You are here

Illustrating the Accident

Title: Illustrating the Accident: Railways and the Catastrophic Picturesque in The Illustrated London News.
Name(s): Fyfe, Paul, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: text
Issuance: serial
Date Issued: 2013
Physical Form: computer
Physical Form: online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Visual representations of railway accidents in Victorian illustrated newspapers were more than sensational attempts to sell copies. Rather, accident scenes opened a discursive opportunity for observers to arrest and examine the railway's conceptual challenges in mid-career. In the wood-engravings of the Illustrated London News, we see a coherent visual strategy emerging for the purpose. This essay proposes the "catastrophic picturesque" as an important turn in the aesthetic strategies of Victorians coming to terms with modernity. Furthermore, the catastrophic picturesque offers a critical framework for understanding the form and development of illustrated news media, underscoring the mimetic claims of wood engraving and their displacement by photography towards the century's end.
Identifier: FSU_migr_eng_faculty_publications-0003 (IID)
Keywords: victorian literature, illustration, periodicals, railway, accidents, aesthetics, nineteenth-century
Note: Copyright © 2013 Research Society for Victorian Periodicals. This article first appeared in Victorian Periodicals Review, Volume 46, Issue 1, 2013, pages 61-91. Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press. The definitive version is available at
Citation: Fyfe, Paul. "Illustrating the Accident: Railways and the Catastrophic Picturesque in the Illustrated London News." Victorian Periodicals Review 46.1 (Spring 2013): 61-91.
Subject(s): Arts
English language
English literature
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part of Series: Department of English Faculty Publications.
Is Part Of: Victorian Periodicals Review.
Issue: 1, 46