This book examines the persona of the "man of science" in the Victorian period as it was shaped by Thomas Huxley, the leading British naturalist and notorious popularizer of Darwinian theory. It demonstrates how the scientific practitioner was regarded as a moral and religious figure; simultaneously considered to be the epitome of the secular, professional scientist. Breaking with traditional biographies, this fascinating portrait treats Huxley as the consummate British "man of science" and reflects on the historical significance of scientific authority.
'… cogently argued account … Paul White has created a sensitive and multifaceted portrait of Huxley … A particular strength … is the treatment of Huxley's relationships with Owen and Charles Darwin. … One of the most consistently developed aspects of White's portrait is the depiction of Huxley as a defender of high culture … beautifully written and persuasive account …' British Journal of the History of Science
Introduction; 1. Science at home; 2. Gentlemen of Science? Debates over manners and institutions; 3. Science as culture; 4. The worship of science; 5. 'Darkest England': Science and labor in the 1880s and 1890s; Conclusion: the end of the 'man of science'.