‘Hide, and be Hidden, Ride and be Ridden’: The Coach as Transgressive Space in the Literature of Early Modern London

Alan James Hogarth


In the literature of early modern London, representations of coaches are rarely positive. They are environmental nuisances, disturbers of peace and destroyers of roads. More significantly, their novel relationship with the physical spaces of London raised a number of questions on the moral nature of mobility and social life. As an ambiguous space, rarely stationary and neither outdoors nor indoors, the coach became a site of social tension. Who should travel by coach? How should it be used? Is it for men or women? This article examines the extent to which coaches challenged accepted notions of gender, class and social space.


Coach; Transport; Early Modern London; Gender; Jonson; Marston

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