Evolution and the Victorians

In scientific and cultural terms, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution stimulated intense reaction and controversy among his Victorian English contemporaries. What did evolution mean to the nineteenth-century British society in which it first found currency? What were the reactions when Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, and how have these responses come to us in the 1980s? Those questions are central to this discussion with Karl Theodore Hoppen and Fred Kaplan.

At the time of this interview, both Hoppen and Kaplan were Fellows at the National Humanities Center (1985-86). Hoppen was professor of history at the University of Hull (U.K.), and Kaplan was professor of English at the City University of New York.

This episode of Soundings was conducted by Wayne J. Pond.

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