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

Read more

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

Read more

New Agenda – David L. Pike, ‘Afterimages of the Victorian City’

The Victorian street and underworld have had remarkable afterlives in twentieth-century reinterpretations of Victorian cityscapes. In JVC 15.2, David L. Pike explores what persists in our vision of the nineteenth-century city well over a century after it was, so to speak, first seen, and how what persists impacts on our attempts to reconstruct that act of seeing. He sees spectral ‘afterimages’ of the Victorian street  and underground, in a variety of contemporary sources, ranging from Gary Sherman’s Death Line (1972)

Read more

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

Read more

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.

Read more