Locating Classed Subjectivities : Intersections of Space and Working-Class Life in Nineteenth-, Twentieth-, and Twenty-First-Century British Writing book cover
1st Edition

Locating Classed Subjectivities
Intersections of Space and Working-Class Life in Nineteenth-, Twentieth-, and Twenty-First-Century British Writing

Edited By

Simon Lee

ISBN 9780367635107
Published May 31, 2022 by Routledge
250 Pages

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Book Description

Locating Classed Subjectivities explores representations of social class in British fiction through the lens of spatial theory and analysis. By analyzing a range of class-conscious texts from the nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first centuries, the collection provides an overview of the way British writers mobilized spatial aesthetics as a means to comment on the intricacies of social class. In doing so, the collection delineates aesthetic strategies of representation in British writing, tracing the development of literary forms while considering how authors mobilized innovative spatial metaphors to better express contingent social and economic realities. Ranging in coverage from early-nineteenth-century narratives of disease to contemporary writing on the working-class millennial, Locating Classed Subjectivities offers new perspectives on literary techniques and political intentions, exploring the way class is parsed and critiqued through British writing across three centuries. As such, the project responds to Nigel Thrift and Peter Williams’s claim that literary and cultural production serves as a particularly rich yet unexamined access point by which to comprehend the way space and social class intersect.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Space and Social Class in Nineteenth-, Twentieth-, and Twenty-first-century British Writing

Simon Lee

1 Fevered Anxieties: Public Health, Infrastructure, and Infectious Classes in Austen, Edgeworth, and Scott

Matthew L. Reznicek

2 Spaces of Little Dorrit; or, The Global Marshalsea

Meghan Jordan

3 "For God’s sake, women, go out and play": Nomadic Space in the Work of Ethel Carnie Holdsworth

Patricia E. Johnson

4 "Class Lives": Spatial Awareness and Political Consciousness in British Mining Novels of the 1930s

Nick Hubble

5 Remembering the Future: A Modernized London in Proud City and The End of the Affair

Elizabeth Floyd

6 "Low tastes": John Braine, Drinking and Class

Ben Clarke

7 Addressing Stigma: Demonized Locales in Pat Barker's Union Street

Simon Lee

8 Ghost Towns: The Haunting, Deindustrialized Spaces of Ross Raisin’s Waterline and Martin Amis’s Lionel Asbo

Nick Bentley

9 "Paths that Lead Me Back": Zadie Smith’s Northwest London

Molly Slavin

10 "Be Gone": Escaping Racialized Working-Class Space in Bernardine Evaristo’s Mr. Loverman and Girl, Woman, Other

Cornelia Photopoulos

11 "All I need is myself": Spatializing Neoliberal Class Consciousness in the Northern Millennial Novel

Chloé Ashbridge

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Simon Lee is Assistant Professor of English at Texas State University where he researches and teaches post-war British Literature with a particular focus on working-class writing and culture. He has published a range of scholarship on British writing, specifically authors like Alan Sillitoe, Shelagh Delaney, Colin MacInnes, Nell Dunn, and John Osborne.