Timeline: ENGL 334 No Dead White Men

Part of Group:

This timeline highlights historical, political, social, and cultural events related to women, colonialism, and enslavement. 

Timeline

Chronological table

Displaying 1 - 50 of 86
Date Event Created by Associated Places
9 Apr 1787

First settlers depart for Sierra Leone

Free Slaves in Sierra LeoneOn 9 April 1787, 451 people set sail to establish a “Province of Freedom” in Africa, later to become Sierra Leone. Image: An illustration of liberated slaves arriving in Sierra Leone, from the 1835 book, A System of School Geography Chiefly Derived from Malte-Brun, by Samuel Griswold Goodrich. This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

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

COVE Admin
Jan 1789

Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

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

Articles

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

COVE Admin
5 May 1789 to 10 Nov 1799

French Revolution

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

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

Articles

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

COVE Admin
1792

"Vindication of the Rights of Woman" is Published

Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is considered a “trailblazing” work for feminism (Britannica). In the piece, Wollstonecraft addresses womanhood of the middle class and criticizes what was considered a female education at the time. While men receive an education of the mind and body, women are taught to act weak, to dedicate their time to finery and fashion. Neglecting to teach women anything other than how to be attractive on the “marriage market”, will only leave them without profession, without money, and without honor or promise of redemption if they are left or divorced by their husbands. Wollstonecraft believed that women could contribute more to society than just a wife and mother. 

She writes, “I attribute to a false system of education, gathered from the books written on this subject by men who, considering females rather as women than human creatures ...are only anxious to inspire love, when they ought to cherish a nobler ambition, and by their abilities and virtues exact respect”. The thinking at this time was that women’s obsession with marriage and delicacy was natural, but Wollstonecraft uses her work to demonstrate that this is a result of women’s artificial education. She argues that if men and women are raised with the same aspirations, than the differences between them will/can be considered more natural. She suggests a total education — one that shapes the whole person —  of both sexes. This, she argues, will benefit all of society. 

Although Wollstonecraft’s work was well-received within within her own intellectual circle, the rest of society’s reaction was negative. The ideas expressed in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman were very radical for her time, but would later provide a solid platform for Romantic feminists who worked to improve the lives of women. 

To learn more about the reactions to Wollstonecraft’s work, click here.

To learn more about Romantic Feminism, click here.

To learn more about Mary Wollstonecraft, click here.

Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mary-Wollstonecraft

http://web.utk.edu/~gerard/romanticpolitics/feminism.html

https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/mary-wollstonecraft-a-vindication-of-the-rights-of-woman

http://www.josephpriestleyhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/Joseph-Johnson-Priestleys-Publisher-and-Bookseller.pdf

http://shelleysghost.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/godwin-meets-mary-wollstonecraft#Description

Elizabeth Schafer
1 Jan 1792

Vindication of the Rights of Woman

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

Articles

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

Related Articles

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

COVE Admin
21 Jan 1793

Execution of King Louis XVI

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

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

Articles

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

COVE Admin
5 Sep 1793 to 27 Jul 1794

Reign of Terror

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

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

Articles

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

COVE Admin
10 Sep 1797

Death of Wollstonecraft

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

Articles

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

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

COVE Admin
Jan 1798

Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication

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

Articles

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

Related Articles

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

COVE Admin
9 Nov 1799 to 18 Jun 1815

Napoleonic Wars

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

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

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

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

Articles

Mary Favret, "The Napoleonic Wars"

COVE Admin
Jan 1802

British School founded

portrait of George FieldIn 1802 in London, George Field founded The British School, a commercial exhibiting society for British art to advance the influence and sales of British art in various media. Exact date of this event is unknown; if you have information about the correct date, please email felluga@purdue.edu with this information. Image: George Field by David Lucas, 1845; after Richard Rothwell mezzotint (1839) © National Portrait Gallery, London. Used with permission.

