British Literature II Timeline

This timeline highlights events that correspond to the timeframe of ENG 272: British Literature II.

Timeline

Chronological table

Displaying 1 - 38 of 38
Datesort descending Event Created by Associated Places
Dec 1779

Command performance of Florizel and Perdita

cartoon of Florizel and PerditatOn 3 December 1779, Mary Robinson acted in a command performance of Florizel and Perdita. At this performance of David Garrick’s adaptation of The Winter’s Tale, the Prince of Wales (later George IV) became infatuated with Mary Robinson and initiated a sexual and political scandal. Image: Florizel and Perdita, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Edition. This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles


Ellen Malenas Ledoux, “Florizel and Perdita Affair, 1779-80″

7 Sep 1785

Sunday School Society formed

On 7 September 1785, the Sunday School Society was formed to coordinate free religious education among the more destitute poor on nondenominational (Christian) grounds. Until the 1870 Education Act, these schools provided basic instruction in reading, and in some cases writing and arithmetic.

Related Articles

Florence S. Boos, “The Education Act of 1870: Before and After”

Jan 1789

Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

engraving for Equiano's Interesting Life1789 saw the publication of Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African. Exact month of publication unknown; if you have information about the correct date, please email felluga@purdue.edu with this information. The book describes Equiano's time as a slave and his life after achieving his freedom. Image: Engraving for Equiano's Interesting Narrative. This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Isaac Land, “On the Foundings of Sierra Leone, 1787-1808″

5 May 1789 to 10 Nov 1799

French Revolution

Representation of the Declaration of the Rights of ManThe French Revolution occurred from 5 May 1789 to 9-10 November 1799. Image: Jean-Jacques-François Le Barbier, Representation of The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 26 August 1789 (c. 1789). This work is in the public domain in the United States.

On 5 May 1789, the Estates-General, representing the nobility, the clergy, and the common people, held a meeting at the request of the King to address France’s financial difficulties. At this meeting, the Third Estate (the commoners) protested the merely symbolic double representation that they had been granted by the King. This protest resulted in a fracture among the three estates and precipitated the French Revolution. On 17 June, members of the Third Estate designated themselves the National Assembly and claimed to represent the people of the nation, thus preparing the way for the foundation of the republic. Several pivotal events followed in quick succession: the storming of the Bastille (14 July), the approval of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (26 August), and the march on Versailles that led to the enforced relocation of the royal family to Paris (5-6 October). These revolutionary acts fired the imagination of many regarding the political future of France, and, indeed, all of Europe. The republican period of the revolution continued in various phases until 9-10 November 1799 when Napoleon Bonaparte supplanted the government.

Articles

Diane Piccitto, "On 1793 and the Aftermath of the French Revolution"

1 Jan 1792

Vindication of the Rights of Woman

In January 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which laid out the tenets of what today we call ‘equality’ or ‘liberal’ feminist theory. She further promoted a new model of the nation grounded on a family politics produced by egalitarian marriages. Image: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman title page from the first American edition, 1792 (Library of Congress).  This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Anne K. Mellor, "On the Publication of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman"

Related Articles

Ghislaine McDayter, "On the Publication of William Godwin’s Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, 1798"

21 Jan 1793

Execution of King Louis XVI

On January 21, 1793, King Louis XVI of France was executed. Image: Isidore-Stanislas Helman, The Death of King Louis (1794), Bibliothèque nationale de France. This work is in the public domain in the United States.

1793 was a key juncture in the revolution, beginning with this execution on 21 January. The increasing violence prompted Britain to cut its ties to France, leading to declarations of war by the two countries. Violence peaked during the Reign of Terror (5 September 1793 – 27 July 1794), which resulted in the execution of the Queen (16 October) as well as of many suspects of treason and members of the Girondins, the more moderate faction that the radical Jacobins brought down on 2 June 1793

Articles

Diane Piccitto, "On 1793 and the Aftermath of the French Revolution"

5 Sep 1793 to 27 Jul 1794

Reign of Terror

Portrait of RobespierreA period of violence that occurred a few years after the start of the French Revolution. Image: Anonymous, Portrait of Maximilien de Robespierre (c. 1790), Carnavalet Museum. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

On 5 September 1793, the National Convention, France’s ruling body from 1793 to 1795, officially put into effect terror measures in order to subdue opposition to and punish insufficient support for the revolution and the new regime. From the autumn of 1793 until the summer of 1794, thousands of people across the country were imprisoned and executed (including the Queen) under the ruthless leadership of Maximilien Robespierre. The guillotine, particularly the one in Paris’s Place de la Révolution, served as the bloody emblem of the fear tactics that began to manifest themselves first in the formation of the Committee of Public Safety (6 April 1793) and subsequently in the implementation of the Law of Suspects (17 September 1793). The Terror ended on 27 July 1794 with the overthrow of Robespierre, who was guillotined the next day.

