Introduction: Nineteenth-Century Science and Culture. New challenges and thoughts.

Ugolini LAURA*[1]




The articles in this issue of19all respond to the contention that, in nineteenth-century science and culture, to read a body was to replicate it. Medical practitioners collaborated with artists to produce new kinds of anatomical models which resembled the body with uncanny accuracy, while prosthetics mimicked body parts with unprecedented similitude.

At the same time, zoology as a body of knowledge became increasingly associated with replicating the likenesses of living animals through taxidermy. While earlier animal stuffing had1 often been relatively crude, naturalist-taxidermists such as John Hancock used new mounting techniques and extensive field observation to create displays which appeared to freeze live animals in motion.2The period also witnessed new efforts to capture and replicate bodies’ varying attitudes and motions through visual technologies. Although this effect would be most fully achieved in cinematography, it was pursued much earlier through collections and sequences of static images. InEssays on the Anatomy of Expression in Painting(1806), anatomist Charles Bell used drawings of faces contorted into different emotional expressions to illustrate the muscular variability of the human countenance. Charles Darwin’sThe Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals(1872) would build on this work, reproducing photographs of people and animals in various expressive attitudes. In the 1870s and 1880s, Eadweard Muybridge and Étienne-Jules Mary developed forms of stop-motion photography that replicated animals’ split-second movements in a sequence of stills. In the same period, the emergence of the phonograph replicated human voices, enabling investigators like Edward Wheeler Scripture to slow them down in order to analyses the phonetic minutiae of speech.3Artificially replicating bodies and their activities offered new ways of understanding them, generating knowledge as well as demonstrating it.

Organic bodies were also viewed as vehicles for mimicry. Philosophers since Aristotle had claimed that humans possessed an innate tendency to mimic each other.4However, it was not until the late eighteenth century that philosophers such as J. G. H. Feder in Germany systematically postulated an ‘imitation drive’, possibly shared between humans and animals.5Edmund Burke similarly identified an innate ‘desire of imitating’, which ‘forms our manners, our opinions, our lives’. Yet this process was purely physiological, he claimed, occurring ‘without any intervention of the reasoning faculty’.6The body’s apparent tendencies towards imitation conflicted with ideals of individualism, both in the Romantic sense of originality and self-realization and the liberal sense of the individual as a political-economic free agent.7It was perhaps for this reason that imitation in the nineteenth century was frequently associated with primitive mindlessness. Darwin noted ‘a strong tendency to imitation, independently of the conscious will’ in humans and argued that this tendency was discernible in other primates.8By the turn of the twentieth century, the American psychologist James Mark Baldwin was describing the child as ‘a veritable copying machine’.9Similarly, the French sociologist Gabriel Tarde conceptualized imitation as the ‘social’ expression of a universal law of ‘repetition’ which occurred throughout the organic world via heredity.10 This sense that mimicry was a natural law was reinforced by studies into bodily resemblances between different species across the animal kingdom. In the early nineteenth century, the entomologist William Sharp Macleay argued that such ‘analogies’ between unrelated insects occurred in interlinking patterns, reflecting the exquisite symmetry of the creation.11Later, Henry Walter Bates and Alfred Russel Wallace posited the concept of ‘protective mimicry’, by which animals evolved to resemble other species which were unpalatable or otherwise defended against predators.12Bodies seemed naturally formed to replicate each other.

This issue explores how nineteenth-century representations of bodies as objects and subjects of replication interacted with wider concerns about authenticity, epistemology, identity, and animal/human, nature/culture binaries. As in current times, ‘replication’ signified repetition or reproduction, reflecting its Latin and French derivations. Yet the word was also used to signify echoing and replying, connotations which are useful for considering the ambiguities of mimicking bodies and bodily mimicry.13In his suggestive study of ‘the copy’ in western modernity, Hillel Schwartz observed that ‘the more adroit we are at carbon copies, the more confused we are about the unique, the original, the Real McCoy’.14 Anatomical models and images and taxidermic specimens problematized the dichotomy between original and copy as they sought not only to replicate specific bodies but to represent ideal types that supposedly lay behind individual examples. Further, while organic bodies existed in constant flux, both physically moving around and passing through cycles of growth, senescence, and decay, artificial replications gave such bodies an impossible stasis. Such objects were thus sometimes characterized, paradoxically, by theirunlikenessto the bodies they replicated, revealing minute details which were unobservable upon living, moving bodies. In these ways, artificial efforts to mimic organic bodies raised questions about the dynamics of representation and reflected diverging attitudes towards it in science and art. Similarly, human tendencies to mimicry undermined notions of personality as internal and essential. Identities seemed increasingly constituted by their relations with others. Views of imitation as primitive and animal clashed with psychological theories that placed it at the center of learning and selfhood. Mimicry might both reinforce distinctions between savagery and civilization, and collapse them.

Uncanny replications

Mimicry also escaped these naturalistic contexts to go to work in stranger ways, as an aspect of what psychoanalysts would later call the uncanny. Ernst Jentsch (and later Sigmund Freud) defined this term as a state of psychological discomfort associated (among other things) with the blurring of boundaries between the animate and inanimate. Building on this idea, more recent researchers have posited an ‘uncanny valley’, a hypothetical threshold on a scale of human likeness at which objects incur eeriness and revulsion.15Although nineteenth-century authors lacked this psychoanalytic hermeneutic, many were sensitive to the potentially disorientating effects of objects replicating the appearance of animate bodies. E. T. A. Hoffmann’s ‘The Sandman’ (1816) (which Jentsch and Freud both used to illustrate the uncanny) famously depicted the mechanical automaton Olympia, with whom the protagonist of the story falls in love, believing it to be a woman. Similarly, in Charles Dickens’sThe Old Curiosity Shop(1841), the travelling show-woman Mrs. Jarley declares her human waxworks so like life, that if wax-work only spoke and walked about, you’d hardly know the difference. I won’t go so far as to say, that, as it is, I’ve seen wax-work quite like life, but I’ve certainly seen some life that was exactly like wax-work.16

Mrs. Jarley’s paradox emphasizes the dizzyingtrompe l’oeilwhich waxworks could create, momentarily upsetting the apparent relationship between organic original and artificial copy. Stuffed animals could be equally unnerving, as Verity Darke discusses in her article on taxidermy in Dickens’sOur Mutual Friend(1865). Darke notes that Dickens’s description of such objects as ‘paralytically animated’ highlights how they blurred the boundaries between life and death, nature and artifice.

The tendencies of live bodies to resemble and seem to replicate each other also furnished rich material for uncanny narrative in the period. We might think of the mysterious doppelgänger who torments the protagonist of Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘William Wilson’ (1839). The protagonist is vexed to find himself and his classmate ‘of the same height’ and ‘singularly alike in general contour of person and outline of feature’. Recognizing the double’s striking resemblance to him, the narrator feels ‘possessed with an objectless yet intolerable horror’.17Later, bodily resemblances similarly confused identities in the work of Thomas Hardy, who exploited uncertainties about heredity to conjure weird moments of doubling. In his short story ‘An Imaginative Woman’ (1894), the protagonist Ella bears a son who looks remarkably like a poet whom she was once obsessed with but never met. The coincidence causes her husband to wrongly imagine that the child is not his. ‘By a known but inexplicable trick of nature’, the narrator states, ‘there were undoubtedly strong traces of resemblance […]; the dreamy and peculiar expression of the poet’s face sat, as the transmitted idea, upon the child’s.’18The tale evokes old notions of ‘maternal impressions’ which assumed that children could be influenced by sensory stimuli experienced by their mothers during pregnancy.19By the end of the century, such Lamarckian heredity was increasingly disputed, following August Weismann’s studies which suggested that parents’ individual experiences did not affect the hereditary information they transmitted.20However, the idea that ancestral features were passed across generations unchanged could have equally uncanny implications, producing eerie likenesses across time. The speaker in one of Hardy’s poems fancies that he sees ‘my mien, and build, and brow’ mirrored in an endless line of predecessors, causing him to despair: ‘I am merest mimicker and counterfeit!’.21Hardy’s vision of an immortal family face evokes the search for types behind individual bodies in anatomical models and images and in the composite portraits of Francis Galton which combined mug shots of convicts to depict typical ‘criminal’ features.22In such materialist science, the body represented not the shell of a metaphysical soul but the basis of character, suggesting that physical resemblances might correlate with moral, psychological ones.

Even uncannier was the birth of identical siblings, although their resemblances could signify different meanings through the period. Early in the century, storytellers often presented twins’ visible likenesses as misleading, since different life experiences produced different characters.23Hence, Susan Ferrier’sMarriage(1818) depicts twin sisters who are raised by different mistresses and, consequently, diverge in their personalities, one becoming sensible and dutiful and the other reckless and immoral. This pattern is repeated in Madeline Leslie’sThe Twin Brothers(1843) as the twin protagonists receive a religious and irreligious upbringing respectively, leading one to become an upstanding citizen and the other a criminal. Later in the century, however, twins increasingly came to symbolize the power of heredity to replicate personalities irrespective of environment. Having surveyed the families of many twins, Galton argued that twins’ habits, dispositions, and even lifespans were mostly remarkably similar, as though they were ‘keeping time like two watches’.24Grant Allen would use this image in his story ‘The Two Carnegies’ (1885) in which twin brothers echo each other in all of their actions and life experiences, albeit with a two-week delay. One brother declares, ‘We’re like two clocks wound up to strike at fixed moments’, and his assessment is confirmed at the end of the tale when the brothers die from the same illness a fortnight apart.25These examples show how twins could be made to symbolize the primacy of both biology and environment, both the depth of bodily replication and its superficiality.

Uncanny resemblances also derived from humans’ abilities to consciously mimic each other’s appearances. In ‘William Wilson’, the protagonist finds himself mirrored through skilful imitation as well as physical similarities. Of his disturbing double, Wilson laments, ‘my gait and general manner were, without difficulty, appropriated; […] even my voice did not escape him’ (Poe, p. 281). The anxiety that bodily mimicry could falsify identities was fuelled through the century by widely publicized cases of imposture, such as the pretended baronet Roger Tichborne.cThe shift to a credit-based economy that loosened class boundaries and the anonymity of modern urban life generated new interest in and concern about individuals posing as people that they were not. William Brewer notes that, in the Romantic period, ‘numerous tales about criminal chameleons appeared in the periodical press’, which ‘condemned the mendacity and criminality of imposters while praising the culprits’ acting skills, apparel, handsomeness, charm, and gentility. Courtrooms, prison cells, and scaffolds became stages on which protean swindlers performed before appreciative onlookers.’27The persistence of these theatrical associations with chameleon criminality can be seen near the end of the century in Grant Allen’s novelAn African Millionaire(1896), which follows the shape-shifting con man Colonel Clay. Clay repeatedly defrauds the mining magnate Sir Charles Vandrift by changing his appearance to look like a succession of different people (including even Sir Charles himself). A former maker of waxwork figures, Clay is said to use his technical skills ‘to mound his own nose and cheeks, with wax additions to the character he desires to personate.’28The disorientating effect of such mimicry is highlighted when Clay is finally caught and put on trial, with the prosecution case consisting of proving that the man in the dock is the same as Clay’s various incarnations. Yet, when Sir Charles asserts that he was defrauded by a man posing as a parson, whose photograph is shown to the court, Clay draws attention to another man in the middle of the court. Turning around, Sir Charles is startled to see a parson who ‘was — to all outer appearance — the Reverend Richard Barbizonin propria persona’ (p. 304). The parson in the court turns out to be an accomplice, on whom Clay modelled his disguise, and Clay’s identity is finally proved through comparisons of photographs of his different personas. Nonetheless, his misdirection of the court testifies to the dizzying effect of contrived bodily resemblance.

A similar sense of confusion, of reality losing its stable coordinates, runs through Jane Goodall’s article, which probes the complex relationship between bodily mimicry and the uncanny. This theme is pursued through a discussion of the Gothic genre and the history of theatre. Goodall shows how fascination with ghosts and other supernatural visions in the period dovetailed with developing ideas in psychology that conceived of the human mind as ‘haunted’ in various ways, such as by dim memories of ancestral experience. In this context, Goodall suggests, the figure of the uncanny double served to express ‘pre-Freudian insights into how the mind hides things from itself’. Bodily replication could present the original in a new light, discovering previously unknown divisions and pluralities.

More real than life

The notion that replication was revelatory, defamiliarizing the original, underpinned the logic of many scientific efforts to mimic organic bodies in the period. Anatomical models displayed normally unperceived structures and details through their stasis and permanence, which enabled close-up, protracted scrutiny. Carin Berkowitz comments that wax models offered ‘a way of "seeing” systems of barely visible anatomical parts with clarity, away from the messiness of the body’. By seeking ‘to hold nature still’, such objects ‘served as an intermediate between nature and representation’, replicating organic bodies in all of their (usually unseen) details.29Artificially replicating bodies did not necessarily result in atrompe l’oeilbut could, conversely, make bodies strange by altering their normal conditions of visibility. This point is highlighted in Kristin Hussey’s review of Joseph Towne’s medical waxworks at the Gordon Museum of Pathology in London, works which captured the subtle differences in colour and texture of various skin diseases. Similarly, through their temporality, photographs promised to make visible details of bodies that normally went unremarked. Hence, Darwin’s images of faces variously contorted seemed to capture bodies’ fleeting emotional states (even though, in reality, these expressions were staged rather than spontaneous).30Muybridge and Marey’s quick-fire photographs revealed aspects of movement which escaped the eye in real time, such as the ways in which animals ambulated and rolled over in mid-air so as to land on their feet.31Artificially replicated bodies could seem more substantial than the bodies they mimicked.

This inversion of the traditional logic of mimesis caused some medical investigators to imagine such technologies as means of capturing personalities as well as physical bodies. The mid-century alienist Hugh Welch Diamond claimed to have treated delusional patients by photographing them and then showing them the photographs to restore their sense of self.32In a reversal of the conventional dichotomy between organic authenticity and artificial replication, living bodies were encouraged to replicate their likenesses. Treena Warren’s contribution to this issue examines how Victorian medical photography sought to capture and store permanently bodies in various stages of disease and recovery. Warren notes that the medium’s association with portraiture shaped the way in which patients were imaged, appearing as individuals in a specific ‘social context’ rather than as isolated body parts. Again, the replication could seem more substantial than the original, since the latter changed constantly while the model or portrait remained the same. This impression that artificial bodily replications could, perhaps, preserve personalities (or aspects of them) better than the bodies they inhabited was reinforced by the secularization of psychology, as the discipline emphasized the corporeal basis of mind.33Walter Pater famously characterized human life as a ‘continual vanishing away’ and a ‘strange, perpetual, weaving and unweaving of ourselves’.34In contrast to this unstable ontology, the artificial likeness represented an impossible bodily permanence, symbolized in Oscar Wilde’sA Picture of Dorian Gray(1890). Wilde’s protagonist acquires the unchanging, youthful features of his painting while the image on canvas becomes decayed and distorted over the years. His iconic story shows the slippage between bodies and their artificial replications that had been long recognized in medicine permeating popular culture.

Anatomical human models further defamiliarized bodies by dividing them into pieces and peeling back tissue to expose internal organs. As Corinna Wagner explores in her article, the removable layers of medical waxworks encouraged anatomists and artists to rethink the relationship between bodily interior and exterior. As models evolved over time, they defamiliarized the human body in line with changing norms of representation. Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison have shown how notions of ‘truth-to-nature’, which caused earlier investigators to represent natural objects in accordance with ideals of symmetry and perfection, were progressively supplanted by efforts to ‘let nature speak for itself’.35Instead of ‘correcting’ the individual variations of specimens, anatomical images and models strove more to reproduce them with minute accuracy.36While earlier models claimed to replicate bodily ideals never found in reality, others of the mid- to late nineteenth century disorientated the viewer by diverging from conventional bodily representation, depicting strange, pathological abnormalities. This change is reflected in the photographs of diseased bodies discussed by Warren and in Joseph Towne’s waxworks. Hussey, discussing the latter, notes that by faithfully replicating the diseased body parts of individuals, sometimes of different racial heritages, Towne’s models ‘bring a sense of the diverse community of hospital patients’. Medical waxworks drew attention to the changeability, variety, and hidden depths of the human body.