Articles

Linda M. Shires, "On Color Theory, 1835: George Field’s Chromatography"

COVE Admin
26 May 1805

Napoleon made king of Italy

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

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

Articles

Alison Chapman, "On Il Risorgimento"

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Erik Simpson, “On Corinne, Or Italy

COVE Admin
Jan 1814

British and Foreign School Society founded

In January 1814, the British and Foreign School Society for the Education of the Labouring and Manufacturing Classes of Society of Every Religious Persuasion was founded to promote non-Anglican (Dissenting) education. The Society established “British Schools,” also on the monitorial system as influenced by the principles of Joseph Lancaster, a Quaker who promoted education according to broader notions of Christian morality.

Related Articles

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

COVE Admin
18 Jun 1815

Battle of Waterloo

On 18 June 1815, Wellington led Allied troops to a final victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, ending Napoleon’s “Hundred Days” of rule after his escape from Elba on 26 February. The war is officially ended by the 1815 Treaty of Paris, and Napoleon is sentenced to permanent imprisonment at St. Helena, where he dies in 1821. Image: Richard Knötel, Print of English Life Guards (left) and Horse Guards (right) of 1815 charging (Band IV, Tafel 4, Uniformenkunde, Lose Blätter zur Geschichte der Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht, Berlin, 1890). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Related Articles

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

Mary Favret, "The Napoleonic Wars"

Frederick Burwick, “18 June 1815: The Battle of Waterloo and the Literary Response”

COVE Admin
Dec 1815

Emma

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

Articles

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

COVE Admin
1 Jan 1818

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus

Mary Shelley releases the first edition of Frankenstein. The more popular modern version was released on October 31, 1831, which includes the introduction that explains the novel's origins at Villa Diodati. Frankenstein follows many tenets of Romanticism and takes much influence from Milton's Paradise Lost, which is quoted to open to novel and is read by Frankenstein's monster during the events that take place. The novel focuses on a number of themes, one of the most prominent of which is the idea of "nature against nurture" (itself a key idea of Shelley's mother Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women). Contrary to thinking in oral or even medieval societies, Romanticism, where characters are unchanging, readers are encouraged to ask the question on what would have happened to the monster had Frankenstein not screamed and ran away from it. The monster shows the ability to be a monster, but it also shows the ability to show empathy and care. The scientist Frankenstein himself worries constantly about the wholly unnatural creature that he has brought into the natural world and what should happen if he gives the monster what it wants - someone to love. Much like the thought of Romanticism that perhaps Satan was the party in the right during Paradise Lost, the monster's growth mentally and emotionally with his own deeply flawed Maker in Frankenstein invites to question the rights of the individual. The vivid descriptions of nature and the thought-provoking themes of the novel make it a standout of the Romantic era and a phenomenal story to this day.

Mark Magurany
12 Jul 1819

Britain approves settlement scheme to South Africa

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

Articles

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

COVE Admin
30 Dec 1819

Gag Acts

British Coat of ArmsOn 30 December 1819, the British parliament passed the Six Acts (or Gag Acts), which labeled any meeting for radical reform as “an overt act of treasonable conspiracy.” The acts were aimed at gagging radical newspapers (the Blasphemous and Seditious Libels Act, the Newspaper and Stamp Duties Act, and the Misdemeanors Act), preventing large meetings (the Seditious Meetings Prevention Act), and reducing what the government saw as the possibility of armed insurrection (the Training Prevention Act and the Seizure of Arms Act). Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

James Chandler, “On Peterloo, 16 August 1819″

COVE Admin
12 May 1820

Birth of Florence Nightingale

Photo of NightingaleFlorence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy on 12 May 1829. Nightingale will one day aid soldiers in the Crimean War and reform nursing, statistics, and the War Office. Image: Photograph of Florence Nightingale (1858). This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Lara Kriegel, “On the Death—and Life—of Florence Nightingale, August 1910″

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Arlene Young, “The Rise of the Victorian Working Lady: The New-Style Nurse and the Typewriter, 1840-1900″

COVE Admin
Apr 1823

Joanna Baillie, A Collection of Poems

Joanna BaillieJoanna Baillie published A Collection of Poems, Chiefly Manuscript, and From Living Authors in April 1823. The purpose of the volume was to raise funds for a family in financial distress. The collection includes work by Anna Barbauld, William Wordsworth, and Sir Walter Scott. Image: Joanna Baillie (1762-1851), Dramatist, by Mary Ann Knight. This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Thomas McLean, “Donation and Collaboration: Joanna Baillie’s A Collection of Poems, Chiefly Manuscript, and From Living Authors, April 1823″

