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Nineteenth-Century Euclid: Geometry and the Literary Imagination from Wordsworth to Wells (19TH-CENTURY_EUCLID)
Start date: Jan 1, 2009, End date: Oct 31, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This radically interdisciplinary project aims to bring a substantially new field of research – literature and mathematics studies – to prominence as a tool for investigating the culture of nineteenth-century Britain. It will result in three kinds of outcome: a monograph, two interdisciplinary and international colloquia, and a collection of essays. The project focuses on Euclidean geometry as a key element of nineteenth-century literary and scientific culture, showing that it was part of the shared knowledge flowing through elite and popular Romantic and Victorian writing, and figuring notably in the work of very many of the century’s best-known writers. Despite its traditional cultural prestige and educational centrality, geometry has been almost wholly neglected by literary history. This project shows how literature and mathematics studies can draw a new map of nineteenth-century British culture, revitalising our understanding of the Romantic and Victorian imagination through its writing about geometry.

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