Far from the hushed restraint we associate with the Victorians, their world pulsated with sound. This book shows how, in more ways than one, Victorians were hearing things. The representations close listeners left of their soundscapes offered new meanings for silence, music, noise, voice, and echo that constitute an important part of the Victorian legacy to us today. In chronicling the shift from Romantic to modern configurations of sound and voice, Picker draws upon literary and scientific works to recapture the sense of aural discovery figures such as Babbage, Helmholtz, Freud, Bell, and Edison shared with the likes of Dickens, George Eliot, Tennyson, Stoker, and Conrad.
- Hardback | 224 pages
- 160.02 x 233.68 x 25.4mm | 462.66g
- 04 Sep 2003
- Oxford University Press Inc
- New York, United States
Table of contents
INTRODUCTION; I. The Tramp of a Fly's Footstep; II. An Auscultative Age; III. Urban Nuisance and "Sinister Resonance"; 1 "WHAT THE WAVES WERE ALWAYS SAYING": VOICES, VOLUMES,; DOMBEY AND SON; I. Babbage and Dickens: A Library of Air; II. "Away, with a Shriek, and a Roar, and a Rattle"; III. Forever and Forever through Space; 2 THE SOUNDPROOF STUDY: VICTORIAN PROFESSIONALS AND URBAN; NOISE; I. Scatterbrain London; II. "Blackguard Savoyards and Herds of German Swine"; III. Writer's Block; IV. Embodying Noise: The Leech Case; V. "Great Facts"; 3 GEORGE ELIOT'S EAR: NEW ACCOUSTICS IN DANIEL DERONDA; AND BEYOND; I. Hello; II. Helmholtz and Eliot: Sympathetic Vibration; III. "On the Verge of a Great Discovery": Talking Cures; 4 THE RECORDED VOICE FROM VICTORIAN AURA TO MODERNIST ECHO; I. Tennyson's Talking Machine; II. "Send Me Mr. Gladstone's Voice"; III. Sinful Speech; IV. Sound Bites; V. Victor Dogs; APPENDIX - DICKENS' PROSPECTUS FOR THE CHEAP EDITION (1847); NOTES