COVE Admin
27 Jun 1828

Offenses Against the Person Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 27 June 1828, the Act for Consolidating and Amending the Statutes in England, Relative to Offenses Against the Person received the royal assent. Part of Sir Robert Peel’s larger project for streamlining and consolidating the criminal law, the 1828 Offenses Against the Person Act overhauled the law concerning assaults against the person, establishing new, higher penalties for assault and granting to magistrates summary powers over common assaults. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Lisa Surridge, “On the Offenses Against the Person Act, 1828″

COVE Admin
Jan 1829

Trial of William Burke

Drawing of Hare and BurkeIn January 1829, William Burke was tried for the murder of sixteen people in Edinburgh, for the purpose of selling their bodies to anatomists in Edinburgh. His accomplice, William Hare, turned King’s evidence and avoided prosecution. He was hanged and sentenced to be anatomized and displayed; his skeleton still hangs today in the Anatomy Museum at Edinburgh University Medical School. Image: Drawing of Hare and Burke (c. 1850). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Pamela Gilbert, "On Cholera in Nineteenth-Century England"

COVE Admin
26 Jun 1830

Death of King George IV

King George IVOn 26 June 1830, King George IV died, prompting a dissolution of Parliament which brought the Whigs to power in a coalition government; he was succeeded by King William IV. Image: 1798 Engraving of King George IV (by Salomon Jomtob Bennett, after Sir William Beechey). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

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Carolyn Vellenga Berman, “On the Reform Act of 1832″

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14 Aug 1833

Irish Church Temporalities Act

The Irish Church Temporalities Act received the Royal Assent (i.e. became law) on 14 August 1833. The Act reorganized the ecclesiastical structure of the Irish Church by suppressing ten of its twenty-two bishoprics and removing those parish clergy who had no parishioners.

Articles

Barbara Charlesworth Gelpi, "14 July 1833: John Keble’s Assize Sermon, National Apostasy"

COVE Admin
29 Aug 1833

Slavery Abolition Act

British Coat of ArmsThe Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 received the Royal Assent (which means it became law) on 29 August 1833. The Act outlawed slavery throughout the British Empire; Britain’s colonial slaves were officially emancipated on 1 August 1834 when the law came into force, although most entered a form of obligatory apprenticeship that ended in 1840. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Image: the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Elsie B. Michie, "On the Sacramental Test Act, the Catholic Relief Act, the Slavery Abolition Act, and the Factory Act"

Sarah Winter, “On the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica and the Governor Eyre-George William Gordon Controversy, 1865-70″

COVE Admin
2 May 1842

Second Chartist Petition

Depiction of Chartist UprisingPresentation of the Second Chartist Petition to the House of Commons on 2 May 1842. Like the first Chartist Petition, which was presented in June 1839, this was rejected without a hearing on the next day, 3 May 1842. Image: Engraving depicting a Chartist riot from 1886 book True Stories of the Reign of Queen Victoria by Cornelius Brown. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Chris R. Vanden Bossche, "On Chartism"

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

COVE Admin
8 Aug 1842

Manchester strike

Depiction of Chartist UprisingManchester strikes began on 8 August 1842. Following the rejection of the second petition, the Chartists sought to join forces with striking workers in the industrial region around Manchester, who were protesting a reduction in wages, but once again government forces moved quickly to suppress the ensuing riots. Image: Engraving depicting a Chartist riot from 1886 book True Stories of the Reign of Queen Victoria by Cornelius Brown. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Chris R. Vanden Bossche, "On Chartism"

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

COVE Admin
12 Oct 1842

British Army withdraws from Afghanistan

Butler's 'Remnants of an Army'On 12 October 1842, the British Army withdrew from Afghanistan, ending the First Anglo-Afghan War. Image: Detail: ‘Remnants of an Army’ by Elizabeth Butler portraying William Brydon arriving at the gates of Jalalabad as the only survivor of a 16,500 strong evacuation from Kabul in January 1842. This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Antoinette Burton, “On the First Anglo-Afghan War, 1839-42: Spectacle of Disaster”

