Reading constellations urban modernity in victorian fiction patricia mckee highly original thoughtful theoretically sophisticated and historically grounded study. The modern city in the works of charles dickens thomas hardy and henry james disrupts the ideal of progressive improvement which often framed modernity in the victorian imagination this study uses walter benjamins idea of the constellation to clarify these authors undermining of presumptions of progressive history and to elaborate the disputed and distracted urban modernities of their . Reading constellations argues that charles dickenss great expectations 1860 and our mutual friend 1865 thomas hardys jude the obscure 1895 and henry jamess in the cage 1898 express versions of the city and its inhabitants that benjamin later articulated in his descriptions of constellations and colportage that is the . Reading constellations urban modernity in victorian fiction by patricia mckee review anne humpherys studies in the novel volume 47 number 2 summer 2015 pp 275 277 review. Reading constellations focuses on this tension exploring how characters attempt to fit in or adapt to urban society throughout patricia mckee draws on walter benjamins philosophy of history to examine the aforementioned works of fiction by dickens hardy and james
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