In the mid-nineteenth century, the great age of railway building, Charles Dickens could not but be aware of their transformative impact on society. So he wrote about it – to a remarkable extent.
He wrote a classic ghost story, The Signalman; in Dombey and Son about what is now the West Coast Main Line being carved through north London in great ravines. He wrote satirical pieces about railway catering – even back then; about the wonder of express train travel to the Channel ports; travel pieces about exploring America by train – and about being personally involved in the notorious Staplehurst train crash in Kent.
Now, in the year of Dickens’ 150th anniversary, Tony Williams, a former president of the Dickens Fellowship, collects all these railway writings into a handsome little volume ideal for a long train journey…
Dr Tony Williams is an adviser to the Charles Dickens Museum in London, associate editor of The Dickensian, and co-author of Dickens’ Victorian London (Ebury, 2012).
Hardback, 224 pages.