literature of the glacial geology of that continent has now swelled
to enormous dimensions, and to describe the phenomena in a critical
and discriminative manner was beyond the powers of anyone who had not
devoted many years to a personal examination of the evidence; but
in Prof. Chamberlin an exponent was secured who was not only in very
substantial agreement with Prof. Geikie in his conclusions, but was
also exceptionally familiar with the facts.

The general reception of Prof. Geikie’s book was deferential if
not enthusiastic. The masterly handling of the subject was freely
admitted, and the thorough and scholarly manner in which the sources
of information had been searched; but no symptoms appeared to indicate
the existence of a school of advanced interglacialists, in Britain
at any rate, prepared to accept and defend the author’s theoretical
views. In fact, for a time it almost seemed as if the belief in the
reality of interglacial periods, or at least in their importance, was
less prevalent than it had been fifteen years before. A very large
body of geologists declined to regard the evidence on which Prof.
Geikie and his supporters relied as having real value or significance.
There were still a few supporters of the theory of the marine origin
of boulder-clay, and even some who were prepared to advocate the
agency of floods and debacles as the prime factors in the formation
of boulder-clay; and their views for some years were prominent in
the discussion of the origin of glacial deposits. The majority of
experienced geologists certainly did not accept these explanations;
but they were equally unwilling to concede that the Ice Age could be
subdivided into six glacial epochs, alternating with warmer climates
in which Northern Europe and America had been occupied by a fauna and
flora of temperate facies.

Prof. Geikie lived to see very considerable changes in the opinion
of geologists on these matters. As time went on much new evidence
accumulated to prove that great fluctuations of climate had marked
the recent stages of the earth’s history. From many sides facts were
reported which tended to support his theories. Gradually it came to
be recognised that the ice margin must have withdrawn at times for
considerable distances, leaving bare wide tracts of country which
became populated by animals and plants. Still, however, it was
contended that these were mere episodes of no great account, temporary
retreats and advances of the ice-sheets, unworthy to be designated
glacial and interglacial periods. But the increase of knowledge renders
this position less and less tenable as years go by, and it may fairly
be claimed that before Prof. Geikie’s death, in most countries of
Europe and North America the existence of several interglacial periods
was freely conceded by a majority of those who were competent to
express an opinion on the subject.

The important new evidence brought to light was not wholly the result
of geological investigation, though much of it was strictly of the
kind to which Prof. Geikie had appealed. Most striking perhaps were
the descriptions of the glacial phenomena of the Alpine valleys which
Profs. Penck and Brückner published in a famous volume in 1909. This
work was most appropriately dedicated by the authors to Prof. James
Geikie. It is probably the most notable contribution to the literature
of glacial geology in the last twenty years, and although it has not
escaped criticism, it has produced in the minds of impartial readers a
firm conviction of the occurrence of glacial and interglacial periods
so far as that part of Europe is concerned. Prof. Geikie was familiar
with some of the evidence from the Alpine chain when he was writing
the third edition of _The Great Ice Age_; some of the facts had led
geologists to postulate the existence of interglacial periods as long
ago as the middle of last century; but he watched with great pleasure
the gradual accumulation of observations added to previous knowledge
by Penck and Brückner, and for many years he maintained an active
correspondence with these investigators. In America, also, the opinion
was gradually gaining strength that the Ice Age was marked by several
prolonged intervals of warmer conditions; and in France, Germany,
and Scandinavia many geologists were added to the ranks of those who
maintained the importance of interglacial periods.

Hardly less convincing than the results of Penck and Brückner’s
investigations into the repeated glaciation of the Alps were the
advances which have been made by the study of palæolithic deposits,
especially in France, Belgium, and Germany, during the last twenty
years. In popular interest this chapter of geological history
necessarily surpasses all others, and the study of the deposits of
the caverns and river valleys which contain the rude stone weapons
of early man and the remains of the wild animals which he hunted has
never lacked enthusiastic investigators. In particular, the geologists
and anthropologists of France have distinguished themselves by their
patience and success in this department; and the palæolithic history
of Europe is now far more fully known than it was in 1895. These
investigations have shown not only that man inhabited Northern Europe
before the cold conditions of the glacial period had passed away, as
Prof. Geikie had stoutly maintained from an early period in his career,
but also that cold epochs had alternated repeatedly with warmer epochs.
Differences of opinion, of course, there are, as is inevitable in
subjects which at the present time have been so incompletely examined.
Penck and Geikie, for example, would place the epoch of weapons of
Acheulian type in the second interglacial warm period, while Boule
and Schmidt would relegate it to the third; but the significant fact
remains that there is a general agreement that since man inhabited
Northern Europe he has seen repeated epochs of genial climate
alternating with periods of severe cold.

Prof. Geikie was always deeply interested in this work, and followed
the course of investigation with the closest attention. Unfortunately
Scotland possesses no deposits containing palæolithic weapons; and
circumstances precluded him from taking part in the field studies
except during brief holiday visits to the Continent; but he diligently
read the literature, as may be seen in his course of Munro lectures
in Edinburgh University in 1913, subsequently published in book form
as _The Antiquity of Man in Europe_. In reading this book, it is
pleasant to find how little change he had been obliged to make in the
conclusions he had arrived at twenty years before, and how fully his
sagacious interpretation of the evidence then available had stood the
test of time. One can notice in his preface a serene conviction that
his work had been justified by the results.

“The research of the past twenty years has certainly cleared up much
that was doubtful and obscure, and brought to light many interesting
details which enable us to form a more adequate conception of the
early history of our race than was previously possible. These later
investigations, however, have not in any respect shaken the general
conclusions arrived at twenty years ago but, on the contrary, have
served only to strengthen and confirm them.”

Gradually also the difficult task of correlating the interglacial
deposits of Britain, Switzerland, and France was being mastered, and
even the interglacial periods of North America were being relegated
with more or less confidence to their proper places with reference to
the European sequence, so that in this, his last book, he was able to
announce that solid progress had been made along the lines of advance
which he had sketched, and his laborious investigations had produced
valuable results.

