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87 of 88 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great historical guide to regional geology
This book provides a fairly in-depth historical account of the processes and events which shaped the various lumps of rock we call Britain over geological time.
Each chapter deals with a particular period, and describes what was going on in each region. This means the emphasis is on describing the characteristics of each period rather than on the particular...
Published on 6 Mar 2000

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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book which could become a great one
The book is excellently presented, with plenty of diagrams and photographs to clarify points made in the text. It is well written but, considering it is produced with the lay person in mind it is easy to become lost in the blizzard of facts, figures and events which are presented on many pages.
The one-page diagram of the Geological time scale is great. The book...
Published on 9 Sep 2004 by J Grainger


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87 of 88 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great historical guide to regional geology, 6 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This book provides a fairly in-depth historical account of the processes and events which shaped the various lumps of rock we call Britain over geological time.
Each chapter deals with a particular period, and describes what was going on in each region. This means the emphasis is on describing the characteristics of each period rather than on the particular history of one region.
As a geology student (OU s260 this year, hello everyone), I've found this book really useful for getting a handle on the different periods - it does a good job of emphasising and contrasting each period's particular features. I feel I have some understanding of what differentiates the Devonian from the Silurian. I even know how long ago they were!
So why not five stars?
Firstly, the book makes little attempt to explain some of the terms it uses as it goes along. For a beginner, that can make it a bit of a slog at first. Having said that, you soon become used to the language and the second time you read it will be a lot more fun than the first.
Secondly, I'd have liked an additional chapter which gave a summary of the complete geological history of each of the regions. It would be nice to have been able to read in three or four paragraphs an overview of how Scotland happened. I think this would have been quite easy to do, and would have provided some useful broad context for the rest of the book.
Having said all this, the book is very useful, very informative, and packed full of exactly the sort of stuff you're interested in if you're reading a review of a book about Geology anyway!
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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book which could become a great one, 9 Sep 2004
By 
J Grainger - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Geology of Britain (Paperback)
The book is excellently presented, with plenty of diagrams and photographs to clarify points made in the text. It is well written but, considering it is produced with the lay person in mind it is easy to become lost in the blizzard of facts, figures and events which are presented on many pages.
The one-page diagram of the Geological time scale is great. The book would be so much easier to digest if other such information was displayed on one page (even as an appendix) for the movement of continents around the planet. Similarly for a table of the various events and the dates they occurred in Britain. Trying to keep track of it all from the text is bemusing.
The glossary, too, could be significantly expanded; as it is it's woefully inadequate and seems arbitrary. For example, dolerite is included, but not dolomite. It is far from clear why. Bearing in mind this book is primarily for lay persons it's almost impossible to remember where you last saw the term, say, ophiolite, when you see it again in the text, so you can check its meaning. A more complete glossary would eradicate this problem.
This is a great book. With additions to make it easier to cross-reference terms and events it could be a 'classic' for lay people with an interest in geology
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great well-produced introduction, 7 Jan 2003
By 
Steve Burrow - See all my reviews
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I bought this book because I was wanted a light introduction to the geology of the UK – nothing too technical, preferably with illustrations to make the points, and hopefully with a sense of narrative to bring 2,000 million years of geological history to life.
This book delivered. I'm not a geologist, so I can't say whether Peter Toghill incorporated the latest evidence or did justice to the complexities of geological debate that I'm sure exist, but he certainly provided the level of answers that I was looking for.
This is a work that inspired me to read more. What better praise for a self-professed introductiory work!
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book : very clear explanations and figures., 2 Aug 2001
By A Customer
When I was at school the little geology I learned was awfully boring: just the accumulation of layers and layers of stuff over millions of years. But this book has now turned me into a geology fanatic. It explains in historical sequence how the geological formations of Britain have come about. Even with little prior knowledge it is very easy to read (I thought), and I am particularly fond of all the many very well designed colour figures that are a terrific aid in understanding the variouses processes. Whole-heartedly recommended to anyone who's ever wondered why the rocks around the corner from his place look the way they look!
