By Martin Fichman

Codiscoverer of the idea of evolution by way of normal choice, Alfred Russel Wallace might be famous as one of many titans of Victorian technology. as a substitute he has lengthy been relegated to a secondary position at the back of Darwin. Worse, many students have missed or maybe mocked his major contributions to different elements of Victorian tradition. With An Elusive Victorian, Martin Fichman presents the 1st finished analytical learn of Wallace's existence and arguable highbrow career.

Fichman examines not just Wallace's medical 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 clinical pursuits. His objective: the advance of an evolutionary cosmology, a unified imaginative and prescient of humanity's position in nature and society that he was hoping could make sure the dignity of all individuals.

To display the numerous facets 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not just reexamines Wallace's released works, but in addition probes the contents of his lesser recognized writings, unpublished correspondence, and copious annotations in books from his own library.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 technological know-how as particular from his sociopolitical commitments, An Elusive Victorian assumes a collectively invaluable courting among the 2, one that formed Wallace into some of the most memorable characters of his time. absolutely situating Wallace's wide-ranging paintings in its ancient and cultural context, Fichman's cutting edge and insightful account will curiosity historians of technology, faith, and Victorian tradition in addition to biologists.

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


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