Prof. Geikie had always considered that much valuable knowledge of
the climatic changes which Scotland had undergone since the melting
of the great ice-sheet would be obtained from a minute examination
of the peat-bogs which cover large expanses both of the hills and
of the plains of his native country. His own botanical training was
insufficient to enable him to attack such a problem with success,
but for many years he closely studied the geology of the peat-bogs,
and never failed to impress on his students that a rich harvest of
scientific information might be reaped by any investigator who took
this difficult task in hand. Fortunately he lived to see a very careful
examination of the flora of the Scottish peat-bogs by Prof. Lewis
published in four parts in _The Transactions of the Royal Society of
Edinburgh_. Prof. Lewis was evidently much indebted to Prof. Geikie and
to Dr Horne for suggestions and assistance in the geological part of
his work; but the evidence, which is very carefully and fully stated
in his papers, is sufficient to carry conviction on several important
points. He shows that many of the peat mosses began their growth
under arctic conditions when glaciers must have existed in many of
the more elevated districts of Britain. Thereafter changes of climate
supervened, and were accompanied by changes in the flora, of which
the remains are now preserved in successive layers of peat. Speaking
generally, we may say that the lowest arctic plant bed is followed by
a lower forest bed, usually rich in birch (and sometimes hazel and
alder), which is overlain by a second arctic bed, followed in turn
by a second or upper forest bed containing mostly roots and stools of
pine. Above these lies the modern peat. Prof. Lewis concluded as the
result of his researches that while it is difficult to reconcile the
several stages in the peat with the theory of a single glaciation,
the whole of the peat beds agree very closely with the scheme of
classification proposed by Prof. Geikie (in the third edition of
_The Great Ice Age_ published thirteen years before). These results
were none the less gratifying because they had been in some measure
foreseen; and if we admit, as some maintain, that the final test of
scientific hypothesis is the power to foresee the outcome of future
researches, we must agree that Prof. Geikie had good reason to feel
that his speculations on late-glacial changes in climate in Britain had
not been mistaken.

When in course of time the third edition of _The Great Ice Age_ was
sold out, he considered very carefully whether he should undertake a
revision of the book, bringing it up to date by incorporation of the
most recent additions to our knowledge of the glacial period. Advancing
years made him to some extent reluctant to undertake so formidable a
task, and he felt also that in his interpretation of the chief events
of this chapter of geological history he had no radical alterations to
make. This, as we have already said, is sufficiently clear from his
attitude in his Munro lectures. Moreover, the whole subject was highly
controversial, and he greatly disliked fighting the old battles over
again. At one time he was seriously thinking of writing a short work
outlining the most important recent advances in glacial geology, but
the intention was never carried into effect.

Problems of tectonics and of the relations between geological structure
and the surface configuration of the earth at the present time always
possessed a strong fascination for him, and in his college lectures
were favourite topics for discussion. Belonging to both geology and
geography, these were subjects in which all his powers found congenial
exercise. The _Scottish Geographical Magazine_ contains many papers
from his pen dealing with physical geology, and the last of these which
he wrote was on “The Deeps of the Pacific Ocean and their Origin.” In
this paper he advocated a new interpretation of these great submarine
depressions, and as his views were not in accordance with those of
Prof. Suess of Vienna, as expounded in his great work _The Face
of the Earth_, this paper was the occasion of a long and friendly
correspondence with the eminent Austrian geologist (an Englishman by
birth). Prof. Geikie had always been a great admirer of Suess and a
close student of his writings, and both were attracted by the same
kind of problems. In 1911 Prof. Geikie had written a paper on the
“Architecture and Origin of the Alps” which appeared in the _Scottish
Geographical Magazine_, and ten years previously more than one paper
on the origin and structure of mountains had been contributed by him
to various journals. He now determined to use the materials he had
collected for the preparation of a book which was ultimately issued
under the title _Mountains: their Origin, Growth, and Decay_. As
usual he did not despise the non-scientific reader, but made his
exposition of the subject so simple and clear that all could apprehend
his meaning. A vast amount of important work had been done on the
geological structure of the Alps during the previous ten years, and
in addition to reading the literature carefully, Prof. Geikie visited
Switzerland to make himself familiar with the scenes he described, and
to enable him to form an opinion on the theories advanced, based on
personal examination of some of the best sections. At the same time he
utilised the results of the work of his old colleagues of the Scottish
Survey on the North-west Highlands, where they had gleaned new data of
the highest value, and the book was illustrated with many beautiful
photographs of Scottish and Alpine mountains. Throughout the book the
influence of Prof. Suess is often noticeable. The compilation of this
book was a thoroughly congenial task to Prof. Geikie. He was content
for a time to let glacial controversies rest, and to concentrate his
attention on problems of geographical evolution.

In bringing to a close this short review of Prof. Geikie’s scientific
work, we may be permitted to point out what seems to be the main
characteristics of his investigation and teaching. Had he been
questioned himself on this point, there can be no doubt he would
have given his University courses of instruction a high place in his
services to science. He never allowed himself to regard it as routine
work, to be hurried through without enthusiasm. He gave his best to
his students, and constantly improved his lectures, excursions, and
practical classes, so as to make them as modern and as complete as
circumstances would allow. Hampered by very inadequate accommodation
and equipment, he gave freely of his time and money to compensate
for these disadvantages. The ordinary student he strove to interest
and to instruct, and as year by year his classes increased, he had
good evidence to convince him that both his subject and his method of
expounding it were receiving their full share of attention among the
students of the University. But he had a keen eye for merit, and young
men who evinced a desire to pursue the path of original research were
quickly recognised and encouraged in every way to follow the right
lines. Thus, although geology was for a long time a very small class,
it produced almost every year one or more men who subsequently made
a name for themselves in science. All over the world, and especially
in the British colonies, there are many well-known geologists who can
trace the impetus which decided their careers to the lectures delivered
by the genial professor in the dingy old Edinburgh class-room at the
top of those interminable stairs.

As a geologist he had limitations which he clearly recognised.
Palæontology, petrology, and mineralogy he had a sound working
knowledge of, but he never professed to know them thoroughly, and
much of the teaching of these subjects he left to specially trained
assistants. Had he been better equipped in these respects, he might
have avoided some of the pitfalls into which he stumbled at times.
But in physical and structural geology he took a very high place
among living scientists. The thorough training and natural aptitude
for structural and field geology made him a very shrewd judge of
controversial questions in tectonics, and laid a secure foundation
for his researches in geographical evolution and the origin of the
earth’s surface features. As a geographer, interested especially in the
larger problems of geographical configuration, he earned a world-wide
reputation. His special field of work, however, was the history of the
glacial period in all its aspects, and as time went on he came to be
recognised as the most thorough-going advocate of repeated glacial and
interglacial epochs. The positions he took up at a very early stage
in his scientific career he maintained with little modification till
its close, and in spite of indifference and in the face of severe
criticism he saw his theories more and more completely established year
by year. The subject is one of the most controversial in geological
science at the present day. Very eminent authorities may be found who
deny the validity of nearly every one of Prof. Geikie’s conclusions
about interglacial epochs, but there is a large and increasing body
of supporters of his views, though even now the extreme position he
took up in subdividing the Ice Age into six glacial periods cannot be
said to be generally accepted. But if we compare the text-books of the
present day with those published twenty years ago, we can realise how
great an advance has been made in the direction in which he led; and
there can be no doubt that in the long-run his consistency, courage,
and sagacity will receive full recognition.

