The classic study of science, land, and nation in Canada.
The Carleton Library Series makes available once again Inventing Canada, Suzanne Zeller's classic history of science, land, and nation in Victorian Canada. Zeller argues that the middle decades of the nineteenth century that saw the British North American colonies attempting to establish a transcontinental nation also witnessed the rise of an analytical tradition in science that challenged older conceptions of humanity's relationship with nature and the land.
Zeller taps a wide range of archival and published sources to document the prominent place of Victorian science in British North American thought and society. Her focus on the creative functions of Victorian geological, geophysical, and botanical sciences highlights the formation of a Canadian community of scientists, politicians, educators, journalists, businessmen, and others who promoted public support of scientific activities and institutions. By moving beyond the eighteenth-century mechanical ideals that had forged the United States, they reassessed the land and its possibilities to redefine the transcontinental future of a northern variant of the British nation.
Inventing Canada is a must-read for anyone interested in the scientific background of Canada's history, including its environmental history.