‘What is emotion?’ pondered the young Charles Darwin in his notebooks. How were the emotions to be placed in an evolutionary framework? And what light might they shed on human-animal continuities? These were among the questions Darwin explored in his research, assisted both by an acute sense of observation and an extraordinary capacity for fellow feeling, not only with humans but with all animal life.
After Darwin: Animals, Emotions, and the Mind explores questions of mind, emotion and the moral sense which Darwin opened up through his research on the physical expression of emotions and the human–animal relation. It also examines the extent to which Darwin’s ideas were taken up by Victorian writers and popular culture, from George Eliot to the
Daily News. Bringing together scholars from biology, literature, history, psychology, psychiatry and paediatrics, the volume provides an invaluable reassessment of Darwin’s contribution to a new understanding of the moral sense and emotional life, and considers the urgent scientific and ethical implications of his ideas today.
Angelique Richardson is a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Exeter, where she is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Medical History, and an Associate Research Fellow of the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society (Egenis). Her research and teaching interests embrace Victorian Studies, medical humanities and animal studies, and she has published widely on aspects of Victorian science and culture. Her books include
Love and Eugenics in the Late Nineteenth Century: Rational Reproduction and the New Woman (Oxford University Press, 2003); as editor
Women Who Did: Stories by Men and Women, 1890–1914 (Penguin Classics, 2005) and
Essentialism in Science and Culture, Critical Quarterly Special Issue (2011); and, as coeditor,
Victorian Literature: A Sourcebook (Palgrave, 2012). She is now completing
Thomas Hardy and Biology.
"Richardson [...] has brought together a group of eminent literary critics, including Gillian Beer and David Amigoni, and high-caliber historians of the emotions [...] with leading contemporary evolutionay biologists and psychologists [...] this cross-disciplinary conjunction does raise some pertinent and highly interesting questions."
– Gowan Dawson (University of Leicester), in:
Victorian Studies, Volume 58, No. 2, p. 354-356.
After Darwin not only offers a fascinatingly diverse collection of ways to approach Darwin’s influential concenption of the emotions in an evolutionary framework, with contributions from experts in literature, psychology, biology and history, it also provides a rich impetus for future investigations."
– Andrew Ball,
University of Manchester, in
Social History of Medicine 28.1 (2015) pp. 206-207
“extremely interesting and well organized collection of 11 original essays. […] no summary of these essays will sufficiently indicate their richness. […] This book shows how Darwin’s scientific theory – the product itself of deep imaginative sympathy – helped to transform our understanding of both humans and animals.”
– George Levine (Rutgers University), in
The George Eliot Review 45 (2014), pp. 83-85
"The book […] really intrigued me. […] I hope that [this book] somehow [finds its] way into your hands in the not too distant future. [It] really [is] that good."
– Mark Bekoff (University of Colorado), in
Psychology Today: Animal Emotions 12 December 2013.
For the full review see:
PSYCHOLOGY TODAY/ANIMAL EMOTIONS
"Guided by the assumption that science and culture are at all times reciprocal, After Darwin successfully bridges the gap between science and the humanities. It also typifies the rising interest in the emotions as a field of study in their own right and is furthermore representative of Harriet Ritvo’s observation of ten years ago that ‘animals have been edging towards the academic mainstream’ (p. 8). Some chapters integrate less well into the overall agenda of the volume, but they all offer a unique way of thinking about emotions, animals and human nature, at the centre of which we ultimately find Darwin himself."
– Stephanie Eichberg in:
The British Journal for the History of Science, Volume 48, Issue 03, September 2015, pp. 523 - 525.
Notes on Contributors
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Darwin and Interdisciplinarity: A Historical Perspective
‘Love and Hatred are Common to the Whole Sensitive Creation’: Animal Feeling in the Century before Darwin
‘The Book of The Season’: The Conception and Reception of Darwin’s
Expression Angelique Richardson
The Backbone Shiver: Darwin and the Arts
Becoming an Animal: Darwin and the Evolution of Sympathy
George Eliot, G.H. Lewes, and Darwin: Animals, Emotions, and Morals
Between Medicine and Evolutionary Theory: Sympathy and Other Emotional Investments in Life Writings by and about Charles Darwin
From Entangled Vision to Ethical Engagement: Darwin, Affect, and Contemporary Exhibition Projects
Reckoning with the Emotions: Neurological Responses to the Theory of Evolution, 1870-1930
Expression and the Making of the Modern State
Calling the Wild: Selection, Domestication, and Species
The Development of Emotional Life
Afterword: The Emotional and Moral Lives of Animals: What Darwin Would Have Said