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‘One moral improvement, more allied to the machinery of life than perhaps any other’: Mid-nineteenth-century punctuality in context

Wadsö-Lecaros, Cecilia LU (2010) In English Studies 91(8). p.861-883
Abstract
Mid-nineteenth-century Britain saw a significant output of fictional texts, conduct books and tracts with an explicit focus on the concept of punctuality. This article examines a number of such texts by linking the notion of punctuality to the general nineteenthcentury wish for self-improvement and social progress. Three central facets of midnineteenth-century punctuality are identified and discussed: punctuality for individual self-improvement, as a means of achieving efficiency and success in life; punctuality for the sake of others, as in selfless consideration and kindness or as an honest way of conducting a business transaction; and punctuality as a means for religious improvement. Although the texts examined show a variety in genre,... (More)
Mid-nineteenth-century Britain saw a significant output of fictional texts, conduct books and tracts with an explicit focus on the concept of punctuality. This article examines a number of such texts by linking the notion of punctuality to the general nineteenthcentury wish for self-improvement and social progress. Three central facets of midnineteenth-century punctuality are identified and discussed: punctuality for individual self-improvement, as a means of achieving efficiency and success in life; punctuality for the sake of others, as in selfless consideration and kindness or as an honest way of conducting a business transaction; and punctuality as a means for religious improvement. Although the texts examined show a variety in genre, aimed readership and style, the article shows how they nonetheless display a marked conformity regarding intent and opinion. The article also demonstrates how writers sought to establish the value of punctuality through intricate calculations of the time lost due to lack of

punctuality, and how images pertaining to the industrial world were used to compare the household to a mill or the individual to an efficient piece of machinery. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Nineteenth-century studies, punctuality, didactic literature, self-improvement
in
English Studies
volume
91
issue
8
pages
861 - 883
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • WOS:000284881600004
  • Scopus:78649781728
ISSN
1744-4217
DOI
10.1080/0013838X.2010.517305
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
023eb350-ed39-470d-93a8-8bd00cc72b4c (old id 1583779)
date added to LUP
2010-04-07 17:20:01
date last changed
2017-01-01 07:49:02
@article{023eb350-ed39-470d-93a8-8bd00cc72b4c,
  abstract     = {Mid-nineteenth-century Britain saw a significant output of fictional texts, conduct books and tracts with an explicit focus on the concept of punctuality. This article examines a number of such texts by linking the notion of punctuality to the general nineteenthcentury wish for self-improvement and social progress. Three central facets of midnineteenth-century punctuality are identified and discussed: punctuality for individual self-improvement, as a means of achieving efficiency and success in life; punctuality for the sake of others, as in selfless consideration and kindness or as an honest way of conducting a business transaction; and punctuality as a means for religious improvement. Although the texts examined show a variety in genre, aimed readership and style, the article shows how they nonetheless display a marked conformity regarding intent and opinion. The article also demonstrates how writers sought to establish the value of punctuality through intricate calculations of the time lost due to lack of<br/><br>
punctuality, and how images pertaining to the industrial world were used to compare the household to a mill or the individual to an efficient piece of machinery.},
  author       = {Wadsö-Lecaros, Cecilia},
  issn         = {1744-4217},
  keyword      = {Nineteenth-century studies,punctuality,didactic literature,self-improvement},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {861--883},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {English Studies},
  title        = {‘One moral improvement, more allied to the machinery of life than perhaps any other’: Mid-nineteenth-century punctuality in context},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0013838X.2010.517305},
  volume       = {91},
  year         = {2010},
}