From the Beginning

Katie Edwards and Brian Rosen

From the Beginning describes the history of Earth from its very beginnings to the planet we know today.

978 0 565 09142 2
April 2004
200 x 210 mm
72 pp
Colour throughout
Natural History Museum


From the Beginning takes us on an amazing journey through time, starting at the unimaginably hot dense speck from which the universe itself originated, eons before the Earth began. 

Hurtling through time to the formation of the solar system, the book explores the planet's past in detail, describing the development of land, sea, atmosphere, climate and life, until we reach the planet that we inhabit today. 

Tackling the most fundamental issues of our day, the book discusses the development of our understanding of the origin of the universe, of the solar system and the beginnings and evolution of life on Earth.

This epic journey, as vast as time itself, covers all of the main events of the Earth's turbulent history, pausing fleetingly every million or so years to reflect on the Earth's progress. It considers some of the landmark events such as the formation of the Earth's crust and oceans, the beginnings of life, enormous changes to climate, rising and falling sea levels, moving continents and mass extinctions. 

Describing current scientific understanding in a highly accessible style, the book is a fascinating read revealing the secrets of our past.

See inside

Look inside this book to get an idea of its content. 

Pages from From the Beginning

Out of a swirling cloud of gas and dust – called a nebula – our Solar System was born.

Pages from From the Beginning

Geologists examine the rocks beneath our feet and observe present-day Earth processes to interpret the past.

Pages from From the Beginning

Before land vegetation evolved, the Earth’s surface would have been barren and parched.

Pages from From the Beginning

When drifting landmasses moved into different climatic zones, conditions became unsuitable for many of the plants and animals that already existed on and around them.


Katie Edwards is an exhibition interpretation manager at the Natural History Museum, and has developed the content for exhibitions covering the life and earth sciences.

Brian Rosen is a Scientific Associate in the Department of Zoology at the Natural History Museum, and a former research scientist in the Department of Palaeontology. He works on living and fossil corals and reefs, with a general interest in biogeography and ecology.


Find out what others think of this book. 

"... a title that is long overdue. The market has been crying out for a popular treatment of the history of the Earth and this well written, beautifully illustrated work, exactly fits the bill. In 72 full colour pages we are taken on our journey through 15,000 million years, from the beginnings of the Universe through to the evolution of man and beyond into the future. ... There are excellent chapters on the evolution of early life, dating the past and fossil preservation. As with any all encompassing subject such as this one, it is inevitable that there will be chapters on such topics as meteorites, formation of the solar system and the evolution of the atmosphere. However the main thrust of this book remains firmly one of how the earth has evolved throughout the vast span of time. Read this book and you will want to find out more. An excellent entree into geology, should be on everyone's bookshelf. "

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