The walking stick in the nineteenth-century city: Conflicting ideals of urban walking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article reflects on the role of the walking stick in the nineteenth-century city and explores the nature of the criticisms directed at it. The criticism and mocking of certain ways of holding the cane display the deep conflicts within the culture of urban strolling concerning how to take part in it, and who were allowed to do so. By identifying an irritation with canes, we see that there was a conflict between the purposeful culture of walking and the superficial culture of performativity and display, which forced Victorian men to be extremely careful of how their behaviour was perceived. By bringing the walking stick to the fore, the paper illustrates its role in a struggle between ostentation and sobriety and how its importance in cultures of both self-possession and flamboyance is indicative of aspects of the history of urban walking.


  • Peter K. Andersson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cultural Studies


  • Masculinity, nineteenth century, urban, Victorian, walking
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-291
JournalJournal of Transport History
Issue number3
Early online date2018 Jan 1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec
Publication categoryResearch