Timeline: CCU FA 20 ENGL 231

Part of Group:

See "Adding Timeline and Map Entries" on "The COVE" Moodle tile.


Chronological table

Displaying 1 - 50 of 61
Date Event Created by Associated Places
circa. 527


The Midlands are the cedntral part of England, the region is bordered by Northern England and Southern England. There are nine regions in England and two of them are the West Midlands and the East Midlands. The region corresponds to the the early Kingdom of Mercia (c. 527-879 CE) during medieval times. Mercia was a large kingdom that covered a large portion on middle England. The regions borders contained hositle rivals as they were the central for a time of war. The Midlands were very important to the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries. This region was the center for natural resources such as coal and limestoneduring the revolution. The city of Birmingham, in the West Midlands, is known as the second largest city in a primarily urban area of England. The Midlands are the heart of England. 

The novel is set in the fictional town of MIddlemarch, in England 1830-1832. It is set in a market town in the Midlands of England. The book is set to a time four decades before it was written. The time frame is leading up to the Reform Act in 1832 that was a pivotal moment in England at the time. In the novel a very important factor of vthe setting is the estates the characters own. Mr. Featherstone owns Stone Court, Casaubon owns a large estate called Lowick and the Brooke's estate is called Tipton Grange. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a housing estate as "a residential area in which the houses, streets, etc., have all been planned and built at the same time". Estate comes from the Latin word 'status' and in its earliest English usage means a state or condition. During the time period if you owned an estate in this region you were wealthy. 

Molly Vatuna
circa. 1096 to circa. 1167

Founding of The University of Oxford

Acording to The Universty of Oxfords website it states "the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford is a unique and historic institution. There is no clear date of foundation, but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096 and developed rapidly from 1167, when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris." (Univerity of Oxford). Oxford is one of the most prestigious learning institutions to ever be founded in the history of the world with only the most scholard of the scholars would attend. University of Oxford was formed in an unusual way and unintended way. There was many arguments and riots held between the towns people and the student way back during the 13th century and The University of Oxfords website describes that the arguments " hastened the establishment of primitive halls of residence. These were succeeded by the first of Oxford's colleges, which began as medieval 'halls of residence' or endowed houses under the supervision of a Master. University, Balliol and Merton Colleges, which were established between 1249 and 1264, are the oldest."(University of Oxford). 

This relates to Mary Anne Evans AKA "George Elliot" because at the time of her righting and her reasonings on having to use an alias like a mans name so that she could be successful back in her time is so shameful because thats how things were back then. Just because she was a women men back then wouldnt have accepted her work for the greatness it is just because she was a women. It shows in her work how fed up she was with it especially in middle march you can see in the charectors how shes expressing how she feels through Dortheia living in a world where women didnt get the respect they deserved and it showed the ignorance of men back then. The reason I used The University of Oxford for my timeline is to show how great her work is and how its being taught in the most prestigious learning institutions ever to exist. It shows how great she was and it proves all the men back then wrong.


Jacob Hall
circa. 1346 to circa. 1347

Earliest Recognition of Disease Spread


One of the first recorded instances of the spread of infectious diseases was in 1346-47. A band of sailors was attacked by a group that was carrying the Black Plague, and when the sailors returned to their home in England, they brought the plague with them. The first instance of quarantining occurred around 1374. Incoming ships would be checked for sick people, and if they were determined to be carrying diseases, they would be forced to stay on the ship. This was initially seen as a bad thing because it would slow down the shipping, but it was overall useful in helping slow down the spread of disease. This was, however, before infectious diseases were really known about, so the prevailing theory at the time was that of "miasma," a poisonous gas in the atmosphere which caused these diseases. In the early 1800s, England saw an increase in quarantine regulation, much of which was a result of a cholera outbreak which they were trying to slow. A bit before this time, a group that we now call the "contagionists" believed that instead of the miasma theory, the disease was instead spread by coming into contact with other people who had the disease. Initially, this was seen as foolish, but similar to those who believed in a heliocentric solar system, they turned out to be correct later on. Eventually, around the mid-1800s, it was determined that they were correct (Averns).

Ship Quarantine Flag

Frontline Infectious Disease Control at Britain’s borders

This ties in very much with the text that we are currently reading. In the text, we know that Fred Vincy is very sick with the fever, and he is isolated in his room. Around George Eliot's time, not much was really known about infectious diseases such as Typhoid, so they basically only knew about hygiene and isolation. It is mentioned that Fred has some of his "dealings" after walking through dark, dirty alleyways, so it is very likely that he caught the disease after traversing these areas multiple times. In the text, it states that Fred Vincy is in a "sickroom," which would've been a place where those that were sick were confined. According to the CDC, with the rise of Coronavirus and its rapid spread, they actually suggest creating a modern-day sickroom within our own homes. They suggest alcohol-based hand cleaner, masks, thermometers, cold water, trash cans, tissues, and various other things used to make those that are sick comfortable. I believe that a sickroom back in Eliot's time would have likely had similar things, though less advanced. The purpose of the room would've been to keep the sick away from people while also providing the sick person a comfortable place to recover. I find it very interesting how history is repeating itself, and how many of the same precautions are being taken nowadays as were being taken almost 200 years ago. 

Sick Rooms CDC

Typhoid Sickroom

Works Cited:

“Make a Separate Sick Room, If You Can.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/homecare/sickroom.htm.
Matthew Buck

Belvedere Torso

The Belvedere Torso was a statue in Rome during the time from the 1430's. This statue was made out of marble and was in the figure of a nude male which looked to stand just over 5 feet tall. The Belvedere Torso was signed by "Apollonios, son of Nestor Athenian", which is now Museo Pio-Clementino. The Belvedere Torso was once believed to be an original to the first century, but now is said to be a replica of an older statue. The identity of this statue remains unknow, and debatable to many. The Belvedere Torso was a statue that had different meanings and intentions throughout its time in the world, and through different classes of people. After many centuries later, the Belvedere Torso statue made it the second to last home, where its seated Hercules. Before that, the Belvedere Torso made its way to Vatican, headquarters in Rome. When the Belvedere Torso was found there was many altercations done to it. In the form it was found, people believe the statutes condition told a story. The head was leaning to the right sadly towards the hand which the had was found gripping the sword. Lastly, the statute was signed by sculptor Apollonios.


The significance of the Belvedere Torso is mentioned in book 2 chapter 19 of the book Middlemarch by George Eliot. The chapter opens up with George the Fourth having pride over the privacies or Windsor. Reading Middlemarch is like having a vivid dream, you just gaze over the words/image and you can just use your imagination to create your own picture that is most likely accurate while making it your own. Eliot explains romanticism and how it helps fill dull blanks with love and knowledge. George Eliot continues to emphasize the romance when the young man was looking at the view over a mounting with the famous, impressive sculpture, Belvedere Torso was behind his back. Goosebumps ran down the back of those reading the detailed narration. Eliot later in the chapter describes what could be mistaken for the Belvedere Torso, “Lies in the marble voluptuousness of her beauty, the drapery folding around her with a petal-like ease and tenderness” (Chap. XIX). I think Eliot was describing the beauty of a female, as the paragraph continues with a very detailed summery, the just paints a picture in your head. In rome, the Belvedere Torso was installed in the Cortile del Belvedere as the statue joined Apollo Belvedere and other famous Roman art sculptures.


Kayla Wasserman


As we learn throughout the reading, Andreas Versalius was a medical professional whom Lydgate looked up too tremendously, despite his ghastly reserach choices. Studies done by Versalius led to a huge progression in anatomy for the time period. Scientists had a better understanding of the human body, with a book published in 1543 by Versalius full of complex diagrams of the body, titled "De humani corporis fabrica libri septem" (On the Fabric of the Human Body in Seven Books). He had successful discovered parts of the human body that no anatomists had before, however, he made these discoveries through multiple dissections of the human body. During his studies, he participated in multiple human disections at the University of Paris, despite the school being against human dissection. After a few human dissections at school, Versalius went on to steal a body, risking getting arrested. He was known to dig up graves at night to study bones of the deceased. While in Middlemarch, only his work done through robbing graves and dead bodies was highlighted, but he did accomplish significant progressions in the medical field, which were not included. He spent a majority of his life dedicated to studying medicine, and traveled all around Europe learning and teaching his findings. While he did make significant contributions to the anatomic world, he did not get there without some seriously dirty work.

Personally, if my husband told me he wanted to be like a man who steals dead bodies and breaks into grave yards to study dead bodies, I would definitely be quite alarmed, so I do not blame Rosamond for her reactions. However, from Lydgate's standpoint, Vesalius did make major accomplishments in the medical field, and any doctor wishes to make the kind of medical impact through research that he did! Lydgate is very passionate about his work as a docotor, as was Vesalius, which is why Lydgate admires him for his work, even the gloomier aspects of his research. Coming from another point of view, if the people of the town knew of Lydgate's admiration for Vesalius, it could make them fearful of him. There was some mention that Lydgate was going to let one sick woman die, to use her body to research. While this was most likely not the case, if they had overheard Lydgate telling his wife his fasinations with a doctor who stole dead bodies, they could believe Lydgate was going to do the same. 


Ejavic, Nicole. "Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564." The Embryo Project Encylcopedia. 2018 https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/andreas-vesalius-1514-1564

"Andreas Vesalius 1514-1564" https://web.stanford.edu/class/history13/Readings/vesalius.htm#:~:text=Searching%20for%20more%20rigorous%20training,acquire%20a%20complete%20human%20skeleton.

"Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) and the books that made the father of humanity" University of Cambridge, 17 July 2014 https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/features/andreas-vesalius-1514-1564-and-the-books-that-made-the-father-of-anatomy

Lexie Brown


Tic discomfort

A French physician by the name of Nicolaus Andre in 1756 provided the term “tic douloureux”. Tic-douloureux, a chronic pain condition, also known as trigeminal neuralgia or simply referred to as a “tic” is a “severe, stabbing pain to one side of the face (Khatri, 2019). According to WebMD it happens as a result of the spasm coming from one or more branches of nerves that mandate the sensation to the face of an individual. The nerve in particular is the trigeminal nerve. These jolts of pain can be caused by vibration or physical contact with the cheek or facial region. For example, shaving, applying makeup, everyday activities like brushing one’s teeth or eating and talking, or simply being in the path of a wind gust (Team, H, 2020).  This spasm is thought to be one of the most excruciating conditions to affect individuals and the pain time can range from seconds to a couple of minutes. The term tic takes form as a result of the involuntary muscle pain causing discomfort and showing it on the face as a grimace or flinching. Even though this condition is not curable they produce medications to subdue the pain. In extreme cases surgery can be done when medications are not efficient. There is no real dysfunction of one’s face muscles and is only painful during the attacks. This detail came from Mr. Farebrothers thoughts pertaining to Mr. Lydgate after visiting his and Rosemond’s establishment.


Oh, how I wonder how long this ghastly disease will take control over my friends’ life. I cannot stand to see her in so much discomfort. For some odd reason there will suddenly be a jolt of pain on the side of her face and in turn she winces in displeasure as a result of it. She describes these sensations of pain as sharp and acute. Feeling at a loss of options, I called for Doctor Lydgate to come and take a look at my friend at her expense. She is rather stuck in her conservative ways and as a result she formulated hatred for his developing ideas and practices. Despite her opinion she was able to suppress her feelings and opened up to the idea of being his patient. Lydgate was able to successfully diagnose her predicament as Tic douloureux. We were all displeased to know that this disease was not essentially curable but there were medication options that would help subdue the pain. He talked about subscribing an opiate for her which should sedate her. Even though I do not doubt his subscription, I do fear the fact that he prescribed her an opiate which is a very powerful drug that gives euphoric effects (Opioid, 2020).  I surely hope this does some justice to her malfortune.

Khatri, M. (2019, March 14). Tic Douloureux. Retrieved October, from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/tic-douloureux

Opioid. (2020, October 12). Retrieved October 12, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opioid

Team, H., & Team, H. (2020, October 06). Tic douloureux, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & prognosis. Retrieved October 12, 2020, from https://healthjade.net/tic-douloureux/

Barbara McQueen


Tic discomfort

A French physician by the name of Nicolaus Andre in 1756 provided the term “tic douloureux”. Tic-douloureux, a chronic pain condition, also known as trigeminal neuralgia or simply referred to as a “tic” is a “severe, stabbing pain to one side of the face (Khatri, 2019). According to WebMD it happens as a result of the spasm coming from one or more branches of nerves that mandate the sensation to the face of an individual. The nerve in particular is the trigeminal nerve. These jolts of pain can be caused by vibration or physical contact with the cheek or facial region. For example, shaving, applying makeup, everyday activities like brushing one’s teeth or eating and talking, or simply being in the path of a wind gust (Team, H, 2020).  This spasm is thought to be one of the most excruciating conditions to affect individuals and the pain time can range from seconds to a couple of minutes. The term tic takes form as a result of the involuntary muscle pain causing discomfort and showing it on the face as a grimace or flinching. Even though this condition is not curable they produce medications to subdue the pain. In extreme cases surgery can be done when medications are not efficient. There is no real dysfunction of one’s face muscles and is only painful during the attacks. This detail came from Mr. Farebrothers thoughts pertaining to Mr. Lydgate after visiting his and Rosemond’s establishment.


Oh, how I wonder how long this ghastly disease will take control over my friends’ life. I cannot stand to see her in so much discomfort. For some odd reason there will suddenly be a jolt of pain on the side of her face and in turn she winces in displeasure as a result of it. She describes these sensations of pain as sharp and acute. Feeling at a loss of options, I called for Doctor Lydgate to come and take a look at my friend at her expense. She is rather stuck in her conservative ways and as a result she formulated hatred for his developing ideas and practices. Despite her opinion she was able to suppress her feelings and opened up to the idea of being his patient. Lydgate was able to successfully diagnose her predicament as Tic douloureux. We were all displeased to know that this disease was not essentially curable but there were medication options that would help subdue the pain. He talked about subscribing an opiate for her which should sedate her. Even though I do not doubt his subscription, I do fear the fact that he prescribed her an opiate which is a very powerful drug that gives euphoric effects (Opioid, 2020).  I surely hope this does some justice to her malfortune.

Khatri, M. (2019, March 14). Tic Douloureux. Retrieved October, from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/tic-douloureux

Opioid. (2020, October 12). Retrieved October 12, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opioid

Team, H., & Team, H. (2020, October 06). Tic douloureux, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & prognosis. Retrieved October 12, 2020, from https://healthjade.net/tic-douloureux/

Barbara McQueen
circa. 1800 to circa. 1899

Becoming a Doctor in the 1800s

In 1871, when Middlemarch was written, medical school was almost nothing like it is by our 21st century standards. Because far less was actually known about medicine and medical practices at the time, it was not uncommon to see even esteemed medical schools such as Harvard and Yale teach less-than-accurate information to soon-to-be doctors. Generally, on one's journey to becoming a medical professional, the best places to go for an education in the United Kingdom were Scotland and London. In this time period, there were no residencies or even pre-med prerequisites. Instead, prospective doctors would be lectured in a classroom with little to no hands-on experience in the field. Looking to the United States, as well as other parts of the world, medical schools in the United Kingdom, even those considered prestigious, were generally unorganized and overall not as successful in training doctors. One thing in particular that contributed to the poor reputation of doctors, even stemming all the way back to their schooling, was that they often wouldn't focus on only the medical field, but would take up other careers on the side. Many doctors would also be businessmen, merchants, and the particularly famous example of barber-surgeons. In 1876, however, Johns Hopkins Medical School changed the scene for prospective doctors, very much for the better. Instead of requiring absolutely no prerequisites, medical schools would now require a degree for any students looking to apply. On top of this, they would also replace the in-class lectures with labs, science classes, and hands-on work, as well as increasing the time it took to graduate. 

1827 Medical Degree

Something particularly interesting is that we see this occur five years after the publishing of Middlemarch, in which we see a doctor (Tertius Lydgate) who is attempting to make the medical field a better, more respected mode of study. It almost seems as though Eliot used Lygate as a way to personify the changing climate of the medical field, showing that she supports the changes that are being made, all the way up until the entire field was revamped in 1876. Lydgate as a character is particularly interesting, as we get to see a great many sides of him throughout the novel. On one hand, we see that he is a very professional doctor, taking pride in his medical work during a time when being a doctor was something a man of his background would not have been proud of. On the other hand, however, we get to see him in a more personable role, not as a doctor, but as Rosamond's husband. As a doctor, we see that Lydgate is very much determined; he wants to make a name for himself as a doctor, as well as bring about reform to the medical field in order to bring it more respect and credibility. As a husband, though, we see Lydgate's softer side. In my opinion, one of the most major places in the novel (as well as in the BBC adaptation) that we see this side of Lydgate is when Rosamond miscarries after her riding accident. We know that as a doctor, Lydgate was able to determine that she'd lost the baby, and we can tell that this affects him. Despite the fact that this was a medical emergency, his role as a husband comes through more than his role as a doctor, and he does his best to support his wife despite being distraught himself.

Edinburgh Medical School

Medical Schools in the 1800s

Doctors: Physicians, Surgeons, Dentists and Apothecaries in England

Matthew Buck

Nettle Seed

Nettle Seed (Urtica dioica) also known as Stinging Nettle are perennial plants that can be found throughout the United States. This unique plant is covered in tiny hairs that are filled with a substance similar to formic acid which irritates the skin. After breaking down the plant it can be found to be very itchy. This can be compared to what is found in an average ants’ glands where they store the venom to sting their prey or attackers. Nettle seed provides several benefits and also can be toxic in overdosages. One example of a benefit is that it can be used in medical purposes. For instance, it has been linked to aiding in diabetic and arthritis cases, asthma cases, hair loss cases, and even as energy boosters (Nettles, 2020). Even though this plant that has many different types of properties it can also lead to other health issues. For instance, this plant is not recommended for pregnant women, can cause diarrhea, and renal, kidneys and urinary tract, issues in individuals (Renal, 2020). The use of this plant can be dated all the way back to the early 1800s as a result of horse sellers feeding their stock nettle seed to give them a false polished looking coat that in turn gave them a young and rejuvenated look.


It has been a whole month now that father has struck a deal with Mr. Solomon of Middlemarch for a portion of his land for in turn a percentage of the proceeds my father will make in growing and selling Nettle Seed. Mr. Solomon was very persistent to the preservation of his land and after my father told him how this crop did not require the upturning of the soil, he was okay with finalizing the deal. Now that father has a space to settle down and grow his crop, he can continue his studies on all the medical properties the plant has to offer. Ever since father had discovered that the plant my late mother was tending to in the garden aided in the immense relief of her arthritis pain, he spends his time studying the characteristics of this plant. I sometimes worry he indulges himself into his studies as a way to fill the void of my mother. Upon our arrival to Middlemarch, there has been word of a doctor in town bringing in new ideas into the medical field. Perhaps his name was Ladislaw? I shall hope my father decides to show case his findings with him in hopes of gaining a foot in the door at the hospital. Then maybe one day he will feel as if he has done enough.

Nettles Uses, Benefits & Dosage - Drugs.com Herbal Database. October 20, 2020 https://www.drugs.com/npp/nettles.html

Renal. October 20, 2020. https://www.henriettes-herb.com/problems/kidney-urinary.html

Barbara McQueen
circa. 1800 to circa. 1850

Amputation saw/procedure

In Middlemarch we know of Lydgates medical practices as well as how it appears throughout episode 3. In a particular scene we find him trying to help a sick woman in this hospital. Another doctor thought the woman needed surgery but Lydgate assured him that was not true and proceeded to pack up his medical gear which included a large saw. We assume from this scene that the saw was used for amputation. To further my research of the amputation saw, I learned that it all starts with the early surgeons including Benjamin Bell who became the first scientific surgeon in scotland. Benjamin advocated the use of opium in post-operative recovery to speed healing. Another surgeon, James Syme, developed the Syme's Amputation for the ankle joint as well as achieving the first hip disarticulation.  An amputation saw was a part of a whole set and had many specific uses for each saw in the sets. Many of these saw were non-metallic and had a pistol-grip shape. A common bone saw used in the 1850’s had an ivory handle. Anesthesia was not really used during this time period since it was later formulated by James Young Simpson who discovered chloroform during the late 1800’s. 

I am very worried about my father's condition. He is only 43-years-old and has hurt his leg very badly while working. He supports my 39-year-old mother and I through this hard working constructing job, he builds homes for the more fortunate. And I, only being 18, do not have a husband yet and have only him to support us both. At work this past friday, a horrible accident broke-out with a large stone falling onto his leg. He was rushed to the hospital by a few other workers who tried to help out, but his bones were shattered up to the thigh. Our trustworthy Doctor Lydgate, says that there are not many options but to amputate his leg up to the mid-thigh area. We were told by one of the nurses that he will feel the tearing of muscle throughout most of the procedure, this is very alarming to me. I am quite worried about his recovery and that we will lose a lot of money due to this costly surgery. We are not the wealthiest of families around Middlemarch but are hopeful that doctor Lydgate will help us through both the amputation surgery as well as hopefully the finance portion.

Works Cited:

Doug Arbittier, Michael Echols. Antique Amputation and Surgical Saws, www.medicalantiques.com/medical/Amputation_saws.htm. 

“History of Surgery.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Sept. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_surgery. 

Anna Hankinson
circa. 1800 to circa. 1899

Widows and Remarriage

A long time ago in Britain widows did not have a lot of options to choose from if their husbands were to die. They could choose to remarry, just rely on their children, or support themselves. It was not easy for the women in this time to support themselves unless their husband died leaving them an enormous amount of money. Gladly remarrying was common for the widows in this time. It is said that thirty-five percent of widows in Britain remarried within nine months of their husbands death. The main reason it was common for widows to remarry is because if they did not it would become difficult for them to obtain a livelihood. Although it might sound bizzare, men really did not mind marrying a widow in this time because they wanted children. The only downside of this was how the widows were treated differently depending on if their family had good money. If a widow remarried and brought property with them, it was then restored to her. Although remarrying sounds like the common thing, most widows decided to rely on their children. They sometimes would choose to remarry later in life but for a while they would fall back on their children for help. It was also very common for husbands to put into their wills that if they were to die their wife was not allowed to take the money they inheriteded into their new marriage. This led to women being powerless in the subject of controlling their own financial future.

