Taylor, Michael A (Research Associate) (2018) Autobiography and documentable fact in the family background and religious affiliation of Archibald Geikie (1835–1924). In: Aspects of the life and works of Archibald. Geological Society, London, Special Publications (480). Geological Society, London. ISBN 2041-4927

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Abstract

In his autobiography of 1924, Archibald Geikie (1835–1924) suppressed basic information about his family and religious beliefs. Investigation reveals a more complete picture of those aspects of Geikie’s life. He was brought up in a strongly religious family, of Congregational affiliation, which he himself followed as a young man. His father was in trade as an Edinburgh perfumer, hairdresser and wig manufacturer. Amongst several apparent family scandals were a near-murder committed by his brother (which led indirectly to Geikie’s departure from Edinburgh University), and the probable suicide of his son. Geikie’s later shift to middle-ofthe-ground Anglicanism could be due to his marrying an Englishwoman, his move to England and/or the example of his patron Roderick Murchison. However, Geikie’s suppression of his earlier Congregationalism and of
his family background in trade strongly suggests that the shift to Anglicanism was part of the ambitious Geikie’s
career-building strategy, reinventing himself as one of the Anglicized ruling elite of the British empire. It probably
also reflects the problems of establishing science as a profession in the political and religious context of the
time. It may also be linked to Geikie’s apparently conservative politics. Those findings throw further light on
Geikie’s approach to autobiography.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Online First articles have been accepted for publication, edited and prepared for publication ahead of the printed issue.
Subjects: A General Works > AS Academies and learned societies (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Q Science > QE Geology
Q Science > QH Natural history
Theme: Understanding the natural world
Department: Natural Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ross Anderson
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2018 11:49
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2018 11:49
URI: http://repository.nms.ac.uk/id/eprint/2069

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