1st Edition

The Routledge Research Companion to Nineteenth-Century British Literature and Science

Edited By John Holmes, Sharon Ruston Copyright 2017
    478 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    478 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Tracing the continuities and trends in the complex relationship between literature and science in the long nineteenth century, this companion provides scholars with a comprehensive, authoritative and up-to-date foundation for research in this field. In intellectual, material and social terms, the transformation undergone by Western culture over the period was unprecedented. Many of these changes were grounded in the growth of science. Yet science was not a cultural monolith then any more than it is now, and its development was shaped by competing world views. To cover the full range of literary engagements with science in the nineteenth century, this companion consists of twenty-seven chapters by experts in the field, which explore crucial social and intellectual contexts for the interactions between literature and science, how science affected different genres of writing, and the importance of individual scientific disciplines and concepts within literary culture. Each chapter has its own extensive bibliography. The volume as a whole is rounded out with a synoptic introduction by the editors and an afterword by the eminent historian of nineteenth-century science Bernard Lightman.


    Notes on contributors


    Introduction: literature and science in the nineteenth century

    John Holmes and Sharon Ruston

    I Contexts

    1) Science, empire and globalization in the nineteenth century

    Sadiah Qureshi

    2) Scientific cultures and institutions

    Martin Willis

    3) Science and religion

    Paul White

    4) Women and science

    Michelle Boswell

    II Genres

    5) The novel as observation and experiment

    Charlotte Sleigh

    6) From Gothic to science fiction

    Adam Roberts

    7) Poetry and science

    Gregory Tate

    8) Scientific literary criticism

    Peter Garratt

    9) Writing the scientist: biography and autobiography

    David Amigoni

    10) Writing science: scientific prose

    Jonathan Smith

    11) Science for the general reader

    Ralph O’Connor

    12) Science in the periodical press

    Gowan Dawson

    13) Science for children

    Debbie Bark

    14) Staging science

    Iwan Morus

    III Mathematical and physical sciences

    15) Mathematics

    Alice Jenkins

    16) Astronomy

    Pamela Gossin

    17) Geology

    Adelene Buckland

    18) Chemistry

    Sharon Ruston

    19) Thermodynamics

    Barri Gold

    20) Electricity

    Stella Pratt-Smith

    21) Technology

    Meegan Kennedy

    IV Biological and human sciences

    22) Natural history, evolution and ecology: the biological sciences

    John Holmes

    23) Archaeology and anthropology

    Julia Reid

    24) Medical research

    Andrew Mangham

    25) Sciences of the mind

    Suzy Anger

    26) Sexology

    Anna Katharina Schaffner

    27) Occult sciences

    Christine Ferguson


    Bernard Lightman



    John Holmes is Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture at the University of Birmingham, UK.

    Sharon Ruston is Professor of Romanticism at Lancaster University, UK.