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Historicism and the Human Sciences in Victorian Britain

$31.99 (C)

  • Editor: Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley
Mark Bevir, Bernard Lightman, Efram Sera-Shriar, Marcus Tomalin, Ian Duncan, Lauren Goodlad, Brian Young, Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, Duncan Bell, Jennifer Pitts
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  • Date Published: June 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108814164

$ 31.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Historicism and the Human Sciences in Victorian Britain explores the rise and nature of historicist thinking about such varied topics as life, race, character, literature, language, economics, empire, and law. The contributors show that the Victorians typically understood life and society as developing historically in a way that made history central to their intellectual inquiries and their public culture. Although their historicist ideas drew on some Enlightenment themes, they drew at least as much on organic ideas and metaphors in ways that lent them a developmental character. This developmental historicism flourished alongside evolutionary motifs and romantic ideas of the self. The human sciences were approached through narratives, and often narratives of reason and progress. Life, individuals, society, government, and literature all unfolded gradually in accord with underlying principles, such as those of rationality, nationhood, and liberty. This book will appeal to those interested in Victorian Britain, historiography, and intellectual history.

    • Shows how widespread historicism is in the study of human life and society, and reveals wider trends and parallels between particular disciplines
    • Highlights the distinctive and developmental nature of Victorian historicism and situates it in the context of romanticism and Enlightenment historicism
    • Brings together ten leading international scholars, representing a range of disciplines, to discuss developmental historicism across the human sciences
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Bevir’s aim for the book is an important and a timely one. … Bevir and the individual essayists are to be thanked for having brought the several strands of nineteenth-century British historicism into relationship with the wider debates they did so much to reconfigure.' Joshua Bennett, The English Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108814164
    • length: 279 pages
    • dimensions: 150 x 230 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of contributors
    1. Historicism and the human sciences in Victorian Britain Mark Bevir
    2. Life Bernard Lightman
    3. Race Efram Sera-Shriar
    4. Language Marcus Tomalin
    5. Literature Ian Duncan
    6. Moral character Lauren Goodlad
    7. History Brian Young
    8. Political economy Fredrik Albritton Jonsson
    9. Empire Duncan Bell
    10. International law Jennifer Pitts.

  • Editor

    Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley
    Mark Bevir is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for British Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of various books, including A Theory of Governance (2013), Governance: A Very Short Introduction (2012), The Making of British Socialism (2011), Democratic Governance (2010), and The Logic of the History of Ideas (1999).


    Mark Bevir, Bernard Lightman, Efram Sera-Shriar, Marcus Tomalin, Ian Duncan, Lauren Goodlad, Brian Young, Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, Duncan Bell, Jennifer Pitts

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