Such innovations promised not only to advance scientific knowledge but also to reset aesthetic values. The anatomist John Marshall wrote in a book aimed at artists, ‘the beauty of the human form […] does not by any means reside entirely in its superficial covering, but it depends essentially on that of the structures situated beneath the integument.’37Bell had promoted his studies of expressive physiology as an aid to artists, and painters such as William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti studied anatomy in order to reproduce the structures of human tissue with striking ‘mimetic accuracy’.38While earlier commentators had understood artistic imitation as ‘a selective, idealizing process which communicates the potential best of nature’, the nineteenth-century critic John Ruskin emphasized fidelity to nature’s ‘infinite variety’.39Yet Wagner shows that ‘aesthetics of anatomical realism’ also provoked revulsion for some commentators, who insisted that bodily beauty consisted in the separation of outside from inside. Further, replicating organic bodies with too much precision was also sometimes attacked as a degradation of art, reducing it to a mere mechanical activity bereft of aesthetic judgement or feeling. Ruskin railed against mechanized imitation of nature as mindless, claiming that ‘science deals exclusively with things as they are in themselves’, while the arts were concerned with ‘the appearance of things’ and ‘the natural impression which they produce upon living creatures’.40The anatomist mightknowa body by replicating its form precisely in wax or papier mâché, but, in Ruskin’s terms, he did notseeit. Such rhetoric in art criticism cohered with emerging discourses of objectivity which celebrated the supposed unartfulness of science, its imitations being systematic rather than intuitive (Daston and Galison, pp. 124–35).

The association between the replication of bodies and critical distance is also discernible in nineteenth-century theories of acting, which revolved around the replication of emotional expressions. The critic G. H. Lewes commented that the actor could only convincingly represent emotions which he had personally experienced: by calling these feelings to mind, he also produced their natural expressions. Yet, simultaneously, the actor was alienated from these bodily emotions, observing them with cool, intellectual detachment. As Lewes wrote, ‘he is a spectator of his own tumult; and though moved by it, can yet so master it as to select from it only those elements which best suit his purpose.’41Lewes’s split between the actor’s artistic intellect and the partly involuntary expressions of the body highlights the ontological uncertainty of acting. The actor entrances audiences by being simultaneously himself and someone else, at once contrived and authentic.42

The issue of authenticity was further complicated by audiences’ emotional reactions, which theorists also regarded as a kind of involuntary mimicry. Alexander Bain observed that ‘we are capable of entering into the situation of the actors, of becoming invested for the time with their mode of excitement’.43Edmund Burke and Charles Bell had suggested that imitating expressions of emotion aroused the associated emotions in the imitator.44Bain further suggested that there was in humans ‘a tendency to put on the very expression that we witness, and, in so doing, to assume the mental condition itself’ (pp. 173–74). This logic of mimetic spectatorship was woven through Darwin’sExpression of the Emotions, which cited anecdotes of audiences mirroring the gestures of performers through unconscious sympathy.45The text also repeatedly invited readers to copy the expressions described and depicted in photographs. As Tiffany Watt Smith comments, ‘The Expressionworks as a theatrical machine […]. Darwin issues stage directions, tantalizing and explicit requests that his readers artificially reproduce emotions’ (p. 77). Goodall notes that ideas of the human body being somehow primed to replicate emotions signaled by other bodies prefigures concepts in recent psychology of ‘mirror neurons’, by which people’s brains echo the ey, 24 vols.

See also, Nicholas Royle,The Uncanny(Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003), pp. 187–202.


