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Thesis

Soul, seed, species: William Blake and the language of preformationist biology

Abstract:

This thesis discusses how Blake transformed biological images of birth and regeneration into complex symbols of spiritual, political, and artistic rebirth. Situating Blake against key developments in the eighteenth-century life sciences, it finds Blake resisting evolutionary materialism and its rationalist preference for material progress and self-preservation over the spiritual values of redemption, self-sacrifice, and renewal. Blake juxtaposes two biological paradigms— preformation and ...

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Division:
HUMS
Department:
English Faculty
Role:
Author

Contributors

Role:
Supervisor
Role:
Supervisor
ORCID:
0000-0001-5083-7544
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Name:
Arts and Humanities Research Council
Funder identifier:
http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000267
Grant:
AH/L503885/1
Type of award:
DPhil
Level of award:
Doctoral
Awarding institution:
University of Oxford

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