The London Tube from George Gissing to Virginia Woolf
David Welsh is an Oral Historian working on the WW2 Home Front Veterans Project (National Pensioners Convention & TUC) and currently oral/community history at HISTORYTalk in west London. He previously spent 8 years working on London Transport (Underground) and British Rail.
Acknowledgements Introduction Chapter One: The Kingdom of Shadows: the infernal underground of George Gissing Chapter Two: The Utopian Underground of H. G. Wells Chapter Three: ‘The Roar of the Underground Railway’: the making of the Tube in the interwar years Chapter Four: The Kingdom of Individuals: safety and security on the Tube in the Second World War Conclusion: From Beck’s Tube map to Becks on the Tube Bibliography Index
The Odd Women, I thought, was a book to be recommended to those who love literature and London transport. Now we have Underground Writing, which is a book that can be recommended to those who love reading about literature.
Virginia Woolf Bulletin No. 40
David Welsh’s new book, which transports this interest below the city streets to the representation of the London Underground in fiction, is a unique and fascinating interjection into this substantial body of literature. Welsh’s fascinating discussion of modernism and Tubism should be crucial reading for anyone interested in the history and impact of modernism more widely. It certainly deserves a wide readership.
Socialist History 38
This is a useful, dense, and perceptive book; it takes a thematic subject and successfully moves beyond listing and annotation to grapple with questions of why there were so many modes of writing about the network beneath then streets. Indeed, Underground Writing broadens beyond literature to become a cultural history of both the network, with its attendant posters, publicity campaigns, and progressively more bearable trains, and also of what was representable of the inchoate fears and desires brought to visibility, if not to the literal surface, by these railways.
Cambridge Quarterly, vol 40, no 1
Welsh's is a compelling story, told with the aid of a rich variety of sources.
London Review of Books
Size: 239 x 163 mm
Publication: May 4, 2010