The 19th-century steam railway epitomized modernity's relentlessly onrushing advance. Ian Carter delves into the cultural impact of the train. Why, for example, did Britain possess no great railway novel? He compares fiction and images by canonical British figures (Turner, Dickens, Arnold Bennett) with selected French and Russian competitors: Tolstoy, Zola, Monet, Manet. He argues that while high cultural work on the British steam railway is thin, British popular culture did not ignore it. Detailed discussions of comic fiction, crime fiction, and cartoons reveal a popular fascination with railways tumbling from vast (and hitherto unexplored) stores of critically overlooked genres.
In William Wordsworth and the Ecology of Authorship, Scott Hess explores Wordsworth’s defining role in establishing what he designates as "the ecology of authorship": a primarily middle-class, nineteenth-century conception of nature associated with aesthetics, high culture, individualism, and nation. Instead of viewing Wordsworth as an early ecologist, Hess places him within a context that is largely cultural and aesthetic. The supposedly universal Wordsworthian vision of nature, Hess argues, was in this sense specifically male, middle-class, professional, and culturally elite—factors that continue to shape the environmental movement today.
Vilified by leading architectural modernists and Victorian critics alike, mass-produced architectural ornament in iron has received little sustained study since the 1960s; yet it proliferated in Britain in the half century after the building of the Crystal Palace in 1851 - a time when some architects, engineers, manufacturers, and theorists believed that the fusion of iron and ornament would reconcile art and technology and create a new, modern architectural language. Comprehensively illustrated and richly researched, Iron, Ornament and Architecture in Victorian Britain presents the most sustained study to date of the development of mechanised architectural ornament in iron in nineteenth-century architecture, its reception and theorisation by architects, critics and engineers, and the contexts in which it flourished, including industrial buildings, retail and seaside architecture, railway stations, buildings for export and exhibition, and street furniture. Appealing to architects, conservationists, historians and students of nineteenth-century visual culture and the built environment, this book offers new ways of understanding the notion of modernity in Victorian architecture by questioning and re-evaluating both Victorian and modernist understandings of the ideological split between historicism and functionalism, and ornament and structure.
How did Victorian travellers define and challenge the notion of Empire? How did the multiple forms of Victorian travel literature, such as fiction, travel accounts, newspapers, and poetry, shape perceptions of imperial and national spaces, in the British context and beyond? This collection examines how, in the Victorian era, space and empire were shaped around the notion of boundaries, by travel narratives and practices, and from a variety of methodological and critical perspectives. From the travel writings of artists and polymaths such as Carmen Sylva and Richard Burton, to a reassessment of Rudyard Kipling’s, H. G. Wells’s and Julia Pardoe’s cross-cultural and cross-gender travels, this collection assesses a broad range of canonical and lesser-studied Victorian travel texts and genres, and evaluates the representation of empires, nations, and individual identity in travel accounts covering Europe, Asia, Africa and Britain.
Concentrating on works by authors such as Fergus Hume, Arthur Conan Doyle, Grant Allen, L.T. Meade, and Marie Belloc Lowndes, Christopher Pittard explores the complex relation between the emergence of detective fictions in the 1880s and 1890s and the concept of purity. The centrality of material and moral purity as a theme of the genre, Pittard argues, both reflected and satirised a contemporary discourse of degeneration in which criminality was equated with dirt and disease and where national boundaries were guarded against the threat of the criminal foreigner. Situating his discussion within the ideologies underpinning George Newnes's Strand Magazine as well as a wide range of nonfiction texts, Pittard demonstrates that the genre was a response to the seductive and impure delights associated with sensation and gothic novels. Further, Pittard suggests that criticism of detective fiction has in turn become obsessed with the idea of purity, thus illustrating how a genre concerned with policing the impure itself became subject to the same fear of contamination. Contributing to the richness of Pittard's project are his discussions of the convergence of medical discourse and detective fiction in the 1890s, including the way social protest movements like the antivivisectionist campaigns and medical explorations of criminality raised questions related to moral purity.
