In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviews83 Bailin's examination of "Janet's Repentance" and Romola leads her to conclude that the sickroom offers George EUot, in addition to the refuge and intimacy seen in Bronte and Dickens, "a vision of absolute moral clarity, ofperfect integrity of motive and deed, and even of a kind of epistemológica! certainty" (110). The uncertainty that plagues many of EUot's protagonists is discarded in the realities of need that the sickroom provides, and reconciliation between characters is effected under its rubric. BaiUn proposes that in Eliot's later fiction, the therapeutic relationships of the sickroom are replaced by national identity as a unifying alternative. The short concluding section of this work demonstrates the fate of the sickroom in the novels of the later decades of the nineteenth century. As its use had been intimately tied to the realist mode, it undergoes an inversion that accompanies the chaUenge to that mode. In the later texts discussed here, the sickroom is used to expose contradictions rather than to reconcile them. Bailin's work is an cogent and challenging analysis of the representation of the sickroom in both fiction and non-fiction of the period. The Sickroom in Victorian Fiction is an excellent beginning to what promises to be a fine series. M. CLARE LOUGHLIN University of Oxford Trevor H. Levere. Science and the Canadian Arctic: A Century of Exploration, 1818-1918. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge UP, 1993. xiv -+438. £40.00; $64.95 US (cloth). The nineteenth century has been typified by various historians as an era of scientific curiosity and inquiry, exploration and discovery, without peer. Throughout Europe and North America myriad scientific disciplines commenced ambitious agendas of investigation and cultivated fresh research methods as they enthusiastically sought material for rapidly expanding databases. Less analogous to "butterfly collecting", contemporary scientific endeavors developed rather as the pursuit of objective explanations based upon the deployment of modem taxonomies, theoretical foundations, and scientific discipline — themselves derived from contextual observation and measurement The most obvious result of the Victorian scientific revolution is to be found in the new ways in which Western scholars began to understand the 84Victorian Review world around them: Lyell's Principles of Geology (1830-33) and Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859) offered a newly systematic natural history combined with a sense of process hitherto unknown. Astronomy, meteorology, geology and mineralogy, zoology, hydrography (and towards century's end, ethnography) all became part of the new scientific Zeitgeist. In turn, discovery itself fuelled the search for further resolution. Research expeditions with enterprising programmes were eagerly and often jauntily dispatched with almost clockwork regularity as scientists sought information with omnivorous curiosity. Likewise, overseas excursions of discovery were commissioned to the farthest and most exotic reaches of the known world — including the Canadian Arctic. The significance and ebuUience of the 200-plus expeditions to the Canadian Arctic in the hundred years following the end of the Napoleonic wars is the subject of this, Trevor Levere's most recent work. Additionally, it is an evolutionary sketch of the ideological transition from the Victorian era — characteristic as it was of heroic and imperial Arctic exploration — to a generation more representative of the serious scientific endeavors currently undertaken in polar regions. As such it is both a valuable and formidable piece of scholarly work that wiU be of interest to historians, geographers, and natural scientists alike. This book is generally weU written and includes a number of relevant and helpful plates; however, it sadly lacks a competent map to assist the apprentice Arctic student. Professor in the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto, Levere argues that the results of a century of science in the Canadian Arctic spanning John Ross's celebrated initial search for the Northwest Passage in 1818 to Vilhjalmur Stefansson's Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-18 were nothing short of revolutionary. Presented in a chronological fashion, he portrays the work of scientific theorists and practitioners alike and how their work converged into what was hoped would be a set of "great laws" whereby, for instance, models from Darwin's natural history might augment Lyell's revolutionary...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1923-3280
Print ISSN
0848-1512
Pages
pp. 83-88
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-07
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.