1.Charles Dickens,The Old Curiosity Shop, ed. by Elizabeth M. Brennan (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), p. 211.

2.Edgar Allan Poe, ‘William Wilson’, inGreat Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe(London: Pocket Books, 2007), pp. 271–300 (p. 281).

3.Thomas Hardy, ‘An Imaginative Woman’, inThe Distracted Preacher and Other Tales, ed. by Susan Hill (New York: Penguin, 1985), pp. 305–30 (p. 330). See also, Angelique Richardson,Thomas Hardy and the Politics of Biology: Character, Culture and Environment (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

4.Cristina Mazzoni,Maternal Impressions: Pregnancy and Childbirth in Literature and Theory (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002), pp. 17, 22–35.

5.August Weismann,Essays Upon Heredity and Kindred Biological Problems, trans. by A. E. Shipley and Selmar Schönland, ed. by Edward B. Poulton (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889). See Laura Otis,Organic Memory: History and the Body in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994), pp. 47–49.

6.‘The Pedigree’, inThe Variorum Edition of the Complete Poems of Thomas Hardy, ed. by James Gibson (London: Macmillan, 1979), pp. 460–61 (p. 461).

7.See Francis Galton, ‘Composite Portraits, Made by Combining Those of Many Different Persons into a Single Figure’,Nature, 18 (1878), 97–100.

8.Schwartz, p. 29; Alan Richardson,British Romanticism and the Science of the Mind(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), p. 96.

9.Francis Galton, ‘The History of Twins, as a Criterion of the Relative Powers of Nature and Nurture’,Fraser’s Magazine, November 1875, pp. 566–76 (p. 574).

10. Grant Allen, ‘The Two Carnegies’,Cornhill Magazine, March 1885, pp. 292–324 (p. 293). On the history of twins as objects of scientific knowledge, see William Viney, ‘Curious Twins’,Critical Quarterly, 56.2 (2014), 47–58.

11. Rohan McWilliam, ‘Unauthorized Identities: The Imposter, the Fake and the Secret History in Nineteenth-Century Britain’, inLegitimacy and Illegitimacy in Nineteenth-Century Law, Literature and History, ed. by Margot C. Finn, Michael Lobban, and Jenny Bourne Taylor (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 67–92.

12. William D. Brewer,Staging Romantic Chameleons and Imposters(Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 3–4.

13. Grant Allen,An African Millionaire: Episodes in the Life of the Illustrious Colonel Clay(New York: Arnold, 1897), p. 19. See Christopher Pittard,Purity and Contamination in Late Victorian Detective Fiction(Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), pp. 119–44.

14. Carin Berkowitz, ‘Systems of Display: The Making of Anatomical Knowledge in Enlightenment Britain’,British Journal for the History of Science, 46 (2013), 359–87 (pp. 368–69, 370).

15. See Phillip Prodger,Darwin’s Camera: Art and Photography in the Theory of Evolution(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 219–20.

16. Matthew Brower,Developing Animals: Wildlife and Early American Photography (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011), p. 155.

17. Hugh Welch Diamond, ‘On the Application of Photography to the Physiognomic and Mental Phenomena of Insanity’,Proceedings of the Royal Society, 8 (1856), p. 117; see Tiffany Watt Smith,On Flinching: Theatricality and Scientific Looking from Darwin to Shell Shock(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), p. 183.

18. Rick Rylance,Victorian Psychology and British Culture 1850–1880(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 80.

19. Walter Pater,The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry (London: Macmillan, 1919), p. 235.

20. Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison,Objectivity (New York: Zone Books, 2010), pp. 42, 120.

21. Elizabeth Stephens, ‘Venus in the Archive: Anatomical Waxworks of the Pregnant Body’,Australian Feminist Studies, 25 (2010), 133–45 (pp. 134–35).

22. John Marshall,Anatomy for Artists(London: Smith, Elder, 1878), pp. 3–4.

23. J. B. Bullen,The Pre-Raphaelite Body: Fear and Desire in Painting, Poetry, and Criticism(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), p. 11.

