R. Benner Annotated Bibliography


  1. Barnett, Richard. “Education or Degeneration: E. Ray Lankester, H. G. Wells and The Outline of History.” Elsevier 37.2 (2006): 203-29. Science Direct. Elsevier. Web. 17 Oct. 2014. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369848606000148

Barnett combines the work of colleagues H.G. Wells, novelist and journalist, and E. Ray Lankester, zoologist, to discredit the view of Victorian opinion on degeneration as an intellectual movement concerned with eugenics. Barnett claims that Lankester’s degenerationist view combined with Wells’s theory on socio-political thought led to the idea of a scientific education reform opposed to eugenics, in order to prevent the degeneration of the mind, body and culture.

2. Butler, Samuel, and Peter Mudford. Erewhon. [New and Rev. ed. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970. Print.

3. Hanström, Sissel. “The Fear of the Fall: Degeneration and Social Inequality in the

Frame Narrative of H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine”. Stockholm University, Dept. of      English. (2013) 1-18.

Hanström uses the reactions of societal members represented by the dinner party guests of the time travelerto promote the idea that degeneration in The Time Traveler occurs in the future because of actions that they are taking now. The Victorian era society that they are proud of achieving turns into something far more simplistic as the class gap between the proletariat and the poor working class widens. The dinner party guests are disinclined to believe the time traveler because his experience in the future means that their methods of preventing degeneration are the opposite of what they should be doing and that requires them to admit that their “glory” is not what they think it is.

4. Judge, J. (2009). The Seamy Side of Human Perfectibility: Satire on Habit in Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s The Coming Race. Journal of Narrative Theory, (p. 137). Web. Retrieved from: Literature Resource Center http://sfx.uvm.edu

Judge argues that The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton expresses satirical evidence of the eminent failure of a Victorian utopia due to the habits of humanity. The Vril-ya civilization has no distinction of class differences and no feelings of inequality. This Victorian utopia is doomed to fail because mankind cannot be content with having no goal to strive for. This novel criticizes democracy in favor of a more conservative socialist society. The morals learnings of society are the only distinction between those who are civilized and those who are not. This novel explores the Victorian fear of degeneration and the question of what we are evolved from.

5. Kinna, Ruth. “The Relevance of Morris’s Utopia”. The European Legacy. (2004) Vol. 9(6) p. 739-750.

Kinna evaluates the reputation of News From Nowhere as a socialist utopia considering Norman Gera’s concept of “maximum vision” as well as the idea of Utopia as defined by Thomas More. Morris neither accepts nor rejects More’s ideas, instead offers examples of an ethical system acting as the backbone of utopian society. Kinna also provides reason that Morris did not intend his imagined land to be a model for societal reform at all, instead he uses it as a way to respond to all of the objections to socialism.

6. Lytton, Edward Bulwer-Lytton. The Coming Race. Champaign, Ill.: Project Gutenberg, 1871. Print.

7. Morris, William, and Clive Wilmer. News from Nowhere and Other Writings. London: Penguin, 1993. Print.

8. Parrinder, Patrick. “Eugenics and Utopia: Sexual Selection from Galton to Morris (Francis Galton, William Morris)”. Utopian Studies. (1997). Vol. 8(2) p. 1-12.

This article focuses on the necessity of eugenics in a utopian society. Eugenics are as critical to a successful utopia as the abolition of social inequality, the abolition of private property and the stability of the society. Galton coined the term “eugenics” referring to the improvement of the human race through selective breeding. Although children are not present in much of Morris’s News From Nowhere his version of utopia compensates for the tendency of human couples to experience jealousy and infidelity in the way that relationships are formed and maintained. As a part of the end of the century eugenics movement, sexual relationships and reproduction were the main focus.

9. Taunton, Matthew. “Class in The Time Machine.” Discovering Literature: Romantics and Victorians. British Library, 1 Jan. 2009. Web. 12 Oct. 2014.

Knowing that H.G. Wells was heavily interested in political matters and thought from a socialist perspective, Taunton interprets The Time Machine as an example of warped socialist and communist ideas of utopia. Upon which the time traveler explores through his discoveries of the Eloi, believed to be the distant descendants of the Proletariat and the Morlocks, believed to be the distant descendants of the poor working class. The pastoral setting above ground compares to the utopian society of socialist William Morris’s News From Nowhere, concerning the extinction of money, class and the abundance of sustenance and health. The warped view comes into play with the Morlocks who live underground, cannibalizing the Eloi. The utopia cannot function without the Morlocks indicating more of an anti-utopia.

10. “Utopian Socialism Archive”. Utopian Socialism Archive. Web. 18 Nov. 2014 www.marxists.org/subject/utopian/

In this article the ideas of William Morris, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Samuel Butler, H.G. Wells, Thomas More and Robert Owen on socialist utopia and dystopia, as well as the American attempt at achieving utopia are compared. Utopia is a place where all of society’s problems have been solved and the gap between the proletariat and the poor-working class is extinct.

11. Waith, Marcus. “News From Nowhere, Utopia and Bakhtin’s Idyllic Chronotope”. Textual Practice. (2002). Vol. 16(3) p. 459

Chronotope refers to how language; spoken and written communications, are configurations of time and space. Bakhtin’s concept of chronotope is applied to Morris’s imagined future land of Nowhere through the conveyance of “news”.  The socialist principles expressed in Nowhere are threatened by the exposure of the society and its being open to desanctification.

12. Wells, H. G., and Patrick Parrinder. The Time Machine. London, England: Penguin, 2005. Print.

13. Wells, H. G., and Patrick Parrinder. The War of the Worlds. London, England: Penguin, 2005. Print.

14. Wells, H. G. The Island of Dr. Moreau. Waiheke Island: Floating, 2008. Print.





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