Vicarious excitements: London: a pilgrimage

Spring 1988

A close reading of London: A Pilgrimage (1872), a collaboration between the artist Gustav Dore and the journalist Blanchard Jerrold. Pollock considers the work’s various themes - prisons, labour, leisure, the West End, feminine display - through Michel Foucault’s arguments in Discipline and Punish, reading it in terms of strategies of surveillance and observation, and practices of ‘spectacular display’. Although the adequacy of Dore’s distinctly romantic artistic sensibility in depicting the social realities of Victorian London is questioned, there is much of interest to be found in the images offered in the work.

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