Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Beginning Of The Modern World

Modernity began in 1890, give or take a year or two. Before 1890 no-one in a novel travelled further than Italy, after 1890 every other novel is set in India, California or the South Seas. Before 1890 heroines who defied their families died like the Magdalens they were, after 1890, they prosper and have careers. Gissing (or maybe it was Wells- I've been reading them back to back and can't now disentangle them) jokingly attributes the change to the invention of the bicycle- that enabler of personal mobility and causer of trousers in women.  
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