Browse | News & Events | Ordering | UPP Blog | For Authors | For Instructors | Prizes | Rights & Permissions | Hebrew Union College Press | About the Press | Support the Press | Contact Us

Browse Our Books

By Series - 'Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century'
TitleAuthorDescription
Adolphe Quetelet, Social Physics and the Average Men of Science, 1796-1874Kevin DonnellyAdolphe Quetelet was an influential astronomer and statistician whose controversial work inspired heated debate in European and American intellectual circles. In creating a science designed to explain the “average man,” he helped contribute to the idea of normal, most enduringly in his creation of the Quetelet Index, which came to be known as the Body Mass Index. Kevin Donnelly presents the first scholarly biography of Quetelet, exploring his contribution to quantitative reasoning, his place in nineteenth-century intellectual history, and his profound influence on the modern idea of average.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available

iPad eBook Available
Age of Scientific NaturalismBernard LightmanPhysicist John Tyndall and his contemporaries were at the forefront of developing the cosmology of scientific naturalism during the Victorian period. They rejected all but physical laws as having any impact on the operations of human life and the universe. Contributors focus on the way Tyndall and his correspondents developed their ideas through letters, periodicals and scientific journals and challenge previously held assumptions about who gained authority, and how they attained and defended their position within the scientific community.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available

iPad eBook Available
Astronomy in India, 1784-1876Joydeep SenIndian scientific achievements in the early twentieth century are well known, with a number of heralded individuals making globally recognized strides in the field of astrophysics. Covering the period from the foundation of the Asiatick Society in 1784 to the establishment of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science in 1876, Sen explores the relationship between Indian astronomers and the colonial British. He shows that from the mid-nineteenth century, Indians were not passive receivers of European knowledge, but active participants in modern scientific observational astronomy.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available

iPad eBook Available
British ArboretumPaul ElliottThis study explores the science and culture of nineteenth-century British arboretums, or tree collections. The development of arboretums was fostered by a variety of factors, each of which is explored in detail: global trade and exploration, the popularity of collecting, the significance to the British economy and society, developments in Enlightenment science, changes in landscape gardening aesthetics and agricultural and horticultural improvement. Arboretums were idealized as microcosms of nature, miniature encapsulations of the globe and as living museums. This book critically examines different kinds of arboretum in order to understand the changing practical, scientific, aesthetic and pedagogical principles that underpinned their design, display and the way in which they were viewed. It is the first study of its kind and fills a gap in the literature on Victorian science and culture.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available

iPad eBook Available
Communicating PhysicsJosep SimonWinner of the Marc-Auguste Pictet Prize, 2010

The textbooks written by Adolphe Ganot (1804–1887) played a major role in shaping the way physics was taught in the nineteenth century. Ganot's books were translated from their original French into more than ten languages, including English, allowing their adoption as standard works in Britain and spreading their influence as far as North America, Australia, India and Japan.

Simon's Franco-British case study looks at the role of Ganot's two textbooks: Traité élémentaire de physique expérimentale et appliquée (1851) and Cours de physique purement expérimentale (1859), and their translations into English by Edmund Atkinson. The study is novel for its international comparison of nineteenth-century physics, its acknowledgement of the role of book production on the impact of the titles and for its emphasis on the role of communication in the making of science.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available

iPad eBook Available
Communicating PhysicsJosep SimonWinner of the Marc-Auguste Pictet Prize, 2010

The textbooks written by Adolphe Ganot (1804–1887) played a major role in shaping the way physics was taught in the nineteenth century. Ganot's books were translated from their original French into more than ten languages, including English, allowing their adoption as standard works in Britain and spreading their influence as far as North America, Australia, India and Japan.

Simon's Franco-British case study looks at the role of Ganot's two textbooks: Traité élémentaire de physique expérimentale et appliquée (1851) and Cours de physique purement expérimentale (1859), and their translations into English by Edmund Atkinson. The study is novel for its international comparison of nineteenth-century physics, its acknowledgement of the role of book production on the impact of the titles and for its emphasis on the role of communication in the making of science.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available

iPad eBook Available
Communities of Science in Nineteenth-Century IrelandJuliana AdelmanThe nineteenth century was an important period for both the proliferation of "popular" science and for the demarcation of a group of professionals that we now term scientists. Of course for Ireland, largely in contrast to the rest of Britain, the prominence of Catholicism posed various philosophical questions regarding research.

Adelman’s study examines the practical educational impact of the growth of science in these communities, and the impact of this on the country’s economy; the role of museums and exhibitions in spreading scientific knowledge; and the role that science had to play in Ireland’s turbulent political context.

Adelman challenges historians to reassess the relationship between science and society, showing that the unique situation in Victorian Ireland can nonetheless have important implications for wider European interpretations of the development of this relationship during a period of significant change.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available

iPad eBook Available
Domesticating ElectricityGraeme GoodayThis is an innovative and original socio-cultural study of the history of electricity during the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. Graeme Gooday shows how technology, authority and gender interacted in pre-World War I Britain. The rapid take-up of electrical light and domestic appliances on both sides of the Atlantic had a wide-ranging effect on consumer habits and the division of labour within the home. Electricity was viewed by non-experts as a potential threat to domestic order and welfare. This broadly interdisciplinary study relates to a website developed by the author on the history of electricity.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available

iPad eBook Available
Free Will and the Human Sciences in Britain, 1870-1910Roger SmithFrom the late nineteenth century onward religion gave way to science as the dominant force in society. This led to a questioning of the principle of free will—if the workings of the human mind could be reduced to purely physiological explanations, then what place was there for human agency and self-improvement?

Smith takes an in-depth look at the problem of free will through the prism of different disciplines. Physiology, psychology, philosophy, evolutionary theory, ethics, history and sociology all played a part in the debates that took place. His subtly nuanced navigation through these arguments has much to contribute to our understanding of Victorian and Edwardian science and culture, as well as having relevance to current debates on the role of genes in determining behaviour.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available

iPad eBook Available
Free Will and the Human Sciences in Britain, 1870-1910Roger SmithFrom the late nineteenth century onward religion gave way to science as the dominant force in society. This led to a questioning of the principle of free will—if the workings of the human mind could be reduced to purely physiological explanations, then what place was there for human agency and self-improvement?

Smith takes an in-depth look at the problem of free will through the prism of different disciplines. Physiology, psychology, philosophy, evolutionary theory, ethics, history and sociology all played a part in the debates that took place. His subtly nuanced navigation through these arguments has much to contribute to our understanding of Victorian and Edwardian science and culture, as well as having relevance to current debates on the role of genes in determining behaviour.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available

iPad eBook Available
James Watt, ChemistDavid Philip MillerIn the Victorian era, James Watt became an iconic engineer, but in his own time he was also an influential chemist. David Philip Miller examines Watt’s illustrious engineering career in light of his parallel interest in chemistry, arguing that Watt’s conception of steam engineering relied upon chemical understandings.

Part 1 of the book—“Representations”—examines the way Watt has been portrayed over time, emphasizing sculptural, pictorial, and textual representations from the nineteenth century. As an important contributor to the development of arguably the most important technology of industrialization, Watt became a symbol that many groups of thinkers were anxious to claim. Part 2—“Realities”—focuses on reconstructing the unsung "chemical Watt" instead of the lionized engineer.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available

iPad eBook Available
Making of British Anthropology, 1813-1871Efram Sera-ShriarVictorian anthropology has been derided as an "armchair practice," distinct from the scientific discipline of the twentieth century. But the observational practices that characterized the study of human diversity developed from the established sciences of natural history, geography and medicine. Sera-Shriar argues that anthropology at this time went through a process of innovation which built on scientifically grounded observational study. Far from being an evolutionary dead end, nineteenth-century anthropology laid the foundations for the field-based science of anthropology today.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Making of Modern Anthrax, 1875-1920James StarkFrom the mid-nineteenth century onwards a number of previously unknown conditions were recorded in both animals and humans. Known by a variety of names, and found in diverse locations, by the end of the century these diseases were united under the banner of "anthrax." Stark offers a fresh perspective on the history of infectious disease. He examines anthrax in terms of local, national and global significance, and constructs a narrative that spans public, professional and geographic domains.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available

iPad eBook Available
Medical Trade Catalogue in Britain, 1870-1914Claire JonesBy the late nineteenth century, advances in medical knowledge, technology and pharmaceuticals led to the development of a thriving commercial industry. The medical trade catalogue became one of the most important means of promoting the latest tools and techniques to practitioners. Drawing on over 400 catalogues produced between 1870 and 1914, Jones presents a study of the changing nature of medical professionalism. She examines the use of the catalogue in connecting the previously separate worlds of medicine and commerce and discusses its importance to the study of print history more widely.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Medicine and ModernismL. S. JacynaAn in-depth study of the English neurologist and polymath Sir Henry Head (1861–1940). Head bridged the gap between science and the arts. He was a published poet who had close links with such figures as Thomas Hardy and Siegfried Sassoon. His research into the nervous system and the relationship between language and the brain broke new ground.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Natural History Societies and Civic Culture in Victorian ScotlandDiarmid FinneganWinner of the Frank Watson Prize in Scottish History, 2011

The relationship between science and civil society is essential to our understanding of cultural change during the Victorian era. Science was frequently packaged as an appropriate form of civic culture, inculcating virtues necessary for civic progress. In turn, civic culture was presented as an appropriate context for enabling and supporting scientific progress. Finnegan's study looks at the shifting nature of this process during the nineteenth century, using Scotland as the focus for his argument. Considerations of class, religion and gender are explored, illuminating changing social identities as public interest in science was allowed—even encouraged—beyond the environs of universities and elite metropolitan societies.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Popular Exhibitions, Science and Showmanship, 1840-1910Joe KemberVictorian culture was characterized by a proliferation of shows and exhibitions. These were encouraged by the development of new sciences and technologies, together with changes in transportation, education and leisure patterns. The essays in this collection look at exhibitions and their influence in terms of location, technology and ideology.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Recreating NewtonRebekah HiggittHiggitt examines Isaac Newton's changing legacy during the nineteenth century. She focuses on 1820–1870, a period that saw the creation of the specialized and secularized role of the "scientist." At the same time, researchers gained better access to Newton's archives. These were used both by those who wished to undermine the traditional, idealised depiction of scientific genius and those who felt obliged to defend Newtonian hagiography. Higgitt shows how debates about Newton's character stimulated historical scholarship and led to the development of a new expertise in the history of science.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Regionalizing ScienceSimon NaylorVictorian England, as is well known, produced an enormous amount of scientific endeavour, but what has previously been overlooked is the important role of geography on these developments.

Naylor seeks to rectify this imbalance by presenting a historical geography of regional science. Taking an in-depth look at the county of Cornwall, questions on how science affected provincial Victorian society, how it changed people’s relationship with the landscape and how it shaped society are applied to the Cornish case study, allowing a depth and texture of analysis denied to more general scientific overviews of the period.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Science and EccentricityVictoria CarrollThe concept of eccentricity was central to how people in the nineteenth century understood their world. This monograph is the first scholarly history of eccentricity. Carroll explores how discourses of eccentricity were established to make sense of individuals who did not seem to fit within an increasingly organized social and economic order. She focuses on the self-taught natural philosopher William Martin, the fossilist Thomas Hawkins and the taxidermist Charles Waterton.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Science and Societies in Frankfurt am MainAyako SakuraiThe nineteenth century saw science move from being the preserve of a small learned elite to a dominant force which influenced society as a whole. Sakurai presents a study of how scientific societies affected the social and political life of a city. As it did not have a university or a centralized government, Frankfurt am Main is an ideal case study of how scientific associations—funded by private patronage for the good of the local populace—became an important centre for natural history.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Science Museums in TransitionCarin BerkowitzThis volume explores the transformation of scientific exhibitions and museums during the nineteenth century. Contributors focus on comparative case studies across Britain and America, examining the people, spaces, display practices, experiences, and politics that worked not only to define the museum, but to shape public science and scientific knowledge during this period.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Science of History in Victorian BritainIan HeskethNew attitudes towards history in nineteenth-century Britain saw a rejection of romantic, literary techniques in favour of a professionalized, scientific methodology. The development of history as a scientific discipline was undertaken by several key historians of the Victorian period, influenced by German scientific history and British natural philosophy. This study examines parallels between the professionalization of both history and science at the time, which have previously been overlooked.

Hesketh challenges accepted notions of a single scientific approach to history. Instead, he draws on a variety of sources—monographs, lectures, correspondence—from eminent Victorian historians to uncover numerous competing discourses.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Styles of Reasoning in the British Life SciencesJames ElwickElwick explores how the concept of "compound individuality" brought together life scientists working in pre-Darwinian London. Scientists conducting research in comparative anatomy, physiology, cellular microscopy, embryology and the neurosciences repeatedly stated that plants and animals were compounds of smaller independent units. Discussion of a "bodily economy" was widespread. But by 1860, the most flamboyant discussions of compound individuality had come to an end in Britain. Elwick relates the growth and decline of questions about compound individuality to wider nineteenth-century debates about research standards and causality. He uses specific technical case studies to address overarching themes of reason and scientific method.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Transit of Venus Enterprise in Victorian BritainJessica RatcliffIn the nineteenth century, the British Government spent money measuring the distance between the earth and the sun using observations of the transit of Venus. This book presents a narrative of the two Victorian transit programmes. It draws out their cultural significance and explores the nature of "big science" in late-Victorian Britain.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Typhoid in UppinghamNigel RichardsonAfter the Public Heath Acts of 1872 and 1875, British local authorities bore statutory obligations to carry out sanitary improvements. Richardson explores public health strategy and central-local government relations during the mid-nineteenth-century, using the experience of Uppingham, England, as a micro-historical case study. Uppingham is a small (and unusually well-documented) market town which contains a boarding school. Despite legal changes enforcing sanitary reform, the town was hit three times by typhoid in 1875–1876.

Richardson examines the conduct of those involved in town and school, the economic dependence of the former on the latter, and the opposition to higher rates to pay for sanitary improvement by a local ratepayer "shopocracy." He compares the sanitary state of the community with others nearby, and Uppingham School with comparable schools of that era. Improvement was often determined by business considerations rather than medical judgments, and local personalities and events frequently drove national policy in practice. This study illuminates wider themes in Victorian public medicine, including the difficulty of diagnosing typhoid before breakthroughs in bacteriological research, the problems local officialdom faced in implementing reform, and the length of time it took London ideas and practice to filter into rural areas.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Uncommon ContextsBen MarsdenBritain in the long nineteenth century developed an increasing interest in science of all kinds. Whilst poets and novelists took inspiration from technical and scientific innovations, those directly engaged in these new disciplines relied on literary techniques to communicate their discoveries to a wider audience. The essays in this collection uncover this symbiotic relationship between literature and science, at the same time bridging the disciplinary gulf between the history of science and literary studies. Specific case studies include the engineering language used by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the role of physiology in the development of the sensation novel and how mass communication made people lonely.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Victorian Literature and the Physics of the ImponderableSarah AlexanderThe Victorians are known for their commitment to materialism, evidenced by the dominance of empiricism in the sciences and realism in fiction. Yet there were other strains of thinking during the period in the physical sciences, social sciences, and literature that privileged the spaces between the material and immaterial. This book examines how the emerging language of the “imponderable” helped Victorian writers and physicists make sense of new experiences of modernity.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Victorian Literature and the Physics of the ImponderableSarah AlexanderThe Victorians are known for their commitment to materialism, evidenced by the dominance of empiricism in the sciences and realism in fiction. Yet there were other strains of thinking during the period in the physical sciences, social sciences, and literature that privileged the spaces between the material and immaterial. This book examines how the emerging language of the “imponderable” helped Victorian writers and physicists make sense of new experiences of modernity.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Victorian Medicine and Popular CultureLouise PennerThis collection of essays explores the rise of scientific medicine and its impact on Victorian popular culture. Chapters include an examination of Charles Dickens’s involvement with hospital funding, concerns over milk purity and the theatrical portrayal of drug addiction, plus a whole section devoted to the representation of medicine in crime fiction. This is an interdisciplinary study involving public health, cultural studies, the history of medicine, literature and the theatre, providing new insights into Victorian culture and society.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available
Vision, Science and Literature, 1870-1920Martin WillisWinner of the British Society for Literature and Science Annual Prize, 2011
Winner of the Cultural Studies in English Prize, 2012

This book explores the role of vision and the culture of observation in Victorian and modernist ways of seeing. Willis charts the characterization of vision through four organizing principles—small, large, past and future—to survey Victorian conceptions of what vision was. He then explores how this Victorian vision influenced twentieth-century ways of seeing, when anxieties over visual "truth" became entwined with modernist rejections of objectivity.

Kindle eBook Available

Nook eBook Available

© 2017 University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.