An Elusive Victorian: The Evolution of Alfred Russel Wallace by Martin Fichman

By Martin Fichman

Codiscoverer of the speculation of evolution via normal choice, Alfred Russel Wallace may be famous as one of many titans of Victorian technological know-how. as a substitute he has lengthy been relegated to a secondary position at the back of Darwin. Worse, many students have missed or perhaps mocked his major contributions to different elements of Victorian tradition. With An Elusive Victorian, Martin Fichman offers the 1st complete analytical learn of Wallace's existence and arguable highbrow career.

Fichman examines not just Wallace's clinical paintings as an evolutionary theorist and box naturalist but additionally his philosophical issues, his involvement with theism, and his dedication to land nationalization and different sociopolitical reforms equivalent to women's rights. As Fichman exhibits, Wallace labored all through his lifestyles to combine those humanistic and medical pursuits. His aim: the advance of an evolutionary cosmology, a unified imaginative and prescient of humanity's position in nature and society that he was hoping may make sure the dignity of all individuals.

To show the various points of this compelling determine, Fichman not just reexamines Wallace's released works, but in addition probes the contents of his lesser recognized writings, unpublished correspondence, and copious annotations in books from his own library. instead of reflect on Wallace's technology as specific from his sociopolitical commitments, An Elusive Victorian assumes a collectively necessary courting among the 2, one that formed Wallace into the most memorable characters of his time. totally situating Wallace's wide-ranging paintings in its old and cultural context, Fichman's leading edge and insightful account will curiosity historians of technological know-how, faith, and Victorian tradition in addition to biologists.

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