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Evolution and the Epic Imagination: from Erasmus Darwin to the ‘Hobbit’.
March 21 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm£6.00
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Erasmus Darwin reached for ancient myths and the poetry of Ovid’s Metamorphoses to help him imagine what evolution might be like in action. In this talk, John Holmes will explore how our understanding of evolution has been shaped by epic literature and myth and still is, from Darwin’s poem The Temple of Nature to his grandson’s Tree of Life and on to modern science, where the Earth has become Gaia and our ancestors shared the world with hobbits.
By John Holmes, Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture, University of Birmingham B15 2TT