The old Scottish school of geology which had numbered so many
famous men among its members found in James Geikie one of its most
distinguished representatives. In science, as in all things, he was
pre-eminently a Scotsman. Ramsay and Croll, two of the most philosophic
geologists of their time, were the men to whom he owed the inspiration
which originally directed him, and he was a true disciple of Playfair,
whose memory he reverenced. In all his writings he places in the
foreground the observations which he and his fellow-workers in Scotland
had made in the field, and the inferences drawn from them; and it was
in no small measure to James Geikie that the high position which the
work of Scottish geologists holds in the estimation of scientific men
is to be ascribed.


 1866. “On the Metamorphic Lower Silurian Rocks of Carrick, Ayrshire,”
 _Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc._, vol. xxii., pp. 513-34; _Phil. Mag._, vol.
 xxxii., pp. 154-5; _Geol. Mag._, vol. iii., pp. 321-2.

 “On the Metamorphic Origin of certain Granitoid Rocks and Granites in
 the Southern Uplands of Scotland,” _Geol. Mag._, vol. iii., pp. 529-34.

 1867. “On the Buried Forests and Peat Mosses of Scotland, and the
 Changes of Climate which they indicate,” _Trans. Roy. Soc. Edinburgh_,
 vol. xxiv., pp. 363-84; _Proc. Roy. Soc. Edinburgh_, vol. v., pp.
 635-7; _Geol. Mag._, vol. iv., pp. 20-3.

 “Hydrothermal Origin of certain Granites and Metamorphic Rocks,”
 _Geol. Mag._, vol. iv., pp. 176-82.

 “On the Metamorphic Origin of certain Granites, etc.,” _ibid._, vol.
 iv., pp. 287-8.

 1868. “On Denudation in Scotland since Glacial Times,” _Trans. Geol.
 Soc. Glasgow_, vol. iii., pp. 54-74; _ibid._, vol. v., pp. 19-25.

 “Note on the Discovery of _Bos primigenius_ in the Lower Boulder-clay
 of Scotland,” _ibid._, vol. v., pp. 393-5, 535-6.

 1869. “Additional Note on the Discovery of _Bos primigenius_, in the
 Lower Boulder-clay at Crofthead, near Glasgow,” _ibid._, vol. vi., pp.

 1870. “On the Age of the Stratified Deposits, with Mammalian Remains,
 at Crofthead, near Glasgow,” _ibid._, vol. vii., pp. 53-7, illus.

 1871. “Carboniferous Formation of Scotland” (remarks on Mr Croll’s
 letter), _Trans. Geol. Soc. Glasgow_, vol. iv., pp. 78-80; _Geol.
 Mag._, vol. vii., 1870, p. 298.

 “On Changes of Climate during the Glacial Epoch,” _Geol. Mag._, vol.
 viii., pp. 545-53; vol. ix., 1872, pp. 23-31, 61-9, 105-11, 164-70,
 215-22, 254-65.

 “The Carboniferous Formation of Scotland,” _Trans. North Eng. Inst.
 Min. Engin._, vol. xx., pp. 131-57; _Trans. Glasgow Inst. Engin._,
 vol. xiv., pp. 5-31.

 1872. “A. E. Törnebohm’s Theory of the Origin of the Swedish Asar,”
 _Geol. Mag._, vol. ix., pp. 307-9, illus.

 “On the Geological Position and Features of the Coal- and
 Ironstone-bearing Strata of the West of Scotland,” _Journ. Iron and
 Steel Inst._, vol. ii., pp. 8-24.

 1873. “On the Theory of Seasonal Migrations during the Pleistocene
 Period,” _Geol. Mag._, vol. x., pp. 49-54, illus.

 “The Antiquity of Man in Britain” (a lecture), _Geol. Mag._, vol. x.,
 pp. 175-9.

 “On the Glacial Phenomena of the Long Island or Outer Hebrides,”
 _Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc._, vol. xxix., pp. 532-45; _Geol. Mag._, vol.
 x., pp. 377-9.

 1874. “Note on the Occurrence of Erratics at Higher Levels than the
 Rock-masses from which they have been derived,” _Trans. Glasgow Geol.
 Soc._, vol. iv., pp. 235-41; _Geol. Mag._, dec. ii., vol. i., pp.

 _The Great Ice Age and its Relation to the Antiquity of Man_, pp.
 xxiii + 575, 17 pls., 8vo, London.

 1875. _Geology_ (Chambers’s Elementary Science Manuals), pp. 96,
 illus., 8vo, London.

 1876. “Origin of Lake Basins,” _Geol. Mag._, dec. ii., vol. iii., pp.

 “The Cheviot Hills,” _Good Words_, vol. xvii., pp. 11-15, 82-6,
 264-70, 331-7, illus.

 _Historical Geology_, pp. vii + 94, 8vo, London and Edinburgh.

 1877. “The Movement of the Soil-cap,” _Nature_, vol. xv., pp. 397-8.

 “The Antiquity of Man,” _ibid._, vol. xvi., pp. 141-2.

 Letter to Mr J. Gunn on the Glacial Beds of the East of England,
 _Norfolk Chronicle_, 17th February.

 _The Great Ice Age and its Relation to the Antiquity of Man_,
 2nd ed., pp. xxvii + 624, 19 pls., 8vo, London.

 1878. “On the Glacial Phenomena of the Long Island or Outer Hebrides”
 (2nd paper), _Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc._, vol. xxxiv., pp. 819-67,

 “On the Preservation of Deposits of Incoherent Materials under Till or
 Boulder-clay,” _Geol. Mag._, dec. ii., vol. v., pp. 73-9, 287-8.

 (With A. C. Ramsay) “On the Geology of Gibraltar,” _Quart. Journ.
 Geol. Soc._, vol. xxxiv., pp. 505-39.

 1880. “Discovery of an Ancient Canoe in the Old Alluvium of the Tay,
 at Perth,” _Scottish Naturalist_, vol. v., pp. 1-7.

 “Changes of Climate in Post-Glacial Times,” _ibid._, pp. 193-203.

 _Prehistoric Europe: a Geological Sketch_, pp. xviii + 592, 2 pls., 3
 maps, 8vo, London.

 1881. “Natural Rubbish Heaps,” _Proc. Perthshire Sci. Soc._, vol. i.,
 pp. 3-5.

 “The Geological History of Perthshire” (Presidential Address, 3rd
 March 1881), _ibid._, pp. 17-21.

 “The Age of the Igneous Rocks of Iceland,” _Nature_, vol. xxiv., pp.

 1882. “Notes on the Geology of Colonsay and Oronsay,” _Trans. Geol.
 Soc. Glasgow_, vol. vi., pp. 157-64.

 “Climatic and Geographical Changes in Post-Glacial Times,” _Proc.
 Perthshire Sci. Soc._, vol. i., pp. 47-50.

 “The Study of Natural Science” (Presidential Address), _ibid._, pp.

 “The Intercrossing of Erratics in Glacial Deposits,” _Scottish
 Naturalist_, vol. vi., pp. 193-200, 241-54.

