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Evolution and the Victorians : Science, Culture and Politics in Darwin's Britain

By: Conlin, Jonathan.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: Huntingdon : Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014Description: 1 online resource (231 p.).ISBN: 9781441187529.Subject(s): Darwin, Charles, -- 1809-1882 -- Influence | England -- Intellectual life -- 19th century | Evolution (Biology) -- Philosophy | Great Britain -- History -- Victoria, 1837-1901Genre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Evolution and the Victorians : Science, Culture and Politics in Darwin's BritainDDC classification: 941.081 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Cover-Page -- Half-Title -- Series -- Dedication -- Title -- Contents -- Acknowledgements -- List of illustrations -- Timeline -- A note on currency -- Introduction: 'I think' -- Darwin's problem with species -- Evolution after Darwin -- Playing Huxley's game -- PART ONE The Longest Discovery, 1750-1870 -- 1 Natural theology -- Revolutionary appetencies -- Malthus and population -- The invisible hand -- Phrenology and the constitution of man -- 2 Comparative anatomy -- Lamarck and Cuvier -- Crossing the channel -- Reforming the British Museum -- The Owenite settlement
The Bridgewater Treatises -- 3 Writing The Origin -- The voyage of HMS Beagle -- Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology -- Mental rioting -- Vestiges of Creation -- Alfred Russel Wallace -- 4 Reading The Origin -- 'One long argument' -- Darwin's bulldog -- The Descent of Man -- A Darwinian revolution? -- PART TWO Lines of Descent, 1850-1914 -- 5 Christian evolution? Charles Kingsley's 'natural theology of the future' -- The apostle of the flesh -- The fairyland of science: The Water-Babies -- Reproduce, rinse, repeat -- Dogmatic atheism versus agnosticism
6 Imperial evolution? 'Greater Britons' and other races -- Absence of mind? -- Enlightenment and Emancipation -- The Morant Bay rebellion -- Ethnology or anthropology? -- Escape or extinction? -- 7 Progressive evolution? Herbert Spencer, social science and 'Social Darwinism' -- Springs of action: Childhood and youth -- Statics and kinetics -- The laws of development -- Man Versus the State -- The Social Science Association -- Uncle Lenny and British eugenics -- 8 Domestic evolution? Making a home for science -- Reading and rambling -- The Sydenham dinosaurs -- Treasuring and teaching
9 Sustainable evolution? Alfred Russel Wallace and the Wonderful Century -- Spiritualist science -- Foundations of agnosticism -- Land and labour -- Assassin and alchemist: Annie Besant (1847-1933) -- The view from Davos -- Conclusion: The Longest Discovery -- Work in progress: Evolution and development -- Offensive science -- Glossary -- Index -- Copyright
Summary: Charles Darwin's discovery of evolution by natural selection was the greatest scientific discovery of all time. The publication of his 1859 book, On the Origin of Species, is normally taken as the point at which evolution erupted as an idea, radically altering how the Victorians saw themselves and others. This book tells a very different story. Darwin's discovery was part of a long process of negotiation between imagination, faith and knowledge which began long before 1859 and which continues to this day. Evolution and the Victorians provides historians with a survey of
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Cover-Page -- Half-Title -- Series -- Dedication -- Title -- Contents -- Acknowledgements -- List of illustrations -- Timeline -- A note on currency -- Introduction: 'I think' -- Darwin's problem with species -- Evolution after Darwin -- Playing Huxley's game -- PART ONE The Longest Discovery, 1750-1870 -- 1 Natural theology -- Revolutionary appetencies -- Malthus and population -- The invisible hand -- Phrenology and the constitution of man -- 2 Comparative anatomy -- Lamarck and Cuvier -- Crossing the channel -- Reforming the British Museum -- The Owenite settlement

The Bridgewater Treatises -- 3 Writing The Origin -- The voyage of HMS Beagle -- Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology -- Mental rioting -- Vestiges of Creation -- Alfred Russel Wallace -- 4 Reading The Origin -- 'One long argument' -- Darwin's bulldog -- The Descent of Man -- A Darwinian revolution? -- PART TWO Lines of Descent, 1850-1914 -- 5 Christian evolution? Charles Kingsley's 'natural theology of the future' -- The apostle of the flesh -- The fairyland of science: The Water-Babies -- Reproduce, rinse, repeat -- Dogmatic atheism versus agnosticism

6 Imperial evolution? 'Greater Britons' and other races -- Absence of mind? -- Enlightenment and Emancipation -- The Morant Bay rebellion -- Ethnology or anthropology? -- Escape or extinction? -- 7 Progressive evolution? Herbert Spencer, social science and 'Social Darwinism' -- Springs of action: Childhood and youth -- Statics and kinetics -- The laws of development -- Man Versus the State -- The Social Science Association -- Uncle Lenny and British eugenics -- 8 Domestic evolution? Making a home for science -- Reading and rambling -- The Sydenham dinosaurs -- Treasuring and teaching

9 Sustainable evolution? Alfred Russel Wallace and the Wonderful Century -- Spiritualist science -- Foundations of agnosticism -- Land and labour -- Assassin and alchemist: Annie Besant (1847-1933) -- The view from Davos -- Conclusion: The Longest Discovery -- Work in progress: Evolution and development -- Offensive science -- Glossary -- Index -- Copyright

Charles Darwin's discovery of evolution by natural selection was the greatest scientific discovery of all time. The publication of his 1859 book, On the Origin of Species, is normally taken as the point at which evolution erupted as an idea, radically altering how the Victorians saw themselves and others. This book tells a very different story. Darwin's discovery was part of a long process of negotiation between imagination, faith and knowledge which began long before 1859 and which continues to this day. Evolution and the Victorians provides historians with a survey of

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Cultural and political historian Conlin (Univ. of Southampton, UK) says in the acknowledgements that this book began as a course and is now presented as an undergraduate textbook. Written for non-experts, it is clear and accessible, providing a synthesis of works by leading historians of science, particularly Adrian Desmond, James Moore, Michael Ruse, and Peter Bowler. Organized into two parts, the book begins with a history of Darwin writing On the Origin of Species and the intellectual, political, and cultural context in which he worked. The better of the book's two parts, it is a neat summary of the events and context but adds nothing new. The second section contains five chapters misleadingly called "Lines of Descent" from Darwin's work. Rather than demonstrating Darwin's influence, Conlin presents a somewhat jumbled look at Victorian evolutionism, which is better treated by Peter Bowler in The Non-Darwinian Revolution (CH, Apr'89, 26-4466). Like most textbooks, this one contains little original research, but the source citations are frustratingly inconsistent, sparse, or even nonexistent. Perhaps appropriate for undergraduate classes, this is an expensive, brief summary of better works on Darwin, Darwinism, and Victorian ideas of evolution. --Christopher R. Versen, Bridgewater College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Jonathan Conlin is Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Southampton, UK. He is the author of Civilisation (2009) and Tales of Two Cities: Paris, London and the Making of the Modern City (2013).

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