Anthropology was a synthesis of previously separate study areas linked by a common theoretical framework. Unlike Continental usage, where "anthropology" referred to purely physical research on human variation and origins, in Britain the term came to include both cultural and physical studies. It subsumed ethnology and ethnography, archaeology, comparative philology, historical jurisprudence, folklore, and physical anthropology or somatology. Anthropology's object, according to E. B. Tylor (1832-1917), Britain's most influential anthropologist, was to collect and coordinate data gleaned through its various departments "so as to elaborate as completely as may be the synopsis of man's bodily and mental nature, and the theory of his whole course of life and action from his first appearance on earth." The various subfields of the new science were united by a comprehensive theory of physical and cult ural evolution.