Skip to content

Your Cart


You have 0 items in your cart.

Register Sign in Wishlist
Look Inside Darwin and the Memory of the Human

Darwin and the Memory of the Human
Evolution, Savages, and South America

$119.00 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: May 2009
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521765602

$ 119.00 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

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
  • When the young Charles Darwin landed on the shores of Tierra del Fuego in 1832, he was overwhelmed: nothing had prepared him for the sight of what he called 'an untamed savage'. The shock he felt, repeatedly recalled in later years, definitively shaped his theory of evolution. In this original and wide-ranging study, In this book Cannon Schmitt shows how Darwin and other Victorian naturalists transformed such encounters with South America and its indigenous peoples into influential accounts of biological and historical change. Redefining what it means to be human, they argue that the modern self must be understood in relation to a variety of pasts - personal, historical, and ancestral - conceived of as savage. Schmitt reshapes our understanding of Victorian imperialism, revisits the implications of Darwinian theory, and demonstrates the pertinence of nineteenth-century biological thought to current theorizations of memory.

    • The first and only full-scale treatment of memory in the context of Victorian evolutionary theory
    • Provides a new reading of the impact of evolutionary theory that includes the work not only of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace but also of lesser-known evolutionists
    • Revises the current consensus about Victorian imperialism by showing the importance of South America to the Victorians despite it being outside the empire
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "The book is impressive in many ways - in particular, in its formal coherence and its brilliant attention to language. Schmitt is a remarkable reader, capable not only of making connections (which is what gives the book some of its formal power) but of making the language he stops to read for us alive with possibilities that casual reading would certainly miss. He never lets any passage lie still, and frequently he will offer a careful reading and then return again to plumb newer depths...[a] wonderful book."
    -George Levine,

    "...a beautifully written, elegantly conceived contribution to the study of nineteenth-century evolutionary theory’s cultural implications."
    -Kathy Alexis Psomiades, Criticism, Winter 2010, Vol. 52, No. 1, pp. 135–144.

    See more reviews

    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: May 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521765602
    • length: 260 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 160 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Charles Darwin's savage mnemonics
    2. Alfred Russel Wallace's tropical memorabilia
    3. Charles Kingsley's recollected empire
    4. W. H. Hudson's memory of loss
    Coda: some reflections.

  • Author

    Cannon Schmitt, University of Toronto

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

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


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.