Cover: Darwin and the Novelists in HARDCOVER

Darwin and the Novelists

Patterns of Science in Victorian Fiction

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$73.00 • £58.95 • €65.50

ISBN 9780674192850

Publication Date: 09/07/1988

Short

336 pages

6 x 9-1/4 inches

World

Darwin’s theory thrust human life into time and nature and subjected it to naturalistic rather than spiritual or moral analysis. Insisting on gradual and regular—lawful—change, Darwinian thought nevertheless requires acknowledgment of chance and randomness for a full explanation of biological phenomena. George Levine shows how these conceptions affected nineteenth-century novelists—from Dickens and Trollope to Conrad—and draws illuminating contrasts with the pre-Darwinian novel and the perspective of natural theology.

Levine demonstrates how even writers ostensibly uninterested in science absorbed and influenced its vision. A central chapter treats the almost aggressively unscientific Trollope as the most Darwinian of the novelists, who worked out a gradualist realism that is representative of the mainstream of Victorian fiction and strikingly consonant with key Darwinian ideas. Levine’s boldly conceived analysis of such authors as Scott and Dickens demonstrates the pervasiveness and power of this revolution in thought and sheds new light on Victorian realism.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy, by James Hankins, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with James Hankins, author of Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy

With Virtue Politics, James Hankins has delivered a bold, revisionist account of the political thought of the Italian Renaissance—from Petrarch to Machiavelli—that reveals the all-important role of character in shaping society, both in citizens and in their leaders. We spoke to him about the importance of virtue to leadership in Renaissance Italy—and its relevance to our own time.

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.