Chapter

Dickens and the Traffic of Accidents

Paul Fyfe

in By Accident or Design

Published in print April 2015 | ISBN: 9780198732334
Published online May 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191796678 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198732334.003.0003
Dickens and the Traffic of Accidents

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Literary Studies (19th Century)
  • Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

In the 1830s, London’s streets saw the influx of horse-drawn omnibuses and cabs which caused all manner of accidents in their competitive scramble. In the guise of ‘Boz’, Charles Dickens writes about these peculiarities in a form that implicitly competes with urban transport for ‘the knowledge of London’, as the taxi licensing examination was soon to become known. At a time when sociological and literary practices of ‘knowing’ London were largely in flux, Sketches by Boz offers an aesthetics of urban encounter shaped by the accidents of traffic and its operators—a barely-licensed, chaotic system that informs the sketch genre as well as Dickens’s enduring legacy of imaginative peregrination.

Keywords: Charles Dickens; Boz; traffic; cabs; omnibus; taxi; sketches; genre; accidents

Chapter.  14697 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century) ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.