Each and every day after my poor husband died I thought that life could not get any worse, but sadly I was wrong. I was beginning to feel hopeless until Mr. Morrow came into my life and changed every feeling I had. He was considerate of my feelings, handsome, and most importantly showed me that I could love again. I had not been thinking about remarrying for about 4 years now instead I have leaned on my children for help, but now that I have found Mr. Morrow I have reconsidered. The children love him, I love him, and he loves me. It could not get any better. The problem I am facing is, if I decided to marry him I will loose all of the wealth my husband left for me. I think about this every day. If I were to be asked to become Mrs. Morrow would I choose love or wealth? I did not know what the right choice was. I was beginning to get lost in my own thoughts the longer I lingered about the subject. I knew it was better not to think about it, but I needed to prepare myself. I feel as if I am a terrible person because of the thought that this is the worst thing to ever happen to me in my lifetime, even over my husbands death. I longed for the feeling of being loved by someone other than my kids again. It felt like the biggest decision of my life, but when the time came I knew I would follow my heart and do what was best for me.

Works Cited:

Widows in 18th Century England, umich.edu/~ece/student_projects/make_your_way/france.htm.

Destiny Poston
circa. 1802 to circa. 2020

The Light Bulb

Before the modern light bulb there was only fires and candles that would light our way while being easily to blown away or snuffed. That was the way of life before the first light bulb was even thought of. In 1802 is when the first light bulb was created and light started to become industrialized. The creator Humpry Davy was the actual "first" inventor of the light bulb, but the use for it was miniscul and the shelf life was short and too bright for any public use. Now that light could be industrialized and remain versatile; humans will be able to brighten the surroundings without the need of fire. After this multiple versions of the "light bulb" was created throughout the 19th century, but none had enough of a lifespan for any practical usage nor consistency of brightness to it. Until Thomas Edison in October 14, 1878 the "first" patented inventor of the light bulb that we recognize today. The materials used: carbon filament, cotton, linen, paper, and wood splints which altogether gave it 1200 hours of life. Therefore sparking further improvements of the light buld design to light the way.

Multuka, Rebecca. “The History of the Light Bulb.” Energy.gov, 2013, www.energy.gov/articles/history-light-bulb.

“History of the Light Bulb: Lighting Basics.” Bulbs.com, www.bulbs.com/learning/history.aspx.


Gabriel Dantzler
1812 to 1818

Byronic Hero

Lord Byron
Lord Byron

     A byronic hero is a term commonly used in literature to describe a character similar to Will Ladislaw in Middlemarch, or a variation of a romantic hero. Characters who are associated with the term byronic hero usually have internal conflicts with romance, go against the grain, may be damaged in some way from the past or exemplify traits of arrogance, intelligence and mysteriousness. The term was initially used by an English romantic poet by the name of Lord Byron in his poem “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” which was published between 1812-1818. Interestingly enough he drew lots of inspiration from himself when creating characters for his poems as they oftentimes matched his persona according to Wikipedia. It’s incredible that authors decades later are still using this term to create intriguing characters.

     After reading how a byronic hero is portrayed, a couple characters may come to mind from our reading of Middlemarch. Initially I had thought of Dorothea because she had a damaged past being an orphan and she had faced internal conflicts with romance between Casabuan and Will Ladislaw. However, this was a pretty common plot back in the day and looking further into the traits of a byronic hero it became obvious that Ladislaw exemplified them all.

     My reasoning behind choosing Will Ladislaw is because of the traits mentioned above, he has always gone against the grain. An example of this is him moving to Italy in order to pursue his studies, he also moved back to Middlemarch in pursuit of love, and ends up working at “The Pioneer” which gives him zero social rank (social rank was everything at this time). He obviously has internal conflicts with love when it comes to Casaubon and Dorothea and is arrogant and disrespectful in a sense when it comes to Edward Casabaun and keeping his distance; not interfering. Will is also a really bright kid, intelligent and mysterious as well which are all traits portrayed in a byronic hero.

     Wikipedia contributors. (2020, August 18). Byronic hero. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:44, October 7, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Byronic_hero&oldid=973723367

Tyler Cavallaro-Buser
The end of the month Nov 1814 to The start of the month Jun 1815

Congress of Vienna

The Congress of Vienna marked the final defeat of Napoleon Boneparte. The event resulted in the recarving of European boarders. The congress started in November 1814 and ended in June 1815. Many states affected by the Napoleonic Wars took part in this event. France lost all of its territory that was gained during the Napoleonic Wars. The goal of the meeting was to give back territory to the European states and to also restore a balance of power to the states. This was done to prevent future conflict and wars over land disputes. Prussia, Austria, and Russia gained a large amount of territory. Prussia gained German states and Austria gained Venice and a lot of Northern Italy. Finally, Russia gained sections of Poland. 

Something to note is that the Congress was finalized days before the actual defeat of Napoloan at Waterloo. The dividing of the states was also only favorable to States who had manarchs as rulers. The event did not favor nationalistic and liberal movements taking place throughout Europe. 

But what is The Congress of Vienna's significance to MIddlemarch? In chapter 20 while Dorothea and Casaubon are talking. Casaubon mentions the significance of going to Rome after the fall of Napoleon. This means Casaubon visited Rome within the past 15 years. Also Dorothea and Casaubon would not have went to Rome for their Honeymoon if not for the Congress of Vienna. When Napoleon controlled Italy, Rome was not open to tourism. This is stated in the same discussion between Dorothea and Casaubon in Middlemarch. This event could also have implications in the further chapters of MIddleMarch. The Papal States (area near Rome) suffered badly during the Napoleonic Wars. 

“Congress of Vienna.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 30 Aug. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congress_of_Vienna.

“Napoleonic Wars.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 7 Sept. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleonic_Wars.

Waldie, Dr Derek J.P. THE NAPOLEONIC WARS 1803 - 1815 (G3c) POPE PIUS VII RETURNS TO ROME 1814, www.timewisetraveller.co.uk/inquisition1803.html.

Thomas Wrenn
circa. 1823 to circa. 1860

Marriage in the Victorian Era

In the Victorian era there were rules to follow about marriage. There was a “marriage season” where many relationships had been put in place with a plan to the future in which was beginning a serious journey with marriage being the ultimate goal. Until 1823 the legal age in England for marriage was 21 years for men and women although after 1823 a male could marry as young as 14 without parental consent and a girl at 12 although most girls didn’t marry until around the ages of 18 to 23. it was also illegal to marry a deceased wife’s sister, but you could marry a first cousin. marriage was also only between one class so you couldn’t Mary down at class or upper class and if it did happen it was rare and most likely against the families wishes. Families had a big say into the marriage of two people. In the upper-class marriages, the wife often brought a generous Dowery and enticement for the marriage. The finances of a marriage were openly discussed, and they had to have a prenuptial agreement. A man had to prove his worth and keeping his wife at a level that she was a custom too so if she was in a high class, he had to make sure her lifestyle stayed the same. At the time women didn’t really work so they would go from living at their house with her father and he was the person that financially supported her to then her husband who had to do the same. marriages were considered business deals very few started with love but in some situations, years may have passed, and a couple cold grow tolerable to each other or even find love in the process. Back then divorce was very look down upon. When someone was to get engaged there was a very deep background that went into it as regarding the families with financial history and political connections. engagement wasn’t really how it is now it was very clear with distinct language in person and a woman never really had to except her first proposal. A woman had many suitors and before and engagement happened she could have many options at a time. To announce an engagement most of the time the family would have a huge party and I am most of the time it was to introduce the man to the women’s family. Then the bride will be introduced to his. Once a couple was engaged, they could maybe be a little more intimate and by intimate, I mean take a stroll alone, hold hands in public and take unchaperoned rides. If an engagement ended and never lead to a marriage it was very embarrassing not only to them but the families too. 

In Middlemarch marriage is something that is very important to the storyline. There is a slow progression in interest between Mary Garth and Fred Vincy. Rosamond Vincy and Lydgate become engaged and eventually get married, although this relationship isn’t really excepted by Rosamond’s family because Lydgate doesn’t really have a career in which would make him a successful man in regard to money. Through the couples in Middlemarch, George Eliot expresses that marriage is a journey that requires work and constant evolving of one’s perspective of themselves and their partners. When Dorothea meets Casaubon completely loses her state of mind as she is very intrigued by him while he gives no care to her desires. Casaubon’s supposed wisdom and intelligence excited Dorothea because she hopes his influence helps her to become more educated. Their courtship was a short one and Casaubon continuously hinted that brief courtships make an unsteady marriage. Their marriage was finalized through letters rather than getting to know each other face to face. Casaubon after they get married does not really care for Dorothea leading her to question her worth as he won’t include her in his studies. They both become unhappy in their marriage and as Casaubon then becomes ill it was not ideal in their situation. 

Molly Vatuna
circa. 1825 to circa. 1848

Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

In 1825, Henry Brougham founded the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.  In 1910, Henry Brougham entered into Parliament after several years as a Whig lawyer.  During his time in Parliament, he worked to pass legislation against slave trade. Brougham was also known for his campaigns for reform and the advancement of education.  The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge was a widespread educational project that was able to be enacted throughout the British empire.  The Society’s goal was to spread Western science and ideas around the world by distributing “cheap secular books and periodicals” (Johansen 2017).  They wanted to supply inexpensive texts to a grow public that knew how to read so that they could learn without a proper education.

In the context of Middlemarch, the ideals of Brougham and the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge are called on in reference to Featherstone.  In chapter 38, Mr. Cadwallader says, “I saw Farebrother yesterday—he’s Whiggish himself, hoists Brougham and Useful Knowledge; that’s the worst I know of him.”  The incorporation of this detail about Farebrother shows his beliefs beyond his immediate political party as a Whig.  It also shows the contrast of Brooke’s supposedly progressive views, though he doesn’t do right by his tenants and everyone knows.  This could also show the importance of the growing access to educational materials during the age of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge and the vest network of participants enacting change.

Johansen, Thomas. "SOCIETY FOR THE DIFFUSION OF USEFUL KNOWLEDGE." 2017. Web. 30 Sept. 2020.

Riley Hobbs
circa. The middle of the month Spring 1825

The Horse and its wonders.

In the 1800s, horses were used for just about everything. Horses were ridden into battle and war with soldiers atop them; they were used for transportation, farm and yard work, sports, and hunting. Basically, horses were used for everything at this time because the technology was minimal, and horses were simple and readily available. Horses were often used to pull a buggy or wagons behind them with passengers inside. Before the car, a horse was the most useful form of transportation. In this period, they had steam engines, but tracks had to be laid out to a precise location beforehand, non to mention trains and tracks required a lot of expensive metal that had to be hand-shaped and required coal to run it. Horse's can walk over almost any terrain and go in any direction as long as they have food and water. Many people were apprehensive about using cars when they were first invented because they cannot think for themselves in dangerous circumstances. For example, if a car driver fell asleep at the wheel or was not paying attention to a mountain road, they could drive right off, crash, and die. On the other hand, with a horse, it would never just jump off a cliff no matter what the rider is doing; it can think for its self and prevent some dangerous circumstances for the rider. Horses had a vital roll in this era. Horses even pulled early day ambulances taking the injured to the hospital.