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Zarena Aslami, “The Second Anglo-Afghan War, or The Return of the Uninvited”

COVE Admin
10 Apr 1848

Chartist Rally, Kennington

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

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

Articles

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

Chris Vanden Bossche, "On Chartism"

COVE Admin
1 Jul 1848

Trial of Chartist leaders

Portrait of Ernest Charles JonesTrial and conviction of the prominent Chartist Ernest Jones and other Chartist leaders, July 1848. Image: A daguerrotype of Ernest Charles Jones, taken in the 1850s. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

The summer of 1848 witnesses violence as Chartist leaders are arrested and secret plots against the government are infiltrated. By the end of August, after the arrest of several hundred Chartists and Irish Confederates, the movement for violent uprising in England is broken.

Articles

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


Chris Vanden Bossche, "On Chartism"

COVE Admin
Jul 1848

Founding of St. John’s House Training Institution for Nurses

image of Florence NightingaleFounding of St. John’s House Training Institution for Nurses in July of 1848. Image: Supplement to the Nursing Record (20 December 1888). This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Arlene Young, “The Rise of the Victorian Working Lady: The New-Style Nurse and the Typewriter, 1840-1900″

Lara Kriegel, “On the Death—and Life—of Florence Nightingale, August 1910″

COVE Admin
Dec 1849

Carlyle's "Negro Question"

Photo of CarlyleOn December 1849, Thomas Carlyle published “Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question” in Fraser’s Magazine; the article was later republished in his Critical and Miscellaneous Essays as “On the Nigger Question.” Image: Photograph of Thomas Carlyle, circa 1860s, by Eliott & Fry. This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Sarah Winter, “On the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica and the Governor Eyre-George William Gordon Controversy, 1865-70″

COVE Admin
12 Jul 1851

Queen Victoria visits the Exhibition Model Dwellings

On 12 July 1851, Queen Victoria visited the Exhibition Model Dwellings, which were built just off the grounds of the Great Exhibition in 1851. These model dwellings, designed by the architect Henry Roberts, contributed to growing efforts to place the mid-century crisis in housing of the poor at the forefront of public attention. Image: A Room in Tyndall's Buildings (from The Labourers’ Friend(April 1856): 57. This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Barbara Leckie, “Prince Albert’s Exhibition Model Dwellings”

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Barbara Leckie, “‘The Bitter Cry of Outcast London’ (1883): Print Exposé and Print Reprise”

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2 Oct 1853 to 30 Mar 1856

Crimean War

Image from Crimean WarThe Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. Britain enters the conflict on 28 March 1854. Image: Photograph of Cornet Henry John Wilkin, by Roger Fenton (1855). Wilkin survived the Charge of the Light Brigade. This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3g09124. The image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Stefanie Markovits, "On the Crimean War and the Charge of the Light Brigade"

COVE Admin
28 Mar 1854

Britain declares war against Russia

Illustration of the Crimean War

On 28 March 1854, Britain declares war against Russia, thus entering the Crimean War. Image: Russo-British skirmish during Crimean War (anonymous plate). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

In 1854, in defense of the Turks and of British access to eastern trade routes, Britain entered into war in the Crimea. The two-year campaign represented the nation’s first major military engagement since the end of the Napoleonic wars. It thus sheds light on mid-Victorian attitudes towards national identity, offering a counter-narrative to views of the 1850s dominated by responses to the Great Exhibition of 1851. As literary and visual representations of the war reveal, reactions to this conflict were both more nuanced and more ambivalent than our preconceptions about Victorian jingoism might anticipate.

