The Earth on Show: Fossils and the Poetics of Popular Science, 1802-1856 (Hardback)
  • The Earth on Show: Fossils and the Poetics of Popular Science, 1802-1856 (Hardback)

The Earth on Show: Fossils and the Poetics of Popular Science, 1802-1856 (Hardback)

£47.50
Hardback Published: 05/02/2008
  • We can order this

Usually despatched within 1 week

  • This item has been added to your basket

Check Marketplace availability

At the turn of the nineteenth century, geology - and its claims that the earth had a long and colorful prehuman history - was widely dismissed as dangerous nonsense. But just fifty years later, it was the most celebrated of Victorian sciences. Ralph O'Connor tracks the astonishing growth of geology's 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 Biblereading public. Savvy science writer, O'Connor 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 authors - including men of science, women, clergymen, biblical literalists, hack writers, blackmailers, and prophets - borrowed 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, O'Connor proves that geology's 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 geology and literature in the nineteenth century.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226616681

You may also be interested in...

Your review has been submitted successfully.

We would love to hear what you think of Waterstones. Why not review Waterstones on Trustpilot?


Review us on Trustpilot