Today I have acquired a new equestrian; although he may seem quaint compared to these coal-powered iron beasts, he will suit me just fine. I think I will name him Furganand, and we shall ride all over these lands together. Furganand cost me my last 25 shillings, but I know he is worth all the money I spent on him. My new acquisition gives me the freedom to go wherever i please. All my trusty steed needs are food and water, these steam engines' frivolous producers, and these rumors or horseless carriages spent far too much currency on their travels. My horse and I are now going to market, but I shall return in a fortnight with sustenance for the household.

Ben Solis
circa. Summer 1826 to circa. 1836

The Typographer

This is one of the first forms of a typewriter invented by  William Austin Burt. This was an earlier form of writing without having to hand write with a pen/pencil. To use this machine, you’d have to still use your hands to fix what you want to write. The way it works is the operator would use ink to leave an impression on the paper. Burt wanted to make a mechanism that would allow those in the office to get things done a little quicker. At the time, offices were busy and looking for a way to put down the stress of the pressure of time management. Another importance of this invention was to have neat writing to send out professionally, publicly, and personally.  Burt, however, was not the first to invent a machine like this, but the first to patent it. It was the first known practical typewriter that made a lot of the people write efficiently. Other inventions weren’t practical enough to get certain jobs done. It was larger than the normal typewriter that we know today. It had three foot tall legs, and was just as wide. The aesthetics look more like a pinball machine. In order to work the typographer, the person would use a rotating dial to show the length on the paper. The machine also had upper and lowercase letters. Burt continued to hold the patent on this machinery for 14 years. Unfortunately, the patent was destroyed in the patent office fire in 1836. The fire destroyed several patents that day. The idea was lost in the fire. By that time, several other typing inventions were being tested and created. 


"Typographer (Typewriter)". En.Wikipedia.Org, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typographer_(typewriter)#:~:text=The%20typographer%20was%20an%20early,the%201836%20Patent%20Office%20fire. Accessed 16 Sept 2020.

"1836 U.S. Patent Office Fire". En.Wikipedia.Org, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1836_U.S._Patent_Office_fire. Accessed 16 Sept 2020.

Burt's "typographer" 1830 patent model version mounted on four three foot long legs showing the lever hammer imprinting assembly in up position.

Airyanna Chavis
circa. 1828 to circa. 1832

Body Snatching, Murder and the Anatomy Act of 1832

Burke and Hare

Body snatching is the removal of a corpse from its grave which usually required body snatchers to work in teams at night. The poor were often victims of body snatching because they did not have the means to protect the dead with guards, high cemetery walls, or metal crates over the burial sites. The stolen bodies were usually sold to medical schools for the study of anatomy. Body snatching paid a few months to several months' salary and was a huge problem during the 18th and 19th centuries due to medical reform. Medical students needed a fresh body to learn and there simply were not enough criminals dying to meet their demand for knowledge. Note that body snatching was not illegal, but the dissection of the stolen corpse was illegal and both actions were viewed as socially unacceptable due to religious and moral reasons.

Elio mentions Burke and Hare in Middlemarch when referring to Lydgate and his profession. Burke and Hare murdered at least 16 people (probably more) and sold the bodies to anatomists, Robert Knox. Burke's coconspirators made deals with the authorities and avoided punishment, but Burke was hanged and displayed before being donated to medical science. You can still see his skeleton and death mask at Surgeon's Hall in Edinburgh. 

The murders, body snatching, and public outcry lead to the Anatomy Act of 1832 which allowed for the legal donation of unclaimed bodies and personal donations of a body by the person or next of kin to medical science. This act required doctors and teachers of anatomy to obtain licenses to dissect donated cadavers, but it was not until the 1880s when embalming allowed bodies to be kept for months that ended body snatching.

Johnson, Ben. "Burke and Hare, Grave Robbers and Murderers." Historic UK, www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofScotland/Burke-Hare-infamous-murd....

Levinson, David. "Body Snatching." Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 11 Jan. 2019, www.britannica.com/topic/topic/body-snatching.

"Anatomy Act 1832." Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 1 July 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatomy_Act_1832.

Arlette Sherrill
1828 to 1830

Duke of Wellington

About Apsley House - Wellington Collection

Arthur Wellesley was known as the First Duke of Wellington, (Pakenham et al.). Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1769, he gained notoriety for his military service in India, (Pakenham et al.). His fame grew even larger when he defeated Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Napoleon, the self-crowned emperor of France, had assembled the largest and strongest land army in Europe at the time and threatened to occupy the entire continent. The battle of Waterloo in Belgium came on the heels of Napoleon’s escape and return from banishment on the island of Elba. He raised a new army around 72,000 strong and marched into Belgium to defeat the divided English and Prussian forces before they could unify and outnumber his strength, (Pakenham et al.).

The coalition against Napoleon was commanded by Wellington who was renowned for his defensive capabilities and drew Napoleon out, despite having few men than Napoleon on his own. Wellington’s troops held on until Prussian reinforcements arrived and broke Napoleon’s army’s back. The defeat what absolute and catastrophic for Napoleon and effectively ended his reign as the French sovereign.

Wellington then went on to become Prime Minister in 1828, serving until 1830, as a representative of the conservative Tory Party, (Pakenham et al.). He opposed the Reform Act and was eventually removed from office as protests and unrest grew throughout the country and the Whig Party once again took power for the first time since the late 1700’s, (Pakenham et al.). Despite his opposition to reform, he did pass the Catholic Relief Act in 1829, which emancipated Catholics and provided them with full civil rights, a massive step in a deeply Protestant country, (Pakenham et al.).

This is important in relation to the novel because he is the Prime Minister for most of it and it will be his government that is removed from power in the coming election that Mr. Brook is running in. If we reflect, we see that Mr. Brook joined and ran under the Whig Party, but there is evidence to suggest he doesn’t truly back reform. Specifically, when we analyze the interaction between him and Will Ladislaw where Brook, in a way, tells Ladislaw that he doesn’t want to go too far or get too carried away and undermine the constitution.

This is significant because the Whig Party used the Reform Bill as a campaign to retake power, but didn’t necessarily believe in it. In fact, the Whig government that replaced Wellington and the divided Tories fell in 1832, but was propped up and eventually the Reform Bill was passed, (Pakenham et al.). The Tories were too divided and were unable to mount a strong enough defense. Thus, we see yet again how cleverly and subtly George Eliot works accurate political sentiments and happenings into the text of Middlemarch as well as its characters. Mr. Brook is really rounded out and brought to life as a quite accurate reflection and representation of politicians at that time, especially Whigs who may have been running under the notion of reform simply to gain election.


Works Cited

Pakenham, Elizabeth, et al. “Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 10 Sept. 2020, www.britannica.com/biography/Arthur-Wellesley-1st-Duke-of-Wellington. 

Dylan Kernehan
1829 to 1832

A Victorian in Middlemarch

As I have been living throughout the Victorian era and in Middlemarch I have witnessed many different events, met many people, and experienced many new things. Living in the period of Middlemarch I have realized that we are not individuals pursuing our own desires, but that we do impact the people around us, and their actions also impact us. In this period people are pressured to conform. Dorothea, for example, in her case conforms to the role of the good wife in her unsatisfactory marriage to Casaubon. He too feels he must conform to the image of a genius and reject Dorothea's enthusiasm and desire to help him. He would rather keep up a front than admit the times that he is behind in research. I have also realized that love plays a major role here. Love brings togetherness, or lack of it allows people to drift apart. Those who lack it like Casubon and Dorothea are very disappointed by their unions. 

Madison Allred
circa. 1829 to circa. 1833

The life of the poor in Victorian England

           During the 1830s, a period covered by Middlemarch, much was changing in terms of class/social structure. During the Victorian era, the rates of people living in poverty increased drastically. This is due to many factors, including low wages, the growth of cities (and general population growth), and lack of stable employment. The poor often lived in unsanitary conditions, in cramped and unclean houses, regardless of whether they lived in a modern city or a rural town. Victorian attitudes towards the poor were rather muddled. Some believed that the poor were facing their situations because they deserved it, either because of laziness or because they were simply not worthy of fortune. However, some believed it was up to personal circumstances. It is important to note that many charities have their roots from this era in English history, because of how overwhelming the issue of poverty became at this time.
            Throughout Middlemarch, George Elliot alludes to the conditions that the poor of the town faced. Dorothea can be seen as sympathetic towards the poor throughout the novel, with her advocation for changes to housing as well as her plans. In just chapter 3, Dorothea’s sensibilities towards the poor and unfortunate are made incredibly clear. In a conversation with Sr. James, she states “Life in cottages might be happier than ours if they were real houses fit for human beings from whom we expect duties and affections.” Both her attitude and her actions towards the poor are charitable, as she actively tries to better the people’s positions in life.

My husband has been deathly ill for a few days now. We are unable to afford anything besides what we have at home, which won’t do him any good. I am worried we have already lost him even though he is not yet gone. I know it would be better in the hospital, as our home not suitable for him in this state. But we simply cannot afford it. Our children work, but I doubt we will be able to survive if he doesn’t recover, both financially and physically. I simply cannot afford to be a widow at this time. He and I both have nothing to leave behind but debt, and I doubt I could ever find a man to remarry too. Our young children simply don’t make near enough to support one person, let alone a widow. I am thoroughly stuck where I am. The most I can hope for at this time is that my prayers are answered, or that someone with money will take pity on me. There is no work for me to do, and nowhere for me to go. The only thing that can be done now is to tend to my husband and pray.

Works Cited

Hidden Lives Revealed: A Virtual Archive - Children in Care 1881-1981. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2020, from https://www.hiddenlives.org.uk/articles/poverty.html

Pennington, J. (2011, February 17). History - British History in depth: Beneath the Surface: A Country of Two Nations. Retrieved October 27, 2020, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/victorians/bsurface_01.shtml#:~:tex....

Poverty in Victorian Times. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2020, from http://www.aboutbritain.com/articles/poverty-in-victorian-times.asp

Emalyne Fox
circa. 1829 to circa. 1833

Education during the Victorian Era

            Education changed much during the Victorian era, both for the poor and rich. In 1933, Parliament authorized for sums of money to be provided to build schools for the poor children of England. However, many poorer families needed their children to be home and often had to supply their children with school materials (papers, pens, and ink, etc.), which made it even more difficult for the people who couldn’t afford it. However, the rich didn’t face these issues. Both social class and gender played a role in education. It was boys from rich, upper-class families that had the best options for education. This was because private schools were male-only and expensive, so lower-class families were unable to send their children to them. Conversely, upper-class women were expected to learn skills that would be useful for marriage from their homes. Both the gender and social class aspect of education can be seen in Middlemarch through the characters Rosamond and Fred. Rosamond has been trained in ‘womanly’ duties like entertainment, as she is described as playing piano and singing for guests. However, Fred is expected to go back to university.

            I am the youngest woman of my family, daughter to the wealthiest man in my town. I feel as though I have waited my whole life for marriage. I have been trained in all of the ways to help someone feel both attended to and entertained. Cooking is something I have been taught from a young age; it takes up most of my earliest memories. It will be important for keeping husband content. At least, that is what I am told. I remember being trained to play piano from a young age, and I am now able to entertain my family and our guests with ease. I am similar in age to my brother; however, he is expected to travel to England to study at university. I would love to travel somewhere like he is, but I suppose that I will wait for my honeymoon before worrying myself with something like that.

