Tag Archives: astronomy

Celestial Bodies

Telescopic images taken from Uranography; or, a Description of the Heavens (1844). Reproductions like these were among the first widely circulated images of celestial bodies beyond the earth. They created a sense among educated nonspecialists of the wonder, strangeness, and … Continue reading

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Backgrounds: From Aristotle to Erasmus Darwin

For the ancients, mythology suggested powerful interconnections among the natural, the human, and the imaginary. Gods were like humans, humans were like animals, animals were like plants, plants were like humans, and vice versa. Spontaneous generation, parthenogenesis by fire, impregnation … Continue reading

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Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822). The quote in the picture caption–at left: “I wish no living thing to suffer pain”–suggests precisely the shift embodied in the idea of Romantic natural history. The poet exhibited a fascination with natural phenomena from his early … Continue reading

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