Books  General Natural History  History of Science 

Science in the Nineteenth-century Periodical: Reading the Magazine of Nature

By: G Cantor

346 pages, 3tabs, 28 halftones

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Sep 2004 | #152478 | ISBN: 0521836379
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NHBS Price: £76.99 $107/€87 approx

About this book

For the Victorian reading public, periodicals played a far greater role than books in shaping their understanding of new discoveries and theories in science, technology and medicine. Such understandings were formed not merely by serious scientific articles, but also by glancing asides in political reports, fictional representations, or humorous attacks in comic magazines. Ranging across diverse forms of periodicals, from top-selling religious and juvenile magazines through to popular fiction-based periodicals, and from the campaigning `new journalism' of the late century to the comic satire of Punch, this book explores the ways in which scientific ideas and developments were presented to a variety of Victorian audiences. In addition, it offers three case studies of the representation of particular areas of science: `baby science', scientific biography, and electricity. This intriguing collaborative volume sheds new light on issues relating to history and history of science, literature, book history, and cultural and media studies.

'... fascinating book'. Times Higher Education Supplement


List of illustrations; Preface; 1. Introduction Gowan Dawson, Richard Noakes and Jonathan R. Topham; Part I. Genres: 2. The Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction and cheap miscellanies in early nineteenth-century Britain Jonathan R. Topham; 3. The Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine and religious monthlies in early nineteenth-century Britain Jonathan R. Topham; 4. Punch, science and comic journalism in mid-Victorian Britain Richard Noakes; 5. The Cornhill Magazine and shilling monthlies in mid-Victorian Britain Gowan Dawson; 6. The Boy's Own Paper, science, and late-Victorian juvenile magazines Richard Noakes; 7. The Review of Reviews and the new journalism in late Victorian Britain Gowan Dawson; Part II. Themes: 8. Tickling babies: gender, authority, and 'baby science' Sally Shuttleworth; 9. Scientific biography in the periodical press Geoffrey Cantor; 10. Profit and prophecy: electricity in the late Victorian periodical Graeme Gooday; Notes; Select bibliography; Index.

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Geoffrey Cantor is Professor of the History of Science at the University of Leeds and co-Director (with Sally Shuttleworth) of the 'Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical' (SciPer) project. Among his publications are Michael Faraday, Sandemanian and Scientist (1991) and, with John Hedley Brooke, Reconstructing Nature: The Engagement of Science and Religion (1998). Gowan Dawson is Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Leicester. He has published articles on the interrelations of Victorian science and literature. Graeme Gooday is Senior Lecturer in the History of Science at the University of Leeds. He is the author of The Morals of Measurement: Accuracy, Irony and Trust in Late Victorian Electrical Practice (Cambridge 2004). Richard Noakes is British Academy-Royal Society Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Science at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge. He has published on the history of Victorian physical sciences and spiritualism and is the co-editor (with Kevin Knox) of From Newton to Hawking: A History of Cambridge University's Lucasian Professors of Mathematics (Cambridge, 2003). Sally Shuttleworth is Professor of English Literature at the University of Sheffield. She has worked extensively on the relations between science and literature. Her books in this area include Charlotte Bronte and Victorian Psychology (1996), and Embodied Selves: An Anthology of Psychological Texts, 1830-1890 (with Jenny Bourne Taylor, 1998). Jonathan Topham is Senior Research Fellow on the 'Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical' (SciPer) Project at the Universities of Sheffield and Leeds. He has published widely on scientific publishing and the readership for science in nineteenth-century Britain and is co-editor of Culture and Science in the Nineteenth-Century Media (2004).

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