Joanna Yates

Joanna Yates


Thesis Title

Inheriting Erasmus Darwin’s The Temple of Nature: Family History, Evolutionary Thought, and Public Debate




Professor David Amigoni
Professor Nicholas Seagar

Research Summary

The aim of this collaborative doctoral award is to contribute to research on science, poetry, and evolutionary theory Erasmus Darwin’s philosophical poem, The Temple of Nature (1803) while also further exploring the relationship between Erasmus and the legacies of his grandson, Charles Darwin. It is also to extend understanding of the original social and intellectual contexts that underlie this pioneering philosophical poem in order to re-think the significance the Darwin family acquired in scientific and wider public debates about inheritance following the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859) and other evolutionary works.

Research Interests

The long eighteenth century generally, but specifically with the women poets of that period.


‘Feminine Interiority and Social Protest in the Poetry of Mary Leapor’ presented at BSECS 52nd Annual Conference January 2023
Yates, Joanna C., “”Brereton, Jane””. The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 December 2021 [, accessed 21 December 2021.]


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