University Press Copublishing Division / Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
978-1-61147-490-9 • Hardback • August 2010 • $101.00 • (£78.00)
Peter Garratt is Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Literature at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK. He holds degrees from Durham University and the University of Edinburgh, and has published several articles on Victorian literature and culture exploring interactions between literary form and intellectual history.
Victorian Empiricism is his first book.
This is...an outstanding and thoroughgoing work of intellectual recuperation, and one which corrects many prevailing assumptions. In sum, Victorian Empiricism is a study which will be of interest to all concerned with the complex map of Victorian thought.
In Victorian Empiricism, Peter Garratt surveys mid-Victorian literature for moments when writers engage with psychologists in order to ask 'what it means to know, and to strive for knowledge from an always-limited consciousness, and to be situated yet aspire to see more reality than one perspective allows, and to experience the not knowing' (21). ... Garratt weaves readings of exemplary moments in Middlemarch into his discussion of Victorian psychologists in a way that disperses questions of influence within an attractive contextual tissue that is nonetheless strangely impervious to questions about specific ways and means. . . . Garratt is attentive to the Spinoza-esque elements of Eliot's fiction as well as similar moments in the psychological writers that form the core of his study.
— The Victorian Web