Unmapped Countries: Biological Visions in Nineteenth Century Literature and Culture
Anthem Press, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 282 pages
Biotechnology and human genetics are the dominant applied sciences in the twenty-first century. "Unmapped Countries" provides a critical retrospective on the nineteenth-century origins of modern biological science and their close connections with the cultural sphere. It explores the emerging cultural authority of the biological sciences during the nineteenth century, when fundamental discoveries in geology and physics dramatically destabilized the Victorian worldview.
In the field of literary and cultural studies, interest in nineteenth-century biology has been substantial for the last 20 years, yet the focus has been almost exclusively on evolutionary theory, neglecting other branches of nineteenth-century biology. This collection corrects that imbalance, shedding light on other discoveries in cell biology, physiology, neurology and virology. It examines the issue of authority in science, demonstrating the social 'embeddedness' of the natural sciences, and gender issues. It also shows how scientists and creative writers drew on a common imagination as well as narrative techniques and stylistic devices; indeed, often inspired by the same subjects.
This important new book, including contributions from some of the most distinguished experts in the field, demonstrates that the relation between literature, culture and biology in the nineteenth century is far more complex than habitual references to Darwin would have us believe.
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aesthetic Alfred Kubin Allen animal anthropology argued artists author’s translation authority biological British cells chapter child childhood colour sense concept contemporary criticism culture Darwin Darwinian degeneration Descent discourse discussion disease Eliot English literature essay evidence evolution evolutionary theory example exploring fact female feminist fiction ﬁeld Figure ﬁnd ﬁrst Frankenstein George Eliot Gillian Beer Gladstone gorillas Homer human Huxley Huxley’s ibid ideas individual inﬂuence insanity Jeffrey’s Kropotkin language Laura Otis linked literary history literature and science London male man’s metaphors Middlemarch mind modern moral Morlocks mutual aid narrative narrator nature night terrors Nineteenth Century Periodical novel one’s organism Origin Origin of Species parasites physiological poetry popular progress published question readers reﬂect Robert Chambers role Rudolf Virchow Russian scientiﬁc scientists sensation novels sexual selection social society species story suggested Swinburne Swinburne’s texts University Vestiges Victorian Virchow Wilkie Collins woman women writing