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Fire in the Stone: Prehistoric Fiction from Charles Darwin to Jean M. Auel

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The first comprehensive study of prehistoric fiction The genre of prehistoric fiction contains a surprisingly large and diverse group of fictional works by American, British, and French writers from the late nineteenth century to the present that describe prehistoric humans. Nicholas Ruddick explains why prehistoric fiction could not come into being until after the acceptan The first comprehensive study of prehistoric fiction The genre of prehistoric fiction contains a surprisingly large and diverse group of fictional works by American, British, and French writers from the late nineteenth century to the present that describe prehistoric humans. Nicholas Ruddick explains why prehistoric fiction could not come into being until after the acceptance of Charles Darwin's theories, and argues that many early prehistoric fiction works are still worth reading even though the science upon which they are based is now outdated. Exploring the history and evolution of the genre, Ruddick shows how prehistoric fiction can offer fascinating insights into the possible origins of human nature, sexuality, racial distinctions, language, religion, and art. The book includes discussions of well-known prehistoric fiction by H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, J.-H. Rosny A�n�, Jack London, William Golding, Arthur C. Clarke, and Jean M. Auel and reminds us of some unjustly forgotten landmarks of prehistoric fiction. It also briefly covers such topics as the recent boom in prehistoric romance, notable prehistoric fiction for children and young adults, and the most entertaining movies featuring prehistoric humans. The book includes illustrations that trace the changing popular images of cave men and women over the past 150 years.


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The first comprehensive study of prehistoric fiction The genre of prehistoric fiction contains a surprisingly large and diverse group of fictional works by American, British, and French writers from the late nineteenth century to the present that describe prehistoric humans. Nicholas Ruddick explains why prehistoric fiction could not come into being until after the acceptan The first comprehensive study of prehistoric fiction The genre of prehistoric fiction contains a surprisingly large and diverse group of fictional works by American, British, and French writers from the late nineteenth century to the present that describe prehistoric humans. Nicholas Ruddick explains why prehistoric fiction could not come into being until after the acceptance of Charles Darwin's theories, and argues that many early prehistoric fiction works are still worth reading even though the science upon which they are based is now outdated. Exploring the history and evolution of the genre, Ruddick shows how prehistoric fiction can offer fascinating insights into the possible origins of human nature, sexuality, racial distinctions, language, religion, and art. The book includes discussions of well-known prehistoric fiction by H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, J.-H. Rosny A�n�, Jack London, William Golding, Arthur C. Clarke, and Jean M. Auel and reminds us of some unjustly forgotten landmarks of prehistoric fiction. It also briefly covers such topics as the recent boom in prehistoric romance, notable prehistoric fiction for children and young adults, and the most entertaining movies featuring prehistoric humans. The book includes illustrations that trace the changing popular images of cave men and women over the past 150 years.

30 review for Fire in the Stone: Prehistoric Fiction from Charles Darwin to Jean M. Auel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bill FromPA

    This was an excellent book – the first three chapters are a chronological survey of prehistoric fiction (pf) from 1859 through the present. This is followed by 4 chapters on looking in detail at how pf interacts with contemporary concerns in both dramatizing scientific paleoanthropology and dealing with general social and philosophical issues. The author concentrates on “pure pf”, stories set entirely in the past among human ancestors without any sf elements, but does mention a number of works o This was an excellent book – the first three chapters are a chronological survey of prehistoric fiction (pf) from 1859 through the present. This is followed by 4 chapters on looking in detail at how pf interacts with contemporary concerns in both dramatizing scientific paleoanthropology and dealing with general social and philosophical issues. The author concentrates on “pure pf”, stories set entirely in the past among human ancestors without any sf elements, but does mention a number of works of “prehistoric sf” (such as The Lost World or de Camp’s “The Gnarly Man”) where he finds relevant issues or particularly worthy works. Ruddick does not shy away from evaluating the works’ literary quality: William Golding’s The Inheritors takes pride of place, and he has very kind things to say about Jack London, Jean M. Auel, and Roy Lewis’ The Evolution Man (which I must read soon), among others. Since pf was first written in France, his knowledge of French pf, much of it untranslated into English, is particularly worthwhile for the Anglophone reader.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ramona

    A brilliantly incisive analysis. Bravo!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Morgiana

    Ordinarily I don't care much for literary analysis, but I enjoyed this book. Ruddick clearly did his homework when researching it. Most of the books and stories discussed here are older (although there is a lot of material on The Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequels), and I was not familiar with many of them. If you like prehistoric fiction and want a more serious look at the themes, definitely read this book. Ordinarily I don't care much for literary analysis, but I enjoyed this book. Ruddick clearly did his homework when researching it. Most of the books and stories discussed here are older (although there is a lot of material on The Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequels), and I was not familiar with many of them. If you like prehistoric fiction and want a more serious look at the themes, definitely read this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jovany Agathe

  5. 4 out of 5

    Julie Jones

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sharmon

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nicky Ellam

  8. 4 out of 5

    CL

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tina Newsome

  10. 4 out of 5

    50 Shades of Reader

  11. 4 out of 5

    Becky Dennis

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marlene Cuetara

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tessa

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda K

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sally

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

  18. 4 out of 5

    Windy Tiller

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mónica Salviat Krögh

  20. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mecu

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elysse AKA EILIS Heller

  23. 5 out of 5

    Susanne

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pat

  25. 4 out of 5

    Reuvenc

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Ryan

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carole

  28. 5 out of 5

    Miss Kimberly Ruth Leman

  29. 5 out of 5

    Peggy Daniell

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jenel

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