Literature and Science: Social Impact and Interaction

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ABC-CLIO, 2005 - 471 pages
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A survey of the interaction between science and Anglo-American literature from the late medieval period to the 20th century, examining how authors, thinkers, and philosophers have viewed science in literary texts, and used science as a window to the future.
Spanning six centuries, this survey of the interplay between science and literature in the West begins with Chaucer's Treatise on the Astrolabe and includes commentary on key trends in contemporary literature.

Beginning with the birth of science fiction, the authors examine the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne as well as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein within the context of a wider analysis of the impact of major historical developments like the Renaissance, the scientific revolution, the Enlightenment, and Romanticism. The book balances readings of literature with explanations of the impact of key scientific ideas. Focusing primarily on British and American literature, the book also takes an informed but accessible approach to the history of science, with seminal scientific works discussed in a critical rather than overly theoretical manner.

  • Gives clear explanations of scientific ideas ranging from medieval cosmology to modern concepts in astronomy
  • Organizes the material in chronological order with a chronology and bibliographic essay accompanying each chapter


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164-65 su Rappaccini's Daughter


Science and Literature in the Elizabethan Renaissance
Science and Literature in SeventeenthCentury England
Science and Literature 16801790
The Response to Science
Geology and Evolution
Science and Literature in
Themes in Science Fiction
The Two Cultures Debates
Science Wars and Imperial Ambitions
A Time for Cultural Exchange
Chronology of Significant Events
Primary Source Documents
About the Editors

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About the author (2005)

John H. Cartwright is senior lecturer at the University of Chester, Chester, England and a historian of science.

Brian Baker, PhD, is senior lecturer in literature at the University of Chester, Chester, England and an authority on Anglo-American film and literature.

Bibliographic information