The Genius of Erasmus Darwin

Front Cover
Christopher Upham Murray Smith, Robert Arnott
Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2005 - History - 416 pages
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The Genius of Erasmus Darwin provides insight into the full extent of Erasmus Darwin's exceptional intellect. He is shown to be a major creative thinker and innovator, one of the minds behind the late eighteenth-century industrial revolution, and one of the first, if not the first, to perceive the living world (including humans) as part of a unified evolutionary scenario. The contributions here provide contextual understandings of Erasmus Darwin's thought, as well as studies of particular works and accounts of the later reception of his writings. In this way it is possible to see why the young Samuel Taylor Coleridge was moved to describe Darwin as 'the first literary character in Europe, and the most original-minded man'.Erasmus Darwin, Charles Darwin's grandfather, was one of the leading intellectuals of eighteenth-century England. He was a man with an extraordinary range of interests and activities: he was a doctor, biologist, inventor, poet, linguist and botanist. He was also a founding member of the Lunar Society, an intellectual community that included such eminent men as James Watt and Josiah Wedgwood.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Catching Up with Erasmus Darwin in the New Century
13
Introduction
33
Englands Greatest
47
Erasmus Darwin and William
83
Introduction
101
Placing
113
Erasmus Darwins Evolutionary Psychobiology
133
Introduction
195
The Ancestors of Modernday Speech Science
217
Erasmus Darwin Tom Wedgwood
237
Introduction
257
The Air Man
273
Erasmus Darwin Work and Health
289
Introduction
305
Myth and Medicine in Erasmus
321

Erasmus Darwin and Luigi Galvani
145
Introduction
161
The Persistence of Erasmus
179
Nature and Human Beings in Erasmus
337
One great Slaughterhouse the warring world
357
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Aston University, Birmingham, UK.

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