In this Book

buy this book Buy This Book in Print
summary

Richard C. Sha argues that scientific understandings of the imagination indelibly shaped literary Romanticism. Challenging the idea that the imagination found a home only on the side of the literary, as a mental vehicle for transcending the worldly materials of the sciences, Sha shows how imagination helped to operationalize both scientific and literary discovery. Essentially, the imagination forced writers to consider the difference between what was possible and impossible while thinking about how that difference could be known.

Sha examines how the imagination functioned within physics and chemistry in Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound, neurology in Blake’s Vala, or The Four Zoas, physiology in Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria, and obstetrics and embryology in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Sha also demonstrates how the imagination was called upon to do aesthetic and scientific work using primary examples taken from the work of scientists and philosophers Davy, Dalton, Faraday, Priestley, Kant, Mary Somerville, Oersted, Marcet, Smellie, Swedenborg, Blumenbach, Buffon, Erasmus Darwin, and Von Baer, among others.

Sha concludes that both fields benefited from thinking about how imagination could cooperate with reason—but that this partnership was impossible unless imagination’s penchant for fantasy could be contained.

Table of Contents

Download PDF Download Full Book
  1. Cover
  2. open access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
  3. open access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. open access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xiv
  3. open access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-30
  3. open access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 1. Imagining Dynamic Matter: Percy Shelley, Prometheus Unbound, and the Chemistry and Physics of Matter
  2. pp. 31-95
  3. open access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 2. William Blake and the Neurological Imagination: Romantic Science, Nerves, and the Emergent Self
  2. pp. 96-143
  3. open access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 3. The Physiological Imagination: Coleridge’s Biographias
  2. pp. 144-184
  3. open access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 4. Obstetrics and Embryology: Science and Imagination in Frankenstein
  2. pp. 185-230
  3. open access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 231-288
  3. open access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 289-316
  3. open access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Index
  2. pp. 317-327
  3. open access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents

Additional Information

ISBN
9781421441245
Related ISBN
9781421425788
MARC Record
OCLC
1044768008
Pages
348
Launched on MUSE
2018-07-26
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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.