This chapter sets out the critical and historical framework of this study by focusing on three key aspects. Firstly, it attends to the characteristic features of and changes in scientific writing in nineteenth-century Britain, taking examples from the work of Charles Lyell, Michael Faraday and Charles Darwin, to establish a sense of the repertoire of stylistic models on which Humboldt’s British translators could draw. A second section examines Humboldt’s own writing style and briefly addresses the difficulties inherent in translating it from the French- or German-language originals. Finally, this chapter focuses in particular on style in translation and explores the swiftly evolving field of translation theory in the nineteenth century, drawing in particular on Friedrich Schleiermacher, to contextualise the strategies that Humboldt’s translators were employing.
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