‘We’re going to move … I can’t rush backwards and forwards, I’ll go mad – I am sure of it.’:Representations of speed and haste in English life writing 1846-1958.

Pooley, Colin Gilbert and Pooley, Marilyn Elizabeth (2018) ‘We’re going to move … I can’t rush backwards and forwards, I’ll go mad – I am sure of it.’:Representations of speed and haste in English life writing 1846-1958. In: Architectures of Hurry – Mobilities, Cities and Modernity. Routledge Research in Historical Geography . Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 194-208. ISBN 9781138729841

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Abstract

Changes in economy and society since the early nineteenth century have often been associated with the process of time-space compression, during which people felt increasingly compelled to travel faster over greater distances and to fit ever more activities into a given period of time. Unsurprisingly, such changes can also lead to increased stress and frustration. However, the impacts of this speeding-up of everyday life have rarely been explored at an individual level. In this paper we use a wide range of personal diaries from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to examine how (if at all) a sample of English diarists experienced and reacted to the processes of time-space compression in their everyday lives. Is there evidence that changes in transport, communications and work practices caused stress and frustration or rather presented new opportunities that were welcomed? Were there spatial and social differences in how people negotiated and interacted with new transport technologies, and were such reactions strongly gendered? While the period under consideration undoubtedly offered many new (and faster) forms of communication, old modes of travel also persisted. It is argued that for most people, most of the time, increased speed was welcomed, that engagement with new forms of transport was trouble-free, that older forms of mobility flourished alongside the new, and that undue stress only occurred when opportunities for mobility clashed with other demands that were placed upon an individual, or when expectations of speed were not met.

Item Type:
Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Architectures of Hurry―Mobilities, Cities and Modernity on 04/04/2018, available online: https://www.routledge.com/Architectures-of-HurryMobilities-Cities-and-Modernity/Mackintosh-Dennis-Holdsworth/p/book/9781138729841
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/aacsb/disciplinebasedresearch
Subjects:
ID Code:
124499
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
11 Apr 2018 08:06
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2020 07:06