Steampunk Inspirations

Unreal City – Brighton as a Ghost Town

This artwork is fantastic. It does resemble a ghost town.

Palaces & Workhouses

“Brighton is naturally a place of resort for expectants, and a shifty ugly-looking swarm is, of course, assembled here. Some of the fellows, who had endeavoured to disturb our harmony at the dinner at Lewes, were parading, amongst this swarm, on the cliff. You may always know them by their lank jaws, the stiffeners round their necks, their hidden or no shirts, their stays, their false shoulders, hips and haunches, their half-whiskers, and by their skins, colour of veal kidney-suet, warmed a little, and then powdered with dirty dust.”

Thus wrote radical pamphleteer William Cobbett in 1822. His disgust at Brighton’s moneyed layabouts is clear and, of course, to be expected of an agitator for political reform. What is striking about this account, however, is Cobbett’s horror at the ethereality of Brighton’s inhabitants. They appear as walking corpses, diseased, mutated and disgusting; at once alive and dead, muddying the boundary between…

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