THE POETRY OF JOHN TYNDALL

John Tyndall (c.1822– 1893), is best known as a leading natural philosopher and trenchant public intellectual of the Victorian age. He discovered the physical basis of the greenhouse effect, explained why the sky is blue, and spoke and wrote controversially on the relationship between science and religion. Few people were aware that he also wrote poetry. This book contains his 76 extant poems, the majority of which have not been transcribed or published before. The poems are complemented by an extended introduction, written by the three authors together as a multidisciplinary analysis. The poems are succinctly annotated in a style similar to that used for the letters being published by Pittsburgh University Press in The Correspondence of John Tyndall. The introductory essay is written with a view to facilitating readings by a wide range of people interested in the history of Victorian science and of Victorian science and literature. It explores what the poems can tell us about Tyndall’s self-fashioning, his values and beliefs, and the role of poetry for him and his circle. More broadly, it addresses the relationship between the scientific and poetic imaginations, and wider questions of the nature and purpose of poetry in relation to science and religion in the nineteenth century.

The book is published by UCL Press. You can download an open access pdf, but anyone will surely want a handsome hardback or paperback copy. Just click here to buy.

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