Darwin’s plants and Darwin’s gardens
Sex, sensation and natural selection
in EcoGothic gardens in the long nineteenth century
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Charles Darwin’s botanical writings, especially his books on insectivorous species and plant fertilisation, were scientifically innovative and culturally fertile. Coinciding with the popularity of ‘sensation fiction’ in the 1860s and 1870s, these books blurred the boundary between plants and animals in uncanny ways, helping to bring the Gothic into English gardens, much as sensation fiction imported Gothic romance into the domestic realism of the British novel. The chapter examines several gardens in the sensation fiction of Mary Braddon and Wilkie Collins as well as the gardens and hothouses at Darwin’s home in Kent, where much of his botanical research was conducted.

EcoGothic gardens in the long nineteenth century

Phantoms, fantasy and uncanny flowers

Editor: Sue Edney


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