© 1998

writing London

the trace of the urban text from Blake to Dickens

  • Authors

About this book


Writing London asks the reader to consider how writers sought to respond to the nature of London. Drawing on literary and architectural theory and psychoanalysis, Julian Wolfreys looks at a variety of nineteenth-century writings to consider various literary modes of productions as responses to the city. Beginning with an introductory survey of the variety of literary representations and responses to the city, Writing London follows the shaping of the urban consciousness from Blake to Dickens, through Shelley, Barbauld, Byron, De Quincey, Engels and Wordsworth. It concludes with an Afterword which, in developing insights into the relationship between writing and the city, questions the heritage industry's reinvention of London, while arguing for a new understanding of the urban spirit.


fragment industry Palimpsest poetry Romanticism

About the authors

Julian Wolfreys is Professor of Modern Literature and Culture at Loughborough University, UK. He was previously Professor in Literature at the University of Florida, USA. His teaching and research is concerned with 19th- and 20th-century British literary and cultural studies, literary theory, the poetics and politics of identity, and the idea of the city. He is the series editor of Transitions and has written many course texts for Literature students, notably The English Literature Companion .

Bibliographic information


'Writing London makes a vital contribution to a growing field of interest in urban literature.' - Jennifer Davis Michael, The Wadsworth Circle

'Writing London is a brilliant book...Writing London conveys an excitement endowed by passion and intellectual risk, and more such studies of the nineteenth century would be welcome.' - Isobel Armstrong, Times Literary Supplement

'Writing London is an absorbing and lively study, which can usefully be added to the great flood of literature concerning the city.' - Peter Ackroyd, Times