MESMERISTS AND OTHER MEDDLERS: SOCIAL DARWINISM, DEGENERATION, AND EUGENICS IN TRILBY

@article{Vorachek2009MESMERISTSAO,
  title={MESMERISTS AND OTHER MEDDLERS: SOCIAL DARWINISM, DEGENERATION, AND EUGENICS IN TRILBY},
  author={Laura Vorachek},
  journal={Victorian Literature and Culture},
  year={2009},
  volume={37},
  pages={197 - 215}
}
  • Laura Vorachek
  • Published 1 March 2009
  • Art
  • Victorian Literature and Culture
About two-thirds of the way through George Du Maurier's Trilby (1894), a novel that entranced the reading public with its descriptions of Bohemian Paris and mesmerism, there is a seventeen-page digression on The Origin of Species. This rumination is sparked by the fact that Little Billee is “reading Mr. Darwin's immortal book for the third time” while he contemplates proposing to the parson's daughter, Alice (180; pt. 5). Ultimately, he cannot bring himself to do so because Alice believes… 
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