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Show Me the BoneReconstructing Prehistoric Monsters in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America$
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Gowan Dawson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226332734

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226332871.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Prophecies of the Past

Prophecies of the Past

(p.338) 10 Prophecies of the Past
Show Me the Bone

Gowan Dawson

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores how, amid the dramatic changes of the final years of the Victorian era, there was a notable revival of interest in Cuvierian correlation. Huxley finally stated his objections to Cuvier’s method in popular form, although, by this time, his insistence that it involved only ordinary mental processes like the procedures used by the police was complicated by the emergence of detective fiction whose protagonists, including Sherlock Holmes, displayed seemingly infallible powers of reasoning. Plebeian autodidacts also conflated correlation with their occult beliefs. While new discoveries in the American west of peculiarly configured prehistoric mammals made the Cuvierian method increasingly untenable, it was already too late to stem the tide of popular belief in the law of correlation.

Keywords:   detective fiction, Sherlock Holmes, Thomas Henry Huxley, popularization, revival, Late Victorian, occult, plebeian autodidacts, American West, prehistoric mammals

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