Phillips, a remarkable polymath was the nephew of the great pioneering Geologist William “Strata” Smith, but proved as remarkable cartographer and geologist as his uncle. In his twenties and thirties, he not only completed the first great geological analysis of the Yorkshire Dales and Coast, but his research work on fossils established him as one of the world’s leading palaeontologists enabling an early understanding of what we now call “Deep Time”.
But Phillips was many other things – leading astronomer, meteorologist, brilliant lecturer, teacher, museum curator, first of the Yorkshire Museum then the Oxford Museum of Natural History. He was also a gifted writer, and among his many books was the world’s first popular railway guidebook published as early as 1853.
“If you are interested in the history of science, particularly one of the great contributors to the development of geology as a science, and have a love of the county of Yorkshire, I heartily recommend this book.” Professor Colin Waters, Yorkshire Geological Society,
“It places Phillips not only as a pioneering geologist, but also as one of the great-walker-writers and interpreters of the Yorkshire countryside Roly Smith, Outdoor Focus
“All of us will appreciate learning more about the life of a remarkable man. And of course, a remarkable part of the world. Dr Peter Hogarth, Yorkshire Philosophical Society,
“Peopled with a host of scientific personalities and characters of the times and packed with absorbing detail, this informative book is a satisfying and entertaining read that will go a long way to giving due recognition to the influential legacy of one of our finest outdoor writers and scientists, John Phillips, an extraordinary traveller through time”. – Journal of the North Yorkshire Moors Association
“This is a very well-illustrated book with excellent colour photographic and an instructive selection of historical documents and figures. Speakman writes well and is a pleasure to read”. John Henry, History of Geology Group