Advertisement

Capital City

Chapter
  • 40 Downloads

Abstract

This chapter marks the transition to Victorian London and lays the sociohistorical foundations for the discussion of fiction and painting in subsequent chapters. It examines the wholesale transformations wrought by capitalism: through the rail and road developments and the speculative housing market which reshaped the structure and hence the social meanings of the metropolis; through the casual labour market and its attendant problems of poverty and social unrest; and through the City’s consolidation as the world’s leading financial centre. The first two sections describe spatial and social mobility and the disorientation and class tensions to which these migrations contributed. The following section traces the evolution of middle-class perceptions of the working classes, and of the fantasies which they projected onto the ‘residuum’ of city savages. The chapter concludes by analysing the moral dilemmas posed by the gulf between rich and poor, and efforts to understand the human consequences of laissez-fairecapitalism.

Keywords

Capital City Moral Panic Social Body Vital Energy Overcrowd Housing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    See John R. Kellett, Railways and Victorian Cities (1979); and T.C. Barker and Michael Robbins, A History of London Transport, vol. 1 The Nineteenth Century (1963). On the dynamics of metropolitan expansion, see H.J. Dyos and D.J. Reeder,‘Slums and Suburbs’, in The Victorian City: Images and Realities, ed. H.J. Dyos and Michael Wolff, 2 vols. (1973), pp. 359–86.Google Scholar
  2. See John R. Kellett, Railways and Victorian Cities (1979); and T.C. Barker and Michael Robbins, A History of London Transport, vol. 1 The Nineteenth Century (1963) Google Scholar
  3. On the dynamics of metropolitan expansion, see H.J. Dyos and D.J. Reeder, ‘Slums and Suburbs’, in The Victorian City: Images and Realities, ed. H.J. Dyos and Michael Wolff, 2 vols. (1973), pp. 359–86.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    David Kynaston, The City of London, 3 vols. (1994–9), I, pp. 151–4; Google Scholar
  5. Norman Russell, The Novelist and Mammon (Oxford, 1986), pp. 31–3.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    Kellett, Railways and Victorian Cities, pp. 326–37, 293; Gareth Stedman Jones, Outcast London (Harmondsworth, 1984), passim.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    P.J. Waller, Town, City, and Nation: England 1850–1914 (Oxford, 1983), p. 28; Kellett, Railways and Victorian Cities, p. 299.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    John Summerson, The Architecture of Victorian London (Charlottesville, 1976), pp. 16–17, 19–21.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    David Morier Evans, The City; or, The Physiology of London Business (1845), quoted in Kynaston, City of London, I, p. 140.Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    John Ruskin, Fors Clavigera, 29 (May 1873), in The Complete Works of John Ruskin, ed. E.T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, 39 vols. (1903–12), XXVII, pp. 528–30. Compare Works, XXXIV, pp. 265–9, lamenting the urbanisation of Croxted Lane, and XXVIII, p. 655 which, like Praeterita, Ch. II, deprecates the excursionist squalor which the Crystal Palace has brought to Dulwich.Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    On the final point, see the essays by Keith Hanley and David Carroll in Ruskin and Environment, ed. Michael Wheeler (Manchester, 1995), pp. 10–37, 58–75. Ruskin also fulminates against the unsightliness of London’s suburban approaches in Works, XIX, p. 362 and XX, pp. 112–13.Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    Quoted in Ruskin, Munera Pulveris (1862–3, 1872), Works, XVII, p. 233.Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    F.M.L. Thompson, The Rise of Respectable Society (1988), pp. 330–2.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Philip Collins, Dickens and Crime, 3rd edition (Basingstoke, 1994), p. 5.Google Scholar
  15. 16.
    Louis James, Fiction for the Working Man (1963; Harmondsworth, 1974), pp. 14–31; Google Scholar
  16. Richard D. Altick, The English Common Reader (Chicago, 1963), pp. 332–9; Google Scholar
  17. Patricia Anderson, The Printed Image and the Transformation of Popular Culture 1790–1860 (Oxford, 1991).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Peter Bailey, Leisure and Class in Victorian England (1978).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    F.M.L. Thompson, ‘Town and City’, in The Cambridge Social History of Britain 1750–1950, ed. F.M.L. Thompson, 3 vols. (Cambridge, 1990), I, pp. 1–86; pp. 55–60.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    W.D. Rubinstein, ‘Wealth, Elites and the Class Structure of Modern Britain’, Past and Present,76 (August 1977) 112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 22.
    Quotations from ‘Mending Wall’, in The Poetry of Robert Frost, ed. Edward Connery Lathem (1971), pp. 33–4.Google Scholar
  22. 23.
    The seminal treatment of this topic is Peter Stallybrass and Allon White, The Politics and Poetics of Transgression (1986).Google Scholar
  23. 24.
