’Dark Satanic Mills’ : Industrial Architecture in Text and Image, 1780-1830

Beginning in the late eighteenth century, the urban environment of London began to be transformed for industry. New architectures were produced to accommodate the fossil fuel-based force of coal and the technical apparatus of the steam engine to drive emergent means of mass manufacture. Economic dispossession intersected with urban ecological devastation. Incipient precarities resulted that threatened the health of humans, animals, and the natural environment alike. In my book project, I engage with these structures and their respective entanglements with the urbanism and medical history of romantic-period London. Studying their ambivalent receptions—the middle class that lauded their potential for the consolidation of economic gain and the artisanal classes that sought to break the new machinic hegemony—I show how the new architecture entered into the urban fabric and cultural field, and first came to be resisted.