24. George P. Landow,Aesthetic and Critical Theory of John Ruskin(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971), p. 50;The Works of John Ruskin, ed. by E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, Library Edition, 39 vols (London: Allen; New York: Longmans, Green, 1903–12),III:Modern Painters, vol. 1(1903), p. 145.

25. Works of Ruskin, ed. by Cook and Wedderburn,XI:The Stones of Venice vol.IIIand Examples of the Architecture of Venice(1904), pp. 47, 48.

26. George Henry Lewes,On Actors and the Art of Acting(London: Smith, Elder, 1875), pp. 102–03.

27. On the blurred lines between authenticity and theatricality in the period, see Lynn M. Voskuil,Acting Naturally: Victorian Theatricality and Authenticity(Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2004).

28. Alexander Bain,The Emotions and the Will, 2nd edn (London: Longmans, Green, 1865), p. 158.

29. Burke, p. 124; Charles Bell,The Anatomy and Philosophy of Expression(London: Murray, 1844), pp. 198–99.

30. See Tara MacDonald, ‘Bodily Sympathy, Affect, and Victorian Sensation Fiction’, inA Feel for the Text: Affect Theory and Literary Critical Practice, ed. by Stephen Ahern (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).

31. ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, inThe Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, intr. by Merlin Holland, 5th edn (Glasgow: HarperCollins, 2003), pp. 17–159 (pp. 71, 73).

32. Charles Darwin,Journal of Researches, 2nd edn (London: Murray, 1845), p. 206.

33. 8Charles Darwin,The Descent of Man, 2 vols (London: Murray, 1871),I, 121.

34. Amy Lehman,Victorian Women and the Theatre of Trance: Mediums, Spiritualists and Mesmerists in Performance(Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2009), p. 43.

35. Frederic Bateman,On Aphasia: The Localisation of the Faculty of Articulate Language(London: Churchill, 1870), p. 111.

36. John Stuart Mill,On Liberty(London: Parker, 1859), p. 106.

37. The Works of Dugald Stewart, 7 vols (Cambridge, MA: Hilliard and Brown, 1829),III:Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind (cont.), 145, 136. See Mary Fairclough,The Romantic Crowd: Sympathy, Controversy and Print Culture(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 125–66.

38. See John Plotz,The Crowd: British Literature and Public Politics(Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), pp. 43–66; Jill L. Matus, ‘Mary BartonandNorth and South’, inThe Cambridge Companion to Elizabeth Gaskell, ed. by Jill L. Matus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 27–45 (pp. 31–32).

39. Gabriel Tarde,Penal Philosophy, trans. by Rapelje Howell (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 1912), p. 323.

40. Ce n’est pas avec des arguments, mais avec des modèles, qu’on guide les foules. À chaque époque, il y a un petit nombre d’individualités qui impriment leur action et que la masse inconsciente imite’ (my translation); Gustave Le Bon,L’Homme et les sociétés, 2 vols (Paris: Place, 1988),II, 116–17.

41. Frederic William Farrar,On the Origin of Language(London: Murray, 1860), p. 75. On the cultural history of ideas of language evolution, see Christine Ferguson,Language, Science and Popular Fiction in the Victorian Fin-de-Siècle: The Brutal Tongue(Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006); Gregory Radick,The Simian Tongue: The Long Debate about Animal Language(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007); Will Abberley,English Fiction and the Evolution of Language, 1850–1914, Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture, 101 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

42. Friedrich Max Müller,Lectures on the Science of Language, 3rd edn (London: Longmans, Green, 1862), p. 365.

43. J. Mark Baldwin, ‘Imitation: A Chapter in the Natural History of Consciousness’,Mind, n.s., 3 (1894), 26–55 (pp. 30, 35).

44. De Profundis’, inComplete Works of Oscar Wilde, pp. 980–1059 (p. 1030).

45. Anne Stiles,Popular Fiction and Brain Science in the Late Nineteenth Century, Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture, 78 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 85–118.

