This essay investigates the representation of racial science in neo-Victorian fiction. It argues that contemporary fictional representations of Victorian racial science are concerned as much with the racial implications of twentieth and twenty-first-century science as they are with the Victorian. Focusing on Matthew Kneale’s English Passengers (2000) and Kunal Basu’s Racists (2006), the chapter explores how these novels also raise questions about the neo-Victorian genre’s capacity to challenge contemporary scientific developments; for while both Kneale and Basu critique Victorian race science and its champions as a means of undermining its power, their novels also demonstrate the difficulty of fully breaking away from the ingrained Victorian values they otherwise disavow.
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Gill, J. (2020). Racial Science and the Neo-Victorian Novel. In: Ahuja, N., et al. The Palgrave Handbook of Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature and Science. Palgrave Handbooks of Literature and Science. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-48244-2_31
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-030-48243-5
Online ISBN: 978-3-030-48244-2