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Translation studies in the history of science: the example of Vestiges

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 June 2000

NICOLAAS RUPKE
Affiliation:
Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany

Abstract

The three translations of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation invested the text with new meaning. None of the translations endorsed the book for the author's advocacy of species transformation. The first translation, into German (1846), put forward the text as evincing divine design in nature. The second, into Dutch (1849), also presented Vestiges as proof of divine order in nature and, more specifically, as aiding the stabilization of society under God and king in a process of recovery from the 1848 Revolution. By contrast, the third translation, into German (1851), interpreted the book as furthering the very revolutionary, anti-ecclesiastical and anti- monarchist ideals that the Dutch edition sought to counter.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2000 British Society for the History of Science

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