Many of the best-known British authors of the 1800s were fascinated by the science and technology of their era. Dickens included spontaneous human combustion and “mesmerism” (hyptnotism) in his plots. Mary Shelley created the immortal Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his creature. H.G. Wells imagined the Time Machine, the Invisible Man, and invaders from Mars. Percy Shelley was as infamous at Oxford for his smelly experiments and for his atheism.
This book of essays explores representations of technology in the work of various nineteenth-century British authors. Essays cluster around two important areas of innovation— transportation and medicine. Each essay contributor accessibly maps out the places where art and science meet, detailing how these authors both affected and reflected the technological revolutions of their time.