Autobiologies: Charles Darwin and the Natural History of the Self by Alexis Harley
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Overview: What does heredity mean for identity? What role does the individual have in shaping a personal or a human history? What is the ethical status of seemingly biologically determined behaviours? What does individual death mean in the light of species extinction? Autobiologies explores the importance of such questions in Victorian life writing. Analysing memoirs, diaries, letters, and natural histories Alexis Harley demonstrates how theories of natural selection shaped nineteenth-century autobiographical practices and refashioned the human subject and also how the lived experience of the individual theorist simultaneously impacted their biological formulations.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Educational