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Thomas Hardy and Victorian Communication

Letters, Telegrams and Postal Systems

Authors: Koehler, Karin

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  • Sheds light on a striking and hitherto neglected feature of Thomas Hardy's work
  • Illuminates the transformations effected by the increasing affordability and accessibility of written communication in the nineteenth century
  • Contributes to material culture studies
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eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-29102-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-29101-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-80490-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book explores the relationship between Thomas Hardy’s works and Victorian media and technologies of communication – especially the penny post and the telegraph. Through its close analysis of letters, telegrams, and hand-delivered notes in Hardy’s novels, short stories, and poems, it ties together a wide range of subjects: technological and infrastructural developments; material culture; individual subjectivity and the construction of identity; the relationship between private experience and social conventions; and the new narrative possibilities suggested by modern modes of communication.

Reviews

“Thomas Hardy and Victorian Communication: Letters, Telegrams and Postal Systems stakes out new ground by bringing together two venerable topics in Hardy criticism … . Through insightful readings of Hardy's novels, short stories, and poems, she shows that the influence of postal and other networks on his body of work is a subject as worthy of attention as other, more thoroughly explored, topics on this list.” (Aaron Worth, Victorian Studies, Vol. 60 (3), 2018)​


“Thomas Hardy and Victorian Communication will be a profitable study for scholars interested in the cultural minutia of Hardy’s work.” (Annette R. Federico, English Literature in Transition 1880-1920, Vol. 61 (2), 2018)

“In Thomas Hardy and Victorian Communication, Karin Koehler draws our attention to how much still remains to be uncovered regarding the function of letters and written communication in Hardy’s fiction … . Thomas Hardy and Victorian Communication is a far-ranging and commanding investigation of its titular concerns, and it deserves a wide readership.” (James Green, The British Society for Literature and Science, bsls.ac.uk, September, 2017) 

“Koehler’s study is not limited to considering methods of communication, such as the letters, telegrams and postal systems of her title. Throughout Thomas Hardy and Communication: Letters, Telegrams and Postal Systems, her study of Hardy’s concern with new modes of communication is artfully woven into a study of developments in the form of the novel. … her study offers a thorough and persuasively argued exploration of the centrality of letter writing to Hardy’s modernist exploration of human relationships.” (Trish Ferguson, Review of English Studies, June, 2017)

“This new book constitutes a judicious, timely and innovatively conceived intervention in the field of Hardy studies. Karin Koehler succeeds, with real critical verve and originality, in shedding a fertile and absorbing light on these familiar Hardy texts, and her book can be highly recommended not only to students of his work but to all with an interest in the cultural questions pertaining to communication and text in the Victorian period.” (Roger Ebbatson, Review of English Studies, 2017)

“In situating Hardy’s career in relation to the 1840 reform of the postal service, Koehler offers new and revealing readings of his plots that supplement, extend and challenge those already extant. The development in the technologies of communication thus takes its place (alongside steam power, the railways, sexual mores and gender challenges) as one of the many instances of Hardy’s acknowledgement of the effect of the modern on the lives of ordinary men and women.” (Jane Thomas, University of Hull, UK)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)
  • Introduction: ‘A modern Wessex of the penny post’

    Pages 1-24

    Koehler, Karin

  • ‘The speaking age is passing away, to make room for the writing age’: From Oral Tradition to Written Culture

    Pages 25-42

    Koehler, Karin

  • ‘Inconvenient old letters’: Letters and Privacy in Hardy’s Fiction

    Pages 43-75

    Koehler, Karin

  • ‘A more material existence than her own’: Epistolary Selves in Hardy’s Fiction

    Pages 77-107

    Koehler, Karin

  • ‘Never so nice in your real presence as you are in your letters’: Letters and Desire in Jude the Obscure

    Pages 109-129

    Koehler, Karin

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-29102-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-29101-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-80490-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Thomas Hardy and Victorian Communication
Book Subtitle
Letters, Telegrams and Postal Systems
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-29102-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-29102-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-29101-7
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-80490-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 246
Topics