In this important study Dr Smith uses a wide range of primary materials to provide the first modern comprehensive examination of the work, writings and ideas of James Fitzjames Stephen. Stephen's broad rationalist/utilitarian ethical and intellectual stance manifested itself most prominently in law and social and political philosophy. Stephen's turn of mind led him to perceive the substance of literature and religious orthodoxy as of complementary interest and relevance to the social and political mores of Victorian England, making him one of Dickens' and Cardinal Newman's most formidable and trenchant critics. Dr Smith's account is the first to set Stephen's life and thought in its proper Victorian context, and marks a significant addition to the growing literature on the intellectual history of nineteenth-century England.
A classic of science fiction and a dark meditation on Darwinian thought in the late Victorian period, The Island of Doctor Moreau explores the possibility of civilization as a constraint imposed on savage human nature. The protagonist, Edward Prendick, finds himself stranded on an island with the notorious Doctor Moreau, whose experiments on the island’s humans and animals result in unspeakable horrors. The critical introduction to this Broadview Edition gives particular emphasis to Wells’s hostility towards religion as well as his thorough knowledge of the Darwinian thought of his time. Appendices provide passages from Darwin and Huxley related to Wells’s early writing; in addition, excerpts from other writers illustrate late-nineteenth-century anxieties about social degeneration.