21 February 2014

Review: Victorian Empiricism by Peter Garratt

Hardcover, 244 pages
Published 2010

Borrowed from the library
Read October 2012
Victorian Empiricism: Self, Knowledge, and Reality in Ruskin, Bain, Lewes, Spencer, and George Eliot
by Peter Garratt

Garratt analyzes a number of Victorian approaches to empiricism; I found his chapter on George Henry Lewes the most interesting, looking at the ways that all perception is ultimately inflected: your sensations will always interact with perception, and error and doubt are ultimately characteristic of the gaze. Each of the thinkers in the title receives a chapter of discussion except for Eliot, whose literary works are threaded throughout  (Adam Bede in the chapter on Ruskin, Middlemarch in Lewes's and Bain's, The Lifted Veil in Spencer's). I found his comments about Eliot's work the most illuminating part of the book.


  1. Great post! The Victorian age will always motivate writers and researchers, that's for sure.

    By the way, I've been reading your blog for a while and I loved your post about Legion Lost. I would love it if you could visit my blog, I've been writing about the Legion lately.


    1. Thanks for the comment and compliment. Your blog has a lot of interesting stuff-- as you know, I really enjoyed Legion Lost, and it's a strong analysis.

  2. Oh, and my blog: