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Virginia Woolf and the Study of Nature

$103.00 (C)

  • Date Published: August 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521196550

$ 103.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Reflecting the modernist fascination with science, Virginia Woolf's representations of nature are informed by a wide-ranging interest in contemporary developments in the life sciences. Christina Alt analyses Woolf's responses to disciplines ranging from taxonomy and the new biology of the laboratory to ethology and ecology and illustrates how Woolf drew on the methods and objectives of the contemporary life sciences to describe her own literary experiments. Through the examination of Woolf's engagement with shifting approaches to the study of nature, this work covers new ground in Woolf studies and makes an important contribution to the understanding of modernist exchanges between literature and science.

    • Broadens the consideration of Woolf's engagement with science by demonstrating her use of ideas drawn from disciplines such as the new biology, ethology and ecology
    • Examines the developments and writing in late nineteenth and early twentieth century within the life sciences, providing a context for Woolf's work
    • Links between the modern developments across the arts and sciences during this period
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This invaluable book fleshes out Virginia Woolf's immersion in the life sciences from her Victorian childhood to her modernist fascination with the new fields of ecology and ethology … Alt provides a full delineation of late Victorian natural history in its peculiarly British conservatism and resistance to the kind of institutional science practiced on the Continent."
    Louise Westling, Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521196550
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations
    1. The natural history tradition
    2. The modern life sciences
    3. 'To pin through the body with a name': Virginia Woolf and the taxonomic tradition
    4. Laboratory coats and field glasses: Virginia Woolf and the modern study of nature
    5. Representing 'the manner of our seeing': literary experimentation and scientific analogy

  • Author

    Christina Alt, University of Sydney
    Christina Alt is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Ottawa. She has contributed to numerous collections on the work of Virginia Woolf.

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