His treatise Zoonomia
, or The Laws of Organic Life best illustrates his imaginative genius.
Along the "way Ruderman offers subtle and significant readings of Barbauld's "To a Little Invisible Being Who is Expected Soon to Be Visible"; Blake's "Infant Joy" and "Infant Sorrow"; Arnold's "To a Gipsy Child by the Seashore" and "The Youth of Nature"; Erasmus Darwin's Zoonomia
; Sara Coleridge's poems, letters, and manuscripts, including the "Journal of Her Children's Early Years"; P.
He shows how Erasmus Darwin remade contemporary literary models, particularly the epic, into a new mode of narrative analysis to address the world of contemporary natural science, through Botanic Garden and Zoonomia
, and how writers after him contributed to comparative historicism as one way of historical understanding, such as Alfred Tennyson, George Eliot, and Walter Scott.
(6) Both Catherine Packham and Devin Griffiths have explored Darwin's use of analogy in The Loves of the Plants and Zoonomia
Darwin E (1818) Zoonomia
; or The laws of organic life, 2 vols.
instance, in the first volume of Zoonomia
(1796), Erasmus Darwin
He wrote Zoonomia
; or, the Laws of Organic Life, which, among its many topics, gave an outline of the early concept of evolution.
In his Zoonomia
; or The Laws of Organic Life (1794), he defines three primary states of altered consciousness that he considers "Diseases of Volition." These "diseases"--somnambulism, reverie, and erotomania--are all products of an "imbalance of the senses" (202).
For example, Charles's grandfather Erasmus Darwin outlined a deistic and "Lamarckian" model of evolution in Zoonomia
, or the Laws of Organic Life (1794-1796).
at 55-56 (quoting ERASMUS DARWIN, ZOONOMIA
, OR THE LAWS OF ORGANIC LIFE (AMS Press 1974).
In 1794 he published these notes and observations in the first volume of Zoonomia
, in which he described such diseases as scarlet fever, smallpox, measles, mumps, scabies, and worms as well as conditions such as melancholia, anger, boredom (Taedium vitae), credulity (Credulitas), ambition, and even sentimental love.