Emalyne Fox
1829 to 1830

Invention of the Sewing Machine

The first widely used sewing machine was invented in 1829 by Barthelemy Thimmonier, a French tailor. It was patented the following year and put into use for making uniforms for the French army. As we have seen in Middlemarch, dressmaking was once a very expensive and exclusive art form, and fashion was reserved for the very wealthy. The fabrics and dyes the women of Middlemarch wear directly correlate to their social status and act as a display of where they stand amongst the people of the city. The invention of sewing machines would change this. Mass production of clothing would mean that it would become significantly cheaper to stay in fashion, thus meaning that lower classes could begin to dress like wealthier people, blurring distinctions between rich and poor. This is significant in a society as divided by money as 19th century England, and the invention of the sewing machine would have a direct impact on how Middlemarch’s women express themselves and their social status through what they wear. 

Sewing machine. (2020, September 27). Retrieved October 07, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sewing_machine

Gabriel Buzack

The Rocket

The Rocket was a steam engine that was built in Newcastle upon Tyne by Robert Stevenson in 1829. The Rocket exhibited its potential as safe and fast transportation by winning the Rainhill Trials in October of 1829.

The significance of the Rocket’s reputation is established within the first minute of the BBC’s 1994 adaptation of George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1872). The TV series opens with a middle-aged sheep herder walking along a country road. He is passed by a stage coach carrying the young new doctor, Lydgate, to Middlemarch. As the stagecoach approaches town, Lydgate says “Look” and the camera pans from the stagecoach, over the workers laying train tracks, to the slowly advancing steam engine. Already we can see modern transportation is coming to the town of Middlemarch but has not of yet been adopted to transport citizens between cities. Therefore, the locomotive’s presence in the town establishes Middlemarch as a place on the cusp of modernity, which will change the scale, pace, and pattern of the citizens’ lives. The steam-engine is not mentioned in Eliot’s novel until far later in the narrative when Will Ladislaw remarks, “America and the steam-engine. Everything you can imagine!” (Chap. XXI). By listing the steam-engine in the same sentence as America, the invention becomes a symbol or freedom, modernity, fantasy (or imagination). By contrast, “Women both old and young regarded travelling by steam as presumptuous and dangerous, and argued against it by saying that nothing should induce them to get into a railway carriage” (Chap. LVI). This contrast pits young men like Ladislaw against all women in the pursuit of dreams and adventure.

Men laying train tracks in Middlemarch (BBC)

Works Cited

Eliot, George. Middlemarch. 1872, The COVE. https://studio.covecollective.org/anthologies/ccu-fa-20-engl-231-9838d03.... Accessed 2 Sept 2020.

Middlemarch, episode 1, BBC 2, 1996. Films on Demandhttps://fod.infobase.com/p_ViewVideo.aspx?xtid=138697&tScript=0.  

"Stephenson's Rocket." Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephenson%27s_Rocket. Accessed 3 Sept 2020.

Kate Oestreich
Sep 1829 to May 1832

The Aftermath of the Honeymoon

On their honeymoon they spend more time apart than together. After Dorothea and Casaubon arrived back from their honeymoon in Rome, the morning after Casaubon spoke to Mr. Tucker but while this was occurring Dorothea was wondering when her wifely devotion would begin. When she was to ask Casaubon he said "whatever you please," her excitement disappeared immediately. Later on, Dorothea ran into Celia. While speaking for a while Celia admitted that while Dorothea was gone Sir James and her became engaged three days prior. I realized that in the beginning when Dorothea and Casaubon first arrived home on the surface Dorothea appeared to possess an “appetite for submission,” to the extent that she resents Casaubon’s willingness to grant her agency. However, Dorothea is just telling herself that what she craves is “wifely devotion.” It is more likely that what she really wants is intellectual stimulation and companionship.

Madison Allred
1830 to 1900

Carriages in the 19th century

Carriages were the one of the main uses of transport in the 19th century. The brougham carriage was the first carriage ever invented in the late 1830’s. Different types of carriages were invented in the later years that accommodated for certain weather, and some could hold more people than others could. Some carriages even had seats that could fold down to seat small children. These carriages were pulled by horses and assisted by men that helped lead the horses. In the early 19th century, the Barouche carriage was known as the fancy carriage and it was a four wheeled carriage that had two inside seats facing each other. Later in the 19th century the Brougham carriage turned into the fanciest carriage because of its quality for certain weather conditions. The names of other carriages were berlin, curricle, gig, landau, phaeton, victoria. The carriage and its details differed depending on what social class people were in. Wealthy people often had carriages that were enclosed and had specific details like curtains on the windows, detail in the wood of the carriage, and more space inside to fit multiple people. The lower to middle class community did not have the luxuries of the carriages like the rich people did, these less fortunate people had a carriage that would be open with no enclosed seating and would not do well in certain weather conditions because of poor maintenance. Carriages were used a lot in the middlemarch book as a means of transportation and were often seen in the show as well. 

I always wonder what it would be like for my family and I to have our own carriage. Since we only have one horse, I am never allowed to walk into town when my dad is at work because my mother says I must stay home and tend to the daily chores. I see the landlord’s carriage while they ride by our cottage and it looks lovely with the two big horses, the windows with blue curtains, and the men attending to the horses with their dress suites. Mother says the wealthy are selfish with their money and for people like us, they have no empathy for the conditions we live in. When the weather is bad it is quite hard to travel where we would like to because the horse does not do good in the rain. I feel bad for my mother because she feels as if we are a burden to this town with our poverty because we are not able to afford a carriage. Sometimes I hear her crying at night to my father begging him to find a better job. If I were to ever own a carriage I would wear my best dress and go all around the town while admiring the view of the beautiful mansions on the comfiest seats a carriage could ever have. Hopefully one day while I am older I can marry a rich man and he will take me in his carriage to wherever I please. 

Works Cited: 

Geri Walton. “Brougham Carriages: A Popular Carriage of the 1800s.” Geri Walton, 27 Sept. 2019, www.geriwalton.com/brougham-carriages/.

Transportation in the 19th Century, www.literary-liaisons.com/article033.html.

Sarah Stohon
1830 to 1882

Fraser's Magazine and The History of British Newspaper

The Fraser Magazine

"Fraser's Magazine for Town and Country" later known as "Longaman's Magazine" was one of the early popular political magazine in London during this time. This newspaper took a "strong line in TORY politics". 

Tory poltics being: "a Tory (/ˈtɔːri/) is a person who holds a political philosophy known as Toryism, based on a British version of traditionalism and conservatism, which upholds the supremacy of social order as it has evolved in the English culture throughout history."

During this time, newspapers were the main formof propaganda, a close contender to standing on a soap box and preaching your beliefs to the people. "Fraser's" was created by Hugh Fraser and William Maginn in an effort to be a general and literary magazine for the people.  slowly however, "Leaning conservative at first and at last and providing a plethora of material on the press, Fraser's was the child but not the namesake of publisher James. The magazine's unique and usually illustrated mini-biographies called attention to its well-known and unknown personnel." (Palmegiano) 

Fraser's magazine however, failed, and was superceded by "Longman's Magazine" which was published by Longman, " none of the oldest publishers in the UK".

As stated before, Newpaper's were very important during this time and in "Middlemarch" we even get to see Ladislaw, and Mr. Brooke work at the local Paper during Brooke's breif political endeavors. The rise of newspapers in England started in the 17th century with such things as small pages about news or gossip. they then later branched out into actual businesses. For example, "The Times" came into publication in 1785 due to the society's relationship to the government and censorship and soon became one of the leading publishers before the paper tax started to rise.

"In 1802 and 1815 the tax on newspapers was increased to three pence and then four pence. Unable or unwilling to pay this fee, between 1831 and 1835 hundreds of untaxed newspapers made their appearance. The political tone of most of them was fiercely revolutionary. Their publishers were prosecuted but this failed to discourage untaxed newspapers. It was chiefly Milner Gibson and Richard Cobden who advocated the case in parliament to first reduce in 1836 and, in 1855, totally repeal the tax on newspapers. The development of the press was greatly assisted by the gradual abolition of the taxes on periodicals as well as by the introduction of a cheap postal system. Both of these developments made the newspaper more affordable to a greater percentage of the population. The burden of the newspaper tax on publishers was heavy, resulting in 29,400,000 tax stamps being issued in 1820. In 1828 the proprietor of The Times had to pay the state more than £68,000 in taxes. After the reduction of the stamp tax in 1836 from four pence to one penny, the circulation"

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/archive/page/1875-08-03/2.html?region=global has achives of all/if not most of the daily times papers that were published during this time. while looking through, you can see the annoucements of new birth, shipping/import schedules, political viewpoints, and etc. 


History of British newspapers. (2020, September 26). Retrieved October 07, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_British_newspapers



samantha clifford
circa. 1830 to circa. 1890


In the Victorian Era a woman's hair was one of her most valuable qualities. Styles constantly changed throughout the years but hair remained a part of fashion. Hair accessories consisting of hats, bonnets, and pearls were all important at certain time periods throughout the 1800s. Hair was taken very seriously and throughout the victorian age hair was often extremely long because haircuts weren't necissarily a thing yet. Long hair was considered desirable but it had to be worn properly in public in order to be considered respectable. In the 1830's young girls were expected to wear their hair up when the reached the age of 15/16. A clean middle part with the sides slicked back into a bun, braids, or a twist were socially acceptable in this era and bangs were not in fashion. When it reached the 1840's, ringlet curls came into style. Then. gradually as hoop skirts became big so did big hair. Women begin to put padding in the sides, while keeping their hair parted in the middle and slicked back, this padding gave hair a larger and expanded look. Victorian women would make rats in their hair to increase volume as the dress style changed to things more extravagant than before. 

As a woman living in the victorian era, hair is so important as to how presentable you look to the rest of society. Having such long hair makes every day another day being invested in something that would make a girl respectable or not accepted. It's tedious having to style your hair each and every day to match the style of your dress and to meet the expectations set for young women in this era. 

Works cited

Melcoo, et al. “Victorian Hairstyles: a Short History, in Photos.” WhizzPast, 10 Feb. 2016, www.whizzpast.com/victorian-hairstyles-a-short-history-in-photos/.

“Victorian Hairstyles: 23 Victorian Era Looks to Recreate This Season.” All Things Hair United States, 11 Mar. 2020, www.allthingshair.com/en-us/hairstyles-haircuts/vintage-hairstyles/victo....

Grace Traver
The middle of the month Summer 1830

The Lawn Mower

The lawn mower was invented by Edwin Budding in May of 1830. Before he invented and patented the lawn mower for production, it was common for young men to spend countless hours manually maintaining lawns, sport fields, and other grass areas with curved blades on the end of a pole called a scythes. It basically looked like the Grim Reapers staff, but scythes are still commonly used in farming wheat. Edwin Budding teamed up with John Faradee to mass produce the lawn mower made of wrought iron behind cast-iron wheels with gears that pushed the knife-like cutters on the bottom when pushed from behind. The clippings ended up in a collection box in the front of the mower. The lawn mower is estimated that 2 men could do the work of 7 with a scythes. This invention led to insanely well kept lawns as a symbol of wealth and elitism, affecting the culture of gardens and lawns to this day. A movement of Generation-Z kids in 2020 is opposed to mowing lawns because of the effects it has on the land's natural bio-diversity and that it can promote elitism (I learned this on TikTok). The invention of the lawn mower also caused a rise in unemployment for young men in England who worked cutting lawns with scythes.

