Literature, Science and Exploration in the Romantic Era

Literature, Science and Exploration in the Romantic Era : Bodies of Knowledge

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In 1768, Captain James Cook made the most important scientific voyage of the eighteenth century. He was not alone: scores of explorers like Cook, travelling in the name of science, brought new worlds and new peoples within the horizon of European knowledge for the first time. Their discoveries changed the course of science. Old scientific disciplines, such as astronomy and botany, were transformed; new ones, like craniology and comparative anatomy, were brought into being. Scientific disciplines, in turn, pushed literature of the period towards new subjects, forms and styles. Works as diverse as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Wordsworth's Excursion responded to the explorers' and scientists' latest discoveries. This wide-ranging and well-illustrated study shows how literary Romanticism arose partly in response to science's appropriation of explorers' encounters with foreign people and places and how it, in turn, changed the profile of science and exploration.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 348 pages
  • 149.9 x 228.6 x 27.9mm | 657.72g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 23 b/w illus.
  • 0521829194
  • 9780521829199

Review quote

'An important requirement for the establishment of knowledge is knowledge of the establishment. the authors of this well-researched and fascinating book have illustrated this truth more amply than they concede.' MLR 'This is a wonderfully provocative book, replete with broad speculations, new ideas, forgotten facts, and neglected histories. Jointly conceived by three authors, it represents the best of interdisciplinary inquiry and scholarly engagement. The clarity of its introduction assures from the start an ongoing usefulness to students, general readers, and scholars.' CLIO
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About Tim Fulford

Dr Tim Fulford is Professor in the Department of English and Media Studies at Nottingham Trent University. He is the author of Landscape, Liberty and Authority: Poetry, Criticism and Politics from Thomson to Wordsworth (Cambridge, 1996) and Romanticism and Masculinity (1999) and co-editor with Peter J. Kitson of Romanticism and Colonialism (Cambridge, 1998). Peter J. Kitson is Professor in the Department of English at Dundee University. He is co-editor with Timothy Fulford of Romanticism and Colonialism (Cambridge, 1998). Debbie Lee is Professor of English at Washington State University. She is the author of Slavery and the Romantic Imagination (2002) and co-editor with Peter J. Kitson of Abolition, and Emancipation: Writings in the British Romantic Period (2000).
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Table of contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; A note on the text; Frequently cited texts; Introduction: bodies of knowledge; Part I. Exploration, Science and Literature: 1. Sir Joseph Banks and his networks; 2. Tahiti in London; London in Tahiti: tools of power; 3. Indian flowers and Romantic Orientalism; 4. Mental travellers: Banks, African exploration and the Romantic imagination; 5. Banks, Bligh and the breadfruit: slave plantations, tropical islands and the rhetoric of Romanticism; 6. Exploration, headhunting and race theory: the skull beneath the skin; 7. Theories of terrestrial magnetism and the search for the poles; Part II. British Science and Literature in the Context of Empire: 8. 'Man electrified man': Romantic revolution and the legacy of Benjamin Franklin; 9. The beast within: vaccination, Romanticism and the Jenneration of disease; 10. Britain's little black boys and the technologies of benevolence; Conclusion; Notes; Index.
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