The underground has been a dominant image of modern life since the late eighteenth century. A site of crisis, fascination, and hidden truth, the underground is a space at once more immediate and more threatening than the ordinary world above. In Subterranean Cities, David L. Pike explores the representation of underground space in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a period during which technology and heavy industry transformed urban life. The metropolis had long been considered a moral underworld of iniquity and dissolution. As the complex drainage systems, underground railways, utility tunnels, and storage vaults of the modern cityscape superseded the countryside of caverns and mines as the principal location of actual subterranean spaces, ancient and modern converged in a mythic space that was nevertheless rooted in the everyday life of the contemporary city.