Articles

Diane Piccitto, "On 1793 and the Aftermath of the French Revolution"

10 Sep 1797

Death of Wollstonecraft

Frontispiece from WollstonecraftDeath of Mary Wollstonecraft on 10 September 1797. Mary Shelley, Wollstonecraft’s second daughter, was born on August 30th, after which complications from childbirth set in. Wollstonecraft developed a fever, and died on September 10th. She was buried at St. Pancras Churchyard. Image: William Blake's frontispiece to the 1791 edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's Original Stories from Real Life. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Ghislaine McDayter, "On the Publication of William Godwin’s Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, 1798"

Anne K. Mellor, "On the Publication of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman"

Jan 1798

Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication

On January 1798, publication of William Godwin’s Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. The publication of this first biography of Wollstonecraft causes a scandal and Godwin publishes a second “corrected” edition of the Memoirs in the summer of the same year.

Articles

Ghislaine McDayter, "On the Publication of William Godwin’s Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, 1798"

Related Articles

Anne K. Mellor, "On the Publication of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman"

9 Nov 1799 to 18 Jun 1815

Napoleonic Wars

These are actually a set of individual wars that sometimes overlap, succeed, or run parallel to each other. Image: Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps (1800), Kunsthistorisches Museum. The work of art depicted in this image and the reproduction thereof are in the public domain worldwide. The reproduction is part of a collection of reproductions compiled by The Yorck Project (DVD-ROM, 2002). The compilation copyright is held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Historians do not agree on the exact beginning or end of the wars. November 9, 1799 is an early candidate since that is when Napoleon seized power in France. Hoping to ease the difficulty, historians date by isolated wars. They disarticulate the Napoleonic Wars in a linear series:

  • War of the Second Coalition 1798-1802
  • War of the Third Coalition 1805
  • War of the Fourth Coalition 1806-7
  • War of the Fifth Coalition 1809
  • War of the Sixth Coalition 1812-14
  • War of the Seventh Coalition 1815

The successive numerical coordinates for the Coalitions offer regularity, but that regularity is undercut by the shifting make-up of that Coalition (sometimes Prussia was in, sometimes not; sometimes Russia, sometimes not) and by the discontinuity and ambiguity of the dates.

Articles

Mary Favret, "The Napoleonic Wars"

26 May 1805

Napoleon made king of Italy

On 26 May 1805, Napoleon crowns himself King of Italy in Milan Cathedral, with the iron crown of Lombardy. Image: The Iron Crown of Lombardy, from Cesare Cantù Grande illustrazione del Lombardo-Veneto ossia storia delle città, dei borghi, comuni, castelli, ecc. fino ai tempi moderni Milano, Corona e Caimi Editori, 1858. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

In a flamboyant and highly theatrical gesture, Napoleon Bonaparte signifies his political and military dominance over the Italian peninsula with a ceremony in Milan Cathedral, where he crowned himself King of Italy with the ancient, iconic iron crown of Lombardy. This crowning of Napoleon as King is a result of the French conquest of Italy. His full title was "Emperor of the French and King of Italy."

Articles

Alison Chapman, "On Il Risorgimento"

Related Articles

Erik Simpson, “On Corinne, Or Italy

Dec 1811

Ratcliffe Highway Murders

In December 1811, the Ratcliffe Highway Murders occurred and John Williams, the suspected murderer, was executed.

Related Articles

Heidi Kaufman, “1800-1900: Inside and Outside the Nineteenth-Century East End”

Jun 1812

Byron witnesses a waltz

Lord Byron portraitByron attends a private ball where he witnesses the waltz, which was largely introduced to England in this year. Image: Richard Westall, George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron (1813, National Portrait Gallery, London). This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Cheryl A. Wilson, “The Arrival of the Waltz in England, 1812″

2 Mar 1815

Corn Law Act

On 23 March 1815, parliament passed the Corn Law Act of 1815. Image: the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Corn Law Act of 1815 prohibited the importation of grain when the prices in the domestic market were high. The Act was repealed on 25 June 1846.

