This introduction begins by recovering the prehistory of the terms scientific naturalism and scientific naturalist, attempting to reclaim them as authentic actors’ categories. It also assesses their validity as widely-invoked historiographic categories. Subsequent sections survey the historiography of Victorian scientific naturalism over the last four decades, and assess how the essays collected in the volume offer new perspectives, focusing on issues of community, identity and continuity, that, together, move this historical work forward.
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