 “On the Geology of the Färoe Islands,” _Trans. Roy. Soc. Edinburgh_,
 vol. xxx., pp. 217-69, 4 pls.; _Proc. Roy. Soc. Edinburgh_, vol. x.,
 pp. 495-501; _Geol. Mag._, dec. ii., vol. ix., pp. 278-9.

 “The Aims and Method of Geological Inquiry” (Inaugural Lecture, 27th
 October, University of Edinburgh), _Nature_, vol. xxvii., pp. 44-6,
 64-7, 8vo, Edinburgh.

 1884. “Note on the Occurrence of Drifted Trees in Beds of Sand and
 Gravel at Musselburgh,” _Proc. Roy. Soc. Edinburgh_, vol. xii., pp.

 1885. “The Physical Features of Scotland,” _Scottish Geogr. Mag._,
 vol. i., pp. 26-41, map.

 “Leading Physical Features of Scotland,” _Ordnance Gazetteer of
 Scotland_, vol. iii. (Appendix), No. 2, 8vo, Edinburgh.

 “List of Hill Forts, Intrenched Camps, etc., in Roxburghshire, on the
 Scotch Side of the Cheviots,” _Proc. Berwick Nat. Club_, vol. x., pp.

 1886. “Mountains: their Origin, Growth, and Decay,” _Scottish Geogr.
 Mag._, vol. ii., pp. 145-62.

 “The Geographical Evolution of Europe,” _ibid._, pp. 193-207.

 “Note on Sand-dunes of the Western Islands,” _ibid._, p. 474.

 “The Natural History of Kinnoull Hill: II. Geology,” _Proc. Perthshire
 Sci. Soc._, vol. i., pp. 235-7.

 _Outlines of Geology_, 8vo, London.

 1887. “Geography and Geology,” _Scottish Geogr. Mag._, vol. iii., pp.
 398-407, map.

 “Geology and Petrology of St Abb’s Head,” _Proc. Roy. Soc. Edinburgh_,
 vol. xiv., pp. 177-93, illus.

 _Songs and Lyrics by Heinrich Heine and other German Poets_, 8vo,

 1888. _Outlines of Geology_, 2nd ed., 8vo, London.

 1890. “The Evolution of Climate,” _Scottish Geogr. Mag._, vol. vi.,
 pp. 59-78, 2 maps.

 “Glacial Geology” (Presidential Address to Section C, Geology, of the
 British Association), _Rep. Brit. Assoc. for 1889_, pp. 551-64; _Geol.
 Mag._, dec. iii., vol. vi., pp. 461-77.

 1891. “On the Scientific Results of Dr Nansen’s Expedition: I.
 Geology,” _Scottish Geogr. Mag._, vol. vii., pp. 79-86.

 1892. “On the Glacial Succession in Europe,” _Trans. Roy. Soc.
 Edinburgh_, vol. xxxvii., pp. 127-49.

 “Supposed Causes of the Glacial Period” (an address), _Trans.
 Edinburgh Geol. Soc._, vol. vi., pp. 209-30.

 “The late Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay, LL.D., F.R.S., etc.” _ibid._,
 vol. vi., pp. 233-40, portrait.

 Address to the Geographical Section of the British Association,
 Edinburgh, 1892, _Scottish Geogr. Mag._, vol. vii., pp. 457-79, map.

 “Recent Researches in Pleistocene Climate and Geography” (abstract of
 a Lecture to the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, 18th May 1892),
 _ibid._, vol. viii., pp. 357-62.

 1893. “Geographical Development of Coast-lines” (Presidential Address
 to Section E, Geography, of the British Association), _Rep. Brit.
 Assoc. for 1892_, pp. 794-810.

 _Fragments of Earth Lore: Sketches and Addresses, Geological and
 Geographical_, pp. vi + 428, 6 pls., 8vo, Edinburgh.

 “On the Glacial Period and the Earth Movement Hypothesis,” _Trans.
 Victoria Inst. London_, vol. xxvi., pp. 221-49.

 1894. _The Great Ice Age and its Relation to the Antiquity of Man_,
 3rd ed., pp. xxviii + 850, 18 pls. and maps, 8vo, London.

 1895. “Scottish Interglacial Beds,” _Geol. Mag._, dec. iv., vol. ii.,
 pp. 283-4.

 “The Morphology of the Earth’s Surface,” _Scottish Geogr. Mag._, vol.
 xi., pp. 56-67.

 “Classification of European Glacial Deposits,” _Journ. Geol. Chicago_,
 vol. iii., pp. 241-69.

 “The _Challenger_ Expedition,” _Scottish Geogr. Mag._, vol. xi., pp.

 1896. _Outlines of Geology_, 3rd ed., 8vo, London.

 1897. “The Last Great Baltic Glacier,” _Journ. Geol. Chicago_, vol.
 v., pp. 325-39.

 “Excursion from Bathgate to Linlithgow,” _Proc. Geol. Assoc._, vol.
 xv., pp. 145-9.

 “Excursion from St Monans to Elie,” _ibid._, pp. 149-51.

 (Director), “Long Excursion to Edinburgh and District--Bathgate
 Hills,” _ibid._, pp. 197-200.

 (Director), “Long Excursion--Elie and St Monans,” _ibid._, pp. 205-6.

 “The Prehistoric Rock-shelter at Schweizersbild, near Schaffhausen,”
 _Scottish Geogr. Mag._, vol. xiii., pp. 466-75.

 1898. “The Tundras and Steppes of Prehistoric Europe,” _ibid._, vol.
 xiv., pp. 281-94, 346-57; _Ann. Rep. Smiths. Inst._, pp. 321-47.

 _Earth Sculpture, or the Origin of Land-forms_, pp. xvi + 320, 8vo,

 1899. “On the proposed Antarctic Expedition,” _Scottish Geogr. Mag._,
 vol. xv., p. 256.

 1900. “A White-hot Liquid Earth and Geological Time,” _ibid._, vol.
 xvi., pp. 60-7.

 1901. “Mountain Structure and its Origin,” _International Monthly_,
 vol. iii., pp. 17-41, 202-30.

 (With J. S. Flett) “The Granite of Tulloch Burn (Ayrshire),” _Rep.
 Brit. Assoc. for 1901_, pp. 634-5; _Geol. Mag._, dec. iv., vol. ix.,
 1902, pp. 38-9.

 1901-2. “Mountains,” _Scottish Geogr. Mag._, vol. xvii., pp. 449-60;
 vol. xviii., 1902, pp. 76-84.

 1902. _Earth Sculpture, or the Origin of Land-forms_, new edition, pp.
 336, 8vo, London.

 1903. _Outlines of Geology_, 4th ed., pp. 436, illus., 8vo, London.

 1905. _Structural and Field Geology for Students_, pp. xx + 435, 56
 pls., 8vo, Edinburgh and London.

