London's Underground Spaces: Representing the Victorian City, 1840-1915

London's Underground Spaces: Representing the Victorian City, 1840-1915

by Haewon Hwang


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Provides an innovative approach to articulate what 'underground' meant to the Victorians. The construction of London's underground sewers, underground railway and suburban cemeteries created seismic shifts in the geography and the psychological apprehension of the city. Yet, why are there so few literary and aesthetic interventions in Victorian representations of subterranean spaces? What is London's answer to the Parisian sewers of Victor Hugo or the unflinching realism of Émile Zola's underworld? Where is the great English underground novel? This study explores this elision not as an absence of imaginative output, but as a presence and plenitude of anxiety and fears that haunt the pages of Charles Dickens, George Gissing, Bram Stoker and Mary Elizabeth Braddon. The way in which these writers negotiated the dirt and messiness of underground spaces reveals both the emergence of Gothic, socialist, and modernist sensibilities, and the way all modern cities deal with what is unseen, intangible and inarticulable. The inclusion of illustrations of Victorian maps, cartoons, photographs and art bring the period to life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780748676071
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publication date: 08/01/2013
Series: Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Haewon Hwang is Honorary Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vi

Series Editor's Preface vii

Acknowledgements ix

Introduction 1

1 The Incontinent City: Sewers, Disgust and Liminality 19

2 Tubing It: Speeding Through Modernity in the London Underground 72

3 The (Un)Buried Life: Death in the Modern Necropolis 116

4 Underground Revolutions: Invisible Networks of Terror in Fin-de-Siècle London 159

Conclusion 201

Bibliography 208

Index 226

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