The Dome of Thought: Phrenology and the Nineteenth-Century Popular Imagination

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The dome of thought is the first study of phrenology based primarily on the popular - rather than medical - appreciation of this important and controversial pseudoscience. With detailed reference to the reports printed in popular newspapers from the early years of the nineteenth century to the fin de siècle, the book provides an unequalled insight into the Victorian public's understanding of the techniques, assumptions and implications of defining a person's character by way of the bumps on their skull. Highly relevant to the study of the many authors - Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, and George Eliot, among them - whose fiction was informed by the imagery of phrenology, The dome of thought will prove an essential resource for anybody with an interest in the popular and literary culture of the nineteenth century, including literary scholars, medical historians and the general reader.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages336
ISBN (Print)9781526143723
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

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