Spaces of Modernity : London's Geographies 1680-1780 book cover
1st Edition

Spaces of Modernity
London's Geographies 1680-1780

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ISBN 9781572303652
Published July 28, 1998 by Guilford Press
340 Pages

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Book Description

From the civility of Westminster's newly paved streets to the dangerous pleasures of Vauxhall Gardens and the grand designs of the Universal Register Office, this book examines the identities, practices, and power relations of the modern city as they emerged within and transformed the geographies of eighteenth-century London. Ogborn draws upon a wide variety of textual and visual sources to illuminate processes of commodification, individualization, state formation, and the transformation of the public sphere within the new spaces of the metropolis.

Table of Contents

1. Spaces of Modernity
2. The Magdalen Hospital
3. The Street
4. The Pleasure Garden
5. Excise Geographies
6. The Universal Register Office
7. Maps of Modernity

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Miles Ogborn, PhD, is Lecturer in Geography at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, UK


A fascinating interdisciplinary study of eighteenth-century London which takes the reader around sites such as the Magdalen Hospital, a pleasure garden and the city streets in an examination of the nature of urban space.

An original and exciting study of eighteenth-century London.

A fascinating and scholarly tour through eighteenth-century London--its excise houses and magdalen homes; its streets and pleasure gardens.

A rich study of the spaces of eighteenth-century London drawing on sociology, cultural geography, history, and history of art.
--Lynda Nead, PhD, Department of History of Art, Birkbeck College, University of London

This finely constructed study revisions the history and theory of modernity from a geographical perspective. Miles Ogborn maps formations of power and pleasure, discipline and license, state formation and commercial exchange in sites and networks of eighteenth-century London, its paved streets, pleasure gardens, penitentiaries and bureaucracies. Spaces of Modernity is about the geographies of modern life. It focuses on the citizens and subjects of London, their ways of seeing, their codes of conduct. In the process of mapping modernity, Miles Ogborn revisions historical geography as a discipline, reworking traditions of spatial analysis, urban morphology and landscape iconography. Through a vivid study of a particular city, Spaces of Modernity sets out a geographical framework for analyzing large scale, multi-layered social developments. --Stephen Daniels, Department of Geography, University of Nottingham

This book unites cutting-edge theory and scholarship with an energy and engagement that are constantly exhilarating. Through a series of close-focused studies of urban institutions, Ogborn reopens the question of the birth of the modern and shows the crucial role of eighteenth century London in that transformation. Alert to current debates, Ogborn argues his case with verve and clarity. --Roy Porter, Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London

Spaces of Modernity is three projects in one: a concise account of interpretations of modernity, a thematic historical geography of eighteenth-century London and an examination of how modernity and London made one another. At ease with a range of sources and literatures, Miles Ogborn skillfully connects these narratives--this is a complex story clearly told and splendidly illustrated. We hear the voices of those involved in the projects of London's modernity--penitent prostitutes, city planners, moral reformers and anxious civil servants. We are shown the spaces of modernity's making as situated processes of self-regulation and measurement, of display and gendered authority and of the creation of individuals within the public sphere. This absorbing book will be of interest to a wide range of scholars and disciplines.--Professor Charles W. J. Withers, PhD, Department of Geography, The University of Edinburgh