A modern reader might be surprised to find that travel writings of the 18th century, books intended for the general public, featured specific scientific terms and precise descriptions of landmarks, species and resources. But how did it happen that “sentiment, imagination, and the graces have been banished” (Voltaire, Letter to Cideville) from 18th century literature? In her article “Science, planetary consciousness, interiors” author Mary Louise Pratt argues that the change in travel writing in the 18th century promoted a new type of planetary consciousness, thus triggering a shift in European colonial policies. In her subsequent article “Narrating the anti-conquest”, she argues that as travel writing evolved, so did colonial policies and she exemplifies the process by an examination of four travel writers of the era to show how travel writing changed. Pratt suggests that writing shifted from survival literature, focusing on coastal regions (an observing eye), through strictly descriptive accounts of interiors (a scrutinizing eye), to writing about the ways in which things could be improved (an improving eye). Forty years after Pratt’s last example of 18th century anti-conquest writing was published, Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle came out of press. The ethos displayed by Darwinian his journal, however, diverged from the anti-conquest ethos as modified by Pratt. Therefore, a close reading of Darwin, one of the most prominent 19th century authors of travel writing, could be used to suggest in what direction 18th century travel writing evolved.
What is specific about 18th century travel writing in particular? Pratt invents the term “anti-conquest” to describe how through the innocent...
... middle of paper ...
...n only be understood in the context of his belief in the need for improvement, enlightenment, and civilization. Therefore, Darwin is not a purely anti-conquest writer. His compassion, his tendency toward explication instead of mere registration, his attitude of improvement and belief in the “philanthropic spirit of the British nation” (Voyage of the Beagle, 376) break the frames of Pratt’s definition of 18th century anti-conquest writing. With 19th century Darwin, 18th century anti-conquest writing evolves in a new type of travel narrative.
1. Pratt, Mary Louise. “Narrating the anti-conquest”. Imperial Eyes. Travel Writing and Transculturation. London and New York: Routledge. p.38 – p.68.
2. Darwin, Charles. Voyage of the Beagle. Charles Darwin’s Journal of Researches. Edited and abridged by Janet Browne and Michael Neve. Penguin Books, 1989.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Charles Darwin was born in February 12,1809. When Charles Darwin was a little kid he struggled a lot in school. In 1825, Charles become a fortunate person and went to medical school. Darwin was a British scientist who set the foundations of the theory of evolution and converted the way we imagine about the natural world. Charles Darwin was the discoverer of the biological theory of evolution. Charles Darwin was married for 43 years to Emma Darwin who was his cousin. Charles Darwin had 10 children.... [tags: charles darwin, evolution, natural world]
790 words (2.3 pages)
- Charles Darwin by far, revolutionized biology as known to modern society. He is responsible for the theory of evolution that people of today still go by. He was born on February 12, 1809 in England as the fifth child into the family of Dr. Robert and Susannah Darwin. He had three older sisters and one older brother. Because of his father’s success as a physician, and his mother coming from the Wedgewood family fortune, the Darwin family was considered well-off. Robert Darwin worked many great hours while Susannah stayed home to take care of the children.... [tags: Charles Darwin, evolution, ]
1282 words (3.7 pages)
- Charles Robert Darwin was an English naturalist who was born in Shrewsbury, England on February 12, 1809. He was the second youngest of six children. Before Charles Darwin, there were many scientists throughout his family. His father, Dr. Robert Darwin, was a medical doctor, and his grandfather, Dr. Erasmus Darwin, was a well-known botanist. Darwin’s mother, Susannah Darwin, died when he was only eight years old. Darwin was a child that came from wealth and privilege and who loved to explore nature.... [tags: darwinian theory, theory of evolution,hms beagle]
2526 words (7.2 pages)
- The Evolution of Charles Darwin Charles Darwin is a man that sparks controversy, from the religious disturbances his evolutionary theory creates, to opinions about him as a man and scientist. Edward Humes, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, has spoken of Darwin’s brilliant vision in seeing how the process of natural selection works, since he was not bound to see human purpose in the design like most men of his time (Bergman, 2007). However, in his own autobiography, Darwin frequently references a below average intelligence, with even his father concluding that he would be a disgrace to himself and his family (Barlow, 1958).... [tags: Charles Darwin, Evolution, Natural selection]
1549 words (4.4 pages)
- Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Shrewsbury, England. His father was a very wealthy physician named Robert Waring Darwin. His Grandfather, Erasmus Darwin was a famous poet, physician, and philosopher. His mother's name was Susannah Wedgewood. His mother was the daughter to a famous pottery expert named Josiah Wedgwood. Young Charles was destined to make something of himself the day he was born. In 1818, young Charles began school at Shrewsbury. His scholastic achievments were very minor and at the concern of his father he was removed.... [tags: Charles Darwin Biography]
692 words (2 pages)
- Feb.12, 1809-April 19,1882 Charles Darwin was born in the city of Shrewsbbury, England and was raised as a fifth child by a wealthy family. (His father was a physician and son of Erasmus Darwin, a poet, philosopher and naturalist. His mother Susannah Wedgewood, died when Charles was eight.) In 1825, Darwin graduated from the elite school at shrewdsbury. He then attended the University of Edinburgh to study medicine. In 1927 he dropped out and entered the University of Cambridge in order to become a clergyman for the Church of England.... [tags: Charles Darwin Biography]
628 words (1.8 pages)
- Charles Darwin was a British scientist who laid the foundation of modern evolutionary theory with his concept of the development of all forms of life through the slow-working process of natural selection. His work was of major influence on the life and earth sciences and on modern thought in general. Darwin was born in 1809 in Shrewsbury, a small market town in Shropshire, England. His wealthy physician father was the son of Erasmus Darwin who had written Laws of Organic Life. His mother was the daughter of artisan Josiah Wedgwood of dinnerware fame.... [tags: Charles Darwin Biography]
1362 words (3.9 pages)
- Charles Darwin can easily be recognized as a pure genius. In his lifetime, he single-handedly changed the way we see the world. His theories led to the study of the modern evolutionary theory of the world. Charles was a collector of plants, animals, and other specimens. From an early age, Charles had an immense love for nature, which started his career as a scientist. His trip to the Galapagos Islands forever changed his life and reputation. His two famous works were the Origin of Species and the Descent of Man.... [tags: Charles Darwin Biography]
872 words (2.5 pages)
- Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Shrewsbury England at about the same hour as Abraham Lincoln. He was born to a successful family, his father was a doctor and his grandfather was a famous biologist. Darwin was not a great student and he decided to become a clergy so he transferred to Cambridge University. Instead of becoming cleargy Darwin decided to study geology. After school Darwin became naturalist on board the royal navy ship the Beagle. The Beagle left England on December 27, 1831 this was a small ship with a crew of 74, Darwin had a small laboratory and a hammock to sleep on, he suffered bad seasickness.... [tags: Charles Darwin Biography]
1806 words (5.2 pages)
- "The Catholic church has absolutely no view on 'Darwin's Theory of Evolution' or 'Darwinism' what is commonly believed by the magistarium is that one should not necessarily take the Bible in a literal sense" -An excerpt from Robert Richard's The Meaning of Evolution. Charles Darwin, a British naturalist has revolutionized biological and genetic studies with his new idea of "Natural Selection." His theory on evolution, which held that a species had emerged from preexisting or "basic" forms.... [tags: Charles Darwin Biography]
946 words (2.7 pages)