Virtual evidence

Jules D Law*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper examines two classic Victorian visual representations that were neither fictional nor figurative, and yet were nonetheless suppositional in some way: John Snow’s 1855 map of the Broad Street cholera outbreak and Charles Darwin’s “tree of life” graph from The Origin of Species (1859). I argue that the use of signs peculiar to these diagrams anticipates the logic of representation implicit in contemporary theories and practices of virtual reality. I also suggest that the overlapping of these phenomena points to a broader modern category of “evidence of other worlds” distinct from the traditional domains of rhetoric, fiction, or illusionism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-424
Number of pages14
JournalVictorian Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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