    See ‘Precautions against Cholera’, ILN, 23 (22 October 1853) p. 352; and Andrew Sanders, Charles Dickens, Resurrectionist (New York, 1982), pp. 10–14.Google Scholar
  24. 26.
    Compare Dickens, OT, p. 136, and his polemic against Smithfield, ‘A Monument of French Folly’, Household Words, 8 March 1851, in The Dent Uniform Edition of Dickens’s Journalism, ed. Michael Slater et al, 4 vols. (1994–2000), II, pp. 327–38.Google Scholar
  25. 27.
    On dung, dust and street mud, see Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor,4 vols. [1861–2] (New York, 1968), II, pp. 185–202.Google Scholar
  26. 29.
    George Godwin, London Shadows: A Glance at the ‘Homes’ of the Thousands (1854) Google Scholar
  27. Quoted in Elizabeth Wilson, The Sphinx in the City: Urban Life, the Control of Disorder, and Women (1991), p. 37.Google Scholar
  28. 30.
    The Evangelical and Oxford Movements, ed. Elisabeth Jay (Cambridge, 1983), pp. 100–1. On ‘contagion’ in BH Google Scholar
  29. see Deborah Epstein Nord, Walking the Victorian Streets: Women, Representation, and the City (Ithaca, NY, 1995), Ch. 3.Google Scholar
  30. 31.
    Himmelfarb, ‘The Culture of Poverty’; see also ‘The Slums of Victorian London’, in H.J. Dyos, Exploring the Urban Past, ed. David Cannadine and David Reeder (Cambridge, 1982), pp. 129–53.Google Scholar
  31. 32.
    Stedman Jones, Outcast London, Part III; W.J. Fishman, East End 1888 (1988), pp. 52–4.Google Scholar
  32. 33.
    The People of the Abyss, in Jack London, Novels and Social Writings, ed. Donald Pizer (New York, 1982), p. 31; cf. p. 28. Subsequent page references are given in my text. To perceive London’s melodramatic heightening, contrast his probable source, Llewellyn Smith, quoted in Stedman Jones, pp. 131–2.Google Scholar
  33. 34.
    The Poems of Tennyson, ed. Christopher Ricks (1969), pp. 1367–8.Google Scholar
  34. 39.
    Arthur Morrison, Tales of Mean Streets[1894], ed. Michel Krzak (Woodbridge, 1983), pp. 19–21.Google Scholar
  35. 40.
    Arthur Morrison, A Child of the Jago[1896], ed. Peter Miles (1996), p. 11.Google Scholar
  36. 53.
    On alarmism, see Judith Walkowitz, City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late-Victorian London (1992), pp. 28–38; P.J. Keating, ‘Fact and Fiction in the East End’, in The Victorian City, ed. Dyos and Woolf, pp. 595–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 54.
    Booth, Life and Labour of the People in London, I, in Into Unknown England 1866–1913, ed. Peter Keating (Manchester, 1976), pp. 113–24.Google Scholar
  38. 57.
    PP, pp. 115–16; ‘Signs of the Times’ [1829], in A Carlyle Reader, ed. G.B. Tennyson (Cambridge, 1984), pp. 46–9; LD, pp. 221–2.Google Scholar
  39. 61.
    Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto[1848], trans. Samuel Moore [1888], ed. A.J.P. Taylor (Harmondsworth, 1973), p. 82.Google Scholar
  40. 62.
    Donald Winch, Riches and Poverty (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 101–14, 419–20.Google Scholar
  41. 63.
    L.D. Schwarz, London in the Age of Industrialisation (Cambridge, 1992), pp. 56–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 66.
    The Unknown Mayhew: Selections from the Morning Chronicle 1849–1850, ed. E.P. Thompson and Eileen Yeo (1971), pp. 196–223.Google Scholar
  43. 73.
    J.H. Stallard, London Pauperism among Jews and Christians (1867) Google Scholar
  44. Quoted in W.L. Burn, The Age of Equipoise (1968), p. 122.Google Scholar
  45. 75.
    Stedman Jones, Outcast London, pp. 19–32, 99–126, 152–4; C.H. Lee, ‘Regional Growth and Structural Change in Victorian Britain’, Economic History Review, 2nd series, 34 (1981) 448–52; Google Scholar
  46. W.D. Rubinstein, Capitalism, Culture, and Decline in Britain 1750–1990 (1993).Google Scholar
  47. 79.
    ‘Illth’ is Ruskin’s coinage in Unto this Last[1860; published 1862 in book form], in Works, XVII, p. 89; cf. pp. 105, 275–8. Subsequent page references to Unto this Lastand Munera Pulveris[1862–3; revised as book, 1872] are to this volume and are given directly in the text. On Ruskinian economics, CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. see James Clark Sherburne, John Ruskin or the Ambiguities of Abundance (Cambridge, Mass., 1972); and P.D. Anthony, John Ruskin’s Labour: A Study of Ruskin’s Social Theory (Cambridge, 1983).Google Scholar
  49. 80.
    Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, ed. Edwin Cannan, 2 vols. (rpt. Chicago, 1976), I, pp. 294ff., 306; II, p. 120.Google Scholar
  50. 85.
    Karl Marx, Selected Writings, ed. David McLellan (Oxford, 1977), pp. 445–51; Das Kapital, 4th edition [1890] (Berlin, 1972), I, pp. 161–70. Marx cites Aristotle, ibid., pp. 167, 179.Google Scholar
  51. 91.
    Don Slater, Consumer Culture and Modernity (Cambridge, 1997), pp. 100, 105.Google Scholar
  52. 99.
    See Sherburne, John Ruskin; Ruskin and Environment, ed. Wheeler; and Jeffrey L. Spear, Dreams of an English Eden (New York, 1984).Google Scholar
  53. 100.
    Walden (1854), in The Portable Thoreau, ed. Carl Bode (Harmondsworth, 1981), p. 286.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Alan David Robinson 2004

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations