Book ID: CBB001320420

Novel Science: Fiction and the Invention of Nineteenth-Century Geology (2013)


Buckland, Adelene (Author)

University of Chicago Press

Publication Date: 2013
Physical Details: 377 pp.; ill.; bibl.; index
Language: English

Novel Science is the first in-depth study of the shocking, groundbreaking, and sometimes beautiful writings of the gentlemen of the heroic age of geology and of the contribution these men made to the literary culture of their day. For these men, literature was an essential part of the practice of science itself, as important to their efforts as mapmaking, fieldwork, and observation. The reading and writing of imaginative literatures helped them to discover, imagine, debate, and give shape and meaning to millions of years of previously undiscovered earth history. Borrowing from the historical fictions of Walter Scott and the poetry of Lord Byron, they invented geology as a science, discovered many of the creatures we now call the dinosaurs, and were the first to unravel and map the sequence and structure of stratified rock. As Adelene Buckland shows, they did this by rejecting the grand narratives of older theories of the earth or of biblical cosmogony: theirs would be a humble science, faithfully recording minute details and leaving the big picture for future generations to paint. Buckland also reveals how these scientists---just as they had drawn inspiration from their literary predecessors---gave Victorian realist novelists such as George Eliot, Charles Kingsley, and Charles Dickens a powerful language with which to create dark and disturbing ruptures in the too-seductive sweep of story.

Reviewed By

Review Richard L. Stein (2014) Review of "Novel Science: Fiction and the Invention of Nineteenth-Century Geology". Nineteenth-Century Contexts (pp. 382-384). unapi

Review Nield, Ted (2013) Review of "Novel Science: Fiction and the Invention of Nineteenth-Century Geology". Nature (p. 428). unapi

Review Oldroyd, David (2014) Review of "Novel Science: Fiction and the Invention of Nineteenth-Century Geology". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 451-453). unapi

Review Smith, Jonathan (2015) Review of "Novel Science: Fiction and the Invention of Nineteenth-Century Geology". Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology (pp. 268-270). unapi

Review Page, Michael (2014) Review of "Novel Science: Fiction and the Invention of Nineteenth-Century Geology". Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (pp. 194-195). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Buckland, Adelene
Alexander, Sarah C.
Zimmerman, Virginia Lee-Alice
LaPorte, Charles
Woodward, Kathleen
Brown, Marshall
Victorian Literature and Culture
Earth Sciences History: Journal of the History of the Earth Sciences Society
19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century
Journal of Medical Biography
Nineteenth-Century Contexts
Journal of Literature and Science
Oxford University Press
Virginia, University of
Cornell University Press
Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints
Anthem Press
Pickering & Chatto
Science and literature
Science and culture
Poetry and poetics
Popular culture
Dickens, Charles
Eliot, George
Lyell, Charles
Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Hardy, Thomas
Sedgwick, Adam
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
Great Britain

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