Nineteenth-Century Verse and Technology

Machines of Meter

  • Jason David Hall

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Jason David Hall
    Pages 1-13
  3. Jason David Hall
    Pages 15-59
  4. Jason David Hall
    Pages 61-110
  5. Jason David Hall
    Pages 111-163
  6. Jason David Hall
    Pages 165-206
  7. Jason David Hall
    Pages 207-253
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 255-288

About this book


This book repositions thinking about rhythm, meter and versification during the “Mechanical Age.” Cutting across disciplinary boundaries, the book examines the rhythmical workings of poems alongside not only Victorian theories of prosody and poetics but also contemporary thinking about labor practices, pedagogical procedures, scientific experiments, and technological innovations. By offering an exploded definition of meter—one that extends beyond conventional foot-based scansion—this book explicates the conceptual and, at times, material exchanges between poetic meter and machine culture. The machines of meter include mid-century theories of abstraction and technologies of smoothness and even spacing; a deeply influential, though rarely credited, system of metrical manufacture; verse produced by a Victorian automaton; the mechanics of the human body and mind and the meters that issued from them; and the promise of scientific machines to resolve metrical dilemmas once and for all.


Poetry Thomas Carlyle Mechanical Age Victorian Prosody

Authors and affiliations

  • Jason David Hall
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of ExeterExeterUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information