Darwin, Literature and Victorian Respectability
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Darwin, Literature and Victorian Respectability by Gowan Dawson
Book DescriptionThe success of Charles Darwin's evolutionary theories in mid-nineteenth-century Britain has long been attributed, in part, to his own adherence to strict standards of Victorian respectability, especially in regard to sex. Gowan Dawson contends that the fashioning of such respectability was by no means straightforward or unproblematic, with Darwin and his principal supporters facing surprisingly numerous and enduring accusations of encouraging sexual impropriety. Integrating contextual approaches to the history of science with work in literary studies, Dawson sheds light on the well-known debates over evolution by examining them in relation to the murky underworlds of Victorian pornography, sexual innuendo, unrespectable freethought and artistic sensualism. Such disreputable and generally overlooked aspects of nineteenth-century culture were actually remarkably central to many of these controversies. Focusing particularly on aesthetic literature and legal definitions of obscenity, Dawson reveals the underlying tensions between Darwin's theories and conventional notions of Victorian respectability.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521872492
(228mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 12-Apr-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Gowan Dawson
Victorian Scientific Naturalism, Hardback (May 2014)
Examines the secular creeds of the generation of intellectuals who, in the wake of The Origin of Species, wrested cultural authority from the old Anglican establishment while installing themselves as a new professional scientific elite.
Victorian Science and Literature, Hardback (June 2012)
This eight-volume, reset edition in two parts collects rare primary sources on Victorian science, literature and culture. The sources cover both scientific writing that has an aesthetic component - what might be called 'the literature of science' - and more overtly literary texts that deal with scientific matters.
Darwin, Literature and Victorian Respectability, Paperback (February 2010)» View all books by Gowan Dawson
Dawson reveals the underlying tension between Darwin's theories and conventional notions of Victorian respectability.
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Author Biography - Gowan Dawson
Gowan Dawson is Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Leicester.
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