Articles

Ayse Çelikkol, "On the Repeal of the Corn Laws, 1846"

1 Jul 1816

Byron, "Darkness"

Portrait of Byron

In July 1816, Lord Byron writes his poem, “Darkness,” a vision of chaotic disorder and universal extinction consequent upon the disappearance of the sun. Image: Thomas Philipps, Portrait of Lord Byron (1824). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Martin Meisel, "On the Age of the Universe"

Gillen D'Arcy Wood, "1816, The Year without a Summer"

15 Oct 1822 to 30 Jul 1823

The Liberal

Portrait of Byron15 Oct. 1822 – 30 July 1823: The Liberal [The radical journal, the Liberal, edited by Leigh Hunt, Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, begins its four-issue publication run in 1822, ending in 1823. Individual publication dates for issues one through four are as follows: 15 Oct 1822, 1 January 1823, 26 April 1823, 30 July 1823. Image: Thomas Philipps, Portrait of Lord Byron (1824). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Jane Stabler, “Religious Liberty in the ‘Liberal,’ 1822-23″

24 Dec 1822

Arnold born

Photo of Matthew ArnoldOn 24 December 1822, Matthew Arnold was born in Laleham-on-Thames, Middlesex, England, to educator Thomas Arnold (1795-1842) and Mary Penrose Arnold (1791–1873). Image: Photograph of Matthew Arnold (Project Gutenberg eText 16745). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Peter Melville Logan, “On Culture: Matthew Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy, 1869″

19 Apr 1824

Death of Lord Byron

Portrait of ByronOn 19 April 1824, death of Lord Byron. Image: Thomas Philipps, Portrait of Lord Byron (1824). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Related Articles

Angela Esterhammer, “1824: Improvisation, Speculation, and Identity-Construction”

16 Jun 1824

Society for Protection of Animals founded

On 16 June 1824, founding of the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPCA) in London. The Society became the Royal Society in 1840, when it was granted a royal charter by Queen Victoria, herself strongly opposed to vivisection.

Articles

Ivan Kreilkamp, “The Ass Got a Verdict: Martin’s Act and the Founding of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 1822″

Related Articles

Susan Hamilton (U Alberta), “On the Cruelty to Animals Act, 15 August 1876″

Philip Howell, “June 1859/December 1860: The Dog Show and the Dogs’ Home”

Mario Ortiz-Robles, “Animal Acts: 1822, 1835, 1849, 1850, 1854, 1876, 1900″

1 Jul 1824 to 16 Jul 1824

Byron's funeral rites

Portrait of ByronFrom 1–16 July 1824, public funeral rites for Byron in England. Following Byron’s death at Missolonghi, Greece, his body was returned to England for burial at Hucknall Torkard Church in Nottinghamshire. Image: Thomas Philipps, Portrait of Lord Byron (1824). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Related Articles

Angela Esterhammer, “1824: Improvisation, Speculation, and Identity-Construction”

Feb 1827

"On Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts"

In February 1827, Thomas De Quincey published "On Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts" in Blackwood's Magazine. This essay, which he revised several times, focused on the Ratcliffe Highway murders of 1811.

Related Articles

Heidi Kaufman, “1800-1900: Inside and Outside the Nineteenth-Century East End”

Oct 1831 to Oct 1836

Darwin's voyage on the Beagle

Photograph of Charles DarwinFrom October 1831 to October 1836, Charles Darwin circumnavigated the world as ship’s naturalist on board the H.M.S. Beagle; he later published his first book based on the journal of his experiences and observations during the voyage. Image: Henry Maull and John Fox, Photograph of Charles Darwin (c. 1854). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Nancy Armstrong, “On Charles Darwin’s The Descent of Man, 24 February 1871″

Ian Duncan, “On Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle

Anna Henchman, “Charles Darwin’s Final Book on Earthworms, 1881”

Cannon Schmitt, “On the Publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, 1859″

Related Articles

Daniel Bivona, “On W. K. Clifford and ‘The Ethics of Belief,’ 11 April 1876″

28 May 1836

Elizabeth Barrett Browning dinner with Wordsworth

portrait of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, engraving
Portrait (engraving) of Elizabeth Barrett Browning

On 28 May 1836, Elizabeth Barrett Browning met William Wordsworth at a literary dinner in London; EBB's cousin, John Kenyon, was the host and the event most likely occurred at Kenyon's main residence at the time:  39 Devonshire Place, London, which is right around the corner from EBB's residence at the time:  50 Wimpole Street.  See the associated map.  

