“Useful Knowledge is an interdisciplinary study that will appeal to a variety of readers, from historians to scientists to literary critics. Since so much of the book is devoted to novelistic treatments of religious issues, it will of course be of special interest to readers of Christianity and Literature. I offer a strong recommendation of Rauch’s book.” — Robert H. Ellison , Christianity and Literature
“[A] lively and illuminating study” — Nancy Ellenberger , Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences
“[A] unique perspective in the impact of knowledge on both religious and class issues.” — English Literature in Transition
“[T]his book offers compelling insights to the problem the Victorians faced in understanding their universe while hoping to adjust to their moral and ethical traditions.” — James Thayne Covert , History
“[W]ell-conceived [and] well-researched. . . .” — S. C. Dillon , Choice
“Rauch paints a fascinating picture of nineteenth-century culture and addresses issues related to the proliferation of knowledge and the moral issues of this time period. Useful Knowledge touches on social and cultural anxieties that offer both historical and contemporary insights into our ongoing preoccupation with knowledge.” — New Books in Nineteenth-Century Studies
"[E]ngrossing and illuminating. . . ." — Diana Postlethwaite, Albion
"[I]lluminating. . . . I cannot do justice here to [Rauch’s] readings, which are impressively informed, intelligent, and carefully contextualized."
— Norris Pope , Technology and Culture
"[I]nteresting and informative. . . . [A] solid introduction to the manner in which the popular diffusion of knowledge not only influenced Victorian novels, but deeply informed their shape and content." — Frank M. Turner, Victorian Studies
"Rauch’s Useful Knowledge is excellent in many ways. . . . Rauch has written an informative, insightful book that everyone who deals with nineteenth-century British culture will find of interest."
— Patrick Brantlinger , Journal of English and Germanic Philology
"The chapters on the early-nineteenth-century knowledge texts . . . work very well together to give precisely that picture of early-century knowledge culture at a variety of cultural sites." — Kathy Alexis Psomiades , Nineteenth Century Studies
"This is a valuable historical project. . . ." — Andrew Elfenbein , Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
“Useful Knowledge can stand as a model of informed and scrupulous historicism. The breadth of Rauch’s acquaintance with subliterary and paraliterary texts is truly impressive as he clearly lays out what was at stake for nineteenth-century intellectuals and usefully relates their preoccupations with those that concern us now, as we experience another information revolution.” — Harriet Ritvo, author of The Platypus and the Mermaid, and Other Figments of the Classifying Imagination
“A welcome addition to humanistic analyses of science-in-culture. Rauch deftly blends science, history, and literature—novels, speculative fiction, encyclopedias—to explore cultural attitudes to the challenges of new knowledge during the Information Age of the early nineteenth century.” — Ann B. Shteir, York University