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The Age of Analogy

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9781421420769
Author(s): Devin Griffiths
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2016
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Dimensions: 152 x 28 x 229 (w x l x h)
Pages: 352

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Description:
Erasmus Darwin and his grandson, Charles, were the two most important evolutionary theorists of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. Although their ideas and methods differed, both Darwins were prolific and inventive writers: Erasmus composed several epic poems and scientific treatises, while Charles is renowned both for his collected journals (now titled The Voyage of the Beagle) and for his masterpiece, The Origin of Species. In The Age of Analogy, Devin Griffiths argues that the Darwins' writing style was profoundly influenced by the poets, novelists, and historians of their era. The Darwins, like other scientists of the time, labored to refashion contemporary literary models into a new mode of narrative analysis that could address the contingent world disclosed by contemporary natural science. By employing vivid language and experimenting with a variety of different genres, these writers gave rise to a new relational study of antiquity, or 'comparative historicism,' that emerged outside of traditional histories.
It flourished instead in literary forms like the realist novel and the elegy, as well as in natural histories that explored the continuity between past and present forms of life. Nurtured by imaginative cross-disciplinary descriptions of the past-from the historical fiction of Sir Walter Scott and George Eliot to the poetry of Alfred Tennyson-this novel understanding of history fashioned new theories of natural t
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