Dino Franco Felluga
Feb 1837 to Apr 1839

Oliver Twist

Photo of Charles DickensFrom February 1837 to April 1839, Charles Dickens published Oliver Twist. Image: Photograph of Charles Dickens by Jeremiah Gurney, c. 1867-1868 (at the Heritage Auction Gallery). This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Related Articles

Heidi Kaufman, “1800-1900: Inside and Outside the Nineteenth-Century East End”

Michelle Allen-Emerson, “On Magazine Day”

12 Nov 1839

Owen announces extinct bird

Richard Owen with DinornisOn 12 November 1839, Richard Owen announces to the Zoological Society of London that, from the evidence of only a small fragment of bone, a hitherto unknown giant flightless bird existed in New Zealand. Image: Plate XCVII of Owen and a Moa Skeleton, Richard Owen, Memoirs on the Extinct Wingless Birds of New Zealand, Vol. 2 (London: John van Voorst, 1879). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Gowan Dawson, "On Richard Owen's Discovery, in 1839, of the Extinct New Zealand Moa from Just a Single Bone"

circa. 1842

Haydon portrait of Wordsworth completed

Haydon portrait of Wordsworth
Benjamin Robert Haydon, Wordsworth on Helvellyn

In 1842 (exact date not known), Benjamin Robert Haydon completed his portrait of William Wordsworth, Wordsworth on Helvellyn.  Wordsworth is 72 years of age in the portrait.  The original, an oil on canvas, is 124 × 99 cm (48.8 × 39 in) and is owned by the National Portrait Gallery.  This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 100 years or less.

Dino Franco Felluga
1 Jan 1843

Owen discovers Dinornis Novae Zealandiae

Richard Owen with DinornisIn January 1843, a consignment of miscellaneous bones from New Zealand allows Richard Owen to reconstruct the skeleton of a giant flightless bird which he names the Dinornis Novae Zealandiae, thus confirming his prediction of three years earlier that he had discovered an extinct bird. Image: Plate XCVII of Owen and a Moa Skeleton, Richard Owen, Memoirs on the Extinct Wingless Birds of New Zealand, Vol. 2 (London: John van Voorst, 1879). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Gowan Dawson, "On Richard Owen's Discovery, in 1839, of the Extinct New Zealand Moa from Just a Single Bone"

1 Jan 1847

"freak of nature"

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, 1847 is the year that "freak of nature" enters common parlance. Exact date of this event is unknown; if you have information about the correct date, please email felluga@purdue.edu with this information.

Articles

Nadja Durbach, "On the Emergence of the Freak Show in Britain"

4 Mar 1848

Illustrated London News's "The French Revolution"

Masthead, Illustrated London NewsOn 4 March 1848, the Illustrated London News publishes a special commemorative double number (numbers 305 and 306, vol. 12), “The French Revolution.” Image: Masthead of the Illustrated London News. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Jo Briggs, “1848 and 1851: A Reconsideration of the Historical Narrative”

10 Apr 1848

Chartist Rally, Kennington

Poster for Chartist DemonstrationOn 10 April 1848, Chartists rally on Kennington Common, south London. Image: Poster advertising the "Monster" Chartist Demonstration, held on 10 April 1848, proceeding to Kennington Common, Rodney Mace, British Trade Union Posters: An Illustrated History. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Led by Feargus O’Connor, an estimated 25,000 Chartists meet on Kennington Common planning to march to Westminster to deliver a monster petition in favor of the six points of the People’s Charter. Police block bridges over the Thames containing the marchers south of the river, and the demonstration is broken up with some arrests and violence. However, the large scale revolt widely predicted and feared fails to materialize.

Articles

Jo Briggs, “1848 and 1851: A Reconsideration of the Historical Narrative”

Chris Vanden Bossche, "On Chartism"

Jan 1851

London Labour and the London Poor

Engraving of Henry Mayhew1851 saw the publication of Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor. London Labour appeared as a series of articles in the Morning Chronicle throughout the 1840s, before being compiled into three volumes in 1851. Exact month of publication unknown; if you have information about the correct date, please email felluga@purdue.edu with this information. The articles were innovative in the way they articulated the voices of the poorer classes of London. As an ethnographic study, Mayhew’s work explores the multicultural textures of Britain’s center, drawing attention to the ethnic diversity within a nation determined to maintain a stable national and cultural identity. Image: Henry Mayhew, taken from the 1861 edition of London Labour and the London Poor. This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Lesa Scholl, “Irish Migration to London During the c.1845-52 Famine: Henry Mayhew’s Representation in London Labour and the London Poor

