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The Victorian Eye – A Political History of Light and Vision in Britain, 1800-1910 - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Victorian Eye: A Political History of Light and Vision in Britain, 1800-1910

Chris Otter


During the nineteenth century, Britain became the first gaslit society, with electric lighting arriving in 1878. At the same time, the British government significantly expanded its power to observe and monitor its subjects. How did such enormous changes in the way people saw and were seen affect Victorian culture? To answer that question, this book mounts an ambitious history of illumination and vision in Britain, drawing on extensive research into everything from the science of perception and lighting technologies to urban design and government administration. It explores how light facilitate ... More

Keywords: nineteenth century, Britain, illumination, vision, lighting, perception, surveillance, lighting technology, urbanization, electric lighting

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780226640761
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226640785.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Chris Otter, author