46. Henri Bergson,Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic, trans. by Cloudesley Brereton and Fred Rothwell (New York: Macmillan, 1914), p. 33.

47. H. G. Wells,An Englishman Looks at the World(London: Cassell, 1914), p. 240.

48. H. G. Wells,Certain Personal Matters: A Collection of Material Mainly Autobiographical(London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1898), p. 36.

49. Edward Bradford Titchener,Lectures on the Experimental Psychology of the Thought-Processes(New York: Macmillan, 1909), pp. 21–22, 91, 185.

50. See Carolyn Burdett, ‘"The subjective inside us can turn into the objective outside”: Vernon Lee’s Psychological Aesthetics’,19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, 12 (2011) <

51. Vernon Lee and Clementina Anstruther-Thomson,Beauty and Ugliness and Other Studies in Psychological Aesthetics(London: John Lane, 1912), p. 239; Burdett, p. 2.

52. Josiah Royce,Studies of Good and Evil: A Series of Essays upon Problems of Philosophy and of Life(New York: Appleton, 1898), pp. 219–20.

53. Susan A. Glenn, ‘"Give an Imitation of Me”: Vaudeville Mimics and the Play of the Self’,American Quarterly, 50 (1998), 47–76 (pp. 60–69).

54. Thomas Babington Macaulay, ‘Minute on Indian Education’, excerpt inThe Post-Colonial Studies Reader, ed. by Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin (London: Routledge, 2002), pp. 428–30 (p. 430).

55. Homi K. Bhabha,The Location of Culture(London: Routledge, 1994), pp. 122, 89. On indigenous ‘copying’ of colonizers, see also, Michael Taussig,Mimesis and Alterity: A Particular History of the Senses(New York: Routledge, 1993), pp. 13–17. Luce Irigaray similarly argued that women had been historically forced into ‘mimicry’ due to male dominance of discourse, yet such female mimicry could also be subversive, challenging the supposed naturalness of gender identities: see Luce Irigaray,This Sex Which Is Not One, trans. by Catherine Porter and Carolyn Burke (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985), p. 76.

56. Marty Gould,Nineteenth-Century Theatre and the Imperial Encounter, Routledge Advances in Theatre and Performance Studies, 18 (New York: Routledge, 2011), pp. 114–38.

57. 72Thomas Thiemeyer, ‘Work, Specimen, Witness: How Different Perspectives on Museum Objects Alter the Way They Are Perceived and the Values Attributed to Them’,Museum and Society, 13 (2015), 396–412 (pp. 402–03).

58. James Krasner,The Entangled Eye: Visual Perception and the Representation of Nature in Post-Darwinian Narrative(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 5–7.

59. See also Ann Shelby Blum’s argument that, through the century, zoological illustration shifted from realism to schematization, inPicturing Nature: American Nineteenth-Century Zoological Illustration(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), pp. 3–4.

60. Bill Brown,A Sense of Things: The Object Matter of American Literature(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003), p. 4. See also, Lyn Pykett, ‘The Material Turn in Victorian Studies’,Literature Compass, 1 (2004), 1–5; Elaine Freedgood,The Ideas in Things: Fugitive Meaning in the Victorian Novel(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006); Nicholas Dames,The Physiology of the Novel: Reading, Neural Science, and the Form of Victorian Fiction(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007); William A. Cohen,Embodied: Victorian Literature and the Senses(Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008);Women and Things, 1750–1950: Gendered Material Strategies, ed. by Maureen Daly Goggin and Beth Fowkes Tobin (London: Routledge, 2009);Bodies and Things in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture, ed. by Katharina Boehm (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).


[1] * Laura Ugolini is a Professor of History, based at Wolverhampton City Campus. Her research interests are in British gender history, particularly 19th and early 20th century masculinities and male identities. In 2007 she published Men and Menswear: Sartorial Consumption in Britain, 1880-1939, while her book on Civvies: Middle-Class Men on the English Home Front, 1914-1918 was published by Manchester University Press in 2013. Laura Ugolini directs the University of Wolverhampton’s Centre for the History of Retailing and Distribution (CHORD)