Heidi Kaufman, “1800-1900: Inside and Outside the Nineteenth-Century East End”

9 Aug 1870

1870 Married Women's Property Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 9 August 1870, the Married Women’s Property Act was passed. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

This Act established limited protections for some separate property for married women, including the right to retain up to £200 of any earning or inheritance. Before this all of a woman's property owned before her marriage, as well as all acquired after the marriage, automatically became her husband's alone. Only women whose families negotiated different terms in a marriage contract were able to retain control of some portion of their property.

Articles

Rachel Ablow, "On the Married Woman's Property Act, 1870"

Related Articles

Kelly Hager, “Chipping Away at Coverture: The Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857″

Jill Rappoport, “Wives and Sons: Coverture, Primogeniture, and Married Women’s Property”

Anne Wallace, “On the Deceased Wife’s Sister Controversy, 1835-1907″

24 Feb 1871

Descent of Man

Cameron photo of DarwinOn 24 February 1871, Charles Darwin published his argument for the gradualist evolution of the human species from animal species in two volumes: The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. Image: Charles Darwin, photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron (1868). Reprinted in Charles Darwin: His Life Told in an Autobiographical Chapter, and in a Selected Series of His Published Letters, edited by Francis Darwin. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street. 1892. This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Nancy Armstrong, “On Charles Darwin’s The Descent of Man, 24 February 1871″

Related Articles

Ian Duncan, “On Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle”

Anna Henchman, “Charles Darwin’s Final Book on Earthworms, 1881”

Cannon Schmitt, “On the Publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, 1859″

19 Apr 1882

Death of Charles Darwin

Photograph of Charles DarwinDeath of Charles Darwin on 19 April 1882. Darwin’s friends and supporters arrange for his burial in Westminster Abbey as a mark of the importance and respectability of his life and ideas. Image: Henry Maull and John Fox, Photograph of Charles Darwin (c. 1854). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Related Articles

Nancy Armstrong, “On Charles Darwin’s The Descent of Man, 24 February 1871″

Ian Duncan, “On Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle”

Anna Henchman, “Charles Darwin’s Final Book on Earthworms, 1881”

Martin Meisel, "On the Age of the Universe"

Cannon Schmitt, “On the Publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, 1859″

Jonathan Smith, “The Huxley-Wilberforce ‘Debate’ on Evolution, 30 June 1860″

Daniel Bivona, “On W. K. Clifford and ‘The Ethics of Belief,’ 11 April 1876″

1 Jan 1887

Year of Jubilee

Portrait of Queen VictoriaThe 1887 Year of Jubilee was a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the reign of Queen Victoria. Image: George Hayter, State portrait of Queen Victoria, 1860 (oil on canvas), from the Government Art Collection of the United Kingdom. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Related Articles

Erika Rappaport, “Object Lessons and Colonial Histories: Inventing the Jubilee of Indian Tea”

Jul 1888

London Matchgirls' Strike

In July 1888, the London Matchgirls' Strike occurred.

Related Articles

Heidi Kaufman, “1800-1900: Inside and Outside the Nineteenth-Century East End”

Aug 1888 to Sep 1889

Jack the Ripper murders

From August 1888 to September 1889, the serial killer known as the Whitechapel Murderer or Jack the Ripper stalked women living in the East End of London.

Related Articles

Heidi Kaufman, “1800-1900: Inside and Outside the Nineteenth-Century East End”

Marlene Tromp, “A Priori: Harriet Buswell and Unsolved Murder Before Jack the Ripper, 24-25 December 1872″

2 Apr 1924

British Empire Exhibition opens

Wembley at night croppedOn 23 April 1924, the British Empire Exhibition opened. The exhibition was located in Wembley, a suburb north of London and ran from 23 April to 1 November 1924. It reopened for a second season between 9 May and 31 October 1925. Image: “Wembley By Night” in Donald Maxwell, Wembley in Colour (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1924), 101. Collection of the author.

Articles

Anne Clendinning, “On The British Empire Exhibition, 1924-25″

Related Articles

Aviva Briefel, "On the 1886 Colonial and Indian Exhibition"

Anne Helmreich, “On the Opening of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham, 1854″

Audrey Jaffe, "On the Great Exhibition"