Science in the Romantic Era: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Science in the Romantic Era

1st Edition

By David Knight


352 pages

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First published in 1998. The Romantic Era was a time when society, religion and other beliefs, and science were all in flux. The idea that the universe was a great clock, and that men were little clocks, all built by a divine watchmaker, was giving way to a more dynamic and pantheistic way of thinking. A new language was invented for chemistry, replacing metaphor with algebra; and scientific illustration came to play the role of a visual language, deeply involved with theory. A scientific community came gradually into being as the 19th century wore on. The papers which compose this book have appeared in a wide range of books and journals; together with the new introduction they illuminate science and its context in the Romantic Era and follow its effects in the 19th century.

Table of Contents

Foreword; Acknowledgements; Part One: What is History of Science; 1. The History of Science in Britain: A Personal View 2. Background and Foreground: Getting Things in Context; Part Two: Romantic Science; 3. The Scientist as Sage 4. Romanticism and the Sciences 5. Steps Towards a Dynamical Chemistry 6. The Physical Science and the Romantic Movement 7. Chemistry, Physiology and Materialism in the Romantic Period 8. "Conquering the Prejudice Adopted From the French School of Chemistry": the Science in Britain in Gay-Lussac’s Time; Part Three: Organization and Utility; 9. Science and Professionalism in England, 1770-1830 10. Agriculture and Chemistry in Britain around 1800 11. Tyrannies of Distance in British Science 12. The Application of Enlightened Philosophy: Banks and the Physical Sciences; Part Four: Pictures, Diagrams and Symbols; 13. A Note on Sumptuous Natural Histories 14. Scientific Theory and Visual Language 15. William Swainson: Types, Circles and Infinities 16. William Swainson: Naturalist, Author and Illustrator 17. Ordering the World; 18. Pictures, Diagrams and Symbols: Visual Language in Nineteenth-Century Chemistry; Part Five: Scientific Language; 19. Accomplishment or Dogma: Chemistry in the Introductory Works of Jane Marcet and Samuel Parkes 20. Lavoisier; Discovery, Interpretation and Revolution 21. Words that Make Worlds 22. From Science to Wisdom: Humphry Davy’s Life 23. Getting Science Across; Part Six: Epilogue; 24. Science and Culture in Mid-Victorian Britain: The Reviews and William Crookes’ Quarterly Journal of Science 25. Observation, Experiment, Theory – and the Spirits 26. Arthur James Balfour (1848-1930): Scientism and Scepticism; Index

About the Author

Multivolume collection by leading authors in the field

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: Romanticism

This set reissues 28 books on Romanticism originally published between 1940 and 2006. Routledge Library Editions: Romanticism provides an outstanding collection of scholarship which explores not only Romantic literature but the Romantic Movement as a whole, including art, philosophy and science.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
SCIENCE / History