Middleton, Amber K. (2019) Dickensian Death and Disarray: The Railways as Agents of Disorder. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Many of the well-documented transformations taking place in Victorian society were attributed at the time,and have been attributed since,to the introduction of the passenger railway network in 1830. Railways and their management asserted control over time and the British landscape, dominating, moving and embodying the industrial modernity that was encompassing the nation. A select number of literary works, from four canonical Victorian writers, have been assembled thematically for analysis alongside the Dickensian texts within this project. Utilising theories which interpret the significance of time, space and emotion, five literary texts are analysed comparatively in order to explore how Victorian writers contrastingly portrayed the altering of the Victorian population’s perceptions of time and space as a result of the railways. This project seeks to build upon the literary interpretations made by both Charlotte Mathieson and Robin Atthill of both the railways and Dickens by placing the primary focus of analysis on the external experiences of the railways and how their depictions within literature expose the disorder imposed on the country by the indomitable force of the railways.

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