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 Volume 17/1, includes forum "Narrative Selves"
 January 2019

 Volume 16/2, includes forum on Monika Fludernik's Towards a 'Natural' Narratology
 June 2018

 Volume 16/1 includes forum "Modernity and Mobility: Victorian Women Traveling"
 January 2018

 Volume 15/2
 June 2017

 Volume 15/1: includes forum "Audionarratology"
 January 2017

 Volume 14/2: includes forum "Modern Jewish Spaces"
 June 2016

 Volume 14/1: includes forum "Saul Bellow as a Novelist of Ideas"
 January 2016

 Volume 13/2: includes forum "Comics and the Canon"
 June 2015

 Volume 13/1: includes forum "TheGhetto as a Victorian Text"
 January 2015

 Volume 12/2: includes forum "The Novel and Theories of Love"
 June 2014

 Volume 12/1
 January 2014

 Volume 11/2: includes forum "Translating Philip Roth"
 June 2013

 Volume 11/1
 January 2013

 Volume 10/2: includes forum "Bildung and the State"
 June 2012

 Volume 10/1: includes forum "Fernando Pessoa and the Issue of Heteronymy
 January 2012

 Volume 9/2: Dickens: Uneasy Pleasures
 June 2011

 Volume 9/1
 January 2011

 Volume 8/2: British Women Writers
 June 2010

 Volume 8/1 includes forum "The Ethics of Temporality"
 January 2010

 Volume 7/2: Eyewitness Narratives
 June 2009

 Volume 7/1
 January 2009

 Volume 6/2: Narrative Knowing, Living, Telling
 June 2008

 Volume 6/1
 January 2008

 Volume 5/2
 June 2007

 Volume 5/1
 January 2007

 Volume 4/2: Narrative as a Way of Thinking
 June 2006

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 January 2006

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 Volume 3/1
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 June 2004

 Volume 2/1
 January 2004

 Volume 1/2
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 January 2003

 Quick Article Search

   Newest Articles

 Response Essay
 Monika Fludernik

 Experience, Affect, and Literary Lists
 Eva von Contzen

 Posthuman Narration as a Test Bed for Experientiality
 Marco Caracciolo

 The Curse of Realism
 Karin Kukkonen

 More than Minds
 Jonas Grethlein

 Toward the Non-Natural
 Maria Mäkelä

 Two Conceptions of Experientiality and Narrativity
 Dan Shen

 Against Nature
 Brian McHale

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Updated Up To 26/06/2018
Volume 16, issue 2 (January 2018) : 145-172
Railway Crossings
Intersectional Railway Safety Advocacy in Charlotte Riddell’s City and Suburb
Kathryn W. Powell
Rubric A: Literature and Science
Rubric B: Women Writers

Abstract

 

Though the literary figure of engineer-inventor George Stephenson epitomized Samuel Smiles’s “self-help” ideal of the “manly” liberal subject enabled by laissez-faire policies, Stephenson himself advocated for parliamentary intervention during the heated Railway Regulation debates of the 1840s. This essay deals with women writers’ engagement in those debates and their recognition that improved safety standards for railway travel depended on the inventor and vice versa. In City and Suburb (1861), Charlotte Riddell stylizes passages to mimic the dramatic cross-examinations of the Railway Regulation debates, effectively putting anti-regulation on trial. I argue that Riddell reworked Smiles’s Stephenson narrative in her fiction to promote thoughtful regulation that would enable rather than hamper innovation. Because women themselves sought recognition as part of the larger network of central decision-making, women writers such as Riddell saw the advantage of regarding the inventor not as an isolated hyper-masculine figure but rather as part of the integrated network of contingencies that defined Victorian modernity.


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