Nouveau système du monde, 1715-1724


Date: 1715-1724 | Size: 3 volume(s), 3 volumes, 915 p.


This is an extract from a manuscript and is divided into three parts. This volume puts forth the theory that the visible geological formations of the earth were formed in the depths of the ocean; it offers opinions that support this system; and then predicts the natural consequences of the loss of all living beings from the waters of the ocean.

Background note

The well-traveled French diplomat Benoît de Maillet worked as an anthropologist and author; he was the first to formulate an evolutionary hypothosis to explain the origin of man.

Collection Information

Physical description

3 volumes, 915 p.


Purchased at the sale of Benjamin Franklin's library, 1803.

Early American History Note

This three volume set is one of eight known manuscripts of Benoit De Maillet's Nouveau System du Monde. Although it is listed as being an extract, that designation only applies to the first eighty-two pages. The remaining three volumes are a complete version of the work, which may differ significantly from the printed version. This set came from Benjamin Franklin's private library.

Indexing Terms


  • Manuscript Essays


  • Beyond Early America
  • Earth sciences.
  • Formations (Geology)
  • Marine biology.
  • Natural history
  • Oceanography.
  • Science and technology