Romanticism: A Class Chronology

Friedrich, WandererThis timeline is part of ENGL 202's build assignment.  Research some aspect of Romanticism and then contribute what you have learned to our shared class resource.  As the assignment states, "Add one timeline element, one map element and one gallery image about the Romantic period to our collective resources in COVE Editions.  Provide sufficient detail to explain the historical or cultural detail that you are presenting. Interlink the three objects. A few timeline elements have already been added (borrowing from BRANCH). 


Chronological table

Displaying 51 - 54 of 54
Date Event Created by Associated Places
1840 to 1860

Gothic Revival: House of Parliament

In 1840 England's Houses of Parliament began construction under the design direction of Sir Charles Barry. These buildings hearkened back to the grand nature of the medieval era of architecture that featured artistic imprints on many parts of the structures. "As in many of the early Gothic Revival buildings, the Gothic was used here for its picturesque and romantic qualities without regard for its structural possibilities or original function" (Brittanica). Also known as Palace of Westminster, the Houses of Parliament were not completed until 1860. Image: Picasa 2.7. Palace of Westminster. Londontopia.


Jonathan Gudeman
31 Aug 1840

Wordsworth composes "On a Portrait of the Duke of Wellington"

Haydon portrait of WellingtonOn 31 August 1840, William Wordsworth composed the sonnet, "On a Portrait of the Duke of Wellington upon the Field of Waterloo, by Haydon."  The poem is a companion to his earlier 11 June 1831 sonnet, "To B.R. Haydon, on Seeing His Picture of Napoleon Buonaparte on the Island of St. Helena."  Wordsworth informed Isabella Fenwick in 1843 that he composed the sonnet while ascending Helvellyn with his daughter (on horseback) and her husband.  In response to this sonnet, Haydon began a portrait of Wordsworth, which he sent to Elizabeth Barrett Browning for her to view before he completed it. Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote her own sonnet, "On a Portrait of Wordsworth," as a result.  Image:  Benjamin Robert Haydon, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (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.   Here is Wordsworth's sonnet:

By Art's bold privilege Warrior and War-horse stand
On ground yet strewn with their last battle's wreck;
Let the Steed glory while his Master's hand
Lies fixed for ages on his conscious neck;
But by the Chieftain's look, though at his side
Hangs that day's treasured sword, how firm a check
Is given to triumph and all human pride!
Yon trophied Mound shrinks to a shadowy speck
In his calm presence! Him the mighty deed
Elates not, brought far nearer the grave's rest,
As shows that time-worn face, for he such seed
Has sown as yields, we trust, the fruit of fame
In Heaven; hence no one blushes for thy name,
Conqueror, 'mid some sad thoughts, divinely blest!

Dino Franco Felluga
29 Jan 1845

"The Raven" is Published

New York's The Evening Mirror, published Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" for the very first time. The macabre poem is centered around the narrator. In the beginning, he is alone in his study, mourning a woman named Lenore. He hears what he believes to be knocking at the door, but soon discovers that it's coming from the window. When he opens it, a talking raven flies into the study (whether the raven could genuinely talk or if it was simply a delusion of the narrator's is up to interpretation). The only word it utters is, "Nevermore," which the narrator takes as a sign that he'll never be reunited with his dead love. The poem gained Poe some popularity, but he didn't attain much money from the publication.

If you read "The Raven" here, you'll notice that most of it is a trochaic octameter. In other words, there are eight beats a line with stressed syllables followed by unstressed syllables.


Emily Ray

"Les Miserables" is Published

Les Miserables Book Cover

Published in 1862 by the famous author and poet Victor Hugo, Les Miserables (translated to The Miserable Ones) is said to be one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. Although the characters in Hugo's story are fictional, he sets the story during real events of Paris during the early 1800s. Readers get a close glimpse at the poverty and anguish of the lower class and learn of the tense political climate during that time.

Les Miserables is also one of the longest novels ever written. According to, there are about 1,500 pages in English editions and 1,900 pages in French versions. The novel consists of five volumes, each of which are divided into several books and subdivided into chapters, totaling 48 books and 365 chapters. also reports that over a quarter of the book is dedicated to discussions of morality having nothing to do with the novel's plot. Despite being a long read, Les Miserables is one of the most successful and timeless stories of the Romantic era.

The plot of Les Miserables follows ex-prisoner Jean Valjean on his path to redemption and is well known today for its musical and film adaptationsThroughout the story, the narrator follows Valjean on his journey to evade the law while caring for an orphaned girl named Cosette. Themes present in this epic are religion, poverty, freedom, and young love.

After serving a 19-year prison sentence and suffering life as a poor ex-convict, Valjean violates his parole and assumes a new identity, becoming mayor of a small French town where he collects a large sum of money and lives piously for many years. After crossing paths with an impoverished woman and a suspicious inspector, Valjean rescues the woman's young daughter from her abusive caretakers and flees to Paris. 

As an adult, Cosette falls in love with a young man named Marius, who happens to be an instrumental part of the 1832 June Rebellion of Paris. Upon discovering Cosette and Marius' affections, Valjean risks his life to save Marius in battle while ousting himself to the suspicious inspector Javert. In the end, Valjean is able to save Marius from the carnage and escape the punishment of Javert. Jean Valjean later dies peacefully in the grace of God, knowing that he has lived a good life.

Victoria Orman