Skip to content
Open global navigation

Cambridge University Press

AcademicLocation selectorSearch toggleMain navigation toggle

Your Cart


You have 0 items in your cart.

Register Sign in Wishlist

Colonies, Cults and Evolution
Literature, Science and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Writing

$114.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: January 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521884587

$114.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • The concept of culture, now such an important term within both the arts and the sciences, is a legacy of the nineteenth century. By closely analyzing writings by evolutionary scientists such as Charles Darwin, Alfred Russell Wallace, and Herbert Spencer, alongside those of literary figures including Wordsworth, Coleridge, Arnold, Butler, and Gosse, David Amigoni shows how the modern concept of 'culture' developed out of the interdisciplinary interactions between literature, philosophy, anthropology, colonialism, and, in particular, Darwin's theories of evolution. He goes on to explore the relationship between literature and evolutionary science by arguing that culture was seen less as a singular idea or concept, and more as a field of debate and conflict. This fascinating book includes much material on the history of evolutionary thought and its cultural impact, and will be of interest to scholars of intellectual and scientific history as well as of literature.

    • An important contribution to the study of the idea of culture
    • Develops new methodologies for studying the relationships between literature and science
    • Reads both canonical (Darwin, Wordsworth, Coleridge) and lesser-known writers (Wallace, Butler)
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "David Amigoni’s Colonies, Cults and Evolution: Literature, Science and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Writing is clearly written for academic specialists used to the language of contemporary literary and cultural theory, as it makes a significant contribution to the study of the relations between literature and science."
    -George Levine,Rutgers University

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521884587
    • length: 254 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: literature, science and the hothouse of culture
    1. 'Symbolical of more important things': writing science, religion and colonialism in Coleridge's 'culture'
    2. 'Our origin, what matters it?': Wordsworth's excursive portmanteau of culture
    3. Charles Darwin's entanglements with stray colonists: cultivation and the species question
    4. 'In one another's being mingle': biology and the dissemination of 'culture' after 1859
    5. Samuel Butler's symbolic offensives: colonies and mechanical devices in the margins of evolutionary writing
    6. Edmund Gosse's cultural evolution: sympathetic magic, imitation, and contagious literature
    Conclusion: culture's field, culture's vital garment

  • Author

    David Amigoni, Keele University

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Back to top

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.

Cancel Delete

Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.