Wordsworth and the Geologists

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Cambridge University Press, 1995 M11 2 - 268 pages
Examination of the links between science and literary history is providing new insight for scholars across a range of disciplines. In Wordsworth and the Geologists, first published in 1995, John Wyatt explores the relationship between a major Romantic poet and a group of scientists in the formative years of a new discipline, geology. Wordsworth's later poems and prose display unexpected knowledge of contemporary geology and a preoccupation with many of the philosophical issues concerned with the developing science of geology. Letters and diaries of a group of leading geologists reveal that they knew Wordsworth, and discussed their subject with him. Wyatt shows how the implications of such discussions challenge the simplistic version of 'two cultures', the Romantic-literary against the scientific-materialistic; and he reminds us of the variety of interrelating discourses current between 1807 (the year of the foundation of the Geological Society of London) and 1850 (the year of Wordsworth's death).

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Contents

Trinity men
71
Order clarity distinctness
105
The universality of Natures kingdom
128
the abyss of time
150
Geology the poetic discipline
169
Geologists and humanity
193
IO Conclusion
214
Notes
230
Bibliography
251
Index
265
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