David Amigoni
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Literature and science
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This chapter critically reflects on the interface between literature and science in the long nineteenth century. The literature-science field has been characteristically concerned with the transmission of thought and its conveyance by the material channels of technological media. The chapter considers the case of a 'transitional' literary writer Arnold Bennett and examines the aspects of his novel-writing practice that speak of his subtle engagement with Victorian ideas about day-to-day science and technology. It explores Bennett's essay The Rising Storm of Life as a magazine publication which provides a context for reflecting on more direct exchanges between popular writing and scientific ideas. The detail that Bennett employs is indicative of what might be seen as an investment in Herbert Spencer's radical Victorian scientific philosophy. This philosophy has been somewhat overlooked in work on Victorian literature and science, given Charles Darwin's prominence.

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Rethinking the nineteenth century

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