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date: 16 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses Dickens’s treatment of industry, technology, and invention, forces that were reshaping not only the culture, economics, and geography but also the texture of daily life in nineteenth-century Britain. While the growth of London and other cities demanded innovations in sanitation and public health, revolutionary technologies in transport and communication reshaped the very experience of space and time. Some of Dickens’s most vocal contemporaries saw machinery and factory production as embodying the evils of the age, but Dickens approached technology with a more hopeful sense of its ability to magnify human power, to provoke dreams and wonder, and ultimately perhaps to offer a kind of spiritual meaning. Dickens expresses this rich vision in a range of works, from novels and stories to the essays he wrote and commissioned for his journals.

Keywords: Dickens, industry, technology, invention, machinery, factory, transport, communication, sanitation

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