Jonathan Rose

Diffusers of Useful Knowledge

Visions of Science: Books and Readers at the Dawn of the Victorian Age

By

Oxford University Press 306pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

For a moment in time, just before Victoria became queen, popular science seemed to offer answers to everything. Around 1830, revolutionary information technology – steam-powered presses and paper-making machines – made possible the dissemination of ‘useful knowledge’ to a mass public. At that point professional scientists scarcely existed as a class, but there were genteel amateur researchers who, with literary panache, wrote for a fascinated lay audience.

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