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Coastal Cultures of the Long Nineteenth Century

Edited by Matthew Ingleby, Matthew P. M. Kerr

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Examines the cultural importance of the coastline in the nineteenth-century British imagination

The long nineteenth century witnessed a dramatic, varied flourishing in uses for and understandings of the coast, which could seem at once a space of clarity or of misty distance, a terminus or a place of embarkation – a place of solitude and exhilaration, of uselessness and instrumentality. Coastal Cultures of the Long Nineteenth Century takes as its subject this diverse set of meanings, using them to interrogate questions of space, place and cultural production.

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List of Contributors
Introduction, Matthew Ingleby and Matthew P. M. Kerr
Part I: In the Shadows of War
1. ‘Unconscious of her own double appearance’: Fanny Burney’s Brighton, Leya Landau
2. A Breath of Fresh Air: Constable and the Coast, Christiana Payne
3. Henry Brougham and the Invention of Cannes, Rosemary Ashton
4. The Battle of Torquay: The Late Victorian Resort as Social Experiment, James Kneale
5. Encounters with Capitalism on R. L. Stevenson’s Early Coasts, David Sergeant
6. Seats and Sites of Authority: British Colonial Collecting on the East African Coast, Sarah Longair
7. Tennyson’s ‘Sea Dreams’: Coastal and Fiscal Boundaries, Roger Ebbatson
Part II. Marginal Progress: 8. Saxon Shore to Celtic Coast: Diasporic Telegraphy in the Atlantic World, Brian H. Murray
9. Marine Bizarrerie: The Imaginative Biology of the Underwater Frontier, Margaret Cohen
10. On the Beach, Valentine Cunningham
11. Developing Fluid: Precision, Vagueness, and Gustave Le Gray’s Photographic Beachscapes, Matthew P. M. Kerr
12. Beyond the View: Reframing the Early Commercial Seaside Photograph, Karen Shepherdson
13. Symons at the Seaside, Nick Freeman
Epilogue: Unravelling, Philip Hoare

About the Author

Dr Matthew Ingleby is Lecturer in Victorian Studies in the Department of English, Queen Mary University of London. He is the author of Nineteenth-Century Fiction and the Production of Bloomsbury: Novel Grounds (Palgrave, forthcoming 2018) and Bloomsbury (British Library Publishing, 2017).

Dr Matthew P. M. Kerr is Lecturer in British Literature, 1837 to 1939 at the University of Southampton. He is currently revising his first monograph, Boundless: The Language of the Sea and the Nineteenth-Century Novel (under consideration by Oxford University Press). His research appeared in several key journals in Victorian Studies.


From Martello towers and mermaids to telegraph cables, Swahili chairs and the "invention" of Cannes, these fine, thought-provoking essays demonstrate just how largely the coast loomed in British nineteenth-century culture.  Artists, writers, scientists, religious thinkers, politicians and the public were all drawn by the sea, which in turn shaped Britain's relationship with the world. A very able crew of distinguished scholars and rising stars navigates the uncharted waters and major cultural currents of Victorian age.

- Fiona Stafford, University of Oxford

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