|01-26-2008, 11:56 PM||#1|
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Wales, UK
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Collins, Wilkie: Heart and Science, v.1, 27 Jan 2008.
Heart and Science: A Story of the Present Time (1883).
Will the young heiress get poisoned by her cruel guardian? Is the use of live animal experimentation necessary to science? This novel is a strange combination of sensational and polemical elements.
“Didactic novel attacking vivisection. Collins always liked animals and during his research corresponded with the Surgeon-General, C. T. Gordon, writing in July 1882 ‘I am endeavouring to add my small contribution in aid of the good cause, by such means as Fiction will permit - and I am especially obliged to you for valuable “facts” which I could not have discovered for myself.’ In 1884 he wrote to Frances Power Cobbe, discussing cheap reissues and translation of the story, ‘What little I have been able to do towards helping this good cause is in a fair way, I hope, of appealing to a large audience.’ The assistance of both is acknowledged in the preface where Collins is at pains to point out details of his research. Chapter thirty-two presents many of the arguments still valid today against what the author calls ‘the hateful secrets of Vivisection.’ Heart and Science received generally favourable reviews although the Athenaeum considered it had a weak ending and the Academy deemed it an ‘anti-vivisection manifesto’. Swinburne later called it ‘a childish and harmless onslaught on scientific research’ but thought it the best, after Man and Wife, of Collins’ didactic tales. He particularly liked the characters of Zo and her father. A portion of the opening chapter bears a strong resemblance to Collins’s unpublished short story, ‘A Little Fable’.”
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