in The Victorian aquarium
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Starting from ‘Black Tarn’, a novella published in All the Year Round, the conclusion briefly retraces the fortunes of Victorian tank keeping from a widespread craze to a half-forgotten pastime. The reasons for the temporary success of the marine aquarium, as well as those behind its demise a few years later, offer valuable insights into the complexity of Victorian culture, especially as they involved expectations concerning efficiency, control, and durability, or the capacity of humans to recreate, and then manage, miniaturised ecosystems. Moreover, Victorian discussion of the aquarium testify to an important moment in the development of what we would now call environmental awareness.

The Victorian aquarium

Literary discussions on nature, culture and science


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