George Eliot, Harriet Martineau and the popularisation of Comte’s Positive Philosophy

Scholl, Lesa (2012) George Eliot, Harriet Martineau and the popularisation of Comte’s Positive Philosophy. Literature Compass, 9 11: 764-773. doi:10.1111/j.1741-4113.2012.00906.x

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Author Scholl, Lesa
Title George Eliot, Harriet Martineau and the popularisation of Comte’s Positive Philosophy
Formatted title
George Eliot, Harriet Martineau and the popularisation of Comte’s Positive Philosophy
Journal name Literature Compass   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1741-4113
Publication date 2012-11
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1741-4113.2012.00906.x
Open Access Status
Volume 9
Issue 11
Start page 764
End page 773
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Harriet Martineau’s ‘freely translated and condensed’ version of Auguste Comte’s Positive Philosophy (1853) made a significant contribution to the scholarly conversation on positivism in Britain. The translation of Continental philosophy into English during the mid-nineteenth century enabled translators to rewrite and rethink the original text for their home audience according to their own political and social agenda. Yet the idea of translation can be broadened to include translating philosophical ideas into different genres in order to broaden the readership – to popularise and, to some minds, bastardise the philosophy. The translation of philosophy into literary fiction arguably bridges the gap between scholarly integrity and popularisation that Eliot feared; indeed, both Eliot and Martineau, as established translators, vividly understood their power to manipulate and mould foreign philosophies through both their literal translations and their fiction. This paper examines the translational role of Eliot’s Middlemarch (1877) and Martineau’s Deerbrook (1839) in reproducing, reshaping and popularising Comte’s positivism within the British public mind.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Communication and Arts Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 04 Apr 2013, 16:15:00 EST by Ms Stormy Wehi on behalf of School of Communication and Arts