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Late Style and its DiscontentsEssays in art, literature, and music$
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Gordon McMullan and Sam Smiles

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704621

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704621.001.0001

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Making Darwin Late

Making Darwin Late

Later Life and Style in Evolutionary Writing and its Contexts

Chapter:
(p.69) 4 Making Darwin Late
Source:
Late Style and its Discontents
Author(s):

David Amigoni

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704621.003.0005

This chapter explores the ways in which Charles Darwin, as the pre-eminent figure in the history of evolutionary science, might be said to have become associated with the idea and practice of a ‘late style’. Placing an ageing, infirm Darwin in a number of contexts, the chapter explores how Darwin, and his Victorian and subsequent audiences and commentators, used his research and writing on the earthworm, in conjunction with images and other texts, to comment on ‘the human condition’. The chapter concludes by examining, through the figure of E. O. Wilson, the way in which writing and research completed late in a career continues to use constructions of ‘the human condition’ in science’s commentary on contemporary cultural crises.

Keywords:   late style, science, evolution, Victorian, celebrity, human condition

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