Victorians and Vivisection

Victorians and Vivisection
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Animal rights and medical ethics may seem to be fairly recent, unrelated controversies. However, in the late nineteenth-century, literature that critiqued science was fueled by the vivisection controversy. Vivisection, the method of experimentation on living animals that propelled medicine from an art of observation to a science of experimentation, becomes complicated by its connection to eugenics, gender and procreative issues, and for its role in revisiting Darwinian debates about the relationship between human and non-human animals. The ethical issues raised in several late-Victorian novels are explored from a Darwinian perspective, and the book ends with an analysis of Octavia E. Butler’s twentieth-century novels to illustrate the current relevance of these cultural debates. This text should be useful for academics, scholars, and students of Victorian literature, history, culture, and/or science; those interested in the work of Charles Darwin and the relationships between human...

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