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Incest and Influence


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Table of Contents

* Prologue: Darwin's Marriage * Introduction Part I: A Question of Incest * The Romance of Incest and the Love of Cousins * The Law of Incest * The Science of Incest and Heredity Part II: Family Concerns * The Family Business * Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect * Difficulties with Siblings Part III: The Intellectuals * The Bourgeois Intellectuals * The Bloomsbury Version * Coda: The End of the Line * Notes * Index

Promotional Information

Adam Kuper, perhaps the most original of anthropologists working in the present day, has turned from the study of African tribes to scrutinize cousin marriages and other consanguineous unions from Jane Austen's characters to the Darwin family and on throughout the great families of the Victorian era--and has come up with a startling and irresistible contribution to nineteenth-century social history. -- Horace Freeland Judson

About the Author

Adam Kuper is Centennial Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Fellow of the British Academy.


[A] thoughtful, revealing [book] about the kind of networking that existed long before the Internet, flourishing in the 19th century... [Kuper's] anthropological analysis results in sociological conclusions that are very revealing about culture--scientific, political, economic, social-scientific--in the Victorian age. Here is one scholar who is fearlessly far-ranging in his scope. -- Martin Rubin Washington Times 20091004 Incest and Influence presents a richly detailed and fascinating picture of the distinctive family life of the Victorian bourgeoisie. -- Gowan Dawson American Scientist 20100101 Adam Kuper brings an anthropologist's understanding to what he calls "one of the great neglected themes" of social and literary history: the preference of the English bourgeoisie for marriage with relatives...He traces clans of bankers and merchants, dynasties of barristers, judges, clergymen, bishops, top civil servants, writers, scientists and thinkers--an urban elite. His thesis is that kin networks provided the basis for the consolidation of the bourgeoisie in the nineteenth century, and that marriage within the family was a strategy. -- Norma Clarke Times Literary Supplement 20100122

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