I recently celebrated my twenty-second birthday with my wife in our tiny little home. I am very glad that I did not lose my grass-maintenance job at the mansions of the wealthy Brooke family. I have worked for them since the day I turned fifteen, earning a small wage cutting the grass with scythes. Since Edwin Budding’s new ‘lawn mower’ machine invention, many of us grass guys have lost our jobs. They say we are getting as much work done as three or four people but I still think everyone should have kept their jobs. I think they chose me to keep my job because I’ve been cutting grass for seven years and I still have all my fingers and toes, unlike some of my buddies. Guess they consider me a skilled worker. Just because they keep making fancy new inventions for us to do our jobs better doesn't mean that our livelihoods should be at stake. I am very grateful to have kept my job, especially with our first baby on the way. I will admit that the fancy lawn mower makes my life a little easier, I come home from work a little less exhausted and sore than I used to. So I guess I should thank Mr. Edwin Budding for that. 

Works Cited

“Lawn Mower.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 5 Sept. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawn_mower. 

Pod, History, director. 18th May 1830: The World's First Lawnmower Licensed for Manufacture by Edwin Budding. HistoryPod, Youtube, 18th May 1830: The world's first lawnmower licensed for manufacture by Edwin Budding.

Caroline Gilmore
26 Jun 1830

William IV

William IV was the Duke of Clarence before becoming King of Hanover and Great Britain and Ireland from 1830 until his death in 1837, (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “William IV.” Encyclopædia Britannica). Born August 21, 1765, he was the third son of King George III, who was the King when the American colonies declared their independence in 1776, (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica “William IV.” Encyclopædia Britannica). William fought against the colonies in the Revolutionary War after joining the Royal Navy at age 13, hence his nickname of "the Sailor King", (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “William IV.” Encyclopædia Britannica)

He had a variety of love affairs during his time in the navy, which he left in 1790 after angering many of the officers he worked with and embarrassing his father with his bedroom exploits, accoriding to The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “William IV.” Encyclopædia Britannica. He fathered 10 illegitimate with Dorothea Jordan between 1794 and 1807, before marrying Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen in July 1818, (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “William IV.” Encyclopædia Britannica). He succeeded his brother, George IV, as king and eventually signed the Reform Act of 1832, although somewhat begrudgingly, which ultimately reduced the power of the monarch and aristocracy and instead placed more power into the hands of parliament, the elected governing body in Britain equivalent to our Congress, (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “William IV.” Encyclopædia Britannica). His death resulted in the end of a ruling era by his line in which they controlled both Britain and Hanover (Germany).

What's interesting is that William IV is one of the few topics that Standish regularly discusses. A strong comparison can be drawn between Featherstone and George IV, William's older brother who he succeeded as king. Both Featherstone and George IV were old and failing in health, but took a while to actually die, and both were miserly and cranky and clung to life. Therefore, it's interesting that Standish should in a way replace Featherstone as the benefactor by reading out the will and being the physical vessel that announces who gets what according to Featherstone's wishes. Standish replaces Featherstone just as William replaced George almost. 

If I remember correctly, George IV also lived lavishly and was resented for it to a degree, which is similar to the way Featherstone is described early in Chapter 34, "He loved money, but he also loved to spend it in gratifying his peculiar tastes, and perhaps he loved it best of all as a means of making others feel his power more or less uncomfortably," (Eliot, Ch. 34).

Since Featherstone has died in May, George IV is just dying as well and William IV will take over in another month. As I pointed out, he marked the end of his ruling line and was the first monarch to reduce his own power due to revolutionary political pressure that has been referenced and hinted at throughout the novel so far. The Whig party gained influence and represented non-aristocrats. This is yet another example of how Eliot beautifully and subtly weaves the tumultuous political and technological transformations occurring in the country at the time into her already intricate plotlines within Middlemarch and the novel as a whole. 

William IV replaced his extravagent brother and was seen as more of an "everyman" so to speak. He walked alone throughout London and Brighton and was thought of as somewhat approachable, (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “William IV.” Encyclopædia Britannica). The political landscape was shifting rapidly and his ascendancy caused a new parliamentary election, as was the custom, which resulted in more influence for the Whig party I previously mentioned. At the time of Featherstone's death these changes are all still brewing and exist largely as undertones ready to explode, but the whole country was aware of the shift that was happening. The average person was begining to gain a voice and influence. This is really interesting to me because of the fact that most of the novel's characters are who will be losing some of their authority in just two years' time when the Reform Act is passed and changes the landscape of parliamentary representation in the country. It reminds me of the change and turmoil here in America at the moment and really makes me relate to the novel.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “William IV.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 17 Aug. 2020, www.britannica.com/biography/William-IV-king-of-Great-Britain.

Dylan Kernehan
Jul 1830

Sewing Machine

The first practical widely used sewing machine was invented by Barthelemy Thimmonier in 1829. The sewing machines invented before either failed or needed a few adjustments done. Thimmonier finally created it perfectly. His machine sewed straight seams and he went off another model created before. After he created it he had an engineer who made the requisite drawings, submit a patent application. The patent was then issued in July of 1830. That same year he opened the first machine based clothing manufacturer company  in the world to create uniforms for the French Army. The invention of the sewing machine had a great impact in the Middlemarch society. It would now allow a greater production of clothing to be produced, meaning that clothing would become more cheaper for the women of Middlemarch to look beautiful.  

Sewing Machine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sewing_machine

Madison Allred
circa. Aug 1830 to circa. 2020

The Lawn Mower

The Lawn Mower was invented by Edward Beard Budding in England in the 1830s. The mower was originally designed for only cutting on sports grass and extensive gardens, but finally he was granted a patent in August of 1830. The mower was pushed from the behind and made of cast iron wheels, which transmitted power from the rear roller to the cutting cylinder. The grass clippings were then tossed into a tray-like box. Later on they realized that a handle must be added to the front to pull the machine along. His machine was the catalyst for the preparation of modern-style sporting ovals, playing fields, grass courts, etc. This led to the systematization of modern rules for many sports, including football, lawn bowls, lawn tennis and others. The lawn mower has made cutting grass a lot easier, faster, and more efficient for today's generation. 

On my brother’s birthday this past year I wanted to do something special for him to show him how much I appreciated him being an amazing role model for me. With some help I was able to purchase Edwin Buddings new lawn mower invention. I wanted to get him this gift because when this machine was released to the public everyone was talking about it and how some maintenance jobs would no longer be needed because of it. People were saying this because of the fact the lawn mower would now get the job done faster and more efficiently, there will be no need to have as many workers working on one task. I thought if my brother had his own he would be able to make better money with it and it would make his life so much easier! Now that he has it he  is very thankful for it and could not imagine life without it. 

Lawn Mower  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawn_mower#:~:text=Lawn%20%C2%A7%20History-,Invention,Stroud%2C%20in%20Gloucestershire%2C%20England.

Madison Allred
circa. 1831


Romanticism was a movement that swept through the arts from 1800-1890.  It deeply effected all aspects of society, including fine art, literature, music and more.  This movement is thought to have been part of a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, as romanticism also impacted the thoughts of the individual, politics, and sciences.  A German painter, Caspar David Friedrich, summarized romanticism as, "the artist's feeling is his law".  Romanticism placed significance on emotion and nature.

Romanticism is significant to Middlemarch as another sign and hallmark of the post-industrial revolution world that the book takes place in.  As the book continues, signs of the revolution, such as the Rocket, permeate the character's lives and impact their futures.  The era of Romanticism effects their dress, the future of politcs in their town, and even the art they see.  In chapter 19, romanticism is described as a budding movement that the honeymooners, Mr. and Mrs. Cassaubon encounter in their travels through Rome.  Romanticism had started to impact the German artists they encountered in Rome and, "the youth of other nations who worked or idled near them were sometimes caught in the spreading movement."  This seems reflected in the remainder of their activities in Rome, the landscape, and the art they encounter.

Eliot, G. (2015). Chapter 19. In Middlemarch: A study of provincial life(p. 156). New York: Penguin Books.

Wikipedia contributors. (2020, August 31). Romanticism. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:33, September 7, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Romanticism&oldid=975905062

Riley Hobbs
circa. 1832

Reform Act of 1832

The Representation of the People Act 1832 was a reform bill by the United Kingdom Parliament to create a more fair and just electoral system for the people. Suffrage was given to poor landowners, tenant farmers and store owners, but also to basic homeowners as long as they paid an annual £10 or more. However, with all great news usually comes bad. This specific bill was the first to openly prohibit women from voting, as the bill stated a voter as "male persons". This bill was made possible by the Acts of Union 1800, which created counties and bouroughs in the United Kingdom. This bill also disbanded the then-Parliament and gave way to the first General Election.  The Reform Act of 1832 literally was a reform of it's predeccesor. The number of boroughs were cut as corruption became a prominent issue. Whigs gained traction and power (suffrage) was granted to the people. The Whigs, just to recap, were a political party in 1600-1800 England whose primary belief was in opposition to an absolute monarchy; and they are the reason this bill was even presented. The Reform Act also introduced a widely known concept to England: voter registration. This bill played an extremely important role in creating the modern electoral system the world knows today.

When I heard the news, I could barely think. I, a simple shopkeep, could vote! For so long, I have sat idle as these ridiculous rulers came to power. But now is the time for true change! A change that benefits the whole instead of the few! I quickly departed for the town hall. I shall wait no more for my suffrage. I registered, obtained my evidence and returned to my humble abode. I am not rich like the Chettam family, nor do I have the knowledge of Edward Casaubon. The most important factors of being an important man, and I lack both... But I shall not let that stop me on my path to bettering my country! I would gladly pay £10, nay, £100 to make my voice heard! I am sure my father is ecstatic. His gambling habit has led to him being even poorer than I, but he is prideful and associates with the rich. He had always felt depressed over his lack of power. That is the price to pay for being in the wrong community, huh? But now, I fully expect him to run rampant with his boasting. By God, I feel both worried and happy for him.

“Reform Act 1832.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 30 Aug. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reform_Act_1832.

Eliot, George, and George Eliot. “Chapter XII.” Middlemarch: a Study of Provincial Life, by George Eliot, New York and Boston H. M. Caldwell Company Publishers, 2015.


Kenny Doerrbecker
circa. 1832

The First Photograph

Camera Obscura
Camera Obscura

     The first photograph ever taken took place in the 1830’s which was a revolutionary technological advancement because, prior to this people would strictly rely on portraits created by artists through paint. The process and seeing the technology evolve to where it is today is simply astounding to me as a photographer / film maker especially because it allows me to appreciate the art form to an entirely different degree. As simple as it is for us to snap a photo in the blink of an eye on devices that fit in our pockets or DSLR’s is surely taken for granted. Let alone the simplicity we have today but the cost, back when the first photograph was taken that single exposure took around 8 hours and was taken on a massive foreign device called the camera obscura and was a fairly expensive feat and also faded away not too long after being taken. However not too long after in 1834 Fox Talbot created the first exposure that didn’t fade away over time, and many more advancements came soon after this. 

