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Predicting the WeatherVictorians and the Science of Meteorology$
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Katharine Anderson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226019680

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226019703.001.0001

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Weather Prophets and the Victorian Almanac

Weather Prophets and the Victorian Almanac

(p.41) Chapter Two Weather Prophets and the Victorian Almanac
Predicting the Weather
University of Chicago Press

This chapter concentrates on the development of meteorology in the 1840s, a decade before the establishment of the Meteorological Department, and considers an energetic circle of popular weather prophets who shaped discussions about meteorology. Their influence leads to questions about publicity, reputation, and the changing circulation of scientific knowledge. Integrating popular weather prophets into the history of meteorology requires attention to the role of the almanacs, as a traditional but revitalized form of publication in this period. The story of the prophets and their almanacs shows how the marketplace, popular culture, and scientific authority took shape in British meteorology. Meteorologists and meteorological organizations from the 1840s on, whether they explicitly acknowledged it or not, worked in awareness of the lively popular tradition of weather prophecy and its distinctive form, the almanac.

Keywords:   almanac, meteorology, Meteorological Department, weather prophets, scientific knowledge, Victorian society

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