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date: 31 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Victorian natural science is not something separate from culture and social life, but integral to Victorian literary culture broadly defined. This is particularly important to the Victorian period because it was during the nineteenth century that the professionalization of science occurred; at the same time a vibrant popular science existed. Natural history is part of a broader landscape of scientific culture in the nineteenth century beyond the poles of the ‘scientific naturalists’ such as Charles Darwin and the Anglican ‘gentlemen of science’. A particular nineteenth-century version of natural theology persisted at least until mid-century and even as late as the 1870s, manifesting especially in popular natural histories. One specific genre was the seashore natural history, in which there is a blend of empirical observation and theology, especially in the work of Philip Henry Gosse.

Keywords: natural history, Victorian natural science, popular science, scientific culture, scientific naturalists, Charles Darwin, gentlemen of science, natural theology, seashore natural history, Philip Henry Gosse

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