ActivityPublic talk as part of The Written Word: History, Heritage and Heartache, Pint of Science Festival
DescriptionMany 19th century doctors and scientists theorised that a huge range of character traits and behaviours (ranging from alcoholism, to insanity, to criminality) were passed down by biological inheritance in such a powerful way that children were fated to repeat the failings of their parents. Such views were widely accepted, and affected how those who did not conform to moral and social conventions were perceived and treated. This talk considers how a popular novel, Wilkie Collins’s Armadale (1864), engaged with these views, and tried to champion those who were considered undesirable “by nature".
|14 May 2018
|Degenerates: Heredity and Morality in Victorian Fiction (Pint of Science Festival)