Penelope; or, Love's Labour Lost
Education, Class, Universities, Mathematics, Phrenology, Reading
One of the novel's characters, Lord Spoonbill, is described in an extract as not being 'one of those foolish people who go to university and study hard to acquire languages which they never use, and sciences which they never apply in after-life. His lordship had sense enough to conclude that [...] as hereditary legislators have nothing to do with the exact sciences, it would be a piece of idle impertinence in him to study mathematics'. His 'organ of exclusiveness was strongly developed' as shown in his sense of the dignity of his rank. (139) Another extract describes the humorous interchanges of Peter Kipperson, 'a "march of intellect" man' (139), and Sir George Aimwell, who 'could not see the use of reading' and 'thought it a great piece of affectation for country gentlemen to have libraries' (140). Kipperson, 'when sitting at the table of the worthy baronet, assailed the magistrate with various scientific subjects, but all to no purpose; there was no response from his worthy host' (140). He concluded that 'baronets and magistrates were the most ignorant creatures on the face of the earth, and he congratulated himself that neither he nor Sir Isaac Newton were baronets' (140–41).
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]