Articles

Stefanie Markovits, "On the Crimean War and the Charge of the Light Brigade"

COVE Admin
25 Oct 1854

Charge of the Light Brigade

Illustration of the Crimean War

On 25 October 1854, British forces undertook the charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaklava. Image: Tinted lithograph showing the embarkation of sick persons at the harbor in Balaklava" (William Simpson, artist; Paul & Dominic Colnaghi & Co., publishers, 24 April 24 1855). This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID ppmsca.05686. The image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

No other engagement of the war has stuck so vividly in the popular consciousness, aided by Tennyson's poem of the same name, by far the best-remembered cultural product of the war. On the morning of October 25th, 1854, over six hundred British men rode the wrong way down a “valley of death” (so christened first by The Times and later by Tennyson) as enemy guns attacked from all sides. Not two hundred made it out alive. The charge resulted from a series of miscommunications between Lord Raglan, the Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces, and Lord Lucan, the Commander of the Cavalry. Both Tennyson’s poem and many other contemporary responses to the charge suggest that reactions to this event were deeply conflicted, expressing real bewilderment about how to integrate it into preexisting models of patriotic feeling. Moreover, a new form of heroism grew out of the bewildering experience of the Light Brigade’s defeat—and a new sense of a national identity that was based in part on this new heroism.

Articles

Stefanie Markovits, "On the Crimean War and the Charge of the Light Brigade"

COVE Admin
4 Nov 1854

Florence Nightingale landed at Scutari

Photo of NightingaleFlorence Nightingale landed at Scutari one day before the Battle of Inkerman on 4 November 1854. Accompanied by her band of nurses, Florence Nightingale will become the great heroine of the Crimean War. Image: Photograph of Florence Nightingale (1858). This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Lara Kriegel, “On the Death—and Life—of Florence Nightingale, August 1910″

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Arlene Young, “The Rise of the Victorian Working Lady: The New-Style Nurse and the Typewriter, 1840-1900″

Stefanie Markovits, “On the Crimean War and the Charge of the Light Brigade”

COVE Admin
15 Nov 1856

Aurora Leigh

Engraving of a photo of BrowningOn 15 November 1856, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh was published by Chapman and Hall in Great Britain. Aurora Leigh—a verse-novel and modern epic—set off literary, social, and political reverberations in Britain, North America, and Europe up to the end of the century. Given its innovative, generically mixed form and its controversial contemporary subject matter, it figured in debates over poetry and poetics, the nature of the realist novel, class divisions and social reform, women’s rights, religion, and the politics of nations. Image: An 1871 engraving of an 1859 photograph of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (photograph by Macaire Havre, engraving by T. O. Barlow). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Marjorie Stone, “The ‘Advent’ of Aurora Leigh: Critical Myths and Periodical Debates”

COVE Admin
5 May 1857 to 17 Oct 1857

Art Treasures of the United Kingdom Exhibition

Cassell's Art Treasures ExhibitionArt Treasures of the United Kingdom Exhibition in Manchester, the largest fine-arts exhibition ever held in Britain, occurred from 5 May to 17 October 1857. Image: Illustration for John Cassell’s Art Treasures Exhibition: Engravings of the Principal Masterpieces (W. Kent, 1858), 1. Toronto Reference Library. Print. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

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Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, “The Moxon Tennyson as Textual Event: 1857, Wood Engraving, and Visual Culture”

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22 Jun 1857

Victoria and Albert Museum opened

Portrait of Queen VictoriaOn 22 June 1857, Queen Victoria opened the Victoria and Albert Museum. Image: George Hayter, State portrait of Queen Victoria, 1860 (oil on canvas), from the Government Art Collection of the United Kingdom. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

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Carol Senf, “‘The Fiddler of the Reels’: Hardy’s Reflection on the Past”

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Aug 1857

Christy Minstrels performed at St. James’s Theater

photo of minstrel show performersOn 3 August 1857, Christy Minstrels perform at St. James’s Theater, where they entertained audiences for the next twelve months with song, dance, and comic dialogue. Images of the minstrels and their stock characters circulated throughout print culture that year in multiple forms, from wood-engraved prints to photographs. Image: Photograph, Minstrel Show Performers Rollin Howard (in wench costume) and George Griffin, circa 1855. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

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Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, “The Moxon Tennyson as Textual Event: 1857, Wood Engraving, and Visual Culture”