 1906. “From the Ice Age to the Present,” _Scottish Geogr. Mag._, vol.
 xxii., pp. 397-407.

 “On the so-called ‘Post-Glacial Formations’ of Scotland,” _Journ.
 Geol. Chicago_, vol. xiv., pp. 668-82.

 1907. “Old Scottish Volcanoes,” _Scottish Geogr. Mag._, vol. xxiii.,
 pp. 449-63.

 “Late Quaternary Formations of Scotland,” _Zeitschr. für
 Gletscherkunde_, Bd. i., pp. 21-30.

 1908. _Structural and Field Geology for Students, etc._, 2nd ed., pp.
 443, 56 pls., 8vo, Edinburgh and London.

 1909. _Earth Sculpture, or the Origin of Land-forms_, 2nd ed., 8vo,

 “Calabrian Earthquakes,” _Scottish Geogr. Mag._, vol. xxv., pp.
 113-26, 2 maps.

 1911. “The Architecture and Origin of the Alps,” _ibid._, vol. xxvii.,
 pp. 393-417, figs. 15.

 1912. _Structural and Field Geology for Students, etc._, 3rd ed., pp.
 452, 69 pls., 8vo, Edinburgh.

 “The Deeps of the Pacific Ocean and their Origin,” _Scottish Geogr.
 Mag._, vol. xxxviii., pp. 113-26, map.

 1913. _Mountains: their Origin, Growth, and Decay_, pp. 311, 80 pls.,
 8vo, Edinburgh.

 1914. _Antiquity of Man in Europe_, pp. 317, 21 pls., 4 maps, 8vo,

 Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Scotland (partly contributed to
 by J. Geikie). Sheet Memoirs: 1869, sheet 7 (Ayrshire, South-western
 District), sheet 14 (Ayrshire, Southern District), sheet 24
 (Peeblesshire); 1872, sheet 22 (Ayrshire, North Part); 1873, sheet 23
 (Lanarkshire, Central Districts); 1879, sheet 31 (Stirlingshire).


  Aalesund, 35

  Aberdeenshire, drifts of, 160

  Agassiz, Louis, 158, 160

  Airdrie, 52

  Allman, Prof., 18

  Alpine Lands, 122

  Alpine valleys, 200

  Alps, the, 56, 57, 123, 175, 198, 201, 206, 207

  Alps, Piedmontese, 56

  America, 117, 128, 182, 198, 200

  America, North, 165, 184, 198, 200, 201, 203.
    _See also_ Canada and United States

  “Ancient Manuscript, Fragment of,” 64, 65, 66

  “Antiquity of Man in Britain,” lecture, 55

  _Antiquity of Man in Europe_, book, 140, 203.
    _See also_ Palæolithic man

  Appin, 143, 144

  Argelès, 127

  Ashburton, Louisa, Lady, 112

  Askernish, 79

  Australia, glaciation of, 120

  Ayr, 130, 132

  Ayrshire, 33, 34, 36, 37, 39, 152, 154, 155, 156, 174, 181

  Ball, Sir Robert, 168

  Baltic coast lands, 120

  Baltic glacier, 120

  Bäregg hut, 42

  Barra, 76

  Bartholomew, Dr J. G., 191, 192

  Barvas, 49

  Bathgate, 50, 53

  Belgium, palæolithic deposits of, 201

  Benbecula, 76, 78, 79

  Ben More, South Uist, 79, 80, 81

  Berendt, Dr G., of Berlin, 86

  Bergen, 36

  Berg-fjord, 36

  Bertrich, 43

  Birnam, 95, 116, 117

  Blytt, Prof. Axel, of Norway, 118, 198

  Boisdale, Loch, 78, 79, 91

  Boston, 109, 110, 117, 136

  Boulder-clay, 23, 24, 27, 28, 39, 108, 157, 158, 159, 160, 168, 169,
  174, 175, 199

  Boule, Prof. M., 202

  Boyd, Dr, 12

  Brandon, 175

  Bristow, Mr H. W., 70

  British Association, Australian meeting, 136;
    Edinburgh meeting, 118;
    Montreal meeting, 105, 108;
    Newcastle-on-Tyne meeting, 117;
    Swansea meeting, 87

  Brora, 33

  Bruce, Mr J. G., 125

  Brückner, Prof. Eduard, 122, 123, 136, 197, 200, 201

  Buchtrig, 65, 82, 104

  Buckland, Dean, 158

  Burdiehouse quarries, 14

  Buried forests, 36, 171, 179

  Cairnish, 77, 78

  Caithness, boulder-clay of, 174

  Canada, 104, 108, 109

  Canary Islands, 113, 114

  Carboniferous beds of Scotland, 154, 181;
    of U.S.A., 124

  Carboniferous epoch, 59

  Carboniferous fossils, 154

  Carboniferous problems, 25.
    _See also_ Coalfields, work on

  Carluke, 46

  Carmichael, Mr, 79, 80

  Central Scotland, drifts of, 152

  Cessford, 69

  Ceuta, 73

  Chamberlin, Prof., of Chicago, 119, 120, 121, 122, 198, 199

  Chambers, Messrs, 190

  Chambers, Robt., 160, 170

  _Chambers’s Encyclopædia_, 189

  Changes of climate in glacial times, 36, 50, 167, 168, 171, 174, 179,
  197, 202, 205.
    _See_ Interglacial periods

  Chantre, M., 91

  Cheviots, 56, 62, 63, 64, 66, 70, 71, 82, 192

  Chicago, 107

  Christiansund, 35, 36

  Coalfields, work on, 24, 25, 46-50, 52, 155

  Coatbridge, 52

  Coats, Mr Andrew, 71

  Coblentz, 44, 45, 46

  Cochem, 43

  Cologne, 41

  Constable, Mr Thomas, 15, 16

  Cornhill, 67, 68, 69

  Crailing Hall, 63, 65, 66, 69, 87

  Creagorry, 79

  Croll, Dr James, 166, 167, 168, 174, 180, 195, 210

  Croll’s theory of climatic change, 167, 168

  Cumnock, 34

  Dahll, Dr, 36

  Dailly, 152

  Darwin, Charles, 27, 73, 74, 91, 92, 183

  Daun, 43

  Denmark, 120

  Devonian ground, 181

  Diaries, 29, 30, 31, 32, 63

  Diluvium, 85, 154, 158, 159.
    _See_ Boulder-clay and drifts

  Douglas, Sir George, 67, 83, 121

  Drifts of Scotland, 20, 39, 49, 152, 157, 159, 160, 162, 164, 165

  Duke of Argyll, 60

  Dumbartonshire, boulder-clay of, 174

  Duncan Street, house in, 47

  Dunkeld, 156

  Duns, 54, 55

  Durham University, D.C.L. of, 116

  Dürnten lignite, 175

  Eaglesham, 39, 152

  _Earth Lore, Fragments of_, 119, 191

  _Earth Sculpture_, 124, 129

  Edinburgh, 3, 4, 9, 13, 14, 71, 98, 99, 100, 101, 127, 128, 142, 144,
  149, 150, 157, 160, 183, 187, 190

