Book Description: Why have we evolved to delight in telling stories and listening to them? Can literary meaning be discovered through data? What is more important to the identity of a literary character: gender or moral disposition? This boldly original study answers such questions and thus changes the debate about literary Darwinism. Constructing an evolutionary model of human nature and adopting scientific methods of research, this book explains the organization of characters in nineteenth-century British novels, yields rich insights into specific literary works, and demonstrates that evolutionary thinking can solve basic problems of literary theory.