COVE Admin
28 Aug 1857

Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857

British Coat of ArmsOn 28 August 1857, passage of the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857. The Act legalized divorce and protected a divorced woman’s property and future earnings. The grounds for divorce for men was adultery (in legal terms, criminal conversation), for women adultery combined with bigamy, incest, bestiality, sodomy, desertion, cruelty, or rape. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

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

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Rachel Ablow, “‘One Flesh,’ One Person, and the 1870 Married Women’s Property Act”

Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, “The Moxon Tennyson as Textual Event: 1857, Wood Engraving, and Visual Culture”

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

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1858

English Woman’s Journal first published

photo of ParkesMarch 1858 saw the first issue of England’s first feminist monthly magazine, the English Woman's Journal. Aimed primarily at a middle-class audience, the magazine promoted new employment and educational opportunities for women, and featured a mix of political and social commentary, reportage of current events, poetry, book reviews, and a correspondence column. Image: Photograph of Bessie Rayner Parkes Belloc (date unknown). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Janice Schroeder, “On the English Woman’s Journal, 1858-62″

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1 Jun 1859

British Novelists and their Styles

Engraved Portrait of David MassonIn June 1859, publication of David Masson’s British Novelists and their Styles, which establishes novels as objects of academic study. Image: Engraved Portrait of David Masson by W. B. Hole (Edinburgh University). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Jonathan Farina, “On David Masson’s British Novelists and their Styles (1859) and the Establishment of Novels as an Object of Academic Study”

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9 Jul 1860

Nightingale Home and Training School for Nurses opened

Photo of NightingaleOn 9 July 1860, the Nightingale Home and Training School for Nurses opened its doors. Image: Photograph of Florence Nightingale (1858). This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Lara Kriegel, “On the Death—and Life—of Florence Nightingale, August 1910″

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Arlene Young, “The Rise of the Victorian Working Lady: The New-Style Nurse and the Typewriter, 1840-1900″

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1 Oct 1861

Book of Household Management

Title page of Beeton's bookOn 1 October 1861, Isabella Beeton’s Book of Household Management was published in one-volume form. The book has been called “the most famous English cookery book ever published.” Image: Title Page of Beeton's Book of Household Management. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Susan Zlotnick, “On the Publication of Isabella Beeton’s Book of Household Management, 1861″

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15 Aug 1862

Cage Crinoline

At the peak of the cage crinoline fad, a single issue of the London Evening Standard (15 August 1862) included a report of a young woman’s death caused by a crinoline fire and an advertisement touting the monarch-approved Thomson’s prize-winning “Crown” model.

Articles

Rebecca N. Mitchell, “15 August 1862: The Rise and Fall of the Cage Crinoline”

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2 Oct 1865

George William Gordon executed

Gordon, a Jamaican former slave and elected member of the Jamaica House of Assembly, is executed by hanging after a court martial condemns him to death for his alleged role in encouraging the Morant Bay rebellion.

Articles

Sarah Winter, “On the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica and the Governor Eyre-George William Gordon Controversy, 1865-70″

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1866 to 187

Livingstone expedition to East Africa

Photo of David Livingstone1866-73 are the inclusive dates for David Livingstone's expedition into the East African lakes region. The famed missionary explorer David Livingstone entered the Nile sweepstakes to restore his reputation, which had been sullied by the futility of his previous Zambezi expedition. He was determined to prove that the Nile originated from the string of lakes further south. His death on the shores of Lake Bangweulu left his theory unconfirmed. Image: Photograph of Stanley Livingstone by Thomas Annan. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired. Note that the exact month of the beginning and end of this expedition is difficult to determine.

Articles

Matthew Rubery, "On Henry Morton Stanley’s Search for Dr. Livingstone, 1871-72"

Dane Kennedy, "The Search for the Nile"

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Jul 1866

Permanent transatlantic cable established

In July 1866, in the aftermath of the Civil War, a permanent transatlantic cable was re-established after a failed attempt in 1858.

Articles

John M. Picker, “Threads across the Ocean: The Transatlantic Telegraph Cable, July 1858, August 1866″

COVE Admin

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