restricted access Its Beauty, Danger, and Feverish Thrill: Speed and Cycling Women in Fin de Siècle Fiction


Speed is a new modern pleasure that allows individual power in manipulating movement and compensates the industrial subject for the oppressive efficiency of the factory system. This essay investigates the fin de siècle writings of Grant Allen, George Gissing, and Mrs. Edward Kennard. It argues that women cyclists, numbering half a million in Britain in the mid-1890s, also participate in this modern culture of speed and lay a claim to a new modern subject energized and enhanced by mechanized speed.