EN316: Revolution and Empire: British Literature from 1660-1900

This timeline presents important dates and events from the Restoration up through the end of the Victorian period, with special reference to authors and their works we read in class.

Timeline

Chronological table

Displaying 1 - 50 of 121
Date Event Created by Associated Places
1851

Crystal Palace opens

In 1851, the Crystal Palace opens, housing the Great Exhibition of 1851. This monumental glass and iron structure was simultaneously a building, an event, and a phenomenon:  a department store, a world's fair, an anthropological museum, and a trade exhibition.

Articles

Jules Law, “The Victorian Stereoscope”

Related Articles

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

COVE Admin
1660

Restoration

Charles II restored to English throne

Stacey Kikendall
1673

Test Act

Requires all officeholders to swear allegiance to Anglicanism

Stacey Kikendall
1681

Dissolution of Parliament

Charles II dissolves Parliament

Stacey Kikendall
1685

Death of Charles II, James II becomes King

James II was Charles II's Catholic brother

Stacey Kikendall
1688 to 1689

The Glorious Revolution

James II exiled and succeeded by his Protestant daughter, Mary, and her husband William of Orange

Stacey Kikendall
1690

Two Treatises on Government

Written by John Locke

Stacey Kikendall
1690

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

Written by John Locke

Stacey Kikendall
1700

Some Reflections upon Marriage

Written by Mary Astell

Stacey Kikendall
1702

Death of William III, Anne becomes Queen

Anne was the other Protestant daughter of James II

Stacey Kikendall
1706

A Preface, in Answer to Some Objections to Reflections upon Marriage

Written by Mary Astell

Stacey Kikendall
1707

Act of Union with Scotland

Scotland becomes part of Great Britain

Stacey Kikendall
1714

Death of Anne, George I becomes King

George I was the great-grandson of James I. He is the first Hanoverian king. Tory government replaced by Whigs.

Stacey Kikendall
1716 to 1718

Turkish Embassy Letters

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu writes her letters from Turkey

Stacey Kikendall
1717

The Rape of the Lock

Written by Alexander Pope - final version

Stacey Kikendall
1727

George I dies, George II becomes king

George II was George I's son.

Stacey Kikendall
1729

A Modest Proposal

Written by Jonathan Swift

Stacey Kikendall
1743 to 1745

Marriage A-la-Mode

Pained by William Hogarth

Stacey Kikendall
1746

Jacobite Rebellion ends

Charles Edward Stuart ("Bonnie Prince Charlie)'s defeat at Culloden ends the last Jacobite rebellion

Stacey Kikendall
1755

Dictionary of the English Language

Written by Samuel Johnson

Stacey Kikendall
1760

George III becomes king

George II dies, his son take the throne

Stacey Kikendall
1773

A Mouse's Petition

Written by Anna Letitia Barbauld around 1771, published in 1773

Stacey Kikendall
1775 to 1783

American Revolution

American colonies rebel against British rule

Stacey Kikendall
May 1781

Sunday Observance Act

In 1781, passage of what is commonly known as the Sunday Observance Law. Discussion of the bill in the House of Commons started on May 3, 1781. Image: The Rt. Revd. Beilby Porteus, Bishop of London, printed by Fisher, Son & Co., London, 1833. Print of engraving by H. Meyer after J. Hoppner R. A.. This is a faithful photographic reproduction of an original two-dimensional work of art, and, so, is public domain, following U.S. case of Bridgeman v. Corel (1999).

Passage of this Act, formally titled “Act for Preventing Certain Abuses and Profanations on the Lord’s Day, Called Sunday,” had a powerful, repressive effect on British society and culture for more than a century-and-a-half, as noted by both its proponent (Bishop Beilby Porteus) and its many Victorian critics, among them John Stuart Mill in On Liberty.

Articles

Christopher Lane, "On the Victorian Afterlife of the 1781 Sunday Observance Act"

COVE Admin
9 Apr 1787

First settlers depart for Sierra Leone

Free Slaves in Sierra LeoneOn 9 April 1787, 451 people set sail to establish a “Province of Freedom” in Africa, later to become Sierra Leone. Image: An illustration of liberated slaves arriving in Sierra Leone, from the 1835 book, A System of School Geography Chiefly Derived from Malte-Brun, by Samuel Griswold Goodrich. 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″

COVE Admin
1789

Written in the Church-Yard at Middleton in Sussex

Written by Charlotte Smith, included in her collection Elegiac Sonnets

Stacey Kikendall
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″

COVE Admin
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"

COVE Admin
1791

Epistle to William Wilberforce, Esq. on the Rejection of the Bill for Abolishing the Slave Trade

Written by Anna Letitia Barbauld

Stacey Kikendall
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"

COVE Admin
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"

COVE Admin
1794

Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Written by William Blake

The Songs of Innocence was originally etched in 1789, but was combined with additional poems in 1794 as Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Stacey Kikendall
1798

Rebellion in Ireland

Uprising against British rule in Ireland, had help of French but were eventually defeated

Stacey Kikendall
Jan 1801

Inclosure Act

Detail from Rubens, Het SteenIn 1801, the Consolidation (Inclosure Act) was passed: Parliament thus formalized procedures for enclosing common land, removing previously existing rights of the people to carry out certain activities in these "common" lands. Exact month of passing unknown; if you have information about the correct date, please email felluga@purdue.edu with this information. Image: Detail from Peter Paul Rubens, A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning, c. 1636 (National Gallery, London), illustrating a pre-Enclosure landscape. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Carolyn Lesjak, "1750 to the Present: Acts of Enclosure and Their Afterlife" (forthcoming)

Ellen Rosenman, “On Enclosure Acts and the Commons”

COVE Admin
1801

1801 Ireland joins Great Britain

Parliamentary Union of Ireland and Great Britain. Act of Union passed in 1800, took effect in 1801

Stacey Kikendall
1802

William Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads

Cover Image of Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads

William Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads, 3rd edition, containing the expanded and final version of the famous "Preface," one of the founding theoretical statements of the Romantic poetical movement.