     Sticking to this time period and relating photography to the provincial town of Middlemarch we can assume that some families could have afforded and taken advantage of this luxury. In the historical novel Will Ladislaw and Adolf Naumann are both painters and Naumann is intrigued by Dorothea Brooke and wants to have her as a subject for a painting. This caught my attention and got me thinking when the first photograph was ever taken and made me wonder if new rich families similar to the Brooke’s would have been able to afford a portrait of themselves at the time. This would have piqued their interest because it would be a new way to obtain an image of someone in a different form than a painting at the time, which would help newer generations of the families understand who their relatives were. "accurate and trustworthy visual records from across the world became available to a wide public for the first time, and over the following decades photography increasingly dominated the graphic media." (British Library, 1)

Tyler Cavallaro-Buser
circa. Spring 1832

Middlemarch Timeline Part 1 & 2

During the publication of Middlemarch, there were numerous amounts of events happening. Throughout the Victorian Era, the United Kingdom saw a rapid change to the world around them. There were inventors creating neat gadgets, government was making great progression, and philosophers were brining about new ideaologies and ways of thinking. It truly seemed like an exciting time to be apart of; throughtout this time one event that was very intresting and that can be connected back to the novel would be the refrom era. During this time in the UK the country was looking for a political refrom in parliament. 'The act was desgined to abolish tiny districts, gave representation to tiny cities, gave the vote to landowners, tenant farmers and shopkeepers and to householders who paid a yearly rental of 10 Euros. Only qualifying men were able to vote; the act introduced the first statuory bar to women voting, by defining a voter as a male.' Charles Grey and the wigs created the successfull refrom and it was titled: Representation Act of the People 1832, the act only applied in England and Wales. 

As a mother and an educated woman in the UK, reading the section about Lyndgate and his urgency for hospital refrom in the novel Middlemarch has brought me a great deal of emotions. There is a connection between the hospital reform and the reform act of 1832 as the novel goes on to talk about how many of the residents are horrified of the change and are weary about the situation as a whole. A rather relatable quote to better explain: "The standard of the profession is low in Middlemarch…I mean in knowledge and skill; not in social status, for our medical men are most of them connected with respectable townspeople here…I am painfully aware of the backwardness under which medical treatment labors in our provincial districts." This can be understood as a representation of how the reforms needed to be done but not in the way they turned out. The reform act of 1832 did not give us women the eligibilty to vote, but instead gave that right t the men. The quote given can relate to this because of how Mr Blustrode explained that middlemarch operates in an old fashioned kind of way, where the men get to have and do everything, even without the skill set or knowledge/ eligibilty to do so just because they are men. 


Eliot, George. “Chapter 7-12.” Middlemarch, by George Eliot, IndyPublish.com, 2006, pp. n/a-n/a.

Parker Gallacher
4 Summer 1832

Reform Act 1832

Parliament passed a law changing the British electoral system. It was known as the Great Reform Act or the 1832 Reform Act. The 1832 Reform Act had thousands of critisizing reactions from people living in communities because the electoral system seemed unfair. It took seats in the House of commons away from the less fortunate and gave seats to the new industrialized cities. It also lowered qualifactions for voting. In its very last shape the Reform Act of 1832 improved the voters from around 366,000 to 650,000, which became approximately 18 percent of the entire adult-male populace in England and Wales. The sizable majority of the working classes, in addition to women, had been nonetheless excluded from balloting and the Act failed to introduce a secret ballot. The changes made in the British political system between 1832 and 1884 were nevertheless important.

 The book is about an uneasy backdrop of personal, professional, and political alternate in Great Britain. The 1832 Reform Act is the maximum apparent and essential political context for Middlemarch: the motion of the unconventional takes place between September 1829 and May 1832, so throughout the duration leading up to the passing of this Act in June 1832. Much of the novel’s political context is supplied indirectly. Politics possesses Dorothea’s uncle Mr. Brooke, who stands as a parliamentary candidate in the Government.

Anne Ettare
The end of the month Aug 1833

Slavery Abolition Act of 1833

Before one can understand the importance of the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, an understanding of how the act came into effect must be acknowledged. The two main political parties at this time in England were the Whigs and the Tories. The Whigs were tied to political liberalism and attached to constitutional monarchy and the rights of Parliament. To sum up the political party, they were for electoral reform. The Tories were opposed to reform. They supported traditional traditional political and social institutions, meaning that they were for the monarchy, nobles, and gentry. To summarize a long history of political parties squabbling for power, the Whigs came back to power during the 1830's. They unified as a political party on the basis of moral reform, specifically, the abolition of slavery. They also campaigned on the horrors of child labor and relief to the poor. Other Acts were passed around the same time as the Slavery Aboliton Act. The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 was passed and limited reforms were passed in relation to child labor. So how did many radical changes to Parliament happen in such a short time? The radical change is thanks to The Reform Act of 1832. What this act basically did was take power away from aristocracy. Before the act, elections were controlled by high ranking, very powerful families. The act distributed voting power based on population, adding many new upper and middle class voters to the voting pool. This act gave an immense amount of power to the people. 

So what did the Slavery Aboliton Act do and what is its importance? The Slavery Aboliton Act abolished slavery in all parts of the British empire. More importatly it made the ownership of slaves illegal. However, it didn't make slavery illegal in parts of the British empire that made a lot of money for Britain. The area that still allowed slavery was the East India Company, the countries Ceylon (modern day Sri Lanka) and Saint Helena. The Slavery Abolition Act was important because it purchased and freed the slaves currently in captivity, mainly in the Caribbean Sugar Islands. The act was also important because it expanded on the The Slave Trade Act of 1807 and was a success for the growing abolitionist movement and the majority of the people (middle and lower class) in government. Showing that they could and would exercize their right to change parliament and take power away from the aristocracy. 

Slavery Abolition Act 1833. (2020, September 24). Retrieved October 05, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_Abolition_Act_1833

Whigs (British political party). (2020, September 24). Retrieved October 05, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whigs_(British_political_party)

Tories (British political party). (2020, August 29). Retrieved October 05, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tories_(British_political_party)

Poor Law Amendment Act 1834. (2020, August 20). Retrieved October 05, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poor_Law_Amendment_Act_1834

Reform Act 1832. (2020, October 02). Retrieved October 05, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reform_Act_1832

Slave Trade Act 1807. (2020, September 28). Retrieved October 05, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slave_Trade_Act_1807

Thomas Wrenn
circa. 1834

Invention of Photography

Victorian era photograph.
Victorian era photograph.

A significant technological advancement in the early 1830s was the invention of photography. Fox Talbot, a British inventor, was the first to create a photographic image that did not instantly fade in 1834. These portraits were initially reserved for the very wealthy, and many people who appear in early photographs seem stoic or angry. At the time, a photograph was viewed as a professional event meant to capture your natural appearance so that your descendants would remember what you looked like, since they were so costly to produce. Likely, the Brooke family would have been early to this trend of photographed self portraits. The Brooke sisters would have been from the first generation of wealthy people that had themselves captured in true form, rather than artistic rendering. In addition, the invention of photography would have represented another industrial creation that would have deepened the gap between wealthy and poor, and the quality of life attainable by the different social classes in Victorian times. 

Invention of photography. (n.d.). Retrieved September 15, 2020, from https://www.bl.uk/learning/timeline/item106980.html

Gabriel Buzack
circa. Winter 1834

Creation of The Analytical Engine

Middlemarch touches on many new and improved technologies for the occupants of the town. We see the integration of the rocket, literature, fashion and much more. With the creation and enhancement of these items we feel drawn towards a "dawning of a new age". A pivotal moment for the creation of new technology is Charles Babbage's creation of the analytical engine in 1834. 

The analytical engine created a precursor for what is known as the, you guessed it, computer today! the blueprint for this invention was created in 1830 and was put to an stop in April of 1833 in order for some minor issues to be worked out and thus being put back on track in 1834. Charles Babbage stated his purpose being for inventing the analytical engine as "t is a machine to calculate the numerical value or values of any formula or function of which the mathematician can indicate the method of solution. It is to perform the ordinary rules of arithmetic in any order as previously settled by the mathematician, and any number of times and on any quantities. It is to be absolutely automatic, the slave of the mathematician, carrying out his orders and relieving him from the drudgery of computing. It must print the results, or any intermediate result arrived at."  The intent of Babbage's invention was to alieviate the stress of the scholarly life that most "men" lived. i find this to be very interesting and some what ironic with a tie to Dorothea's relationship with not only Mr. Brooke but, also Casaubon. Dorothea herself acts almost as an analytical engine for the men in her life hoping to game some sort of knowledge while spitting out information back at them in hopes to further all of their studies. 

 The engine was composed of a set of rods that were "linked to wire hooks, each of which could lift one of the longitudinal threads strung between the frame. The rods were gathered in a rectangular bundle, and the cards were pressed one at a time against the rod ends. If a hole coincided with a rod, then the rod passed through the card and no action was taken. If no hole was present then the card pressed back the rod to activate a hook which lifted the associated thread, allowing the shuttle which carried the cross-thread to pass underneath. The cards were strung together with wire, ribbon or tape hinges, and fan, folded into large stacks to form long sequences. The looms were often massive and the loom operator sat inside the frame, sequencing through the cards one at a time by means of a foot pedal or hand lever. The arrangement of holes on the cards determined the pattern of the weave." not much is left behind of the works that were created on the engine and not many know how Babbage came to program or create this version on his own but it has paved the way for search engines and technology today. 

samantha clifford

Jewelry Ornaments

Victorian Jewelry was made during Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901) and originated in England. Queen Victoria created a status staple for women's jewelry during this time period. Through the amount of jewelry you’ve acquired, your identity is easily established as well as your social status. These highly sought-after jewels are said to be viewed as aesthetic objects in the western world. The desirability of these jewels was immaculate due to the true respect, monetary value and current trends within society. Jewelry also seemed to be a commodity that contributed to Victorian capitalism. Since these jewels were very expensive, the lower class could not be able to continue with this victorian status style. Any woman recognized with no jewelry would be classified into the working class, there was a strong assumption of not being able to afford it. The high demand of jewelry kicked into rapid manufacturing in the jewel industries and more inexpensive replicas were created for the middle class to obtain. Most women were wearing jewelry in the victorian era period, men did not wear jewels but had gifted them to the women they desired. During the early Victorian romantic period, gold material became a large staple for jewelry. Some common materials that were used were gold, ivory, tortoiseshell, coral, diamonds, amber, amethyst, etc, and used the themes of the natural world inspired by flowers, snakes, trees, and birds. 

