At the turn of the nineteenth century, geologyaand its claims that the earth had a long and colorful prehuman historyawas widely dismissedasdangerous nonsense. But just fifty years later, it was the most celebrated of Victorian sciences. Ralph OaConnor tracks the astonishing growth of geologyas prestige in Britain, exploring how a new geohistory far more alluring than the standard six days of Creation was assembled and sold to the wider Bible-reading public. Shrewd science-writers, OaConnor shows, marketed spectacular visions of past worlds, piquing the public imagination with glimpses of man-eating mammoths, talking dinosaurs, and sea-dragons spawned by Satan himself. These authorsaincluding men of science, women, clergymen, biblical literalists, hack writers, blackmailers, and prophetsaborrowed freely from the Bible, modern poetry, and the urban entertainment industry, creating new forms of literature in order to transport their readers into a vanished and alien past. In exploring the use of poetry and spectacle in the promotion of popular science, OaConnor proves that geologyas success owed much to the literary techniques of its authors. An innovative blend of the history of science, literary criticism, book history, and visual culture, The Earth on Show rethinks the relationship between science and literature in the nineteenth century.An innovative blend of the history of science, literary criticism, book history, and visual culture, The Earth on Show rethinks the relationship between science and literature in the nineteenth century.
|Title||:||The Earth on Show|
|Publisher||:||University of Chicago Press - 2008-09-15|