Darwin's Bards: British and American Poetry in the Age of Evolution

By John Holmes | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

Institutionally, my first thanks must be to the Leverhulme Trust, who awarded me a two-year Research Fellowship from 2006–8 to work on Darwinism, poetry and poetics. Without the Trust’s generous support, this book could not have been written in such good time. I owe a great debt too to my employers and colleagues at the University of Reading, whose generosity during my leave of absence was also fundamental. Thirdly, I am very grateful indeed to the British Society for Literature and Science for giving me the opportunity to meet so many like-minded scholars. Their enthusiasm for this project has been a great encouragement to me throughout. I have presented work towards this book at conferences of the British Society for Literature and Science, the British Association for Victorian Studies, the British Society for the History of Science, the North American Victorian Studies Association and the International Cultural History Association; at conferences at the universities of Keele, Ghent and Durham; and at research seminars at the universities of Oxford, Sheffield, Warwick and Keele. I am grateful to all these societies and universities for the opportunity to try out my ideas, to the colleagues who invited me or accepted my papers, and to the audiences, whose feedback has been invaluable. I would particularly like to thank the staff and students of Randolph College (then Randolph-Macon Women’s College) in Lynchburg, Virginia, for the opportunity to explore my ideas in classes on Victorian history, American literature, environmental studies, evolution and animal behaviour, as well as in a public lecture, during a week as a visiting professor in 2007. I would like too to thank the staff of the Bodleian Library, the British Library and the library of the Royal Society.

Individually, I am most indebted to David Amigoni, Doug Shedd and Rebecca Stott, whose advice, encouragement, friendship and practical support have been indispensable. I am particularly grateful too to Geoff Harvey, Simon Eliot, Ronan McDonald and Dinah Birch, who were all instrumental in getting this work off the ground, and to my commissioning editor Máiréad McElligott and her colleagues at Edinburgh University

-vii-

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Darwin's Bards: British and American Poetry in the Age of Evolution
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Preface x
  • 1- Poetry in the Age of Darwin 1
  • 2- Poetry and the ‘Non-Darwinian Revolution’ 37
  • 3- God 75
  • 4- Death 102
  • 5- Humanity’s Place in Nature 130
  • 6- Humans and Other Animals 154
  • 7- Love and Sex 185
  • 8- On Balance 226
  • Conclusion 260
  • Bibliography 263
  • Index 283
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