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The Earth on Show – Fossils and the Poetics of Popular Science, 1802-1856 - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Earth on Show: Fossils and the Poetics of Popular Science, 1802-1856

Ralph O'Connor


At the turn of the nineteenth century, geology—and its claims that the earth had a long and colorful prehuman history—was widely dismissed as dangerous nonsense, but just fifty years later, it was the most celebrated of Victorian sciences. This book tracks the growth of geology's prestige in Britain, exploring how a new geohistory far more alluring than the standard six days of Creation was assembled and sold to the wider Bible-reading public. Shrewd science-writers marketed spectacular visions of past worlds, piquing the public imagination with glimpses of man-eating mammoths, talking dinosau ... More

Keywords: geology, prehuman history, Victorian sciences, geohistory, Creation, clergymen, biblical literalists, hack writers, blackmailers, prophets

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780226616681
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226616704.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ralph O'Connor, author