Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Colonies, Cults and Evolution"

New from Cambridge University Press: Colonies, Cults and Evolution: Literature, Science and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Writing by David Amigoni.

About the book, from the publisher:
The concept of culture, now such an important term within both the arts and the sciences, is a legacy of the nineteenth century. By closely analyzing writings by evolutionary scientists such as Charles Darwin, Alfred Russell Wallace and Herbert Spencer, alongside those of literary figures including Wordsworth, Coleridge, Arnold, Butler and Gosse, David Amigoni shows how the modern concept of ‘culture’ developed out of the interdisciplinary interactions between literature, philosophy, anthropology, colonialism, and, in particular, Darwin’s theories of evolution. He goes on to explore the relationship between literature and evolutionary science by arguing that culture was seen less as a singular idea or concept, and more as a field of debate and conflict. This timely and highly original book includes much new material on the history of evolutionary thought and its cultural impact, and will be of interest to scholars of intellectual and scientific history as well as of literature.