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With and Without Galton: Vasilii Florinskii and the Fate of Eugenics in Russia

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ISBN: 9781783745111 9781783745135 Year: Pages: 696 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0144
Publisher: Open Book Publishers Grant: English
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2018-09-26 16:07:26
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In 1865, British polymath Francis Galton published his initial thoughts about the scientific field that would become ‘eugenics.’ The same year, Russian physician Vasilii Florinskii addressed similar issues in a sizeable treatise, entitled Human Perfection and Degeneration. Initially unheralded, Florinskii’s book would go on to have a remarkable afterlife in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Russia. In this lucid and insightful work, Nikolai Krementsov argues that the concept of eugenics brings together ideas, values, practices, and fears energised by a focus on the future. It has proven so seductive to different groups over time because it provides a way to grapple with fundamental existential questions of human nature and destiny. With and Without Galton develops this argument by tracing the life-story of Florinskii’s monograph from its uncelebrated arrival amid the Russian empire’s Great Reforms, to its reissue after the Bolshevik Revolution, its decline under Stalinism, and its subsequent resurgence: first, as a founding document of medical genetics, and most recently, as a manifesto for nationalists and racial purists. Krementsov’s meticulously researched ‘biography of a book’ sheds light not only on the peculiar fate of eugenics in Russia, but also on its convoluted transnational history, elucidating the field’s protean nature and its continuing and contested appeal to diverse audiences, multiple local trajectories, and global trends. It is required reading for historians of eugenics, science, medicine, education, literature, and Russia, and it will also appeal to the general reader looking for a deeper understanding of this challenging subject.

The Life and Letters of William Sharp and "Fiona Macleod". Volume 1: 1855-1894

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ISBN: 9781783745005 9781783745029 Year: Pages: 710 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0142 Language: English
Publisher: Open Book Publishers
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2018-12-04 13:00:52
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"William Sharp (1855-1905) conducted one of the most audacious literary deceptions of his or any time. Sharp was a Scottish poet, novelist, biographer and editor who in 1893 began to write critically and commercially successful books under the name Fiona Macleod. This was far more than just a pseudonym: he corresponded as Macleod, enlisting his sister to provide the handwriting and address, and for more than a decade ""Fiona Macleod"" duped not only the general public but such literary luminaries as William Butler Yeats and, in America, E. C. Stedman.Sharp wrote ""I feel another self within me now more than ever; it is as if I were possessed by a spirit who must speak out"". This three-volume collection brings together Sharp’s own correspondence – a fascinating trove in its own right, by a Victorian man of letters who was on intimate terms with writers including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Walter Pater, and George Meredith – and the Fiona Macleod letters, which bring to life Sharp’s intriguing ""second self"". With an introduction and detailed notes by William F. Halloran, this richly rewarding collection offers a wonderful insight into the literary landscape of the time, while also investigating a strange and underappreciated phenomenon of late-nineteenth-century English literature. It is essential for scholars of the period, and it is an illuminating read for anyone interested in authorship and identity. "

The Red Countess

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ISBN: 9781783745562 Year: Pages: 452 DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0140 Language: English
Publisher: Open Book Publishers
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-15 13:34:13
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Born into a distinguished aristocratic family of the old Habsburg Empire, Hermynia Zur Mühlen spent much of her childhood and early youth travelling in Europe and North Africa with her diplomat father. Never comfortable with the traditional roles women were expected to play, she broke as a young adult both with her family and, after five years on his estate in the old Czarist Russia, with her German Junker husband, and set out as an independent, free-thinking individual, earning a precarious living as a writer. She translated over 70 books from English, French and Russian into German, notably the novels of Upton Sinclair, which she turned into best-sellers in Germany; produced a series of detective novels under a pseudonym; wrote seven engaging and thought-provoking novels of her own, six of which were translated into English; contributed countless insightful short stories and articles to newspapers and magazines; and, having become a committed socialist, achieved international renown in the 1920s with her Fairy Tales for Workers’ Children, which were widely translated including into Chinese and Japanese. Because of her fervent and outspoken opposition to National Socialism, she and her life-long Jewish partner, Stefan Klein, had to flee first Germany, where they had settled, and then, in 1938, her native Austria. They found refuge in England, where Zur Mühlen died, forgotten and virtually penniless, in 1951. This new, expanded edition contains: Zur Mühlen’s autobiographical memoir, The End and the Beginning; The editor’s detailed notes on the persons and events mentioned in the autobiography; A selection of Zur Mühlen’s short stories and two fairy tales; A synopsis of Zur Mühlen’s untranslated novel Our Daughters the Nazi Girls; An essay by the Editor on Zur Mühlen’s life and work; A bibliography of Zur Mühlen’s novels in English translation; A portfolio of selected illustrations of her work by George Grosz and Heinrich Vogeler; A free online supplement with additional original material

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