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Genres of Doubt: Science Fiction, Fantasy and the Victorian Crisis of Faith

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Nineteenth-century Britain gave birth to the fantasy novel and the science fiction novel--two of today's most popular genres. During the same period, the traditional Christian beliefs that had underpinned British society for centuries faced new challenges as geological discoveries, the writings of Charles Darwin and exposure to other cultures gave rise to a Victorian "cris Nineteenth-century Britain gave birth to the fantasy novel and the science fiction novel--two of today's most popular genres. During the same period, the traditional Christian beliefs that had underpinned British society for centuries faced new challenges as geological discoveries, the writings of Charles Darwin and exposure to other cultures gave rise to a Victorian "crisis of faith." These two shifts--one literary, one cultural--were deeply intertwined. The novel, a literary form that was developed as a vehicle for realism, when infused with unreal elements offered a space to ponder questions about the supernatural, the difference between belief and knowledge, and humanity's place in the world. The author explores how questions of meaning, identity and faith inspired the speculative fiction of today's novels, films, television shows and comics.


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Nineteenth-century Britain gave birth to the fantasy novel and the science fiction novel--two of today's most popular genres. During the same period, the traditional Christian beliefs that had underpinned British society for centuries faced new challenges as geological discoveries, the writings of Charles Darwin and exposure to other cultures gave rise to a Victorian "cris Nineteenth-century Britain gave birth to the fantasy novel and the science fiction novel--two of today's most popular genres. During the same period, the traditional Christian beliefs that had underpinned British society for centuries faced new challenges as geological discoveries, the writings of Charles Darwin and exposure to other cultures gave rise to a Victorian "crisis of faith." These two shifts--one literary, one cultural--were deeply intertwined. The novel, a literary form that was developed as a vehicle for realism, when infused with unreal elements offered a space to ponder questions about the supernatural, the difference between belief and knowledge, and humanity's place in the world. The author explores how questions of meaning, identity and faith inspired the speculative fiction of today's novels, films, television shows and comics.

23 review for Genres of Doubt: Science Fiction, Fantasy and the Victorian Crisis of Faith

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    So enjoyed this fresh look at some familiar classics. I think Sanders is right on target with her assessment of the role of doubt in the birth of these genres.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  4. 4 out of 5

    Subhajit Das

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  6. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mary Desive

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  9. 5 out of 5

    Don Zabriskie

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sara

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joann

  12. 5 out of 5

    Linda

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

  14. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

  15. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alex Stroshine

  19. 4 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sue Bridgwater

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Sas

  22. 5 out of 5

    Orlando

  23. 4 out of 5

    A Young Philosopher

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