Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-vii

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. ix

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xii

At the beginning of H. G. Wells’s story “The Grisly Folk” (1921) the narrator, contemplating the scanty remains of prehistoric human beings in a museum case, borrows the words of the prophet Ezekiel to ask, “Can these bones live?” (607). By the end of the story, the long dead relics do seem to have come back to life. The narrator, acting as ...

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xv-xvi

I originally planned this book to show how the enlarged temporality opened up by the Darwinian revolution acted upon the imagination of the later nineteenth century and in the process brought the genre of science fiction into being. The first half was to have been on the fiction of our prehuman origins, the second on the fiction of our ...

read more

Notes on References

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. xvii

In the main text and endnotes, the abbreviation “q.v.” following a name refers to the entry headed by that name in the Works Cited section. It is used chiefly to refer to whole works or to identify unpaginated sources such as Websites. If unfamiliar foreign words or phrases...

read more

Introduction: The Fiction of Hominization

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-13

Prehistoric fiction will here be taken to consist of novels and stories about prehistoric human beings.1 For reasons soon to be made clear, none of these works is more than 150 years old. Most are set, however, a very long time ago during human prehistory; that is, during the period between the emergence of the first hominids and the invention ...

I. GENERIC EVOLUTION

read more

1. From Boitard’s Paris before Man to London’s Before Adam

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 17-47

The central issue of the first French pf was the existence of the “fossil man” so categorically denied by Cuvier.1 Paris avant les hommes (Paris before man) (1861) by Pierre Boitard (1789–1859) was a posthumously published work by a writer who died in the annus mirabilis. Though no literary masterpiece, “the first Darwinian narrative” ...

read more

2. From Rosny’s First Artist to del Rey’s Last Neanderthal

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 48-68

The most important figure in French pf is J.-H. Rosny aîné (Rosny the elder; 1856–1940), who was also a leading figure in the development of French sf. Rosny is little known in the English-speaking world, though there is a strong argument for considering him more accomplished than Jules Verne at deriving aesthetically successful fictional ...

read more

3. From Fisher’s “Testament of Man” to Auel’s “Earth’s Children”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 69-99

In September 1940 four French teenaged boys, searching for a dog that had trapped itself in a hole on a hillside in the upper V

II. THEMATIC EVOLUTION

read more

4. Nature and Human Nature

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 103-124

Many of those great literary works that succeed in offering profound insights into human nature, such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1603–4), Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment (1866), or Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler (1890), do so very indirectly. Such works provide elaborate psychological portraits of protagonists whose difference from the average ...

read more

5. Sex and Gender

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 125-151

The biblical account of human origin, while vague about many other aspects of the divine creation, is unequivocal about how there came to be two human sexes and what the difference between them signifies. A male God first created from the dust of the earth a male human being in his image to tend Eden. Later, as an afterthought, he created ...

read more

6. Race or the Human Race

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 152-172

No nineteenth-century thinker was more committed to demolishing the prejudices generated by the scriptural account of human origins nor more eloquent in his appeal to educated people to subscribe to the Darwinian “New Reformation” than T. H. Huxley. It was Huxley who in Evidence as to Man’s Place in Nature concluded that there was no ...

read more

7. A Cultural Triad: Language, Religion, Art

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 173-197

In Huxley’s view, Victorian man’s humiliation at his discovery of his cousinship to the lower animals might be partly assuaged by the realization that he is a member of a uniquely gifted species: “He alone possesses the marvelous endowment of intelligible and rational speech, whereby . . . he has slowly accumulated and organized the experience ...

read more

Coda: Baxter’s Evolution and Post-Hominization

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 198-205

Our highly adaptable species has, to adapt Darwin’s preferred terminology, descended with many modifications, some of them possibly unprecedented in Nature. If we are to survive into futurity, then further modifications must surely occur. What they will be is unforeseeable, but it is safe to say that if we endure, it will likely be in a posthuman ...

A Prehistoric Chronology

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 207-212

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 213-229

Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 231-245

Illustration Credits

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 247-248

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 249-265