My birthday was just yesterday and I now am nineteen years of age. My father has given me a beautiful jewelry ornament for this occasion, this is my first necklace jewelry since we are not of the higher class. I’ve always heard of the beautiful jewelry Queen Victoria wears, but I never knew it was this gorgeous. Father works in the jewel manufacture industry so he must’ve received this a bit inexpensive for a simple jewel necklace. Although my father is always working since demand from the higher class has gone up for these jewels. I’m beyond excited about my birthday ornament and very glad he could afford it. I can’t wait to show its beauty off to my friends and make them jealous with envy. The gold chain and amethyst jewel matches the current trend perfectly in my opinion. I also hope my dear friend George will also present me with a jewelry bracelet for my birthday when I go to meet him in a couple of days. I’ve always admired him and I dearly believe he feels the same towards me. I am glad I may not be made fun of anymore for identifying as a lower class through my lack of jewelry. This was most definitely one of the best birthdays yet.

Works Cited:

“Victorian Jewellery.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Sept. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_jewellery. 

Eliot, George, and George Eliot. “Chapter I.” Middlemarch: a Study of Provincial Life, by George Eliot, New York and Boston H. M. Caldwell Company Publishers, 2015.

Anna Hankinson

Postage Stamps

A teacher from England named Sir Rowland Hill invented the postage stamp in 1837, although the first stamp in the world was issued in the 1840s. Roland Hill also created the first uniform postage rates that were based on weight rather than size. Hill's stamps made the prepayment of mail postage possible. Hills' idea for postage stamps based on weight  soon became a great achievement and were then used in many countries throughout the world. With this new policy of charging by weight many more people started using envelopes to mail documents. Hill’s brother Edwin Hill then invented a model of the envelope machine that folded paper into envelopes quickly enough to match the pace of the growing demand for postage stamps. I am speaking on this invention because letters were the way people would communicate throughout the Victorian period, specifically Middlemarch. 

Postage Stamp  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postage_stamp 

Madison Allred
1837 to 1901

Women'a fashion in the Victorian era

Women's fashion in the Victorian era was known for its big skirts, tight corsets, and bonnets. Women in this time period wore many layers of dresses, blouses, skirts, coats, and they were prohibited to show as little as an ankle. Under these dresses the women wore corsets that limited their movement throughout the day. Wearing a skirt with increased width compared to other skirts became a popular symbol of wealth. The more design and work that was put into making these dresses mant they were more expensive, which were purchased by the high-class society. The middle class society generally never wore these high end dresses as much, so they would make their own new clothes. The poor society relid on second-hand clothing from the wealthy. On top of these very detailed and full dresses, hats and bonnets were a popular accessory during this time, women would wear their hair curled in a bun or top knot while the bonnet or hat was made to accomodate the hairstyle. Having decorated hats with birds or feathers was seen as a fashionable statement. As the Victorian era went on, skirts became more full in the back while corsets were not worn as often. These dresses were seen as a huge symbol of wealth in this time period and an important piece of fashion. 

Today, my father went into town today to recieve my new dresses from our tailer. I am very delighted to receive such beautiful clothing, as my mom says we should always look our best dressed. These dresses have been handmade by our tailor who does such fine workmanship for all of our clothing needs. I could never imagine what my life would be likfe making my own clothes for my own family. Mother always tells me that a woman should never have to go through the work of making her dresses, and that that is a man's job. Sometimes I pity the poor becasue they do not have such luxuries as we do. My mother allowed me to pick my favorite colors this time for my new dresses. I hope to wear the blue dress tonight at the dinner my father is hosting with his colleagues, I think the blue dress goes best with my eyes. Mother says I must wear my bonnet but it is quite uncomfortable on my head and is rather ugly. I had told my friend alexandra about my new dresses that have been made and she is so dleighted for me. I do hope tonight is wonderful and that everyone will love my dress. 

Works cited 

“Victorian Era Women's Fashion. Dresses, Clothing and Gowns.” Victorian Era, victorian-era.org/victorian-era-womens-fashion.html.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Online Museum. “Women's Clothes 1860s - 1890s.” Victorian Dress at the V&A, Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2RL. Telephone 44 (0)20 7942 2000. Email Vanda@Vam.ac.uk, 4 Apr. 2013, www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/v/victorian-dress-at-v-and-a/.

Victorian Era Women's Fashions: From Hoop Skirts to Bustles - Bellatory -  Fashion and Beauty

Sarah Stohon

The Invention of the Telegraph

Morse Code and Samuel Morse

In the early 1840s the electrical telegraph was invented. This invention functioned by using coded pulses of electric current through particular wires that would send information long distances. This invention was favorable at the time, because it was one of the first automatic ways to send and receive news across town without having to be present with the other party. Before the invention people of that time would more than likely be use smoke signals, flags as representation of messages, and other visual images to transmit news. There were several different types of electrical telegraphs that were invented, however there were two that were more favorable the Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph, which is a needle telegraph, and an armature system that activate a telegraph sounder that emits a click.  The Morse system was invented by Samuel Morse. With this particular structure a wire would be connected to a sending station. There an operator would hit a switch that was called a telegraph key and it would send out messages in Morse Code. The Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph which was engineered in 1837. This system worked by using five needles to all coordinated and point towards the letter that was being communicated. However, this system didn’t last long because installing more wires was more favorable than training operators to learn it. As a result, a one needle system with a code had became the new system to learn.

Today I was awaiting the arrival of Mr. Lancelot as he promised to court me around the town today. We were supposed to go for a nice long boat ride today at noon escorted by his butler, however the operator sent word this morning that his butler might be needed to help his father. I can only hope his father does not need his assistance, because I feel like he is a man well capable of doing things independently. However, I understand by being a clergy man he can be busy as my father is one as well. Oh, how I wish we could go alone but my parents would have my hide at the thought of my virtue being took from me. So much time has passed that I am afraid that he might have forgotten about me. If only St. Mary could speed time along herself. One would think he could send me another message over via the Morse system. At this rate he might as well send me a letter. My patience is wearing thin at the thought of each excruciating passing second. As a woman I know I should be more patient however, I cannot at this point. I am buzzing the operator to send my own message to gain clarity.

Electrical telegraph. (2020, September 04). Retrieved September 09, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_telegraph

Barbara McQueen
The end of the month Summer 1837

Induction of Queen Victoria

King William IV has passed away and Alexandrina Victoria will assume the title of Queen from her uncle. Queen Victoria’s reign lasted 63 years, longer than any previous monarchs of Britain. Queen Victoria was known for bringing much change economical, technological, as well as social changes throughout the British Empire. Many may not know however, that she also adopted the title “Empress of India”. Throughout her reign she expanded the British empire and brought about many positive changes. She inherited the throne at 18 years old only because there were no legitimate successors in line to the throne. In her early reign she relied on the advice of Prime Minister Lord Melbourne. She also became the first monarch to live in Buckingham palace. Four hundred thousand people attended her coronation, and throughout her early reign she was a popular monarch among the public.


Queen Victoria has just been elected as the new monarch of Great Britain and London is completely abuzz. People are flooding into the city as her coronation date approaches. Surely an individual such as Casaubon would be attending this event. I was hoping to speak to Dorothea and see if she has any knowledge on the proceedings for coronation. I wonder if Casaubon would have allowed Dorothea to view any of the information on the event.

“Queen Victoria.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Sept. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Victoria.

“History : British History Timeline.” BBC, BBC, www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/timeline/victorianbritain_timeline_noflash....

Tiger Hubbard

The Typhoid Fever Epidemic

During the 1800's, Typhoid Fever was a fatal disease, that frightened many. In 1838, doctors began treating outbreaks of the disease, refering to it as "poison." They came to discover that the disease could be spread through healthy people drinking contaminated water due to the excration of those infected. This caused people during this time to become more hygenic and sanitary in hopes of declining the spread of the disease. While the disease was prevelant in the 1800s, historians believe that it existed long before then, dating it all the way back to 430 B.C. when a plague killed one third of the population in Athens, as well as the 1600's, when the disease killed more than 6000 English settlers in Jamestown, Virgina. Throughout history, the typhoid fever affected many groups of people. A vaccine was founded in 1896 for soilders to stay healthy while at war. After this, the disease slowly started to decline and conditions started to improve.  

After studying and gaining a better understanding the severity of the Typhoid Fever, explains why Fred's mother was furious when Wench wrongfully diagnosed Fred and did not realize that he was indeed infected with Typhoid fever. Paralleling Typhoid Fever in 1830 with Coronavirus today in 2020, it is clear why Wench's mistake was so upsetting to the Vincy family. Fred could have easily lost his life due to the disease if Lydgate had not come in and helped. Lydgate had luckily studied Typhoid fever, and knew how to properly treat Fred back to health. Finding out a loved one was diagonosed with Typhoid fever during this time period had to cause some panic and worry to those living in the same household, because they could easily get sick as well. 

Works Cited: 

Smith, Yolanda "Typhoid Fever History." News Medical Life Sciences, 23 Aug. 2018, www.news-medical.net/health/Typhoid-Fever-History.aspx. 

Lexie Brown
circa. 1838 to circa. 1840

The Postage Stamp

Sir Rowland Hill invented the adhesive postage stamp in 1837. He continued to perfect the invention and released it to the public in 1840. The first place released was England. With this invention he also explained and set the rates of the postage stamp relying on the weight of the stamp rather than the size, which is how most things were being sold. He explained in letters that he wanted the stamp to not be as big, yet noticeable, and easy to apply. The goal of this invention was to make postal services easier and more practical. Once his invention got around to other countries, as well as his pricing system, many started to use his postal invention. With this new object, many started to use envelopes to mail their letters. This invention also led to the invention of an envelope folder by his brother, Edwin Hill.  This goes to show that this invention continued to inspire other inventions to come into play for people all over the world. This invention is important to the story because letters are a big part of communication during the setting of middle march, so understanding what goes into that can create a more broad knowledge of the time period. However, now that we are more evolved, his methods were changed around a bit to update and fix the problems that came about. Nonetheless, the invention of the postal stamp continues to help us today in sending letters to loved ones, documents to important places, and Christmas cards to the whole family. 

The Story of the First Postage Stamp | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian Magazine

Airyanna Chavis
circa. 1839

Invention of Photography

  The world's first photograph ever taken occurred in the 1820’s which was a technological advancement because  before this people could only see portraits that artists created through paint. The first photograph was taken by Nicephore Niepce, he captured it with his camera and  at least eight hours or even several days of exposure in the camera were required and the earliest results were very crude. Niepce’s associate went on to develop more to the camera process. The details of photography were not even introduced to the public until 1839, this date is generally accepted as the birth year of practical photography. During Middlemarch many families could afford to take photographs. There are quite a few painters and artists in Middlemarch which could possibly lose some business by photographers and families now wanting picture portraits instead. 

History of Photography https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_photography

Madison Allred

Corn Laws are Repealed

Corn Laws were taxes set in place in the late 18th century, and were taxes placed on any imported and exported food and grain.  This negatively affected many individuals because they were unable to purchase cheaper foods depending on their income. In modern times we take this for granted, as we have access to limitless brands, all with different prices for our food. At times this would lead to shortages of food because it was to expensive to import food, and the farmers were unable to produce enough. These laws, however, increased incentives for farmers as property value. Because of these laws, land began making more money, and the effect of owning land increased political power more.

The corn laws have been removed which means now I can finally afford to buy more food for my family. It has been dreadful over the years, being unable to purchase food for myself due to my family, all while watching the upper-class prance around devouring food. Ever since the amount of food being available has increased dramatically, and the prices have decreased as well!



Tiger Hubbard