Charles Dickens's Networks: Public Transport and the Novel (Paperback)
  • Charles Dickens's Networks: Public Transport and the Novel (Paperback)
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Charles Dickens's Networks: Public Transport and the Novel (Paperback)

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£24.99
Paperback 272 Pages / Published: 03/10/2013
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The same week in February 1836 that Charles Dickens was hired to write his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, the first railway line in London opened. Charles Dickens's Networks explores the rise of the global, high-speed passenger transport network in the nineteenth century and the indelible impact it made on Dickens's work. The advent first of stage coaches, then of railways and transoceanic steam ships made unprecedented round-trip journeys across once seemingly far distances seem ordinary and systematic. Time itself was changed. The Victorians overran the separate, local times kept in each town, establishing instead the synchronized, 'standard' time, which now ticks on our clocks. Jonathan Grossman examines the history of public transport's systematic networking of people and how this revolutionized perceptions of time, space, and community, and how the art form of the novel played a special role in synthesizing and understanding it all. Focusing on a trio of road novels by Charles Dickens, he looks first at a key historical moment in the networked community's coming together, then at a subsequent recognition of its tragic limits, and, finally, at the construction of a revised view that expressed the precarious, limited omniscient perspective by which passengers came to imagine their journeying in the network.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199682164
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 392 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 16 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
a fine book about a series of equally fantastic techno-imaginary developments in Britain beginning in the 1820s ... I admire the disciplined focus Grossman demonstrates in his emphasis on the novel, and in particular on the novel as a precision tool wielded by Dickens * Carolyn Dever, Victorian Studies *
Grossman offers new and thought-provoking ways of thinking about each of the three novels that he considers. * Catherine Malcolmson, Literature & History *
What stands out about Charles Dickensas Networks is the clever and convincing manner in which historical and theoretical insights concerning the Victorian transport system are used to illuminate particular episodes, generic features, and textual strategies from Dickens's fiction ... in developing such a compelling and nuanced account of the way in which the public transport revolution both impacted upon and was mediated by Dickens's fiction, this study opens up spatio-temporal dimensions of Victorian society and culture in a manner that deserves and will reward further work. * Paul Young, Modern Language Review *

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