Miller Testimony of the Rocks title page of issue with photograph of Miller
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A: Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Hugh Miller Issues the First Book to Include a Photograph of its Author

Miller Testimony of the Rocks photograph of Miller and frontispiece

Self-taught Scottish geologist and writer, folklorist and evangelical Christian Hugh Miller published in Edinburgh The Testimony of the Rocks; or, Geology in its Bearings on the Two Theologies, Natural and Revealed. 

Miller's book was the first to include a photograph of its author, and only a small portion of the edition contained the photograph. The portrait shows the bearded and extremely hirsute Miller seated at a table reading. Miller believed that the fossil record confirmed, in broad outline, the cosmic drama depicted symbolically in the Bible. He opposed evolutionary theory, and argued vehemently for man's separation from the lower animals. This was Miller's last work; he committed suicide while seeing it through the press.

"For most of the year 1856, the brilliant researcher and speaker had been bothered by terrible headaches that seemed to burn inside his head. Had he lived in the 20th century, Miller's doctors could have diagnosed the problem. Perhaps it was a tumor that caused the headaches, and later, the awful hallucinations. Victorian-era medicine could not help. He feared that he might harm his wife or children during his delusions in which he pursued imaginary robbers with his gun. Miller committed suicide the night he finished checking printers' proofs for his book on Scottish fossil plants and vertebrates, The Testimony of the Rocks. Before his death, he wrote a poem called Strange but True" (Wikipedia article on Hugh Miller, accessed 10-26-2009)

Gernsheim, Incunabula of British Photographic Literature, 67.

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