This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright is expired. https://www.abebooks.com/first-edition/Lyrical-Ballads-Pastoral-Poems-Vo...

Articles

Jules Law, “Victorian Virtual Reality”

COVE Admin
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

COVE Admin
1807

British slave trade outlawed

Slave trade outlawed (but not slavery itself)

Stacey Kikendall
1811 to 1820

The Regency

George, Prince of Wales, acts as regent for George III, who has been declared incurably insane

Stacey Kikendall
16 Oct 1811

National Society for the Education of Poor Children founded

On 16 October 1811, the National Society for the Education of Poor Children in the Principles of the Established Church (the Church of England) was founded to establish “National Schools.” According to their founders, poor children were to be taught to avoid vice and behave in an orderly manner within their station. To limit costs, the monitorial system was employed, by which more advanced pupils taught younger ones.

Related Articles

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

COVE Admin
1812 to 1815

1812 War

War between Britain and United States

Stacey Kikendall
1813

Pride and Prejudice

Written by Jane Austen

Stacey Kikendall
6 Apr 1814 to 26 Feb 1815

Napoleon exiled to Elba

Haydon portrait of Napoleon
Benjamin Robert Haydon, Napoleon Musing at St Helena

Napoleon was exiled to Elba, an island in the Meditteranean, after he abdicated on 6 April 1814. He spent nine months and 21 days on the island, then attempted to retake his empire, leaving the island on 26 February 1815.  Napoleon was definitively defeated at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815.

Dino Franco Felluga
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"

COVE Admin
Dec 1815

Emma

title page of Austen's _Emma_Dec 1815 publication of Jane Austen's Emma. Austen's fourth published novel, Emma, was in press when the Prince Regent sent word that she had his permission to dedicate this or any later work to him, a permission of which she never availed herself. Image: Title page from Jane Austen's first edition of Emma, 1816 (Lilly Library, Indiana U). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

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

COVE Admin
1 Apr 1817

First number of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine

cover of Blackwood'sOn 1 April 1817, the first number of Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine was published. Founded by Scottish bookseller and publisher William Blackwood, the monthly literary magazine targeted a growing middle-class readership. Image: Paper cover for issue of Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine (Nov. 1866). This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Michelle Allen-Emerson, “On Magazine Day”

Related Articles

Ina Ferris, “The Debut of The Edinburgh Review, 1802″

COVE Admin
26 Sep 1818

First medical blood transfusion between humans

Blundell's GravitatorOn Saturday, 26 September 1818, James Blundell conducted the first medical blood transfusion between human subjects. During the course of the century, transfusion was applied as a remedy to different kinds of sicknesses and injuries, and performed at different times with various fluids. Image: James Blundell’s Gravitator, from “Observations on the Transfusion of Blood, with a Description of his Gravitator.” This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Matthew Rowlinson, “On the First Medical Blood Transfusion Between Human Subjects, 1818″

COVE Admin
12 Jul 1819

Britain approves settlement scheme to South Africa

On 12 July 1819, the British government approved £50,000 for a settlement scheme to South Africa's eastern Cape.

Articles

Timothy Johns, “The 1820 Settlement Scheme to South Africa”

COVE Admin
16 Aug 1819

Peterloo massacre

print depicting the Peterloo MassacreOn 16 August 1819, at St. Peter’s Field, Manchester, more than 60,000 workers gathered to demonstrate in favor of an expansion of suffrage in England. In an attempt to disperse the crowd and arrest the organizers of the demonstration, local cavalry and members of the 15th Hussars and 88th Foot attacked the crowd, killing a dozen protestors and injuring as many as 600. Though Wellington was not involved, the incident was dubbed “Peterloo” because of his persistent opposition to reform in the House of Lords. Image: Richard Carlisle, To Henry Hunt, Esq., as chairman of the emeeting assembled in St. Peter's Field, Manchester, sixteenth day of August, 1819, and to the female Reformers of Manchester and the adjacent towns who were exposed to and suffered from the wanton and fiendish attack made on them by that brutal armed force, the Manchester and Cheshire Yeomanry Cavalry, this plate is dedicated by their fellow labourer, Richard Carlile: a coloured engraving that depicts the Peterloo Massacre (1 October 1819), Manchester Library Services. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Related Articles

James Chandler, “On Peterloo, 16 August 1819″

Sean Grass, “On the Death of the Duke of Wellington, 14 September 1852″

COVE Admin
1 Nov 1819

Simultaneous radical meetings

On 1 November 1819, simultaneous meetings were held, by prior agreement, at Newcastle, Carlisle, Leeds Halifax, Manchester, Bolton, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry, and elsewhere in England and Scotland.

Articles

James Chandler, “On Peterloo, 16 August 1819″

COVE Admin

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