Chapter

Introduction

in An Elusive Victorian

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780226246130
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226246154 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226246154.003.0001
Introduction

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This book brings into focus one of the most innovative and controversial figures of the Victorian era, Alfred Russel Wallace, as his thought and career were interwoven with the scientific, ethical, philosophical, social, religious, political, and economic currents that flowed in such profusion through the Victorian cultural landscape. His pronouncements on political, social, and ethical issues struck responsive chords in individuals and groups in Victorian society. Wallace made a key decision, early in his career, to incorporate science into a broader ethical framework. Wallace's particular field of scientific expertise, evolutionary biology, created both opportunities and dilemmas for him and his contemporaries. Thus, the book is chronological to the degree that Wallace encountered different ideas and social realities at successive periods in his long life.

Keywords: Alfred Russel Wallace; Victorian cultural landscape; Victorian society; evolutionary biology; scientific expertise

Chapter.  4156 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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