New Agenda – Katharina Boehm and Josephine McDonagh, ‘Urban Mobility: New Maps of Victorian London’

‘The Uncommercial Traveller, whose urban explorations by foot, coach and train lead him from genteel Bond Street to the muddy thoroughfares of the East End, and from London’s ‘shy neighbourhoods’ to the docks by the Thames, reminds us of the mobility of Victorian city dwellers. Like Dickens’s compulsive traveller, countless fictional and historical Londoners experienced the city and its material cultures on the move.’  Introducing the New Agenda on ‘Urban Mobility’, Katharina Boehm and Josephine McDonagh survey the scholarship on the

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New Agenda – Fragments of the Modern City: Material Culture and the Rhythms of Everyday Life in Victorian London

Lining the shelves of a Museum of London warehouse are thousands of boxes of the broken and fragmented belongings of Victorian Londoners. In JVC 15.2 Alastair Owens, Nigel Jeffries, Karen Wehner and Rupert Featherby consider how such evidence can contribute to our understanding of the social and cultural worlds of Victorian Londoners. Does it allow us to grasp the ‘actualities’ of life in the modern metropolis, obscured by a pervasive bourgeois gaze that saturates other historical sources? This article is

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New Agenda – John Stokes, ‘”Encabsulation”: Horse-Drawn Journeys in Late-Victorian Literature’

In 1900 there were some 50,000 horses working in London, although by 1914 with the coming of motorized transport that number was down to 1,400. Focusing on one of the primary ways that Victorians moved around London, John Stokes examines the perils and social niceties of hailing a horse-drawn cab in the nineteenth-century city. Click here for John Leech’s cartoons for Punch on the hazards of taking a cab (and on many other topics) To read the full article, visit

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Digital Forum: Processing the Past

In JVC 15.2., the three contributors to this Digital Forum discuss the exciting new opportunities for quantitative research.  Richard Deswarte focuses on the holdings of the History Data Service and considers what makes a useful quantitative data source.  Alexis Weedon assesses the production of resources suitable for quantitative research and the use of geographical information to argue for greater convergence between types of data.  Michaela Mahlberg offers an introduction to corpus linguistics, exploring what corpus approaches can offer existing research

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Book Reviews (15.2)

Malcolm Chase on G. W. M. Reynolds: Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Politics, and the Press, edited by Anne Humpherys and Louis James (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008). To read the full review, visit http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1355%2d5502&volume=15&issue=2&spage=299 David Richter on Rebecca Stern’s Home Economics: Domestic Fraud in Victorian England (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2008). To read the full review, visit http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1355%2d5502&volume=15&issue=2&spage=303. Talia Schaffer on John Plotz’s Portable Property: Victorian Culture on the Move (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008). To read the full review, visit http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1355%2d5502&volume=15&issue=2&spage=307.

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New Agenda – James Grande, ‘Nineteenth-Century London in William Godwin’s Diary’

William Godwin’s diary provides ‘a picture of London’s literary and extra-parliamentary political life’. In JVC 15.2, James Grande retraces the philosopher’s footsteps to reveal Godwin’s immersion in the material conditions and popular politics of nineteenth-century London. For this image and to read more about the diary, visit the Leverhulme-funded project, William Godwin’s Diary: Reconstructing a Social and Political Culture, 1788-1836. To read the full article, visit http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1355%2d5502&volume=15&issue=2&spage=201.

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Tiffany Watt-Smith, ‘Darwin’s Flinch: Sensation Theatre and Scientific Looking in 1872’

Tiffany Watt-Smith won the Journal of Victorian Culture Graduate Prize Essay Competition, 2009. Published in JVC 15.1, her fascinating article explores the similarities between scientific observation and theatrical spectatorship, beginning with Charles Darwin’s self-conscious recollection in his Expressions of the Emotions of how he flinched before a puff-adder at the London Zoological Gardens. The author examines how Darwin’s scientific meditation on emotional gesture and expression was influenced by sensational performances in the theatre and the ways in which he encouraged

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Digital Forum: Readers and Users

In the Digital Forum of JVC 15.1, James Mussell asks what happens to readers in digital environments? Do we read differently on screen from how we read a printed text and, if so, how does this effect the way we respond to and make use of material in digital archives? Shafquat Towheed considers the consequences of reading nineteenth-century texts, not in their original form, but in twenty-first century digital space. Dana Wheeles reports how NINES (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship)

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Book Reviews (15.1)

Jacky Bratton on Jennifer Hall-Wit’s Fashionable Acts: Opera and Elite Culture in London, 1780-1880 (Durham, New Hampshire: University of New Hampshire Press, 2007). To read the full review, visit http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1355%2d5502&volume=15&issue=1&spage=164. Charlotte Mitchell on Gavin Budge’s Charlotte M. Yonge: Religion, Feminism and Realism in the Victorian Novel (Oxford, Bern & Peter Lang, 2007). To read the full review, visit http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1355%2d5502&volume=15&issue=1&spage=158. Donna Loftus on James Taylor’s Creating Capitalism. Joint-Stock Enterprise in British Politics and Culture 1800-1870 (Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Royal Historical Society

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Trev Lynn Broughton, ‘The Bengal Obituary: Reading and Writing Calcutta Graves in the Mid Nineteenth Century’

The Bengal Obituary published epitaphs and obituaries to European ‘departed worth’. In JVC 15.1, Trev Broughton explores what this volume reveals about mourning, sentiment, and the relationship between India and Britain, colony and metropole. Grave at South Park Cemetery, Calcutta http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4049/4318023315_c498a3cc9e.jpg Browse the 1852 edition of The Bengal Obituary by clicking here To read the full article, visit http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1355%2d5502&volume=15&issue=1&spage=39.

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