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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 begins the thesis’ progression through specific spatial scales of journeys by analysing the embodied spatiality of walking journeys. As the most embodied, physical form of transport, walking provides the possibility for considering the core ideas concerning embodied transit spaces, offering the basis for a connection between body, space, and movement. Reading walking as a spatial practice necessitates attention to the different spaces within which the travel is located, and therefore this chapter considers journeys within England, whilst the subsequent chapter will look at walking in European spaces. The organisation of the chapter further reflects the attention to spatial location and is divided into two sections: countryside journeys, and walking in the urban environment. The former section on journeys that take place within the countryside considers a number of significant instances in the Victorian novel in which substantial journeys are undertaken on foot: Jane Eyre (1847), David Copperfield (1850), Adam Bede (1859) and The Mill on the Floss (1860), all of which detail quite remarkable walks across the countryside, providing among the most lengthy and detailed accounts of travel within England in the mid-Nineteenth century novel. In the second half of the chapter, the urban environment introduces a new spatial context in which to consider the issues of embodied travel spaces, which suggests that body-space relations will undergo different processes of embodiment in the new spatiality of the city. A gendered account of the city is constructed through Dickens’ writing which reiterates typical cultural constructions of gendered spatiality: Dombey and Son (1848), David Copperfield (1850), and Little Dorrit (1857) are the novels of interest here as they all contain remarkable instances of women walking in the city. Following this, Charlotte Brontë’s Villette (1853) reveals a contrasting articulation of the embodied female city experience in the narration of Lucy Snowe’s visit to London; this passage is perhaps the most detailed mid-nineteenth century exploration of the city written from a female perspective, and offers a model for developing a theorisation of embodied city encounters.