The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository
Warning ePrints Soton is experiencing an issue with some file downloads not being available. We are working hard to fix this. Please bear with us.

"Humanity invested with a new form": the Post Office and the hospital in household words c.1850

"Humanity invested with a new form": the Post Office and the hospital in household words c.1850
"Humanity invested with a new form": the Post Office and the hospital in household words c.1850
This essay explores some of the techniques employed to present new infrastructural formations to a general reading public through close examination of writings about the postal system and the hospital in Dickens’s popular general interest magazine, Household Words. Reading these articles against Marc Augé’s account of late twentieth-century ‘supermodernity’, I argue that the newly extended reach of such systems is presented as a way out of chaotic overabundances of detail, especially in busy urban environments, as well as a means to acquire a greater mastery over the world. Yet at the same time, these articles also seek to reform the role of the individual in relation to these systems, subjugating individual agency to the primacy of systemic control. This essay aims to deepen our understanding of the reception and portrayal of infrastructural industrialisation in Household Words specifically, and the periodical press more broadly, in the years immediately following the Great Exhibition.
Household Words, Victorian Periodicals, division of labour, industrialisation, Systemisation, Networks
2517-7850
36-56
Potter, Jonathan
ebaa743a-53e4-4a3c-b6c9-5dc68f1611f3
Potter, Jonathan
ebaa743a-53e4-4a3c-b6c9-5dc68f1611f3

Potter, Jonathan (2021) "Humanity invested with a new form": the Post Office and the hospital in household words c.1850. Romance, Revolution and Reform, (3), 36-56, [3].

Record type: Article

Abstract

This essay explores some of the techniques employed to present new infrastructural formations to a general reading public through close examination of writings about the postal system and the hospital in Dickens’s popular general interest magazine, Household Words. Reading these articles against Marc Augé’s account of late twentieth-century ‘supermodernity’, I argue that the newly extended reach of such systems is presented as a way out of chaotic overabundances of detail, especially in busy urban environments, as well as a means to acquire a greater mastery over the world. Yet at the same time, these articles also seek to reform the role of the individual in relation to these systems, subjugating individual agency to the primacy of systemic control. This essay aims to deepen our understanding of the reception and portrayal of infrastructural industrialisation in Household Words specifically, and the periodical press more broadly, in the years immediately following the Great Exhibition.

Text
3_Potter_Humanity_Invested_with_a_New_Form - Version of Record
Download (235kB)

More information

Published date: 14 January 2021
Keywords: Household Words, Victorian Periodicals, division of labour, industrialisation, Systemisation, Networks

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 446558
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/446558
ISSN: 2517-7850
PURE UUID: 03ef1a20-61c1-4604-9f49-610f94a80b10

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Feb 2021 17:31
Last modified: 15 Feb 2021 17:34

Export record

Contributors

Author: Jonathan Potter

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×