The Work of the Sun

Literature, Science, and Political Economy, 1760–1860

  • Authors
  • Ted Underwood

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Ted Underwood
    Pages 1-13
  3. Ted Underwood
    Pages 15-31
  4. Ted Underwood
    Pages 55-88
  5. Ted Underwood
    Pages 89-108
  6. Ted Underwood
    Pages 109-131
  7. Ted Underwood
    Pages 133-156
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 193-240

About this book


At the end of the Eighteenth century, British writers began to celebrate work in a strangely indirect way. Instead of describing diligence as an attribute of character, poets and novelists increasingly identified work with impersonal 'energies' akin to natural force. Chemists traced mental and muscular work back to its source in sunlight, giving rise to the claim (beloved by Nineteenth-century journalists) that 'all the labour done under the sun is really done by it'. The Work of The Sun traces the emergence of this model of work, exploring its sources in middle-class consciousness and its implications for British literature and science.


English literature Romanticism science William Wordsworth Wordsworth

Bibliographic information