What was special about 1845 and why does it deserve particular scrutiny? In his much-anticipated new book, one of the leading authorities on the Victorian age argues that this was the critical year in a decade which witnessed revolution on continental Europe, the threat of mass insurrection at home and radical developments in railway transport, communications, religion, literature and the arts. The effects of the new poor law now became visible in the workhouses; a potato blight started in Ireland, heralding the Great Famine; and the Church of England was rocked to its foundations by John Henry Newman's conversion to Roman Catholicism. What Victorian England became was moulded, says Michael Wheeler, in the crucible of 1845. Exploring pivotal correspondence, together with pamphlets, articles and cartoons, the author tells the riveting story of a seismic epoch through the lives, loves and letters of leading contemporaneous figures.
In the nineteenth century, railways were viewed as a symbol of progress and confidence in technological modernity. In the twenty-first century, the frustrations of gridlocked traffic, record-high gas prices, and the looming fears of climate change have transformed the railway system once again into a symbol of hope that provides the possibility of an environmentally sustainable future. In Railway, George Revill examines the technology and politics of railway history, as well as related themes such as mobility, identity, design, marketing, and sustainability. In both practical and symbolic senses the cultural meanings of railways continue to play a role in how people organize and respond to modern environments, social problems, and technologies. Revill draws from art, literature, music, and film to illustrate how the railway carries meaning for all of us—creating connections and separations, detachment and involvement—from the routine commuter to the enthusiast. As Revill shows, railways inform our everyday language—from fast-track to side-track to going off the rails—and continue to fascinate us today. In this wide-ranging and well-illustrated look at railways across the globe, Revill ultimately reveals how central they are to our understanding of modern everyday life.
'Fascinating' 'Books of the Year', Financial Times 'London's twelve great rail termini are the epic survivors of the Victorian age... Wolmar brings them to life with the knowledge of an expert and the panache of a connoisseur.' Simon Jenkins 'A wonderful tour, full of vivid incident and surprising detail.' Simon Bradley London hosts twelve major railway stations, more than any other city in the world. They range from the grand and palatial, such as King's Cross and Paddington, to the modest and lesser known, such as Fenchurch Street and Cannon Street. These monuments to the age of the train are the hub of London's transport system and their development, decline and recent renewal have determined the history of the capital in many ways. Built between 1836 and 1899 by competing private train companies seeking to outdo one another, the construction of these terminuses caused tremendous upheaval and had a widespread impact on their local surroundings. What were once called 'slums' were demolished, green spaces and cemeteries were concreted over, and vast marshalling yards, engine sheds and carriage depots sprung up in their place. In a compelling and dramatic narrative, Christian Wolmar traces the development of these magnificent cathedrals of steam, provides unique insights into their history, with many entertaining anecdotes, and celebrates the recent transformation of several of these stations into wonderful blends of the old and the new.
Mobility in the Victorian Novel explores mobility in Victorian novels by authors including Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot and Mary Elizabeth Braddon. With focus on representations of bodies on the move, it reveals how journeys create the place of the nation within a changing global landscape.
The perfect new gift from the bestselling author of Britain's 1000 Best Churches It is the scene for our hopeful beginnings and our intended ends, and the timeless experiences of coming and going, meeting, greeting and parting. It is an institution with its own rituals and priests, and a long-neglected aspect of Britain's architecture. And yet so little do we look at the railway station. Simon Jenkins has travelled the length and breadth of Great Britain, from Waterloo to Wemyss Bay, Betws-y-Coed to Beverley, to select his hundred best. Blending his usual insight and authority with his personal reflections and experiences - including his founding the Railway Heritage Trust - the foremost expert on our national heritage deftly reveals the history, geography, design and significance of each of these glories. Beautifully illustrated with colour photographs throughout, this joyous exploration of our social history shows the station's role in the national imagination; champions the engineers, architects and rival companies that made them possible; and tells the story behind the triumphs and follies of these very British creations. These are the marvellous, often undersung places that link our nation, celebrated like never before.