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By Accident or Design – Writing the Victorian Metropolis - Oxford Scholarship Online
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By Accident or Design: Writing the Victorian Metropolis

Paul Fyfe


‘On the banks of the Thames it is a tremendous chapter of accidents.’ As Henry James surveys London in 1888, he sums up what had fascinated urban observers for a century: the random and even accidental development of this unprecedented form of human settlement, the modern metropolis. By Accident or Design: Writing the Victorian Metropolis takes James at his word, arguing that accident was both a powerful metaphor and material context through which the Victorians arrested the paradoxes of metropolitan modernity and reconfigured understandings of form and change. This book shows how the material ... More

Keywords: Victorian literature, urban studies, history, nineteenth-century cities, accidents, novels, newspapers, ephemera, chance

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780198732334
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198732334.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paul Fyfe, author
Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University