, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 131–133 | Cite as

Tracing comparative historicism between the Darwins

Devin Griffiths: The age of analogy: Science and literature between the Darwins. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2016; x+339pp, $55 HB
  • Maria Zarimis
Book Review

The title of Devin Griffiths’ book The Age of Analogy: Science and Literature between the Darwinsrefers to Charles Darwin (1809–1882) and his grandfather Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802), whose works straddle approximately at either end of the nineteenth century. The title also refers to the works of others within this period such as Walter Scott, Alfred Tennyson and George Eliot. In his introductory chapter Griffiths signals that there is a considerable gap in the scholarship regarding the intellectual relationship between the two Darwins. In order to address his view that Charles Darwin was influenced by his grandfather’s writings he proposes that in the nineteenth century, through science, literature and also history, there was “a new technology for writing about past events and thinking about their complex relations to present experience” (2). This relied on “analogy, using it as a tool that brings the relation between previous ages and the present into focus” (2–3). He states that...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New South WalesSchool of Humanities and LanguagesSydneyAustralia

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