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David Amigoni

‘The conveyance of thought’ in the wonderful century of science In this chapter, I critically reflect on the interface between literature and science in the long nineteenth century. I map trends in the field suggesting that, methodologically, literature and science paradigms are quite fundamental to the understanding of interdisciplinary nineteenth-century studies: in so far as the literature-science field has been characteristically concerned with the transmission of thought and its conveyance by

in Interventions
Poetry, science, and religion in the eighteenth century
Author: Rosalind Powell

Perception and analogy explores ways of seeing scientifically in the eighteenth century. It discusses literary, theological, and didactic texts alongside popular works on astronomy, optics, ophthalmology, and the body to demonstrate how readers are prompted to take on a range of perspectives in their acquisition of scientific knowledge. With reference to topics from colour perception to cataract surgery, the book examines how sensory experience was conceptualised during the eighteenth century. It argues that by paying attention to the period’s documentation of perception as an embodied phenomenon we can better understand the creative methods employed by disseminators of diverse natural philosophical ideas. This book argues for the central role of analogy in conceptualising and explaining new scientific ideas. It centres on religious and topographical poetry by writers including James Thomson, Richard Blackmore, Mark Akenside, Henry Brooke, David Mallet, Elizabeth Carter, and Christopher Smart. Together with its readings of popular educational dialogues on scientific topics, the book also addresses how this analogical approach is reflected in material culture through objects – such as orreries, camera obscuras, and Aeolian harps – that facilitate acts of perception and tactile engagement within polite spaces. The book shows how scientific concepts become intertwined with Christian discourse through reinterpretations of origins and signs, the scope of the created universe, and the limits of embodied knowledge.

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Rosalind Powell

, explained, manipulated, and applied in eighteenth-century literature and science. Newton is a frequent touchstone throughout this study, both by virtue of his scientific publications and because his name becomes a shorthand for empiricist enquiry in this period under the banner of Newtonianism. Whilst a few of the instances of observation that I examine in this book do involve the replication of experiments in acts of direct witnessing of the kind invoked by Newton, the majority of my examples – from topographical poems

in Perception and analogy
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Andrew Smith

In this book I have sought to make a contribution to a range of different knowledges including accounts of masculinity, our understanding of the fin de siècle , the relationship between literature and science, and scholarship on the Gothic. In some respects this might seem to be an overly ambitious project, although it is held together by an understanding of how we

in Victorian demons
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Andrew Smith and Anna Barton

exploration of Poe’s seminal story, ‘The Man of the Crowd’ (1840), which, following Benjamin, is read as an allegory of the nineteenth century, seeing in its central figure not only what Baudelaire calls ‘the man of the century’ but also its very face. In ‘Literature and science’ David Amigoni focuses on a ‘long nineteenth-century viewpoint’ delivered from an unusual source: the novelist Arnold Bennett in an essay entitled ‘The Rising Storm of Life’ written for the popular magazine T.P’s Weekly in 1907. While there has

in Interventions
William Welstead

, examples where literature and science had a more productive relationship. Valerie Purton ( 2013 ), in her introduction to Darwin, Tennyson and their Readers: explorations in Victorian literature and science , contends that Definitions of ‘literatureandscience’ in the discourse of Victorian Britain … were notoriously fluid, and there was little agreement about their usage. To the Royal Literary Fund in the mid-century, ‘science’ was still a branch of literature – since ‘literature’ retained its

in Writing on sheep
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Sam Illingworth

this audience, I wanted to write a book that would also appeal, and be easily read, by a more general audience. Contemporary Poetry and Contemporary Science presents a collection of essays written by both contemporary poets and scientists, and features an afterword by Gillian Beer, who has also written widely on the relationship between literature and science. 17 However, this book investigates the similarities and differences in the way that poets and scientists examine the world around them, but for the most part it is concerned with the opinion of either

in A sonnet to science
Elaine Hobby

. See Slack, ‘Mirrors of health and treasures of poor men: the uses of the vernacular medical literature of Tudor England’, in Charles Webster (ed.), Health, Medicine and Mortality in the Sixteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), pp. 237–273. For the book’s Humanist basis, see Elaine Hobby, ‘“dreams and plain dotage”: the value of The Birth of Mankind (1540–1654)’, in Sharon Ruston (ed.), Essays and Studies 2008: Literature and Science

in Religion and life cycles in early modern England
Pratik Chakrabarti

the local inhabitants. The Madras Journal of Literature and Science , a publication of the Madras Literary Society, elaborated the advantages of such an institution, ‘of having a well-instructed set of subordinates in the medical department of the public service’. 63 The School was also seen to play a far more significant role to play in training Indians, to help ‘the mental improvement of the people of this part of India.’ 64 It would lead to a regeneration of the native intellect, as they ‘will now receive excellent

in Materials and medicine
Enduring Love
Dominic Head

scheme of consilience – the integration of knowledge across disciplines to create a single mode of explanation and understanding – has had on McEwan’s thinking. In an essay from 2001, McEwan compares literature and science and makes some interesting observations about both. On the reading ‘contract, between writer and reader’, McEwan suggests something timeless about literature, and the reader’s ability to ‘understand’ and ‘appreciate’ literary characters, despite their ‘strangeness’ (when read across time or cultures, say): To do this, we must bring our own general

in Ian McEwan