Dicken's response to the digging of Camden Town for the London and Birmingham Railway.

Horrified by the turmoil and confusion, he wrote: 
The first shock of a great earthquake had, just at that period, rent the whole neighbourhood to its centre. Traces of its course were visible on every side. Houses were knocked down; streets broken through and stopped; deep pits and trenches dug into the ground; enormous heaps of earth and clay thrown up; buildings that were undermined and shaking, propped by great beams of wood. Here, a chaos of carts, overthrown and jumbled together, lay topsy turvy at the bottom of a steep unnatural hill; there confused treasures of iron soaked and rusted in something that had accidentally become a pond. Everywhere were bridges that led nowhere; thoroughfares that were wholly impassable; Babel towers of chimneys; wanting half their height...carcasses of ragged tenements, fragments of unfinished walls and arches, and piles of scaffolding, and wilderness of bricks, and giant forms of cranes, tripods straddling above nothing. There were a hundred thousand shapes and substances of incompleteness, wildly mingled out of their places, upside down, burrowing in the earth,...mouldering in the waterand unintelligible as any dream...In short, the yet unfinished and unopened railroad is in progress...

|Williams Wordsworth| Charles Dickens| Thomas Carlyle| |Samuel Smiles|
| Sir Richard Phillips| Rev. Edward Stanley

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This page was created by Julia Lee '99. It is maintained by Professor Robert Schwartz of the History Department, 
Mount Holyoke College.