  Edinburgh High School, 12, 30

  Edinburgh Industrial Museum, 29

  Edinburgh Royal Society Club, 117, 124

  Edinburgh School Board, 47

  Edinburgh University, 15, 18, 19, 92, 100, 101, 103, 119, 149, 151,
  180, 182, 203, 208;
    Chair of Geology in, 20, 71, 96, 97, 98, 104, 144, 182, 184, 187,
    188, 192, 207;
    Dean of the Faculty of Science in, 118, 119, 187;
    Geological Department of, 138;
    library of, 187, 194;
    Senate of, 100;
    Tercentenary celebrations, 104, 105

  Eifel country, the, 42, 43

  Elson, Mr Louis, of Boston, 125, 128

  Engadine, the, 115

  Erratics, 27, 108, 157, 159

  Etheridge, Mr R., 70

  Europe, 182, 184, 201;
    Central, 198;
    Eastern, 198;
    Northern, 171, 176, 177, 199, 200, 202

  Evans, Mr J., 183

  Eynort, Loch, 79, 80

  Falsan, M. A., 91

  Färoe Islands, 81, 86, 87, 88

  Father, Prof. Geikie’s, 3, 4, 72, 104

  Fife, 21, 150, 152, 154, 159

  Fleming, Prof. John, 149

  Fondalen ice-field, 35

  Forbes, Prof. Edward, 149, 151

  Foreign languages, Prof. Geikie’s knowledge of, 25, 39, 50, 81, 86,
  88, 172, 182

  Forfarshire, moraines of, 160

  Fort William, 33

  _Fragments of Earth Lore_, 119, 191

  France, 127, 176, 198, 201, 202, 203

  Galloway, Mr William, 49

  Gandry, Prof., 97

  Geikie, Sir Archibald, eldest brother, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 40, 138,
  139, 140, 151, 155, 162, 180, 184

  Geikie, Cunningham, cousin, 4

  Geikie, James:--
    Chap. I.--
      Birth of, 3.
      Parentage, 3-9.
      Grandfather, 5, 6, 9.
      Childhood, 7-10.
      Illnesses, 10, 11.
      School life, 11, 12.
      Early excursions, 13, 14.
      Apprentice to Mr Thos. Constable, 15, 16, 17.
      University studies, 18
    Chap. II.--
      Enters Geological Survey, 19.
      Assistant Geologist, 19.
      District Surveyor, 19, 20.
      Survey work in Fife and Lothians, 20, 21.
      In Lanarkshire coalfields, 25, 34, 46, 50.
      Winter work in Edinburgh and London, 29.
      Work in Ochils, 30.
      Study of German, 30, 31.
      Diaries, 31, 32, 33.
      Holidays in Scotland, 33
    Chap. III.--
      Work in Ayrshire, 34, 36, 37, 39.
      Visit to Norway, 35, 36.
      First glacial paper, 36.
      Friendship with Dr John Horne, 38.
      Visit to Rhine and Switzerland, 39-45.
      Work on coalfields, 46-9.
      Beginning of _The Great Ice Age_, 54, 56.
      Translations from Heine, 30, 31, 34, 48, 59, 86, 112, 114, 132.
      Tour in Hebrides, 49, 50.
      Work in London, 51
    Chap. IV.--
      Begins work in Border region, 52, 53.
      Holiday in Lewis, 54.
      Lectures at the Museum of Science and Art, 54, 55.
      Writing of _The Great Ice Age_, 54, 56;
        publication, 60;
        dedication to Ramsay, 60.
      Tour in Italy, 56, 57.
      Paper on glaciation of Hebrides, 59
    Chap. V.--
      Engagement and marriage to Miss Mary Johnston, 63-6.
      Border experiences, 66-70.
      Elected Fellow of Royal Society, 70.
      Life in Perth, 71, 81.
      Visit to Norfolk and Suffolk, 71.
      Visit to Gibraltar, and investigation of water-supply there, 72-5,
          82, 88.
      Receives LL.D. of St Andrews University, 74.
      Birth of eldest son, 75.
      Tour in Hebrides, 75-81.
    Chap. VI.--
      Visit to Switzerland and Italy, 83.
      Anxiety about future, 83.
      _Prehistoric Europe_, 83, 85, 86, 89, 90, 91.
      Visit to Färoe Islands, 86, 87.
      Holiday in South Wales and London, 91.
      Retirement from Geological Survey, 92-9.
      Appointed to Chair of Geology in Edinburgh University, 98.
      Lecture at Hull, 95.
      Trip to Iceland, 96
    Chap. VII.--
      Inaugural address, 100.
      Settling in Edinburgh, 101.
      Summer class in geology, 104.
      Holiday at Largo, 104.
      Death of father, 104.
      Tercentenary celebrations at Edinburgh University, 104, 105.
      Visit to Canada and U.S.A., 104, 106-9.
      Hon. Fellowship of Geological Society of Stockholm, 106.
      _Outlines of Geology_, 110, 112;
        third edition, 124;
        fourth, 129.
      Foundation of Scottish Geographical Society, 111;
        Vice-president, President, and Hon. Editor, 111.
      Contributions to _Scottish Geographical Magazine_, 112, 206.
      Visit to Loch Luichart, 112.
      Visit to Canary Islands, 113, 114.
      Visit to Engadine and Italy, 115
    Chap. VIII.--
      Awarded Murchison Medal of Geological Society of London, 116.
      Made D.C.L. of Durham University, 116.
      Course of lectures to women, 116.
      President of Geological Section of British Association at
          Newcastle-on-Tyne, 117.
      President of Geographical Section of British Association at
          Edinburgh, 118.
      Lectures at Lowell Institute in Boston, 117.
      Appointed Dean of Science Faculty in Edinburgh, 118, 119.
      Third Edition of _The Great Ice Age_, 119, 120, 121, 124.
      Visit to North Germany and Denmark, 120.
      Letter from Glacialists’ Excursion-party, 122, 123.
      _Earth Sculpture_, 124;
        new edition, 129.
      Tour in Pyrenees, 125-7.
      Love of children, 127.
      Hon. Member of New York Academy of Sciences, 128.
      Visit to Norway, 129
    Chap. IX.--
      _Structural and Field Geology_, 130;
        translated into French, 133.
      Visit to Wildbad, 131.
      Birth of first grandchild, 133;
        second, 135.
      Visit to Portugal, 133.
      Publication of _Mountains: their Origin, Growth, and Decay_, 138.
      Presentation of portrait, 138.
      Holiday in Switzerland, 139.
      Centenary celebrations at St Andrews University, 139.
      Presentation of books to University Library, 139.
      President of Royal Society of Edinburgh, 140.
      Publication of _The Antiquity of Man in Europe_, 140.
      Summer in Skye, 140.
      Stay at Appin, 143, 144.
      Retirement from professorship, 144.
      Death, 144
    Chap. X.--
      Early training, 151.
      First work on Survey, 152-5.
      Origin of interest in glacial geology, 157.
      Influence of Ramsay, 161.
      Other influences, 162, 163
    Chap. XI.--
      Contents of _The Great Ice Age_, 164-6.
      Croll’s influence, 166-9.
      Interest in post-glacial geology, 169-72.
      Reception of _The Great Ice Age_, 172-4;
        second edition, 174, 175.
      _Prehistoric Europe_, 175-9
    Chap. XII.--
      Value of work on Survey, 180-2.
      Work as professor, 184-6.
      Improved status of subject, 187.
      Text-books, 188-9.
      Work as geographer, 190-3
    Chap. XIII.--
      Third edition of _The Great Ice Age_, 194, 195.
      Interglacial periods, 195-8.
      Reception of _The Great Ice Age_, 199.
      Interglacial controversies, 199-205.
      _Mountains: their Origin, Growth, and Decay_, 206, 207.
      Position as geologist, 208-10

