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Victorian Science in Context

Victorians were fascinated by the flood of strange new worlds that science was opening to them. Exotic plants and animals poured into London from all corners of the Empire, while revolutionary theories such as the radical idea that humans might be descended from apes drew crowds to heated debates. Men and women of all social classes avidly collected scientific specimens for display in their homes and devoured literature about science and its practitioners.

Victorian Science in Context captures the essence of this fascination, charting the many ways in which science influenced and was influenced by the larger Victorian culture. Contributions from leading scholars in history, literature, and the history of science explore questions such as: What did science mean to the Victorians? For whom was Victorian science written? What ideological messages did it convey? The contributors show how practical concerns interacted with contextual issues to mold Victorian science—which in turn shaped much of the relationship between modern science and culture.

498 pages | 44 halftones, 23 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 1997

History of Science

Table of Contents

Introduction by Bernard Lightman
1: Defining Knowledge: An Introduction
George Levine
2: The Construction of Orthodoxies and Heterodoxies in the Early Victorian Life Sciences
Alison Winter
3: The Probable and the Possible in Early Victorian England
Joan L. Richards
4: Victorian Economics and the Science of Mind
Margaret Schabas
5: Biology and Politics: Defining the Boundaries
Martin Fichman
6: Redrawing the Boundaries: Darwinian Science and Victorian Women Intellectuals
Evelleen Richards
7: Satire and Science in Victorian Culture
James G. Paradis
8: Ordering Nature: Revisioning Victorian Science Culture
Barbara T. Gates
9: "The Voices of Nature": Popularizing Victorian Science
Bernard Lightman
10: Science and the Secularization of Victorian Images of Race
Douglas A. Lorimer
11: Elegant Recreations? Configuring Science Writing for Women
Ann B. Shteir
12: Strange New Worlds of Space and Time: Late Victorian Science and Science Fiction
Paul Fayter
13: Practicing Science: An Introduction
Frank M. Turner
14: Wallace’s Malthusian Moment: The Common Context Revisited
James Moore
15: Doing Science in a Global Empire: Cable Telegraphy and Electrical Physics in Victorian Britain
Bruce J. Hunt
16: Zoological Nomenclature and the Empire of Victorian Science
Harriet Ritvo
17: Remains of the Day: Early Victorians in the Field
Jane Camerini
18: Photography as Witness, Detective, and Impostor: Visual Representation in Victorian Science
Jennifer Tucker
19: Instrumentation and Interpretation: Managing and Representing the Working Environments of Victorian Experimental Science
Graeme J. N. Gooday
20: Metrology, Metrication, and Victorian Values
Simon Schaffer

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