An anthology of the 19th-century "fin-de-siecle" focusing on late-19th-century versions of the end as broadcast within the social sciences. It presents attempts to categorize the varieties of human failing related to heredity, sexual perversity, race, atavistic regression, insanity and criminality.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, just like today, many people were terrified -- or thrilled -- by the seemingly unstoppable progress of science, wrestling with questions of sexual identity, and turning away from traditional religions or taking refuge in spiritualism, the paranormal, and "new age" philosophies. This selection of more than 120 writings from the four decades around 1900 brings together newspaper clippings, poetry, pulp fiction, scientific polemic, and sexological speculation, alongside classic texts by Conan Doyle, Stevenson, Wells, Dickens, Ibsen, Ruskin, and Zola. Vividly illuminating both the similarities and the differences between millennial and fin-de-siecle anxieties, this dazzling anthology forces us to look again at the progress we have made (or failed to make) in the last hundred years.
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