  Geikie, James Stewart, father, 3, 4, 72, 104

  Geikie, Miss, daughter, 127, 128, 133, 139

  Geikie, Mrs, 66, 68, 71-3, 75, 83, 114, 125-8, 131, 135, 137-9, 143,

  Geikie, Walter, uncle, 4

  Geikie, William, brother, 8, 9, 12, 16, 17

  Geological Congress, International, 122, 129

  _Geological Magazine_, 23, 54, 164, 171

  Geological Society of Edinburgh, 149, 151

  _Geological Society of Edinburgh, Transactions of_, 149, 151, 191

  Geological Society of Glasgow, 162

  Geological Society of London, 54, 84, 116;
    Centenary celebrations of, 133;
    _Quarterly Journal of_, 54, 75

  Geological Society of Stockholm, 106

  Geological Survey, 14, 15, 17-25, 28, 29, 31-4, 38, 40-2, 51, 67, 70,
  71, 73, 74, 82, 83, 84, 88, 92, 94, 96, 98, 99, 101, 102, 139, 149,
  152, 153, 154, 156, 160-4, 167, 171-3, 180, 183, 184, 189, 192, 197,

  _Geology, Journal of_, 122

  German songs, translations of, 30, 31, 34, 47, 48, 59, 60, 86, 112,

  German table manners, 44, 132

  Gibraltar, 72, 73, 74, 75, 82, 88

  Gilmerton, quarries of, 14

  Girvan, 33

  Glacial deposits, 56, 162, 174.
    _See also_ Boulder-clay, Erratics, Diluvium

  Glacial epoch, 54, 58

  Glacial geology, 26, 27, 29, 156, 157, 161, 163, 167, 182

  Glacial geology, origin of James Geikie’s interest in, 23, 24, 156,

  Glacial period, 28, 29, 134, 171, 178, 209

  Glacialists’ Excursion-party, 122, 123

  Glasgow, 157

  Goarshausen, 45

  _Good Words_, 191, 192

  _Great Ice Age, The_, 27, 34, 39, 49, 52, 71, 74, 77, 89, 91, 103,
  107, 116, 119, 120, 123, 124, 136, 137, 164-7, 169, 172, 175, 177,
  178, 182, 191, 194, 195, 198, 201

  Green, Prof. A. H., 94, 172

  Greenland, 117

  Grimsel Pass, 45

  Grindelwald, 45

  Grossart, Dr, 48, 52, 55, 56, 57, 59

  Hammerfest, 36

  Harris, 75, 76

  Harris, Sound of, 76

  Harris, South, 76

  Harvard University, U.S.A., 136

  Hebrides, 49, 59, 75, 81, 111, 174;
    land-ice of, 59, 75, 174

  Heddle, Prof. Foster, 151

  Heidelberg, 45

  Heine, translations of songs and lyrics, 30, 31, 34, 48, 59, 86, 112,
  114, 132

  Helland, Dr Amund, of Norway, 81, 85, 86, 87, 96

  Highlands, 29, 183, 184

  Highlands, North-west, 207

  Highlands, Southern, 157

  Holland, 165

  Holytown, 48, 52

  Home Office, 98

  Hooker, Sir J. D., 183

  Horne, Dr John, 38, 39, 40, 45, 48, 49, 53, 56, 63, 71, 73, 82, 83,
  84, 86, 88, 89, 94, 96, 97, 98, 101, 103, 110, 111, 112, 138, 139,
  163, 167, 174, 180, 204

  Howell, Mr H. H., 18

  Hull, 95

  Hunter, Dr, of Carluke, 151

  Hutton, James, 149, 192

  Huxley, Prof. T., 115

  Ice Age, 24, 27, 46, 115, 167, 168, 169, 175, 199, 201, 209

  Icebergs, floating, and drifts, 28, 159, 160, 164, 166

  Iceland, 96

  Interglacial controversies, 194

  Interglacial deposits, 203

  Interglacial periods, 27, 28, 122, 123, 165, 166, 168, 169, 171, 175,
  176, 177, 195-202, 209

