Connecting the New Political History with Recent Theories of Temporal Acceleration: Speed, Politics, and the Cultural Imagination of Fin De Siecle Britain

The political impact of "social acceleration" has recently attracted much attention in sociology and political theory. The concept, however, has remained entirely unexplored in the discipline of history. Although numerous British historians have noted the prominent position of acceleration in the late-Victorian and Edwardian imagination, these observations have never expanded beyond the realm of rhetorical flourish. The present paper attempts to build a two-way interdisciplinary bridge between British political history and the theories of social acceleration that have been posited in the social sciences, arguing that both British political historians and acceleration theorists have much to gain from further dialogue.