Elizabeth A. Campbell

An associate professor of English at Oregon State University, Elizabeth A. Campbell has published articles on Victorian literature in Victorian Studies, Dickens Studies Annual and MLA Approaches to Teaching Middlemarch.

Listed in: Victorian Studies · Literary Studies · Gender Studies

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Fortune’s Wheel · Dickens and the Iconography of Women’s Time
By Elizabeth A. Campbell

In the first half of the nineteenth century, England became quite literally a world on wheels. The sweeping technological changes wrought by the railways, steam-powered factory engines, and progressively more sophisticated wheeled conveyances of all types produced a corresponding revolution in Victorian iconography: the image of the wheel emerged as a dominant trope for power, modernity, and progress.

“You have put yourself in Fortune’s power; now you must be content with the ways of your mistress. If you try to stop the force of her turning wheel, you are the most foolish man alive. If it should stop turning, it would cease to be Fortune’s wheel.”

from Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy