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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 15, 2014

'After London': The Death of the Metropolis in the Fiction of Richard Jefferies

Oliver Lindner

Abstract

In the late nineteenth century, urban spaces attracted increasing criticism. Against the backdrop of environmental pollution, the miserable housing conditions of the poor and fears of degeneration, the metropolis came under close examination. Late Victorian writers responded to this discussion in particular. The essay investigates the representation of urban disorders in the works of Richard Jefferies. As a critic of industrialized society, Jefferies powerfully articulated a possible future of London in some of his shorter prose fiction and in his novel After London; or, Wild England (1885). Whereas his short story "Snowed Up" (1876) and the fragment "The Great Snow" (1876) portray a temporary 'death' of the city resulting from tremendous snowstorms, After London presents a complete overthrow of urban structures. Jefferies's pessimistic outlook on the future of the city will be analysed and brought within the context of other fictional texts of the period, which also focus on the future of London.

Online erschienen: 2014-4-15
Erschienen im Druck: 2006-7-1

© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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