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Reading between the lines: railways and popular fiction in late nineteenth-century Britain

Startin, Ruth (2018) Reading between the lines: railways and popular fiction in late nineteenth-century Britain. MA by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This study comprises an analysis of popular nineteenth-century fiction aimed at the family reader and featuring the railways, to ascertain how the railways impacted on community structures and how these changes manifested in literature. The primary texts featured are Robert Ballantyne’s The iron horse; Mary Leith’s Mark Dennis; Emma Leslie’s Gerald’s dilemma and Maggie’s message; Elton Keane’s Heroes of the railway; and Sabine Baring-Gould’s The Pennycomequicks. Furthermore, this study specifically looks at representations of the engine-driver as a public hero and the effects this had on their families; the railway passenger’s response to danger and the discrepancy between private and public liability for risk; and the presentation of the railway-carriage as a space of possibility in which new modes of being could be formed. The primary texts in this study have been chosen as they are all in some way about, or feature, the railways of the late nineteenth-century in a manner that proves the importance the railways had in shaping networks of mobility, but that also highlight the important role popular fiction had in conditioning readers to reconcile the dangers of railway travel with the opportunities that were afforded by them.

Item Type: Thesis (MA by research)
Academic Units: The University of York > English and Related Literature (York)
Depositing User: Miss Ruth Startin
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2019 10:14
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2019 10:14
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24405

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