Journals Higher Education



Published: 08 February 2022

448 Pages


ISBN: 9780192847744

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Victorians and Numbers

Statistics and Society in Nineteenth Century Britain

Lawrence Goldman

  • Presents Britain as the preeminent centre for the collection of statistics and their development as a branch of mathematics in the 19th century
  • Explores the 'data revolution' in the 1830s, showing it as somewhat equivalent to the 'digital revolution' of our own era which stimulated the collection and use of statistics
  • Demonstrates that our use of statistics to understand disease was already well-established in the Victorian period
  • Shows that statistics were intimately connected to social reform and developments in the natural and social sciences in the Victorian period
  • Draws on the personal histories of many eminent Victorians with an interest in data, including Albert, the Prince Consort; Florence Nightingale; and the mathematicians and natural scientists Charles Babbage, John Herschel, and William Whewell