Evolution and Victorian Culture

Evolution and Victorian Culture

  • Electronic book text

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


In this collection of essays from leading scholars, the dynamic interplay between evolution and Victorian culture is explored for the first time, mapping new relationships between the arts and sciences. Rather than focusing simply on evolution and literature or art, this volume brings together essays exploring the impact of evolutionary ideas on a wide range of cultural activities including painting, sculpture, dance, music, fiction, poetry, cinema, architecture, theatre, photography, museums, exhibitions and popular culture. Broad-ranging, rather than narrowly specialized, each chapter provides a brief introduction to key scholarship, a central section exploring original insights drawn from primary source material, and a conclusion offering overarching principles and a projection towards further areas of research. Each chapter covers the work of significant individuals and groups applying evolutionary theory to their particular art, both as theorists and practitioners. This comprehensive examination of topics sheds light on larger and previously unknown Victorian cultural patterns.
show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 35 b/w illus.
  • 1139989987
  • 9781139989985

Table of contents

Introduction Bernard V. Lightman and Bennett Zon; 1. Evolution and Victorian fiction Cannon Schmitt; 2. Poetry John Holmes; 3. Between specimen and imagination Elizabeth Edwards; 4. Early cinema and evolution Oliver Gaycken; 5. Evolution and Victorian arts Barbara Larson; 6. 'I'm evolving!': varieties of evolution on the Victorian stage Kirsten E. Shepherd-Barr; 7. Dance and evolutionary thought in late Victorian discourse Theresa Jill Buckland; 8. The 'non-Darwinian' revolution and the Great Chain of Musical Being Bennett Zon; 9. Development and display: progressive evolution in British Victorian architecture and architectural theory Carla Yanni; 10. Dramas of development: exhibitions and evolution in Victorian Britain Sadiah Qureshi; 11. The popularization of evolution and Victorian culture Bernard V. Lightman.
show more

Review quote

'[The editors] rearticulate one of our most persistent discussions in a provocative new light ... [this book] will be useful on the shelf of anybody who cares about the complex fabric of evolution and the ways in which we attempt to understand it.' Will Tattersdill, The British Society for Literature and Science (bsls.ac.uk) 'What this volume does so well is to demonstrate the real range and complexity of Victorian evolutionary ideas, although we need to recognize that, with only a few notable exceptions, the non-Darwinians believed themselves to be Darwinian through and through.' Piers J. Hale, Isis
show more

About Professor Bennett Zon

Bernard Lightman is Professor of Humanities at York University, Toronto, Canada, where he is Director of the Institute for Science and Technology Studies. He is also the Editor of the History of Science Society's flagship journal, Isis. His latest publications include Evolutionary Naturalism in Victorian Britain (2009), Victorian Popularizers of Science (2007) and Science in the Marketplace (2007, co-edited with Aileen Fyfe). Bennett Zon is Professor of Music at Durham University, where he is also Director of the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Music. He has published articles, dictionary and encyclopaedia entries, reviews and edited volumes, as well as monographs including Representing Non-Western Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain (2007), Music and Metaphor in Nineteenth-Century British Musicology (2000) and The English Plainchant Revival (1999).
show more