  International Geological Congress, 122, 123, 129

  Inverness, 112

  Irvine, Mr Duncan, 180

  Italian geologists, 25

  Italy, 56, 83, 115, 176

  Jack, Mr R. L., 180

  James, Prof. William, 117

  Jameson, Prof. Robert, of Edinburgh, 149

  Jamieson, Dr T. F., of Ellon, 88, 160, 174

  Jedburgh, 55-9, 62

  Jehu, Prof. Thomas, 144

  Johnston, Miss Mary (Mrs Geikie), 66

  Johnston, Mr, 66

  Johnston, Mrs, 65, 87

  Jökul-fjeld, 35

  Kalemouth, 68

  Kelso, 52, 53, 56, 67, 156

  Königswinter, 41, 42

  Laach Abbey, 42;
    monks of, 42, 43

  Laacher See, 42, 43

  Lamplugh, Mr, 84

  Lanarkshire, 25, 39, 47, 152

  Land-ice hypothesis, 27, 28, 108, 159, 164, 165

  Largs, 152

  Late glacial changes, 205

  Lehmann, Dr R., of Halle, 85

  Letter from Glacialists’ Excursion-party, 122, 123

  Lewis, Prof. Francis J., 204, 205

  Lewis, Island of, 49, 54, 59, 65

  Lochmaddy, 76, 78

  London, 91, 133, 140, 161

  Loppen, 36

  Lothians, The, 21, 150, 152, 159

  Lowell, Dr Abbott L., 136

  Lowell Institute, Boston, 117, 136

  Luchon, 126

  Luichart, Loch, 112

  Lyell, Sir Charles, 160, 167

  M‘Alpine, Dr, 141, 142

  Macintosh, Mr D., 170

  Maclaren, Mr Charles, 150, 159

  Maloja, 115

  Maree, Loch, 76

  Meadows, The, 6, 15

  Mediterranean basin, 25, 26

  Melövar, 35

  Miller, Hugh, 150

  Molde, 35

  Moncrieffe, Sir Thomas, 71

  Montreal, 109

  Moray Firth, 33

  Morebattle, 69, 70

  Mount Geikie, 125

  _Mountains: their Origin, Growth, and Decay_, 138, 140, 206, 207

  Munro lectures, 140, 203, 205

  Murchison, Sir Roderick, 41, 42

  Murchison Chair of Geology, 180

  Murchison endowment, 100

  Murchison medal, 116

  Museum of Science and Art, 54, 55

  Nansen, Dr F., 117, 124

  Naples, 9, 115

  Nathorst, Prof., of Stockholm, 103

  _Nature_, 172

  New Cumnock, 152

  New York, 106, 107, 109

  New York Academy of Sciences, 128

  Newcomb, Simon, 168

  Niagara, 109

  Niedermendig quarries, 42

  Norfolk, 71, 81

  Norham, 54

  Norway, 35, 45, 129, 165, 198

  Oban, 33

  Obbe, 75, 76

  Ochils, 30, 42

  Öksfjord, 36

  Orkney, 174

  Orotava, 113

  _Outlines of Geology_, 110, 112, 124, 129, 188

  Owen Sound, 109

  Page, Dr David, 151

  Palæolithic man, 55, 140, 171, 198, 201, 202, 203

  Partsch, Prof. J., 197

  Pasquier, Dr Léon Du, 122, 123

  Peach, Dr Benjamin N., 18, 20, 22, 30, 40, 41, 84, 152, 155, 167,
  174, 180

  Peat, 20, 36, 171, 179, 204, 205

  Peeblesshire, 22, 154

  Penck, Dr A., of Berlin, 85, 88, 97, 122, 123, 136, 137, 197, 200,
  201, 202

  Perth, 71, 72, 73, 81, 95, 156, 178

  Perthshire Society of Natural Science, 71

  Philadelphia, 109

  Playfair, John, 136, 149, 190, 192, 210

  Pleistocene geology, 156, 157

  Pleistocene glaciation, 168.
    _See also_ Ice Age

  Pliocene beds of Lombardy, 175

  Pontresina, 115

  Port Arthur, 109

  Portugal, tour in, 133

  Post-glacial history, 179

  Post-glacial submergence, 174

  _Prehistoric Europe_, 35, 83, 85, 86, 89, 91, 94, 164, 175

  “Prehistoric ware” in Hebrides, 49

  Pyrenees, tour in, 125, 127

  Radium in mineral waters, 131

  Raised beaches, 169, 170, 171, 178

  Ramsay, Sir Andrew, 47, 49, 55, 60, 61, 70-3, 82, 83, 87, 88, 91, 92,
  98, 114, 160, 161, 162, 165, 173, 184, 195, 210

  Ramsay, Lady, 49

  Ramsay, Sir William, 108

  Reed, Mr Clement, 197

  Renfrewshire, 39

  Rhine, River, 39, 41, 45, 83;
    tour on, 40-5

  Rödö, 35

  Roneval, Mount, 76

  Rose, Mr Alexander, of Edinburgh, 151

  Royal family, 13, 14

  Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh, 151

  Royal Scottish Geographical Society, 111, 112, 136, 138, 140, 188, 190

  Royal Society of Edinburgh, 140, 188;
    Club, 117, 124;
    _Transactions_, 191, 204

  Royal Society of London, 70, 140

  St Andrews University, 74, 139;
    Centenary celebrations, 139

  St Bertrand de Cominges, 126

  St Paul, 107

  Salsburgh, 48, 52

  Scandinavia, 201

  Schmidt, Dr, 202

  Schmitz, Dr, 12, 30

  _Scotsman_, 150

  Scott, Lady John, 67

  _Scottish Geographical Magazine_, 111, 112, 188

  Shetland Islands, 84, 174

  Silurian rocks, 154, 181

  Simson, Mr, 64, 65

  Skae, Mr H. N., 40, 45, 180

  Skjervö, 35, 36

  Skertchly, Mr S. B. J., 71, 73, 175

  Skye, 65, 76, 140

  Smith, James, of Jordanhill, 158, 170

  South Wales, 91

  Spartel, Cape, 73

  Spitsbergen, 103

  Stevenson, Prof., of New York, 88, 102, 118, 121, 124, 128, 132, 133,
  139, 140

  Stornoway, 49

  Strahlegg, crossing of, 45

  _Structural and Field Geology_, 130, 133, 189

  Submergence in Europe, 159, 160, 170, 174, 195

  Suess, Prof. E., of Vienna, 206, 207

  Suffolk, 71, 81

  Superior, Lake, 107

  Sweden, 53, 165, 173, 198

  Switzerland, 53, 83, 139, 158, 173, 176, 203, 207

  Szabó, Prof., 53

  Tangier, 73

  Tarbert, 75

  Tasmania, glaciation of, 120

  Tay, estuary of, 156

  Telfs in Tyrol, 129

  Teneriffe, 113

  Thom, Captain, 5, 6, 9, 10

  Thom, Miss, 5

  Tiddeman, Mr R. J., 172

  Till. _See_ Boulder-clay

  Toronto, 108, 109

  Torridon, Loch, 76

  Traquair, 121

  Tromsö, 35

  Trondhjem, 35

  Tyrol, 129

  Uist, North, 76, 77, 78;
    South, 76, 78

  United States of America, 16, 105, 106, 107, 109, 110, 117, 173;
    geological survey of, 125

  Verse-making at school, 12

  Verses, 37, 50, 105, 117, 131, 141, 143

  Volcanic phenomena, Prof. Geikie’s interest in, 42, 181

  Wardie, coprolitic shales of, 14

  Warm interglacial periods, 28, 122, 123, 165, 166, 168, 169, 171,
  175-7, 195-202, 209

  Whitaker, Mr W., 116, 172

  White, Dr Buchanan, 71, 178

  Wildbad, 131

  Wilson, Prof. George, 151

  Winnipeg, 107, 108

  Young, Prof. John, of Glasgow, 14, 18, 20, 21, 22, 30

  Zirkel, Prof., of Bonn, 41, 42


Transcriber’s Note

In the “List of Publications” missing quotation marks have been added,
but other inconsistent punctuation has not been changed.

In the index the spelling of Moncrieffe (from Moncrieff) and Skjervö
(from Skerjvö) have been changed to match the spelling in the main text.

On page 123 the signature copied as “Dr Hav. Pfeifer” appears to be
that of the glacialist Dr Franz Xaver Pfeifer. The signature also
appears in this form in The Journal of Geology.

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