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Geology of Britain, 17 Mar 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Geology of Britain (Paperback)
I borrowed this book from the school library for months finding it an invaluable resource in my A2 level work. I now own my own copy of this excellant book which clearly details what Britain was like, its paleogeography and its rock strata in each of the geological time periods. My only fault is that a glossery would be great but otherwise this book is worthy of the full five stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very readable and informative account, 14 April 2012
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This review is from: The Geology of Britain (Paperback)
Having 'done' Geography at 0 level some 50 years ago and been fascinated with physical geography ever since, (the exam questions featured Ballard down in Purbeck over which I had walked two weeks previously) this book helped to gell in my mind many of the half understood, or maybe half forgotten, principles and processes associated with the subject. Getting to grips with the time scales involved and the concept of plate tectonics is covered well, if briefly, in the introduction. This is assisted by the clear, precise and colourful diagrams which are a feature of the entire book. The mainly colour photos are also used to good effect when illustrating landform features mentioned in the text. Apart from one rather surprising exception (Mt Temple in the Canadian Rockies illustrating horizontal strata) all are what might be called 'text book' UK examples; Arthur's Seat, Brecon Beacons, Lulworth Cove, Malham limestone pavement etc.
The book explains the current structure of the UK by describing how its two parts, Scotland and N Ireland to the North and West of Cumbria and all the rest to the South and East, have journeyed across the globe since the end of the pre Cambrian. Each successive period, Cambrian, Ordovician etc, has its own map to show the progress made along with very clear appropriate cross sections. Local processes are well described, folding, deposition, metamorphosis under heat and pressure, as well as volcanic activity and effects at various types of plate boundary.
The science of dating is well covered with reference to fossils providing relative, and radiometric techniques giving absolute time scales. To end with there is perhaps a tongue in cheek account of what might happen as the Atlantic closes and Iceland is welded to Skye!
The overall quality of production of the book is excellent with all the diagrams and photographs clear and crisp. The cover reproduces the classic OS geological map of Britain, surely as much a work of art as anything else.
Thoroughly recommended to anyone with a basic understanding of how the world works and an interest in learning more.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Geo-holic, 6 Jun 2009
By 
Ms. A. L. Goodall (Lincoln, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Geology of Britain (Paperback)
I first saw this book when a friend bought herself a copy a couple of years back, and I've coveted one of my own ever since. Its informative, highly readable, very attractive, and makes any trip or holiday in Britain so much more fulfilling (yeah, I'm a geo-anarak at heart). Wouldn't leave home without it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK starting point, 3 Jun 2010
This review is from: The Geology of Britain (Paperback)
This book is good as a starting point if you wish to find out the basics of the geology of Britain. If you are looking for a more comprehensive guide then it isn't the book for you. If you are not familiar with geological terms, the glossary is definately not enough! However, bright, clear diagrams make the book easy to follow with useful field photos and locations if you wish to go out and look for yourself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation, 24 Mar 2010
By 
F. C. Hay - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Geology of Britain (Paperback)
I first borrowed this book from the library. I have now gone on to buy my own copy. As a beginner I found this book a revelation. The way it puts the geology of Britain in the context of plate tectonics is masterly. It certainly corrected my naive views on why Britain once had a tropical environment. The book can be read at different levels. Mt first reading was quick and gave a good overview of geological time. Re-reading (several times) I discover more and more within the text. The book is very well illustrated with clear diagrams that help to visualise the complex processes that have formed Britain. It certainly makes one realise what a geologically exciting island this is to live on. This is high quality science writing for the layman.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to British Geology., 24 April 2012
This review is from: The Geology of Britain (Paperback)
Having been obsessed by the Geology of the UK for 50 years, ( although my main passion is music ), I bought this book at Craven Arms in Shropshire some time ago. I know of no other book that traces the geological history of our country with such clarity, replete with excellent diagrams, illustrations and photographs. I only wish that there was a similarly illuminating guide to all the regions of the UK, exploring each region in depth ( far beyond the scope of this book)When I took A-level Geography many years ago, plate techtonics were still in the future. I particularly liked Peter Toghill's look into the next 150 million years !When the Atlantic closes up and a huge mountain range builds up over the UK, what will our successors look like ?
Written from St.Buryan, Cornwall ( Carbo-Permian granite )
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