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Excavating Victorians /
Virginia Zimmerman.
imprint
Albany : State University of New York Press, c2008.
description
x, 231 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0791472795 (hardcover : alk. paper), 9780791472798 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Albany : State University of New York Press, c2008.
isbn
0791472795 (hardcover : alk. paper)
9780791472798 (hardcover : alk. paper)
contents note
Introduction: "all relics here together" -- The Victorian geologist: reading remains and writing time -- Tennyson's fairy tale of science -- Accidental archaeology in London and Pompeii -- Dickens among the ruins -- Final fragments.
catalogue key
6385044
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 207-223) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Virginia Zimmerman is Assistant Professor of English at Bucknell University.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-06-01:
This book, Zimmerman's first, explores varying cultural responses to the development of geology and archaeology as modern sciences in 19th-century England, placing special emphasis on how these emerging disciplines influenced Victorians' perceptions of time. Although Zimmerman (Bucknell Univ.) builds on influential earlier works on the reception of evolutionary science in Victorian literature, for example, Gillian Beer's exemplary Darwin's Plots (1983; 2nd ed., 2000), her focus on the "exacavatory sciences," and on Victorian anxieties about the significance of human life in the vastly expanded geological history of the world, mark the volume as a significant contribution to Victorian studies. The volume is well crafted and thoroughly researched, both in Victorian scholarship and in recent theory, particularly that of Paul Ricoeur. Zimmerman offers compelling readings of Tennyson's The Princess and Dickens's Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend, but the volume may not explore enough literary texts to make it attractive for small literature collections. This would be a pity because the volume's interdisciplinary nature and Zimmerman's engaging, clear style make the book valuable for readers in a variety of fields. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. R. D. Morrison Morehead State University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 2008
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
'Excavating Victorians' examines 19th century Britain's reaction to the revelations about time and natural history provided by the new sciences of geology and archaeology. It also shows how the Victorians utilized a nexus of literature, excavation and reflections on time to ease anxities about the individual's fate.
Title Summary
"Excavating Victorians examines nineteenth-century Britain's reaction to the revelations about time and natural history provided by the new sciences of geology and archaeology. The Victorians faced one of the greatest paradigm shifts in history: the bottom dropped out of time, and they had to reinvent their relationship to the earth and to time and history. These new sciences took the Victorians by storm, inundating them with fossils, skeletal remains, and potsherds - artifacts, or traces, that served at once as relics from the past, objects in the present, and markers of time's passage. Virginia Zimmerman explores how the Victorians utilized a nexus of literature, excavation, and reflections on time to ease anxieties about the individual's fate in the face of time's overwhelming expanse. The function of artifacts is also considered through careful readings of Tennyson's The Princess and Dickens's Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend. Zimmerman shows how these literary works make use of the language, tropes, and even generic conventions of excavation, and how they participate in the effort to rescue the individual from temporal insignificance."--BOOK JACKET.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: "All Relics Here Together"p. 1
The Victorian Geologist: Reading Remains and Writing Timep. 27
Tennyson's Fairy Tale of Sciencep. 65
Accidental Archaeology in London and Pompeiip. 97
Dickens among the Ruinsp. 143
Final Fragmentsp. 177
Notesp. 179
Bibliographyp. 207
Indexp. 225
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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