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date: 03 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Although the Victorian period gave birth to a strong tradition of critique of technology and industrialization, it also fostered a counter-tradition: a new and generative technological imaginary. In recent years, scholars of Victorian culture have begun to map out this technological imaginary in readings of canonical Victorian novels by Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Elizabeth Gaskell. This chapter surveys this recent critical work, then turns to Anthony Trollope’s The Small House at Allington (1864) as an example of how technologies of communication and transportation become vehicles for rich intersubjective exchanges, generating narrative structures that link characters and novels to one another in complex webs mimicking Victorian Britain’s network of rails, wires, and postal routes.

Keywords: technology, machines, communication, railway, telegraph, realist novel

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