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Marsh and the female offender
Johan Höglund

, Nordau influentially suggested that the increasingly urban and decadent cultures and citizens of fin-de-siècle Europe showed evidence of a counter-evolutionary process. Nordau dedicated his book to the Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso, whose main contention was that crime was often hereditary, the irresistible impulse of an atavistic mind housed in a similarly primitive body, and that the ‘born criminal’ could be identified by physical ‘stigmata’ that indicated the person’s criminal propensities. These ideas connected with Francis Galton’s eugenics movement and

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
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Helena Ifill

are in part responses to popular concerns about the state of education, it is significant that Braddon and Collins were writing these novels at a time when scientific theories and social policies were tending towards more deterministic, less optimistic conceptions of heredity, and beginning to consider eugenics as the means of halting social degeneration. Both authors are asserting the ability and responsibility of society to raise good citizens, and are to at least some extent buffering the individual from blame. Reading the novels collectively, there is also an

in Creating character
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Helena Ifill

Nathan Sheppard’s claim that ‘there is absolutely no limit’ to the rule of heredity, that ‘all things’ good and bad are the result of its effects, seems even more portentous, and this is indicative of a trend in thought about hereditary influence that would continue to the end of the century. Theories of degeneration and eugenics were increasingly entertained, although not always endorsed, by doctors, scientists and policy makers, and were circulated in periodicals aimed at both specialist and popular readerships. B. A. Morel’s Traité des dégénérescences physiques

in Creating character
Martine Pelletier

coined the term ‘eugenics’ in 1883. Galton’s abiding interest was the hereditary transmission of intellectual capacity, which he studied through anthropometry. To quote McConnell, 9780719075636_4_006.qxd 16/2/09 9:25 AM Page 113 New articulations of Irishness and otherness 113 Galton postulated that natural selection acted on groups within the human population, favouring the breeding and success of certain races, nationalities, social classes and even families. Such theories became the talk of the great houses in England and Ireland. Notions of genetic, racial

in Irish literature since 1990
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Science fiction meets detection in Gun, With Occasional Music
James Peacock

(Carroll, 1995 : 31). However, he fails to acknowledge that the reverse is also true: science deals in narrative speculation as well as knowledge. More damagingly, he chooses to ignore the ideological undercurrents of evolutionary theory and its more nefarious ramifications (notably eugenics) 1 , and then proceeds to incorporate all literature into an evolutionary paradigm that reduces literary knowledge

in Jonathan Lethem
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Helena Ifill

gone wrong at some stage of an individual’s development. Gradations and definitions of normalcy and deviancy became increasingly significant as the century progressed, especially in relation to ideas of hereditary transmission that were progressively more influential throughout the century. Although eugenics was largely a late-​nineteenth-​ to early-​twentieth-​century phenomenon, Francis Galton’s ‘Hereditary talent’ was published in Macmillan’s Magazine in 1865, and suggested to readers that through the careful selection of a spouse desirable traits could be passed

in Creating character
Open Access (free)
Irish drama since 1990
Clare Wallace and Ondrej Pilný

identity lie, notoriously, with eugenics, a doctrine which has been readily embraced by many a totalitarian regime; hence, there is perhaps no need to stress that the traditional concept of Irishness requires a swift and dramatic reformulation in post-Celtic-Tiger Ireland. Notes 1 2 3 Dermot Bolger, Druids, Dudes and Beauty Queens: The Changing Face of Irish Theatre (Dublin: New Island, 2001), p. 12. Ibid. Christopher Murray, Twentieth-Century Irish Drama: Mirror up to Nation (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997), p. 224. 9780719075636_4_003.qxd 16/2/09 9

in Irish literature since 1990
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Jana Funke

, Radclyffe Hall, pp. 138–163, discusses A Saturday Life in terms of gender performativity.  93 Ibid., p. 161.   94 ‘Miss Ogilvy Finds Herself ’, Observer (11 March 1934), p. 6.   95 Basil de Selincourt, ‘Miss Radclyffe Hall’s Stories’, Manchester Guardian (6 April 1934), p. 5.   96 For more on modernist women writers, motherhood and eugenics, see Laura Doyle, Bordering on the Body: The Racial Matrix of Modern Fiction and Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 10–34; and Gay Wachman, Lesbian Empire: Radical Crosswriting in the Twenties (New Brunswick

in ‘The World’ and other unpublished works of Radclyffe Hall
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Helena Ifill

unknowable. However much (or little) free will characters possess in this novel is almost irrelevant because they so rarely have enough knowledge to put it to effective use, as Collins places increased weight upon human beings’ helplessness in the face of circumstance. This is all part of Collins’s strategy for demanding social change by demonstrating that people are what circumstances make of them. The growing interest in degeneration and eugenics theories was marked, as discussed in the previous chapter, by an increasing emphasis on the health of the nation, rather than

in Creating character
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Andrew Frayn

. Masterman, From the Abyss: Of Its Inhabitants by One of Them (London: R. Brimley Johnson, 1902), p. 28. See also Saltus, Philosophy of Disenchantment, p. 212. Housing in London was expensive and in short supply. See Jean-Louis Robert, ‘Paris, London, Berlin on the Eve of War’, in Winter and Robert (eds), Capital Cities at War, pp. 44–5. 79 On London see Robert, ‘Paris, London, Berlin on the Eve of War’, p. 51. 80 See Donald J. Childs, Modernism and Eugenics: Woolf, Eliot, Yeats and the Culture of Degeneration (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. 1; Marius

in Writing disenchantment