Giants of the Past: Popular Fictions and the Idea of Evolution (Hardback)Lisa Hopkins (author)
Hardback 208 Pages / Published: 31/07/2004
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This book considers the ways in which the idea of evolution has been used in popular fiction, focusing mainly on novels of the Victorian and Edwardian periods but also including a closing section on Steven Spielberg's first two Jurassic Park films. The book's overall argument is that in many of these texts the version of origins proffered by Darwinian theory is suggestively played off against both the version of human origins offered by Milton (and, the book suggests, implicitly supported by Shakespeare) and the version of national origins offered by Virgil and by the myth of Brutus, legendary grandson of Aeneas and supposed first founder of Britain. Nevertheless, although these novels tend to give such prominence to alternatives to Darwinian theory, they are also very ready to draw on any aspects of it which will lend support to their own agendas, especially when it comes to drawing sharp distinctions between races and sexes. Although Darwinian theory posed challenges to contemporary orthodoxies and pieties, it could thus also be used in the support of some of them.
Publisher: Associated University Presses
Number of pages: 208
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