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    ‘Glimpses of the Wonderful’: the Jamaican origins of the aquarium and Victorian natural history

    Senior, Emily (2022) ‘Glimpses of the Wonderful’: the Jamaican origins of the aquarium and Victorian natural history. Atlantic Studies 19 (1), pp. 128-152. ISSN 1478-8810.

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    This paper addresses the well-known history of Victorian naturalist Philip Gosse’s popularization of the marine aquarium through a new lens: the period he spent in Jamaica during the 1840s. Firstly, it reveals the importance of African-Caribbean collectors and naturalists to Gosse’s natural history practise and shows the impact of racialized ethnographic perspectives on Victorian natural knowledge. Secondly, it argues that Gosse’s observations of marine biology in Jamaica were significant for his developing ideas about examining and displaying sea creatures, and informed his designs for British aquaria. Understanding Gosse’s aquatic displays as archives of living bodies, this article sets Gosse’s contribution to Victorian aesthetic, museological and technological developments in the context of his natural history work in Jamaica.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Philip Gosse, natural history, aquarium, ethnography, race display, vision, spectacle, Caribbean, Jamaica
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2021 10:56
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:51


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