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Charles Dickens's NetworksPublic Transport and the Novel$
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Jonathan H. Grossman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682164

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199682164.001.0001

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The Speeding of the Pickwick Coach

The Speeding of the Pickwick Coach

(p.10) 1 The Speeding of the Pickwick Coach
Charles Dickens's Networks

Jonathan H. Grossman

Oxford University Press

This chapter first discusses how, in The Pickwick Papers, Dickens draws upon the effect on a community of being linked together temporally by a public transport system. It then turns to how Pickwick’s structuring as a series of rides around an accelerated public stage-coaching system reveals how the revolution in public transport transformed space so that it too became shared in a new way. It addresses the question of what, if anything, does a revolution in passenger transportation have to do with the serialization of novels. Finally, it considers what Pickwick says about letters, the postal system, and epistolary form.

Keywords:   The Pickwick Papers, passenger transport network, networked community, stage-coaching system, public transport, serialization, serial novels, letters, postal system, epistolary form

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