David Thomas Ansted (5 February 1814 – 13 May 1880) was an English geologist and author. He was born in London on 5 February 1814, was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, and after taking his degree of M.A. in 1839 was elected to a fellowship of the college. Inspired by the teachings of Adam Sedgwick, his attention was given to geology, and he was a respected geologist by age 30. In 1840, he was elected professor of geology in King's College London, a post which he held until 1853. Meanwhile he became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1844, and from that date until 1847 he was vice-secretary of the Geological Society. The practical side of geology now came to occupy his attention and he visited various parts of Europe as a consulting geologist and mining engineer.
He published a number of books: Gold-Seekers Manual
(1849), to help improve the prospects of emigrants to the California gold rush; Geology, Introductory, Descriptive & Practical
(1844); The Geologist's Text-Book
(1845); Syllabus of Lectures on Mineralogy, Geology, and Practical Geology
(1848); An Elementary Course of Geology, Mineralogy, and Physical Geography
(1850); The Great Stone Book of Nature (1853); Scenery, Science, and Art
(1864); and The Applications of Geology to the Arts and Manufactures
This epub, with the extended title of Scenery, Science and Art being Extracts from the Notebook of a Geologist and Mining Engineer
was probably Ansted's most popular work. Although a bit technical in his economic analyses of various mining locations, the majority of the book is devoted to subjects far from geology, including visits to art galleries and a bullfight during an extended visit to Spain and various sites of interest in that country and in Sardinia, Algeria, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States. He discussed antiquities, climate, travel conditions, accommodations, scientific meetings, and many other features of interest to him during his visits. As was common with many English visitors to the US in the late 1840's and early 1850's he wrote about his thoughts on the slavery question, and concluded that there was no economic justification for what he considered an immoral practice. The book includes 4 'lithotint' plates and 20 woodcuts.
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