Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 8-13

This book is about collaboration. Any work, whether a poem or a scientific treatise, is the product of many hands: authors, printers, publishers, colleagues, family, friends—the larger world of people and things that help a work succeed. All are, to some degree, coauthors. ...

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Introduction. Analogy under a Different Form

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pp. 1-26

In the summer of 1837, Charles Darwin unlocked the clasp of a new brown-backed journal, the first of a series of notebooks in which he scratched away at a radical new approach to the mutability of species. Though most scientists agreed that species were fixed, Darwin had been mulling over a theory of species transformation for at least two years, ...

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Prelude. Thinking through Analogy

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pp. 27-50

What happens when I write to you, the reader? I know you are there. You know I am here. For an instant, we are together. In this moment, the medium of engagement—the book you are holding, the printed type on the page—borders the experience, framing a moment of contact. ...

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Chapter One. Erasmus Darwin, Enlightenment History, and the Crisis of Analogy

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pp. 51-82

Was Erasmus Darwin, author of The Botanic Garden, a poet or a scientist? The most celebrated bard of the 1790s or the object of that period’s most violent satires? An innovative and internationally renowned doctor or the surgeon who asked his wife to bleed him as he died? ...

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Chapter Two. Crossing the Border with Walter Scott

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pp. 83-128

How does Walter Scott make history? Over the past two decades, studies of the influence of Scott’s fiction have made us increasingly aware of his massive impact on the nineteenth-century Anglo-European culture of letters. The thesis that Scott changed the shape of the novel, the publishing industry, and the social understanding of history is almost unquestioned. ...

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Chapter Three. Spooky Action in Alfred Tennyson’s In Memoriam A. H. H.

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pp. 129-165

The premise of elegy is that, by incorporating the dead into the life of the living, poetry will revivify our experience of life and its loss.1 For In Memoriam to do its work, art must do more than reflect life. In this chapter’s epigraph, a conjunction of labor—the “toil” already done by the dead and yet to be accomplished by the living—offers a larger analogy to social history. ...

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Chapter Four. Falsifying George Eliot

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pp. 166-210

Eliot loved a “good comparison.” Her novels feature bifurcated plotlines that prompt readers to draw comparisons between characters and incidents, across social and imaginative distances. The longest novels (Felix Holt [1866], Middlemarch [1871–2], Daniel Deronda [1876]) are divided almost evenly between two primary stories that describe the fortunes of different principal characters. ...

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Chapter Five. The Origin of Charles Darwin’s Orchids

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pp. 211-257

This book begins by imagining the moment that Charles Darwin sat down and privately acknowledged the legacy of his grandfather, scrawling “Zoonomia” at the top of his first evolution notebook. It is a charged moment—truly world changing, considering all that would follow. But while Darwin clearly recognized he was heading down a new path, he didn’t know where it would lead. ...

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Coda. Climate Science and the “No-Analog Future”

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pp. 258-260

Analogies are ubiquitous in our intellectual life. They are a key feature of how we address new experience, how we work to understand others, how we interpret the past and set it in relation to the present. But what happens when analogies fail, when no suitable model, no identifiable pattern of resonance, is available? ...

Notes

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pp. 261-296

Bibliography

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pp. 297-322

Index

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pp. 323-340