Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine

Weird Fiction and Science at the Fin de Siècle

Authors: Alder, Emily

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  • Explores how nineteenth-century science stimulated the emergence of weird tales at the fin de siècle
  • Examines weird fiction by British writers who preceded and influenced H. P. Lovecraft
  • Shows how this radical fantasy mode can be scientific
  • Explains how sciences themselves were often already weird
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-32652-4
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Softcover $74.99
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About this book

This book explores how nineteenth-century science stimulated the emergence of weird tales at the fin de siècle, and examines weird fiction by British writers who preceded and influenced H. P. Lovecraft, the most famous author of weird fiction. From laboratory experiments, thermodynamics, and Darwinian evolutionary theory to psychology, Theosophy, and the ‘new’ physics of atoms and forces, science illuminated supernatural realms with rational theories and practices. Changing scientific philosophies and questioning of traditional positivism produced new ways of knowing the world—fertile borderlands for fictional as well as real-world scientists to explore. Reading Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) as an inaugural weird tale, the author goes on to analyse stories by Arthur Machen, Edith Nesbit, H. G. Wells, William Hope Hodgson, E. and H. Heron, and Algernon Blackwood to show how this radical fantasy mode can be scientific, and how sciences themselves were often already weird.

About the authors

Dr Emily Alder is Lecturer in Literature and Culture at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland, UK, and a member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland. She is Editor of the journal Gothic Studies, and co-editor of Gothic Science Fiction, 1980–2010 (2011). This is her first book.

Reviews

“Alder’s Weird Fiction and Science at the Fin de Siècle, in sum, provides a detailed close reading of the interrelationship between science and the Weird tale and, although, her study primarily concerns itself with British Weird fiction of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, much of what is explored in this volume remains relevant to the subsequent development of the Weird tale as well as to contemporary scientific advancements.” (Fredrik Blanc, Fantastika Journal, Vol. 5 (1), May, 2021)


Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)
  • Weird Tales and Scientific Borderlands at the

    Pages 1-42

    Alder, Emily

  • Weird Selves, Weird Worlds: Psychology, Ontology, and States of Mind in Robert Louis Stevenson and Arthur Machen

    Pages 45-77

    Alder, Emily

  • Weird Knowledge: Experiments, Senses, and Epistemology in Stevenson, Machen, and Edith Nesbit

    Pages 79-113

    Alder, Emily

  • Weirdfinders: Reality, Mastery, and the Occult in E. and H. Heron, Algernon Blackwood, and William Hope Hodgson

    Pages 115-156

    Alder, Emily

  • Meat and Mould: The Weird Creatures of William Hope Hodgson and H. G. Wells

    Pages 159-194

    Alder, Emily

Buy this book

eBook $59.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-32652-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-32651-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
Softcover $74.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-32654-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Weird Fiction and Science at the Fin de Siècle
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-32652-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-32652-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-32651-7
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-32654-8
Series ISSN
2634-6435
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 250
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics