Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY



1800 - 1899
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
  BACK-1801 Part II NEXT-1802 Part II    
FitzGerald Edward
1800 - 1809
History at a Glance
1800 Part I
Battle of Heliopolis
Battle of Marengo
Siege of Malta
Battle of the Malta Convoy
United States presidential election
Plot of the Rue Saint-Nicaise
Moltke Helmuth
Pius VII
Heeren Arnold Hermann Ludwig
Macaulay Thomas Babington
1800 Part II
Edgeworth Maria
Jean Paul: "Titan"
Schiller: "Maria Stuart"
David: "Mme. Recamier"
Boieldieu: "Le Calife de Bagdad"
Gall Franz Joseph
Trevithick Richard
Voltaic pile
Richmond Bill
1801 Part I
Act of Union
Treaty of Luneville
Alexander I
Battle of Copenhagen
Gauss: "Disquisitiones arithmeticae"
Newman John Henry
Chateaubriand: "Atala"
Grabbe Christian Dietrich
Nestroy Johann
Schiller: "Die Jungfrau von Orleans"
Robert Southey: "Thalaba the Destroyer"
1801 Part II
David: "Napoleon Crossing the Alps"
Paxton Joseph
Beethoven: "Die Geschopfe des Prometheus"
Beethoven: Piano Sonata 14 "Moonlight Sonata"
Bellini Vincenzo
Vincenzo Bellini - Norma : Sinfonia dell'Opera
Vincenzo Bellini
Haydn: "The Seasons"
Lanner Joseph
Joseph Lanner - Hofball-Tanze
Joseph Lanner
Lortzing Albert
Lortzing "Overture" Der Waffenschmied
Albert Lortzing
Bichat Marie François Xavier
Fulton Robert
Fulton's "Nautilus"
Lalande Jerome
Flinders Matthew
The British in Australia
Union Jack
1802 Part I
Napoleon president of Italian Republic
Legion of Honour
Napoleon as First Consul for life
Treaty of Amiens
Battle of San Domingo
Kossuth Lajos
Grotefend Georg Friedrich
Dumas Alexandre, pere
Alexandre Dumas
"The Three Musketeers"
Hauff Wilhelm
Hugo Victor
Victor Hugo
"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" 
Lenau Nikolaus
De Stael Germaine
Mme de Stael
"Corinne, Or Italy"
Chateaubriand: "Rene"
1802 Part II
Canova: "Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker";
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op.36
Forkel Johann Nikolaus
Treviranus Gottfried Reinhold
Health and Morals of Apprentices Act in Britain
1803 Part I
Act of Mediation
Louisiana Purchase
Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815)
Emmet Robert
Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803–1805)
Battle of Assaye
Korais Adamantios
Emerson Ralph Waldo
Lancaster Joseph
Bulwer-Lytton Edward George
Merimee Prosper
Porter Jane
Schiller: "Die Braut von Messina"
Tyutchev Fyodor Ivanovich
1803 Part II
Decamps Alexandre-Gabriel
Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps
Henry Raeburn: "The Macnab"
Semper Gottfried
Turner J.M.W.
J.M.W. Turner
Adam Adolphe
Adolphe Adam   - Giselle
Adolphe Adam
Beethoven: "Kreutzer Sonata"
Berlioz Hector
Berlioz - Harold In Italy
Hector Berlioz
Sussmayr Franz Xaver
Carnot Lazare
Shrapnel Henry
Shrapnel shells
1804 Part I
Duc d'Enghien
Yashwantrao Holkar
Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Action of 5 October 1804
Disraeli Benjamin
British and Foreign Bible Society
Code Napoleon
Brown Thomas
Feuerbach Ludwig
Sainte-Beuve Charles-Augustin
Hawthorne Nathaniel
Morike Eduard
Sand George
Schiller: "Wilhelm Tell"
1804 Part II
Morland George
George Morland
Schwind Moritz
Moritz von Schwind
Royal Watercolour Society
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica")
Glinka Mikhail
Glinka "Waltz-Fantasia"
Mikhail Glinka
Strauss Johann, the Elder
Johann Strauss Vater - Lorelei Rhein Klänge Op. 154
Johann Strauss I
Thomas Bewick "History of British Birds"
Wollaston William Hyde
Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis Meriwether
Clark William
 Surveying the West
Serturner Friedrich Wilhelm Adam
1805 Part I
Treaty of St. Petersburg
War of the Third Coalition 1805
Mazzini Giuseppe
Battle of Austerlitz
Peace of Pressburg
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Battle of Trafalgar
1805 Part II
Ballou Hosea
Andersen Hans Christian
Hans Christian Andersen
"The Fairy Tales"
Walter Scott: "The Lay of the Last Minstrel"
Robert Southey: "Madoc"
Stifter Adalbert
Tocqueville Alexis
Goya: "Dona Isabel Cobos de Procal"
Turner: "Shipwreck"
Gerard: "Madame Recamier"
Beethoven: "Fidelio"
Congreve William
Hamilton William Roman
1806 Part I
Battle of Blaauwberg
Fox Charles James
Bonaparte Joseph
Bonaparte Louis
War of the Fourth Coalition 1806–1807
Battle of Jena-Auerstadt
Continental System
Greater Poland Uprising of 1806
Confederation of Rhine
The End of the Holy Roman Empire
Treaty of Poznan
1806 Part II
Adelung Johann Christoph
Mill John Stuart
Jewish consistory
Browning Elizabeth Barrett
Elizabeth Barrett Browning 
"Sonnets from the Portuguese"
Kleist: "Der zerbrochene Krug"
Laube Heinrich
Thorvaldsen: "Hebe"
David Wilkie: "Village Politicians"
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4
Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Op. 61
Arriaga Juan
Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga - "Agar dans le désert"
Juan Arriaga
Latreille Pierre Andre
1807 Part I
Battle of Eylau
Battle of Friedland
Treaty of Tilsit
Bonaparte Jerome
Mustafa IV
Chesapeake–Leopard Affair
Embargo Act
Garibaldi Giuseppe
Stein Karl
Gunboat War (1807-1814)
Invasion of Portugal
1807 Part II
Albright Jacob
Hegel: "Phanomenologie des Geistes"
Hufeland Gottlieb
Charles and Mary Lamb: "Tales from Shakespeare"
Longfellow Henry Wadsworth
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"The Song of Hiawatha"
Vischer Friedrich Theodor
Wordsworth: "Ode on Intimations of Immortality"
1807 Part III
David: "Coronation of Napoleon"
Zeshin Shibata
Beethoven: Coriolan Overture
Beethoven: "Leonora Overture" No. 3
Beethoven: "Appassionata"
Etienne Nicolas Mehul: "Joseph"
Spontini Gaspare
Spontini - La vestale
Gaspare Spontini
Bell Charles
Bonpland Aime Jacques Alexandre
Thompson David
Ascot Gold Cup
Slave Trade Act 1807
1808 Part I
Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves
Peninsular War (1807–1814)
1808 Part II
Erfurt Congress
Napoleon III
Fries Jakob Friedrich
Goethe: "Faust"
Kleist: "Das Katchen von Heilbronn"
Walter Scott: "Marmion"
Arnim and Brentano: "Des Knaben Wunderhorn"
Achim Ludwig
1808 Part III
Daumier Honore
Honore Daumier
Caspar Friedrich: "The Cross on the Mountains"
Goya: "Execution of the Citizens of Madrid"
Ingres: "Oedipus and the Sphinx"
Spitzweg Carl
Carl Spitzweg
Philipp Otto Runge: "The Morning"
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 5
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 6 "Pastoral"
Gay-Lussac Joseph-Louis
Goethe and Napoleon meet at Erfurt
Robinson Henry Crabb
1809 Part I
Treaty of Dardanelles
Invasion of Martinique
War of the Fifth Coalition
Battle of Wagram
Peace of Schonbrunn
Gladstone William Ewart
Charles XIII
Treaty of Amritsar
Napoleon annexes Papal States
Lincoln Abraham
Abraham Lincoln
1809 Part II
Darwin Charles
Charles Darwin
On the Origin of Species by Natural selection
Ricardo David
Campbell Thomas
Thomas Campbell: "Gertrude of Wyoming"
FitzGerald Edward
Goethe: "The Elective Affinities"
Gogol Nikolai
Krylov Ivan
Рое Edgar Allan
Edgar Allan Poe
"The Raven"
"The Fall of the House of Usher"
Tennyson Alfred
Alfred Tennyson
"Idylls of the King"
"Lady of Shalott", "Sir Galahad"
1809 Part III
Caspar Friedrich: "Monk by the Sea"
Flandrin Jean-Hippolyte
Hippolyte Flandrin
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5
Mendelssohn Felix
Mendelssohn - String Symphony No. 10 in B minor
Felix Mendelssohn
Spontini: "Fernand Cortez"
Maclure William
Sommerring Samuel Thomas
Braille Louis
Seton Elizabeth

The Consulta of the République cisalpine receives the First Consul on 26 January 1802, Nicolas-André Monsiau, 1806–08
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1802 Part I
Napoleon becomes President of Italian (formerly Cisalpine) Republic;
Napoleon creates Order of Legion of Honor;
Napoleon becomes First Consul for life;
Napoleon annexes Piedmont, Parma, and Piacenza
Napoleon president of Italian Republic

In January 1802, the Consulta decided to change the name of the State to the Italian Republic, when Napoleon had himself elected president, on 24 January, on the advice of Talleyrand.

Two days later, in a scene officially commemorated by Monsiau, Bonaparte appeared in the Collège de la Trinité of Lyon, attended by Murat, Berthier, Louis Bonaparte, Hortense and Joséphine de Beauharnais, and heard the assembled notables proclaim the Italian Republic.

On 21 Pluviose (10 February) the new constitutional government was proclaimed in Milan by Sommariva and Ruga.

The same day, the Gregorian calendar was restored.

The Consulta of the République cisalpine receives the First Consul on 26 January 1802, Nicolas-André Monsiau, 1806–08
Legion of Honour

Legion of Honour, officially National Order of the Legion of Honour, French Ordre National de la Légion d’honneur, premier order of the French republic, created by Napoleon Bonaparte, then first consul, on May 19, 1802, as a general military and civil order of merit conferred without regard to birth or religion provided that anyone admitted swears to uphold liberty and equality.


Knight medal of the French Légion d'honneur

Grand collier de la Légion d'honneur

Napoleon’s ideas for this order, which finally prevailed, aroused a certain amount of opposition, particularly from those who felt the Legion should have purely military qualifications.
After becoming emperor, Napoleon presided over the first investiture into the Legion, which took place in 1804 at the Hôtel des Invalides, Paris.

In 1805, schools were started for daughters of members; later, hospitals were maintained for sick and infirm legionnaires. During the Restoration, the Legion became a royal order, ranked below the restored military and religious orders of the ancien régime.
Upon the downfall of the monarchy, the Legion once again became the highest-ranking order and decoration in France.
  True to the stated ideals of Napoleon when founding the order, the membership of the Legion is remarkably egalitarian; both men and women, French citizens and foreigners, civilians and military personnel, irrespective of rank, birth, or religion, can be admitted to any of the classes of the Legion. Admission into this order, which can be conferred posthumously, requires 20 years of civil achievement in peacetime or extraordinary military bravery and service in times of war. Admission into the Legion for war services automatically carries with it the award of the Croix de Guerre, the highest French military medal. During the Consulate and the First Empire, Napoleon served as the grand master of the order, while a grand council of seven grand officers administered the 15 territorial units, or “cohorts,” into which the order was divided.

Napoleon, as emperor, always wore the cross and Grand Eagle of the Légion d'Honneur
  Currently, the president of France serves as grand master, and the order is administered by a civil chancellor with the help of a council nominated by the grand master. The Legion has five classes, listed in descending rank: grand cross (limited to 80 members), grand officer (200), commander (1,000), officer (4,000), and knight, or chevalier (unlimited). Napoleon himself made some 48,000 nominations. Foreign recipients in the classes higher than chevalier are supernumerary. Promotion from a lower grade to a higher grade is done according to the service performed in the lower. However, extraordinary services may admit candidates at once to any rank. The changes in design of the insignia reflect the vicissitudes of French history. Originally, the star of the order depicted a crown surrounded by oak and laurel wreaths with the head of Napoleon, while the other side displayed an eagle holding a thunderbolt with the motto emblazoned “Honneur et Patrie” (“Honour and Country”).
During the first Restoration, Louis XVIII, in 1814, replaced the head of Napoleon with that of King Henry IV of France, and on the other side introduced the royal fleur-de-lis emblem. Napoleon III, in 1870, restored the original design, although he replaced the head of Napoleon with the female head of the Republic. The badge of the Legion depicts this head with the inscription “République Française”; the reverse side has a set of crossed tricolours with the motto “Honneur et Patrie.”

Encyclopædia Britannica

Napoleon as First Consul for life

Bonaparte had now to rid himself of Sieyès and of those republicans who had no desire to hand over the republic to one man, particularly of Moreau and Masséna, his military rivals.


Napoleon Bonaparte as First Consul, February 1803 by François Gérard
  The victory of Marengo (14 June 1800) momentarily in the balance, but secured by Desaix and Kellermann, offered a further opportunity to his jealous ambition by increasing his popularity.

The royalist plot of the Rue Saint-Nicaise on 24 December 1800 allowed him to make a clean sweep of the democratic republicans, who despite their innocence were deported to French Guiana. He annulled the Assemblies and made the Senate omnipotent in constitutional matters.

The Treaty of Lunéville, signed in February 1801 with Austria (which had been disarmed by Moreau’s victory at Hohenlinden), restored peace to Europe, gave nearly the whole of Italy to France, and permitted Bonaparte to eliminate from the Assemblies all the leaders of the opposition in the discussion of the Civil Code. The Concordat of 1801, drawn up not in the Church's interest but in that of his own policy, by giving satisfaction to the religious feeling of the country, allowed him to put down the constitutional democratic Church, to rally round him the consciences of the peasants, and above all to deprive the royalists of their best weapon. The Articles Organiques hid from the eyes of his companions-in-arms and councillors a reaction which, in fact if not in law, restored to a submissive Church, despoiled of her revenues, her position as the religion of the state.
The Peace of Amiens (25 March 1802) with the United Kingdom, of which France's allies, Spain and the Batavian Republic, paid all the costs, finally gave the peacemaker a pretext for endowing himself with a Consulate, not for ten years but for life, as a recompense from the nation. The Rubicon was crossed on that day: Bonaparte’s march to empire began with the Constitution of the Year X.
On 2 August 1802 (14 Thermidor, An X), a second national referendum was held, this time to confirm Napoleon as "First Consul for Life." Once again, a vote claimed 99.8% approval.

As Napoleon increased his power, he borrowed many techniques of the Ancien Régime in his new form of one-man government.

Like the old monarchy, he re-introduced plenipotentiaries, an over-centralised, strictly utilitarian administrative and bureaucratic methods, and a policy of subservient pedantic scholasticism towards the nation's universities.

He constructed or consolidated the funds necessary for national institutions, local governments, a judiciary system, organs of finance, banking, codes, traditions of conscientious well-disciplined labour force.

France enjoyed a high level of peace and order under Napoleon that helped to raise the standard of comfort.

Provisions, in Paris which had so often suffered from hunger and thirst, and lacked fire and light, had become cheap and abundant; while trade prospered and wages ran high.

  The pomp and luxury of the nouveaux riches were displayed in the salons of the good Joséphine, the beautiful Madame Tallien, and the "divine" Juliette Récamier.

In strengthening the machinery of state, Napoleon created the elite order of the Légion d'honneur (The Legion of Honour), the Concordat, and restored indirect taxes, an act seen as a betrayal of the Revolution.

Napoleon was largely able to quell dissent within government by expelling his more vocal critics, such as Benjamin Constant and Madame de Staël. The expedition to San Domingo reduced the republican army to a nullity. Constant war helped demoralise and scatter the military's leaders, who were jealous of their "comrade" Bonaparte. The last major challenge to Napoleon's authority came from Moreau, who was compromised in a royalist plot; he too was sent into exile.

In contradistinction to the opposition of senators and republican generals, the majority of the French populace remained uncritical of Bonaparte's authority. No suggestion of the possibility of his death was tolerated.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Treaty of Amiens

The Treaty of Amiens temporarily ended hostilities between the French Republic and the United Kingdom during the French Revolutionary Wars. It was signed in the city of Amiens on 25 March 1802 (Germinal 4, year X in the French Revolutionary calendar), by Joseph Bonaparte and the Marquess Cornwallis as a "Definitive Treaty of Peace". The consequent Peace of Amiens lasted only one year (18 May 1803) and was the only period of peace during the so-called 'Great French War' between 1793 and 1815. Under the treaty, Britain recognised the French Republic; the British parliament had only two years previously dropped England's historical claim to the now-defunct French Kingdom. Together with the Treaty of Lunéville (1801), the Treaty of Amiens marked the end of the Second Coalition, which had waged war against Revolutionary France since 1798.

Treaty of Amiens, (March 27, 1802), an agreement signed at Amiens, Fr., by Britain, France, Spain, and the Batavian Republic (the Netherlands), achieving a peace in Europe for 14 months during the Napoleonic Wars.

It ignored some questions that divided Britain and France, such as the fate of the Belgian provinces, Savoy, and Switzerland and the trade relations between Britain and the French-controlled European continent.

Notwithstanding military reverses overseas, France and its allies recovered most of their colonies, though Britain retained Trinidad (taken from Spain) and Ceylon (taken from the Dutch).

France recognized the Republic of the Seven Ionian Islands and agreed to evacuate Naples and the Papal States.

The British were to restore Egypt (evacuated by the French) to the Ottoman Empire and Malta to the Knights of St. John within three months.

The rights and territories of the Ottoman Empire and of Portugal were to be respected, with the exception that France would keep Portuguese Guinea.

Encyclopædia Britannica
James Gillray, The first Kiss this Ten Years! —or—the meeting of Britannia & Citizen François (1803)

The treaty, beyond confirming "peace, friendship, and good understanding", called for:

-The restoration of prisoners and hostages.
-The United Kingdom to return the Cape Colony to the Batavian Republic.
-The UK to return most of its captured Dutch West Indian islands to the Batavian Republic.
-The UK to withdraw its forces from Egypt.
-The ceding to the UK of Trinidad and Ceylon.
-France to withdraw its forces from the Papal States and the Kingdom of Naples.
-The borders of French Guiana to be fixed.
-Malta, Gozo, and Comino to be restored to the Hospitallers and to be declared neutral, although the islands remained under the British Empire.
-The island of Minorca be returned to Spain.
-The House of Orange-Nassau was to be compensated for its losses in the Netherlands.

Battle of San Domingo

The Battle of San Domingo was a naval battle of the Napoleonic Wars fought on 6 February 1806 between squadrons of French and British ships of the line off the southern coast of the French-occupied Spanish colonial Captaincy General of Santo Domingo (San Domingo in contemporary British English) in the Caribbean Sea. The French squadron, under Vice-Admiral Corentin Urbain Leissègues in the 120-gun Impérial, had sailed from Brest in December 1805, one of two squadrons intending to raid British trade routes as part of the Atlantic campaign of 1806.

Separating from the squadron under Contre-Admiral Jean-Baptiste Willaumez in the mid-Atlantic, Leissègues sailed for the Caribbean. After winter storms near the Azores damaged and scattered his squadron, Leissègues regrouped and repaired his ships at the city of Santo Domingo, where a British squadron under Vice-Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth discovered them on 6 February 1806.
Duckworth had abandoned his assigned station off Cadiz in pursuit of Willaumez during December and traveled so far across the Atlantic in pursuit that he was forced to resupply at St. Kitts in the Leeward Islands, where news had reached him of Leissègues' arrival.

By the time French lookouts at Santo Domingo had spotted Duckworth approaching from the southeast, it was too late for Leissègues to escape. Sailing with the wind westwards along the coast, Leissègues formed a line of battle to meet the approaching British squadron, which had split into two divisions. Although his divisions separated during the approach, Duckworth's lead ships remained in a tight formation and successfully engaged the head of the French line, targeting the flagship Impérial. Under pressure, the French squadron broke apart with the British isolating and capturing three ships before concentrating on the main combat around the French flagship. Severely damaged and surrounded, Leissègues drove Impérial ashore to avoid capture. The remaining French ship of the line, Diomède, followed him. Although most of the crew of these ships scrambled ashore, British boarding parties captured both vessels and set them on fire. The only French ships to escape the battle were three smaller warships, which Duckworth's squadron had ignored; they eventually returned to France.

Willaumez's squadron remained at large in the Atlantic until July 1806, when a hurricane scattered the vessels along the American Seaboard where British patrols were waiting to intercept them. Of the 11 ships that set out in December 1805, just four eventually returned to France. The crews of the British squadron were decorated for their success, with the exception of Duckworth, who shared in the general thanks but was otherwise unrewarded. By leaving his post off Cadiz he had provoked the anger of Vice-Admiral Lord Collingwood, commander in the Mediterranean; only his victory enabled Duckworth to escape a court martial.

The battle of San Domingo was the last fleet engagement of the war between French and British capital ships in open water. The Royal Navy's dominance off every French port made the risks involved in putting to sea insurmountable. The only subsequent breakout attempt, by the Brest fleet in 1809, ended with the defeat of the French fleet close to its own anchorage at the Battle of the Basque Roads.

In late 1805, First Lord of the Admiralty Lord Barham withdrew the Royal Navy blockade of the French Atlantic ports following the Trafalgar Campaign, in which the French Navy had lost 14 ships of the line. Barham believed that the French, having suffered such heavy losses, would be unable and unwilling to launch a major offensive in the Atlantic until after the winter. However he had miscalculated the strength of the fleet at Brest, the principal French Atlantic seaport. The Brest fleet had not been engaged in the 1805 campaign and was therefore intact.

Taking advantage of the withdrawal of the British blockade, Emperor Napoleon ordered two squadrons to put to sea with orders to raid the British trade routes that crossed the Atlantic. These forces were to inflict as much economic damage to Britain as possible without engaging an equivalent British naval squadron and risking defeat and capture. The cruise was expected to last as long as 14 months, sustained by captured food supplies from British merchant ships. Sailing unopposed on 13 December 1805, the squadrons separated two days later in pursuit of British merchant convoys, one squadron steering for the South Atlantic under Contre-Admiral Jean-Baptiste Willaumez and the other, under Vice-Admiral Corentin-Urbain Leissègues, sailing for the Caribbean. The Admiralty in London did not discover that the French had sailed until 24 December, and the two squadrons they prepared in pursuit, under Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Strachan and Rear-Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren, did not sail until January 1806, by which time the French had disappeared into the Atlantic.

There was however one British squadron that had maintained contact with the French: since the Battle of Trafalgar in October 1805, the Admiralty had stationed a squadron under Vice-Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth off Cadiz to watch the remnants of the combined fleet. In November 1805, reports reached Duckworth of a French squadron operating against British convoys off the Savage Islands between Madeira and the Canary Islands. This squadron, which belonged to Contre-Admiral Zacharie Allemand, had left France in July 1805. Immediately sailing to investigate, Duckworth abandoned Cadiz, leaving just two frigates to watch the Allied fleet at anchor. Passing the Savage and Canary Islands, Duckworth continued to the Cape Verde Islands before conceding that the French had escaped him and turning northwards again. Allemand was already far to the north. He eventually returned to France without incident on 23 December.


Duckworth's Action off San Domingo, 6 February 1806. The Impérial being harassed by the much weaker HMS Northumberland before being driven ashore.
Nicholas Pocock, 1808, National Maritime Museum
Duckworth's cruise
During his return journey to Cadiz, on 23 December Duckworth encountered HMS Arethusa under Captain Charles Brisbane escorting a small group of merchant ships. Leissègues had intercepted, chased and dispersed Brisbane's convoy in the Bay of Biscay on 15 December, Brisbane retaining only the largest merchant ships to help cover the flight of the smaller vessels. Once he had escaped Leissègues' pursuit, Brisbane sailed in search of support at Cadiz, continuing southwards after realizing that Duckworth was not at his appointed station. Immediately setting a course that he believed would intercept Leissègues, Duckworth turned to the northwest and on 25 December discovered an enemy squadron approximately 200 nautical miles (370 km) northwest of the Canary Islands. Duckworth ordered his squadron to pursue, the chase lasting throughout the day and continuing into 26 December, by which time it had become clear that his quarry was not Allemand. In fact, Duckworth had discovered Willaumez's squadron.

However, the French admiral ordered his ships to run before Duckworth rather than give battle. By 13:00 on 26 December, it seemed certain that the British flagship, HMS Superb, would outstrip the rearmost French ship, when Duckworth suddenly called off the pursuit. He later claimed that he was concerned that the leading ships of his squadron would be overwhelmed by the concentrated French squadron before the stragglers, some of which were more than 45 nautical miles (83 km) behind Superb, could join the battle.

As Willaumez escaped into the South Atlantic, Duckworth ordered his squadron to sail for Barbados to resupply before making the long journey back to Cadiz. When he arrived on 12 January 1806, he ordered the frigate HMS Acasta to St. Kitts to arrange the required water supplies, and moved the squadron to an anchorage off Basseterre on 19 January.
  There two ships of the Leeward Islands squadron, HMS Northumberland and HMS Atlas, joined him. Northumberland was the flagship of Rear-Admiral Alexander Cochrane, commander of the station.

Cochrane's arrival raised the number of admirals in the squadron to three, as Duckworth's second in command was Rear-Admiral Thomas Louis in HMS Canopus. Leissègues was also en route to the Caribbean, winter storms off the Azores having delayed him, separated Alexandre and Brave and inflicted damage on Jupiter and Diomède. Arriving at the French-held city of Santo Domingo on the island of Hispanola on 20 January, Leissègues disembarked over 1,000 soldiers as reinforcements for the garrison, and made hasty repairs as he awaited the arrival of his missing ships, which appeared on 29 January. During his time in the harbour, Leissègues moved ashore and gave orders for the ships to be recaulked following their Atlantic voyage, a difficult and time-consuming process.

On 1 February the small sloop HMS Kingfisher arrived at Basseterre with information that three French ships of the line had been sighted off Santo Domingo. Duckworth gave orders for the fleet to sail immediately. On 3 February the brig HMS Epervier joined him at St. Thomas and on 5 February the frigate HMS Magicienne under Captain Adam Mackenzie joined near the Mona Passage. Mackenzie was accompanied by a Danish schooner that had sailed from Santo Domingo a few days before, and whose crew were able to provide a detailed account of the French squadron's composition. Before the schooner had sailed, a number of French officers had commented on the risk involved in allowing the vessel to leave port, but the admiral had refused their demands that he burn the Danish ship. Duckworth was now confident that he outnumbered and outgunned Leissègues. During the night of 5 February the British squadron slowly approached Santo Domingo, Acasta and Magicienne scouting ahead of the main fleet.


The Battle of San Domingo, 6 February 1806, with H.M.S.
Canopus Joining the Action, Thomas Lyde Hornbrook
Duckworth's attack

At 06:00 on 6 February Duckworth's scouts sighted the French, observing two frigates, five ships of the line and one large merchant ship anchored in line at the entrance to Santo Domingo. Leissègues had reportedly issued orders for the squadron to sail for Jamaica, even though several of the French ships were not yet ready for sea, and two frigates were already under sail when the British arrived. Leissègues was not aboard Impérial; he and a number of his officers were still conducting their business in the town and were therefore forced to join the squadron in small boats, which delayed the squadron. Several officers, possibly including Leissègues, did not reach their ships until after the engagement had begun. Recognising that his enemy was in a vulnerable position, Duckworth raised all sail in an effort to close with the French. Leissègues too recognised the danger his ships were in and ordered them to raise anchor and then to sail westwards along the coast in the direction of Nizao. Maintaining close formation, the French formed a line of battle, Captain Pierre-Elie Garreau in Alexandre leading, with Impérial, Diomède, Jupiter and Brave following. The frigates and corvette took a position between the battle line and the shore. Duckworth was concerned that there might be other French forces to the west. He therefore angled his line of attack to pass across the front of the French line and signaled to his squadron to direct their fire at the front three ships: Alexandre, Impérial and Diomède.

At 08:00 Duckworth's ships divided into two divisions, a westerly line to windward under Duckworth with Superb, Northumberland, HMS Spencer and HMS Agamemnon, and an eastern line under Louis with Canopus, HMS Donegal and Atlas. The British frigates were gathered in formation to the west of the British lines, awaiting orders to assist if required. Over the next two hours the British slowly closed with the French squadron, the British divisions breaking up as the faster ships outpaced the slower. Louis' squadron fell behind Duckworth's, while Agamemnon dropped behind the other three vessels in her division, which otherwise remained in a tight formation. A slight shift in the wind allowed Leissègues to adjust his direction to the southwest, but the close presence of the land restricted French movements and at 10:10 Superb was able to open fire on Alexandre.

With the British flagship engaged with the leading French vessel, Northumberland opened fire on the next in line, Leissègues' flagship Impérial. The French ship carried 120 guns to Northumberland's 74, but Cochrane engaged closely, rapidly supported by Spencer, which opened fire on Impérial and Diomède simultaneously. For 15 minutes the British continued to close, both squadrons sailing westwards along the coast with the wind. At 10:25, the damaged Alexandre suddenly swung out of the line in an attempt to drive between Spencer and Northumberland and rake them both. Captain Robert Stopford on Spencer responded rapidly, turning across Alexandre's bow and raking her, before pulling along the opposite side of Garreau's Alexandre and opening fire from close range. In the smoke and confusion neither Superb nor Northumberland noticed Spencer's move; both fired several shots into Spencer before they realized their mistake. With Spencer and Alexandre out of the way, Impérial was able to engage both of the leading British ships, threatening to overwhelm them. Cochrane moved to defend the flagship by pulling Northumberland between Impérial and Superb, suffering terrible damage but preserving Duckworth's ship intact. Impérial's fire was so heavy that several shot passed straight through Northumberland into Superb.

  Destruction of the French rear
As the combat raged at the head of the line, the remainder of both squadrons strained to join the battle. The British eastern division under Louis reached the battling Alexandre and Spencer at 10:35, the two ships locked together to the south of the main engagement. As they passed, Canopus, Donegal and Atlas all raked the French ship, bringing down all of her masts and leaving her in a crippled state. Canopus then steered directly towards the battle around Impérial, as Donegal and Atlas turned northwest to intercept Brave and Jupiter respectively. At 11:00, Spencer followed Canopus while Alexandre's crew were preoccupied with extinguishing a fire that had broken out on board. Alexandre was so badly damaged that she was unable to either escape or continue the action; she formally surrendered ten minutes later.

Captain Pulteney Malcolm on Donegal attacked Brave directly, firing his starboard guns and then crossing Brave's stern, inflicting severe damage with a raking broadside, before pulling alongside again and engaging from close range. Badly damaged, Brave surrendered. Malcolm then ordered Captain Richard Dunn in Acasta to take possession as Donegal moved forward to engage Jupiter. With Donegal alongside Jupiter, Captain Samuel Pym in Atlas abandoned his brief engagement with the French ship and steered for the melee surrounding the increasingly isolated Impérial.

Taking advantage of his ship's superior speed, Malcolm pulled ahead of Jupiter and then rammed her bow, securing the ships together to prevent the French vessel from escaping. Recognising that further resistance was hopeless, Captain Gaspard Laignel surrendered immediately. Malcolm then sent 100 men on board as a prize crew and attached a towline to the French ship, just as the trailing Agamemnon finally reached the battle.

Leissègues drives ashore
Under the shroud of heavy smoke that confused the positions and identities of the ships at the head of the line, manoeuvering became hazardous: Atlas fired two broadsides into Impérial as she arrived and then raked the French flagship before her tiller jammed just as Diomède loomed out the smoke. Receiving a heavy broadside from the French ship, Atlas subsequently collided with Canopus as she too appeared immediately ahead, tearing off her bowsprit in the collision. Turning back into the battle, Atlas engaged Diomède at close range as the rest of the British squadron concentrated their fire on the beleaguered Impérial, with the exception of the damaged Northumberland, which was drifting out of the line.

With his main and mizzen masts collapsed and escape impossible, Leissègues turned his ship towards the shore at 11:30, outdistancing the fire from the drifting Northumberland and leaving Superb behind, Duckworth reluctant to risk his ship in the shallow coastal shoals. Canopus maintained the pressure, pursuing the French flagship until it was clear at 11:40 that Impérial was hard aground on a coral reef, less than a mile from the beach. Diomède, under attack by Atlas and the recently returned Spencer, followed Impérial ashore. As they struck the reef, both French ships lost their remaining masts and suffered severe damage to their hulls.
Their crews then gathered on deck and made preparations to abandon ship as the British squadron pulled back out of range of fire from the shore. During the engagement the French frigates and corvette had all slipped between the battling squadrons and the shoreline and escaped to the westwards. The British frigates were too preoccupied with boarding and towing prizes to initiate a chase.


Sir J.T. Duckworth's Action off San Domingo, by Thomas Whitcombe,
1817, National Maritime Museum
Destruction of Impérial and Diomède
As Duckworth gathered his squadron, Northumberland's mainmast collapsed across the deck, causing severe damage to the ship's fittings. Although Cochrane's flagship was the most severely damaged of the squadron, all had suffered to a degree: Superb's men counted 60 shot holes while Atlas was out of control and Donegal had lost one of her topmasts.

Casualties were also distributed throughout the fleet, with Northumberland and Spencer suffering the worst and Atlas the least except for the barely engaged Agamemnon. Total losses were 74 killed and 264 wounded and several ships were damaged, but Duckworth was rapidly able to effect repairs as his ships remained on station to observe the situation ashore.

Impérial and Diomède had both run aground between Nizao and Point Catalan, their hulls broadside to the beach and their bottoms stove in by the reefs that lay offshore. Using the remaining ship's boats and with assistance from the shore, the wounded and survivors were ferried to the beach. These operations continued uninterrupted until 8 February, when Duckworth sent boats from Acasta and Magicienne to the wrecks. Boarding unopposed, the boat parties removed the remaining French crewmen as prisoners and set both ships on fire to deny their potential use to the French, although Leissègues had in fact already issued orders for them to be burnt once the last men had been evacuated. Her captain, Jean-Baptiste Henry, was among the 150 prisoners the British took from Diomède.

  By contrast, the British found only six men still aboard Impérial, none of them officers. French casualties in the engagement were very heavy, with over 500 men estimated to have been killed or wounded on Impérial alone and over 1,000 additional casualties shared among the rest of the fleet. Jupiter had not been severely damaged in the engagement and Brave, although damaged in the hull, was in a sailing condition. Both ships had surrendered early in the engagement after losing their captains killed or wounded, in the initial exchanges. Alexandre, by contrast, was a shattered wreck. Her British prize crew only just prevented the gaping holes smashed in her hull from sinking her.

Duckworth remained at anchor off Santo Domingo for several more days until his entire squadron and their prizes were ready for the voyage to Jamaica, sending Commander Nathaniel Day Cochrane to Britain in Kingfisher with the official despatches. Admiral Cochrane separated from the fleet on the day of departure and Northumberland and Agamemnon sailed for Barbados in case other French forces should appear in the Leeward Islands while the main fleet was repairing at Jamaica. Duckworth was received at Jamaica with "rapturous acknowledgments" and his prizes were refitted for the journey back to Britain. In the event, Brave foundered off the Azores with the loss of three men, and Alexandre was too badly damaged for further service, being broken up on arrival. Only Jupiter, renamed HMS Maida after the recent French defeat at the battle of Maida in Italy, had any continued career in the Royal Navy. The only surviving French ships, the frigates Comète and Félicité, and the corvette Diligente all returned to France without incident over the following months.

The victory, just four months after the success at Trafalgar, was celebrated in Britain and across the Empire, particularly in the Caribbean. Mere rumours of Leissègues' presence had stifled trade and caused panic among the merchant houses of the West Indies and Duckworth's victory helped to restore confidence in commercial ocean travel once more. In Britain both the House of Commons and the House of Lords voted their thanks to the entire squadron when Duckworth's account of the action was read out, the motions led by Lord Grenville and Charles Grey, who both made expansive speeches in praise of Duckworth. Head money, a bounty on enemy servicemen killed, wounded or captured, was paid for 4,268 men, even though records showed that the French fleet carried significantly fewer men than that. Additional prize money was paid for the captured Jupiter and awards of money, ceremonial plate and ornate swords were made by patriotic societies and Lloyd's of London insurers. Admiral Louis was made a baronet and Cochrane a Knight Companion of the Order of the Bath, while a number of promotions were distributed among the first lieutenants.
Duckworth, however, received nothing beyond his share of the general rewards. Vice-Admiral Lord Collingwood, commander in chief of the Mediterranean, was furious that Duckworth had deserted his post off Cadiz, failed to bring Willaumez to battle in December and then sailed for the West Indies to resupply rather than returning to the Spanish coast. Historians William James and William Laird Clowes both considered that if Duckworth had not defeated Leissègues he would probably have faced a court martial. Duckworth's absence forced Collingwood to divert some of his own ships to the Cadiz blockade. The force provided still proved inadequate – on 26 February a French frigate squadron broke out of the port and escaped to Rochefort. Collingwood's influence was enough to block additional rewards to Duckworth, who subsequently returned to the Mediterranean and in 1807 commanded the fleet at the ineffectual Dardanelles Operation. Over four decades later the battle was among the actions recognised by a clasp attached to the Naval General Service Medal, awarded upon application to all British participants still living in 1847.

In France, the government press misrepresented the battle. Le Moniteur Universel published a report purportedly written by Captain Raymond Cocault of the corvette Diligente. The report began by inaccurately claiming that the British squadron consisted of nine ships of the line. The report concluded with the information that two British ships had been destroyed on the San Domingo coast alongside three French and that two others had been dismasted and were badly damaged. The official French report, written by Leissègues but not published in France, contradicted this version of events.

  Leissègues stated that Cocault, with the other smaller warships, had made all sail to the westwards at the start of the engagement and that by the time the flagship drove ashore, Diligente was already out of sight. Leissègues remained on Santo Domingo for some time, but had returned to Europe by the time the colony fell to a joint English and Spanish force in July 1809. He later received a regional command in the Ionian Sea and took part in the Adriatic campaign.

The Atlantic campaign continued throughout the spring and summer. Willaumez was able to avoid the British squadrons searching for him by remaining deep in the South Atlantic. However, on 13 March 1806 the British under Warren intercepted and defeated an unrelated French squadron under Contre-Admiral Charles-Alexandre Durand Linois while he was returning from the Indian Ocean. Eventually forced north in search of additional food supplies, Willaumez entered the Caribbean, where he hoped to intercept the Jamaica convoy to Britain. The disobedience of one of his own captains foiled Willaumez's plan and he ordered his squadron to its final cruising ground, off Newfoundland. On 18 August 1806, while it was deep in the Central Atlantic, a ferocious hurricane caught the squadron and scattered it. Willaumez eventually found shelter in Havana; a number of his ships reached ports in the United States, some too badly damaged to ever sail again. Only four of the 11 ships of the line that left Brest in December 1805 ever returned to France. San Domingo was the last fleet battle of the Wars to be fought in open water; the only subsequent engagement between fleets was the Battle of Basque Roads, fought in the narrow, shallow waters at the mouth of the Charente River.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Napoleon I

Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815)
Kossuth Lajos

Lajos Kossuth, (born Sept. 19, 1802, Monok, Hung.—died March 20, 1894, Turin, Italy), political reformer who inspired and led Hungary’s struggle for independence from Austria. His brief period of power in the revolutionary years of 1848 and 1849, however, was ended by Russian armies.

Early career
Kossuth’s father came of Slovak, his mother of local German stock. The family was noble and of ancient creation but not wealthy, and Kossuth’s father earned his living as an attorney for local landowning families. The Kossuths were Lutherans, and young Lajos studied at the Protestant academy of Sárospatak. After applying unsuccessfully for a post in government service, he found employment in his native county of Zemplén as agent to one of his father’s clients, Countess Etelka Andrássy, with whom he formed an attachment. He did notable work during the great cholera epidemic of 1831 but found his life narrow and frustrating; he was also suffering, as he would all his life, from financial embarrassment. In 1832 his employer had him sent to the national Diet in Pozsony (now Bratislava) as substitute delegate for one of her relatives.

Lajos Kossuth
  Political journalism
At this “long Diet” the new generation of Hungary’s reformers was mounting its first full-scale offensive against the absolutist and obscurantist system under which Hungary was then ruled from Vienna, and in its excited atmosphere Kossuth developed his political and social philosophy of advanced radicalism.

There was no postulate of the European liberalism of the day that he did not burn to see realized in Hungary—no abuse or injustice there left unremedied. But liberty meant for him, above all else, national liberty, and he felt passionately that, until Hungary enjoyed de facto the internal freedom to which its laws entitled it, no social or economic progress was possible. The first battle, therefore, must be the political one. Sanguine and impulsive, he was blind to the dangers involved in too strong a challenge to Vienna.

Kossuth’s mandate did not entitle him to participate in the Diet’s debates, but he found a way of voicing his views. At that time the Diet’s proceedings were not published, and Kossuth hit on the idea of issuing letters describing them. These reports, which were not verbatim records but colourful impressions barely distinguishable from political pamphlets, were copied by hand by enthusiastic young helpers and circulated throughout Hungary.

Brilliantly written, they were widely and avidly read, and, when the Diet ended in 1836, the county assembly of Pest invited him to write a similar series on its proceedings. Now, however, he was no longer protected by parliamentary immunity, and on May 4, 1837, he was arrested and, after 18 months’ detention, sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for subversion.

Released under an amnesty in 1840, Kossuth found himself a popular hero. The proprietor of a biweekly journal, the Pesti Hirlap, made him its editor. His articles were written in a fluent and beguiling style and gained him innumerable devotees at the same time that they alarmed the Austrian authorities, the Hungarian conservatives, and even Hungary’s moderate reformers. He also antagonized the Croats and non-Magyars of Hungary by his chauvinistic insistence on the supremacy of its Magyar element. In 1844 his publisher dismissed him, and he was refused permission to start a journal of his own. Metternich offered him journalistic employment in the service of the government, but this he refused. His next enterprise, inspired by the writings of the German economist and industrial promoter Friedrich List, was to found a society for promoting Hungarian industry, with the ultimate objective of achieving greater economic independence. This program proved a fiasco but afforded him a platform for continued agitation.

Lithograph of Kossuth in 1853
  The revolution of 1848.
In 1847 the county of Pest elected Kossuth to represent it in the next Diet, in which he assumed leadership of the “national opposition,” which had agreed on an extensive program of political and social reform. The reformers made a little progress in subsidiary fields, but deadlock had been reached on the central issue of political control when the news of the revolution in Paris (February 1848) gave Kossuth his opportunity. On March 3, in a speech of extraordinary power—for his tongue was as magical as his pen—he demanded the removal of the dead hand of Viennese absolutism as the only way to safeguard the liberties of Hungary and of all the peoples of the monarchy. He practically dictated to the Diet an address to the crown, embodying the reformers’ program. When news of the revolution in Vienna reached the Diet on March 14, Kossuth expanded the address, and, as a member of the deputation that carried it to Vienna the next day, saw it accepted by the panic-stricken court.

Count Lajos Batthyány, the new Hungarian prime minister, allotted Kossuth the portfolio of finance in his government, a choice that proved dangerous, for the ultimate control of finance proved, with that of the defense services, to be precisely the chief bone of contention between Hungary and Vienna. Kossuth was soon at loggerheads with the new Ministry of Finance in Vienna—meanwhile, he had made himself the life and soul of the more extreme nationalist movement in Hungary, often to the embarrassment of his fellow ministers, who were striving to prevent a breach with Vienna. Kossuth often acted without consulting them or even in defiance of agreed decisions, appealing over their heads to the public in a journal edited and mainly written by himself. Yet they dared not dismiss him and could not even dispense with his services, for his nationwide popularity was their greatest asset.

It was Kossuth who, so far as any Hungarian did so, precipitated the final clash by persuading the Diet, in July, to tie the dispatch of Hungarian troops to Italy to political conditions obviously unacceptable to Vienna, at the same time calling for a big national force to defend Hungary against the danger he declared, not without reason, to be threatening it from the Croats and Serbs. When, in September, the Austrian-inspired Croat army invaded Hungary and Batthyány resigned, Kossuth became head of the committee of national defense appointed by the Diet as provisional authority. He was now virtual dictator of Hungary. The next months brought out all of his greatness and his weaknesses: his magnetism and his courage, his intolerance and his lack of realism, his wanton provocation of insuperable difficulties and his genius at overcoming them. No one but Kossuth could have given his people the heart to face the overwhelming odds against them, but he increased those odds by his intransigence and aggravated difficulties by his jealousy and suspicion of his best general, Artúr Görgey, and by his meddling in military affairs. The refusal of the Diet to recognize the abdication of the Austrian emperor Ferdinand I (December 2) was his work, as was the Diet’s declaration of April 14, 1849, proclaiming the dethronement of “the perjured House of Habsburg-Lorraine.” The Diet then elected Kossuth himself “governor” of Hungary, but when, after the arrival of the Russian armies, even he had to recognize the hopelessness of the situation, he resigned this post to Görgey (August 11) and took refuge in Turkey.

Kossuth in 1859 by Adam-Salomon
The Western powers put pressure on the sultan to refuse Austria’s and Russia’s demand for his extradition, and Kossuth spent two years interned in Kütahya in Anatolia. The U.S. government invited him to visit America and sent a frigate. He stopped in England on the way, where he addressed a series of mass meetings, speaking in English, which he had learned from the Bible and the works of William Shakespeare during his confinement. He was received with unprecedented popular ovations, and his reception in the United States was equally favourable, but in neither country could he obtain official support for Hungary’s cause. He then settled in London. In correspondence with his followers at home, he endeavoured to keep alive in them the spirit of resistance. At the persuasion of the Italian patriot Giuseppe Mazzini, with whom he became intimate, he joined his revolutionary committee. Having moderated his views on the question of nationalities, he discussed with various circles, including the Moldavian and Serbian courts, plans—never to be realized and perhaps never quite realistic—for uniting Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, and Romania in a Danubian federation.

In 1859, when war between Austria and France was imminent, the French emperor Napoleon III invited him in a personal interview to organize revolt in Hungary on the outbreak of war. Kossuth agreed, subject to certain safeguards and conditions.

Military preparations were concerted with France and Piedmont, and Kossuth’s own eloquence helped to deter Great Britain from intervening against France; but the plans collapsed when, in July, Napoleon concluded an armistice with the Austrian emperor Francis Joseph I, leaving the Hungarians to their fate.

The promising international conjuncture never recurred, and in the following years Kossuth, living abroad in Turin, had to watch Hungary, guided by Ferenc Deák, move toward reconciliation with the Austrian monarchy. He did so with bitterness in his heart, and on the eve of the conclusion of the Austro-Hungarian Ausgleich, or Compromise of 1867, he published an open letter calling down woe upon the measure and its author. This “Cassandra letter” stirred the opponents of the compromise but could not prevent its adoption and subsequent maintenance. He spent his last years in loneliness, near-poverty, and increasing infirmity, sadly aware that Hungary’s new leaders rejected the tenets to which he remained unalterably attached. He died in 1894. His body was brought back to Hungary and interred there amid nationwide mourning.


Photo of Lajos Kossuth
  In 1841 Kossuth had married Terézia Meszlényi, who died in 1863. Their son, Ferenc Kossuth, was for a time president of the Hungarian Party of Independence.

After his death, Kossuth remained a popular idol in Hungary, his name a symbol of the aspiration for independence.

His legend grew with the years and was further cultivated after 1945, when Hungary had lost much of the independence for which Kossuth struggled.

Kossuth wrote one volume of autobiography that was published in English in 1880 as Memories of My Exile.

It mainly concerns his activities in 1859–61 and contains valuable material on his interviews with Napoleon III, his dealings with the Italian statesman Cavour, and his correspondence with the Balkan courts in connection with his plans for a Danubian federation.

Carlile Aylmer Macartney

Encyclopædia Britannica

Bentham Jeremy: "Civil and Penal Legislation"
see also: Jeremy Bentham
G. F. Grotefend deciphers Babylonian cuneiform
Grotefend Georg Friedrich

Georg Friedrich Grotefend (June 9, 1775 – December 15, 1853) was a German epigraphist and philologist. He is known mostly for his contributions toward the decipherment of cuneiform.

He was born at Hann. Münden and died in Hanover. He was educated partly in his native town, partly at Ilfeld, where he remained till 1795, when he entered the university of Göttingen, and there became the friend of Heyne, Tychsen and Heeren. Heyne's recommendation procured for him an assistant mastership in the Göttingen gymnasium in 1797. While there he published his work De pasigraphia sive scriptura universali (1799), which led to his appointment in 1803 as prorector of the gymnasium of Frankfurt, and shortly afterwards as conrector. In 1821 he became director of the gymnasium at Hanover, a post which he retained till his retirement in 1849.

Georg Friedrich Grotefend

Grotefend was best known during his lifetime as a Latin and Italian philologist, though the attention he paid to his own language is shown by his Anfangsgründe der deutschen Poesie, published in 1815, and his foundation of a society for investigating the German tongue in 1817. In 1823-1824 appeared his revised edition of Helfrich Bernhard Wenck's Latin grammar, in two volumes, followed by a smaller grammar for the use of schools in 1826; in 1835-1838 a systematic attempt to explain the fragmentary remains of the Umbrian dialect, entitled Rudimenta linguae Umbricae ex inscriptionibus antiquis enodata (in eight parts); and in 1839 a work of similar character upon Oscan (Rudimenta linguae Oscae). In the same year he published a memoir on the coins of Bactria, under the name of Die Münzen der griechischen, parthischen und indoskythischen Könige von Baktrien und den Ländern am Indus.
He soon, however, returned to his favourite subject, and brought out a work in five parts, Zur Geographie und Geschichte von Alt-Italien (1840-1842.). Previously, in 1836, he had written a preface to Friedrich Wagenfeld's translation of the Sanchoniathon of Philo of Byblos, which was alleged to have been discovered in the preceding year in the Portuguese convent of Santa Maria de Merinhão.
But it was in the East rather than in the West that Grotefend did his greatest work. The cuneiform inscriptions of Persia had for some time been attracting attention in Europe; exact copies of them had been published by the Dutch artist Cornelis de Bruijn and the German traveller Niebuhr, who lost his eyesight over the work; and Grotefend's friend, Tychsen of Rostock, believed that he had ascertained the characters in the column, now known to be Persian, to be alphabetic.
At this point Grotefend took the matter up. His first discovery was communicated to the Royal Society of Göttingen in 1802, and reviewed by Tychsen two years afterwards. In 1815 he gave an account of it in Heeren's work on ancient history,. and in 1837 published his Neue Beiträge zur Erläuterung der persepolitanischen Keilschrift. Three years later appeared his Neue Beiträge zur Erläuterung der babylonischen Keilschrift. His discovery may be summed up as follows:

1. that the Persian inscriptions contain three different forms of cuneiform writing, so that the decipherment of the one would give the key to the decipherment of the others
2. that the characters of the Persian column are alphabetic and not syllabic
3. that they must be read from left to right
4. that the alphabet consists of forty letters, including signs for long and short vowels
5. that the Persepolitan inscriptions are written in Zend (which, however, is not the case), and must be ascribed to the age of the Achaemenian princes

  6. that a specific frequent word could refer to the Persian word for "king"
7. that the inscriptions satisfy the two following schemes: A) X king, great king of king, son of Y king; B) Y king, great king of king, son of Z;
8. that the presence of the two schemes A) and B) gives an opportunity to identify the people involved; it is necessary that X was a Persian king, his father was a Persian king too, but his grandfather was not king
9. according to this idea Grotefend was able to identify X for Xerxes, Y for Darius and Z with Hystaspes.

A basis had now been laid for the interpretation of the Persian inscriptions. What remained was to work out the results of Grotefend's discovery, a task performed by Eugène Burnouf, Christian Lassen and Sir Henry Rawlinson.

Interestingly, this work of Grotefend was spurred on by a simple bet which Grotefend made with a friend.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Schelling Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph: "Bruno, or On the Natural and Divine Principle of Things"
see also: Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling
Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich  and Schelling Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph publish the "Critical Journal of Philosophy"
  Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Hegel Friedrich

"The Philosophy of History"
see also: Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling
Dumas Alexandre, pere
Alexandre Dumas, père, (born July 24, 1802, Villers-Cotterêts, Aisne, Fr.—died Dec. 5, 1870, Puys, near Dieppe), one of the most prolific and most popular French authors of the 19th century. Without ever attaining indisputable literary merit, Dumas succeeded in gaining a great reputation first as a dramatist and then as a historical novelist, especially for such works as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. His memoirs, which, with a mixture of candour, mendacity, and boastfulness, recount the events of his extraordinary life, also provide a unique insight into French literary life during the Romantic period. He was the father (père) of the dramatist and novelist Alexandre Dumas, called Dumas fils.

Alexandre Dumas, père
  Dumas’s father, Thomas-Alexandre Davy de La Pailleterie—born out of wedlock to the marquis de La Pailleterie and Marie Cessette Dumas, a black slave of Santo Domingo—was a common soldier under the ancien régime who assumed the name Dumas in 1786. He later became a general in Napoleon’s army. The family fell on hard times, however, especially after General Dumas’s death in 1806, and the young Alexandre went to Paris to attempt to make a living as a lawyer. He managed to obtain a post in the household of the Duke d’Orléans, the future King Louis-Philippe, but tried his fortune in the theatre. He made contact with the actor François-Joseph Talma and with the young poets who were to lead the Romantic movement.

Dumas’s plays, when judged from a modern viewpoint, are crude, brash, and melodramatic, but they were received with rapture in the late 1820s and early 1830s. Henri III et sa cour (1829) portrayed the French Renaissance in garish colours; Napoléon Bonaparte (1831) played its part in making a legend of the recently dead emperor; and in Antony (1831) Dumas brought a contemporary drama of adultery and honour to the stage.
Though he continued to write plays, Dumas next turned his attention to the historical novel, often working with collaborators (especially Auguste Maquet). Considerations of probability or historical accuracy generally were ignored, and the psychology of the characters was rudimentary.

Dumas’s main interest was the creation of an exciting story set against a colourful background of history, usually the 16th or 17th century.

The best known of his works are Les Trois Mousquetaires (published 1844, performed 1845; The Three Musketeers), a romance about four swashbuckling heroes in the age of Cardinal Richelieu; Vingt ans après (1845; “Twenty Years After”); Le Comte de Monte Cristo (1844–45; The Count of Monte Cristo); Dix ans plus tard ou le Vicomte de Bragelonne (1848–50; “Ten Years Later; or, The Vicomte de Bragelonne”); and La Tulipe noire (1850; “The Black Tulip”).

When success came, Dumas indulged his extravagant tastes and consequently was forced to write more and more rapidly in order to pay his creditors. He tried to make money by journalism and with travel books but with little success.

The unfinished manuscript of a long-lost novel, Le Chevalier de Sainte-Hermine (The Last Cavalier), was discovered in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris in the late 1980s and first published in 2005.

Encyclopædia Britannica
Alexandre Dumas

"The Three Musketeers"
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Hauff Wilhelm

Wilhelm Hauff, (born Nov. 29, 1802, Stuttgart, Württemberg [Germany]—died Nov. 18, 1827, Stuttgart), German poet and novelist best known for his fairy tales.


Wilhelm Hauff
  Educated at the University of Tübingen, Hauff worked as a tutor and in 1827 became editor of J.F. Cotta’s newspaper Morgenblatt.

Hauff had a narrative and inventive gift and sense of form; he wrote with ease, combining narrative themes of others with his own. His work shows a pleasant, often spirited, wit.

There is a strong influence of E.T.A. Hoffmann in his fantasy Mitteilungen aus den Memoiren des Satans (1826–27; “Pronouncements from the Memoirs of Satan”). Hauff’s Lichtenstein (1826), a historical novel of 16th-century Württemberg, was one of the first imitations of Sir Walter Scott.

He is also known for a number of fairy tales that were published in his Märchenalmanach auf das Jahr 1826 and had lasting popularity. Similar volumes followed in 1827 and 1828.

His novellas, which were collected posthumously in Novellen, 3 vol. (1828), include Jud Süss (serialized 1827; The Jew Suss).

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Hugo Victor

Victor Hugo, in full Victor-Marie Hugo (born Feb. 26, 1802, Besançon, France—died May 22, 1885, Paris), poet, novelist, and dramatist who was the most important of the French Romantic writers. Though regarded in France as one of that country’s greatest poets, he is better known abroad for such novels as Notre-Dame de Paris (1831) and Les Misérables (1862).


Victor Hugo
  Early years (1802–30)
Victor was the third son of Joseph-Léopold-Sigisbert Hugo, a major and, later, general in Napoleon’s army. His childhood was coloured by his father’s constant traveling with the imperial army and by the disagreements that soon alienated his parents from one another. His mother’s royalism and his father’s loyalty to successive governments—the Convention, the Empire, the Restoration—reflected their deeper incompatibility. It was a chaotic time for Victor, continually uprooted from Paris to set out for Elba or Naples or Madrid, yet always returning to Paris with his mother, whose royalist opinions he initially adopted. The fall of the empire gave him, from 1815 to 1818, a time of uninterrupted study at the Pension Cordier and the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, after which he graduated from the law faculty at Paris, where his studies seem to have been purposeless and irregular. Memories of his life as a poor student later inspired the figure of Marius in his novel Les Misérables.

From 1816, at least, Hugo had conceived ambitions other than the law. He was already filling notebooks with verses, translations—particularly from Virgil—two tragedies, a play, and elegies. Encouraged by his mother, Hugo founded a review, the Conservateur Littéraire (1819–21), in which his own articles on the poets Alphonse de Lamartine and André de Chénier stand out.

His mother died in 1821, and a year later Victor married a childhood friend, Adèle Foucher, with whom he had five children. In that same year he published his first book of poems, Odes et poésies diverses, whose royalist sentiments earned him a pension from Louis XVIII. Behind Hugo’s concern for classical form and his political inspiration, it is possible to recognize in these poems a personal voice and his own particular vein of fantasy.

Victor Hugo in 1853
  In 1823 he published his first novel, Han d’Islande, which in 1825 appeared in an English translation as Hans of Iceland. The journalist Charles Nodier was enthusiastic about it and drew Hugo into the group of friends, all devotees of Romanticism, who met regularly at the Bibliothèque de L’Arsenal. While frequenting this literary circle, which was called the Cénacle, Hugo shared in launching a new review of moderate tendencies, the Muse Française (1823–24).
In 1824 he published a new verse collection, Nouvelles Odes, and followed it two years later with an exotic romance, Bug-Jargal (Eng. trans. The Slave King). In 1826 he also published Odes et ballades, an enlarged edition of his previously printed verse, the latest of these poems being brilliant variations on the fashionable Romantic modes of mirth and terror.

The youthful vigour of these poems was also characteristic of another collection, Les Orientales (1829), which appealed to the Romantic taste for Oriental local colour. In these poems Hugo, while skillfully employing a great variety of metres in his verse and using ardent and brilliant imagery, was also gradually shedding the legitimist royalism of his youth. It may be noted, too, that “Le Feu du ciel,” a visionary poem, forecast those he was to write 25 years later. The fusion of the contemporary with the apocalyptic was always a particular mark of Hugo’s genius.
Hugo emerged as a true Romantic, however, with the publication in 1827 of his verse drama Cromwell. The subject of this play, with its near-contemporary overtones, is that of a national leader risen from the people who seeks to be crowned king. But the play’s reputation rested largely on the long, elaborate preface, in which Hugo proposed a doctrine of Romanticism that for all its intellectual moderation was extremely provocative. He demanded a verse drama in which the contradictions of human existence—good and evil, beauty and ugliness, tears and laughter—would be resolved by the inclusion of both tragic and comic elements in a single play. Such a type of drama would abandon the formal rules of classical tragedy for the freedom and truth to be found in the plays of William Shakespeare. Cromwell itself, though immensely long and almost impossible to stage, was written in verse of great force and originality. In fact, the preface to Cromwell, as an important statement of the tenets of Romanticism, has proved far more important than the play itself.
Success (1830–51)
The defense of freedom and the cult of an idealized Napoleon in such poems as the ode “À la Colonne” and “Lui” brought Hugo into touch with the liberal group of writers on the newspaper Le Globe, and his move toward liberalism was strengthened by the French king Charles X’s restrictions on the liberty of the press as well as by the censor’s prohibiting the stage performance of his play Marion de Lorme (1829), which portrays the character of Louis XIII unfavourably.

Hugo immediately retorted with Hernani, the first performance of which, on Feb. 25, 1830, gained victory for the young Romantics over the Classicists in what came to be known as the battle of Hernani.

In this play Hugo extolled the Romantic hero in the form of a noble outlaw at war with society, dedicated to a passionate love and driven on by inexorable fate. The actual impact of the play owed less to the plot than to the sound and beat of the verse, which was softened only in the elegiac passages spoken by Hernani and Doña Sol.

While Hugo had derived his early renown from his plays, he gained wider fame in 1831 with his historical novel Notre-Dame de Paris (Eng. trans. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame), an evocation of life in medieval Paris during the reign of Louis XI. The novel condemns a society that, in the persons of Frollo the archdeacon and Phoebus the soldier, heaps misery on the hunchback Quasimodo and the gypsy girl Esmeralda.

The theme touched the public consciousness more deeply than had that of his previous novel, Le Dernier Jour d’un condamné (1829; The Last Days of a Condemned), the story of a condemned man’s last day, in which Hugo launched a humanitarian protest against the death penalty. While Notre-Dame was being written, Louis-Philippe, a constitutional king, had been brought to power by the July Revolution. Hugo composed a poem in honour of this event, Dicté aprés juillet 1830. It was a forerunner of much of his political verse.

Four books of poems came from Hugo in the period of the July Monarchy: Les Feuilles d’automne (1831; “Autumn Leaves”), intimate and personal in inspiration; Les Chants du crépuscule (1835; Songs of Twilight), overtly political; Les Voix intérieures (1837; “Inner Voices”), both personal and philosophical; and Les Rayons et les ombres (1840; “Sunlight and Shadows”), in which the poet, renewing these different themes, indulges his gift for colour and picturesque detail. But Hugo was not content merely to express personal emotions; he wanted to be what he called the “sonorous echo” of his time.

  In his verse political and philosophical problems were integrated with the religious and social disquiet of the period; one poem evoked the misery of the workers, another praised the efficacy of prayer. He addressed many poems to the glory of Napoleon, though he shared with his contemporaries the reversion to republican ideals. Hugo restated the problems of his century and the great and eternal human questions, and he spoke with a warmhearted eloquence and reasonableness that moved people’s souls.
So intense was Hugo’s creative activity during these years that he also continued to pour out plays. There were two motives for this: first, he needed a platform for his political and social ideas, and, second, he wished to write parts for a young and beautiful actress, Juliette Drouet, with whom he had begun a liaison in 1833. Juliette had little talent and soon renounced the stage in order to devote herself exclusively to him, becoming the discreet and faithful companion she was to remain until her death in 1883. The first of these plays was another verse drama, Le Roi s’amuse (1832; Eng. trans. The King’s Fool), set in Renaissance France and depicting the frivolous love affairs of Francis I while revealing the noble character of his court jester. This play was at first banned but was later used by Giuseppe Verdi as the libretto of his opera Rigoletto. Three prose plays followed: Lucrèce Borgia and Marie Tudor in 1833 and Angelo, tyran de Padoue (“Angelo, Tyrant of Padua”) in 1835. Ruy Blas, a play in verse, appeared in 1838 and was followed by Les Burgraves in 1843.

Hugo’s literary achievement was recognized in 1841 by his election, after three unsuccessful attempts, to the French Academy and by his nomination in 1845 to the Chamber of Peers. From this time he almost ceased to publish, partly because of the demands of society and political life but also as a result of personal loss: his daughter Léopoldine, recently married, was accidentally drowned with her husband in September 1843. Hugo’s intense grief found some mitigation in poems that later appeared in Les Contemplations, a volume that he divided into “Autrefois” and “Aujourd’hui,” the moment of his daughter’s death being the mark between yesterday and today. He found relief above all in working on a new novel, which became Les Misérables, published in 1862 after work on it had been set aside for a time and then resumed.

With the Revolution of 1848, Hugo was elected a deputy for Paris in the Constituent Assembly and later in the Legislative Assembly. He supported the successful candidacy of Prince Louis-Napoléon for the presidency that year. The more the president evolved toward an authoritarianism of the right, however, the more Hugo moved toward the assembly’s left. When in December 1851 a coup d’état took place, which eventually resulted in the Second Empire under Napoleon III, Hugo made one attempt at resistance and then fled to Brussels.


Photogravure of Victor Hugo, 1883
  Exile (1851–70)
Hugo’s exile lasted until the return of liberty and the reconstitution of the republic in 1870. Enforced at the beginning, exile later became a voluntary gesture and, after the amnesty of 1859, an act of pride. He remained in Brussels for a year until, foreseeing expulsion, he took refuge on British territory. He first established himself on the island of Jersey, in the English Channel, where he remained from 1852 to 1855. When he was expelled from there, he moved to the neighbouring island of Guernsey. During this exile of nearly 20 years he produced the most extensive part of all his writings and the most original.
Immersed in politics as he was, Hugo devoted the first writings of his exile to satire and recent history: Napoléon le Petit (1852), an indictment of Napoleon III, and Histoire d’un crime, a day-by-day account of Louis Bonaparte’s coup. Hugo’s return to poetry was an explosion of wrath: Les Châtiments (1853; “The Punishments”). This collection of poems unleashed his anger against the new emperor and, on a technical level, freed him from his remaining classical prejudices and enabled him to achieve the full mastery of his poetic powers. Les Châtiments ranks among the most powerful satirical poems in the French language. All Hugo’s future verse profited from this release of his imagination: the tone of this collection of poems is sometimes lyrical, sometimes epic, sometimes moving, but most often virulent, containing an undertone of national and personal frustration.
Despite the satisfaction he derived from his political poetry, Hugo wearied of its limitations and, turning back to the unpublished poems of 1840–50, set to work on the volume of poetry entitled Les Contemplations (1856). This work contains the purest of his poetry—the most moving because the memory of his dead daughter is at the centre of the book, the most disquieting, also, because it transmits the haunted world of a thinker.
In poems such as “Pleurs dans la nuit” and “La Bouche d’ombre,” he reveals a tormented mind that struggles between doubt and faith in its lonely search for meaning and significance.

Hugo’s apocalyptic approach to reality was the source of two epic or metaphysical poems, La Fin de Satan (“The End of Satan”) and Dieu (“God”), both of them confrontations of the problem of evil. Written between 1854 and 1860, they were not published until after his death because his publisher preferred the little epics based on history and legend contained in the first installment (1859) of the gigantic epic poem La Légende des siècles (The Legend of the Centuries), whose second and third installments appeared in 1877 and 1883, respectively. The many poems that make up this epic display all his spiritual power without sacrificing his exuberant capacity to tell a story. Hugo’s personal mythology of the human struggle between good and evil lies behind each of the legends: Eve’s motherhood is exalted in “Le Sacre de la femme”; mankind liberating itself from all religions in order to attain divine truth is the theme of “Le Satyre”; and “Plein Ciel” proclaims, through utopian prediction of men’s conquest of the air, the poet’s conviction of indefinite progress toward the final unity of science with moral awareness. After the publication of three long books of poetry, Hugo returned to prose and took up his abandoned novel, Les Misérables. Its extraordinary success with readers of every type when it was published in 1862 brought him instant popularity in his own country, and its speedy translation into many languages won him fame abroad. The novel’s name means “the wretched,” or “the outcasts,” but English translations generally carry the French title.

  The story centres on the convict Jean Valjean, a victim of society who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread. A hardened and astute criminal upon his release, he eventually softens and reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and mayor of a northern town. Yet he is stalked obsessively by the detective Javert for an impulsive, regretted former crime, and Jean Valjean eventually sacrifices himself for the sake of his adopted daughter, Cosette, and her husband, Marius.

Les Misérables is a vast panorama of Parisian society and its underworld, and it contains many famous episodes and passages, among them a chapter on the Battle of Waterloo and the description of Jean Valjean’s rescue of Marius by means of a flight through the sewers of Paris.
The story line of Les Misérables is basically that of a detective story, but by virtue of its characters, who are sometimes a little larger than life yet always vital and engaging, and by its re-creation of the swarming Parisian underworld, the main theme of humankind’s ceaseless combat with evil clearly emerges.

The remaining works Hugo completed in exile include the essay William Shakespeare (1864) and two novels: Les Travailleurs de la mer (1866; The Toilers of the Sea), dedicated to the island of Guernsey and its sailors; and L’Homme qui rit (1869; The Man Who Laughs), a curious baroque novel about the English people’s fight against feudalism in the 17th century, which takes its title from the perpetual grin of its disfigured hero. Hugo’s last novel, Quatre-vingt-treize (1874; Ninety-three), centred on the tumultuous year 1793 in France and portrayed human justice and charity against the background of the French Revolution.


Hugo on his deathbed, 1885
Last years (1870–85)
The defeat of France in the Franco-German War and the proclamation of the Third Republic in 1871 brought Hugo back to Paris. He became a deputy in the National Assembly (1871) but resigned the following month. Though he still fought for his old ideals, he no longer possessed the same energies. The trials of recent years had aged him, and there were more to come: in 1868 he had lost his wife, Adèle, a profound sadness to him; in 1871 one son died, as did another in 1873. Though increasingly detached from life around him, the poet of L’Année terrible (1872), in which he recounted the siege of Paris during the “terrible year” of 1870, had become a national hero and a living symbol of republicanism in France. In 1878 Hugo was stricken by cerebral congestion, but he lived on for some years in the Avenue d’Eylau, renamed Avenue Victor-Hugo on his 80th birthday. In 1885, two years after the death of his faithful companion Juliette, Hugo died and was given a national funeral. His body lay in state under the Arc de Triomphe and was buried in the Panthéon.

Catafalque below the Arc de Triomphe in Paris (June 1, 1885)
Hugo’s enormous output is unique in French literature; it is said that he wrote each morning 100 lines of verse or 20 pages of prose. “The most powerful mind of the Romantic movement,” as he was described in 1830, laureate and peer of France in 1845, he went on to assume the role of an outlawed sage who, with the easy consciousness of authority, put down his insights and prophetic visions in prose and verse, becoming at last the genial grandfather of popular literary portraiture and the national poet who gave his name to a street in every town in France.

The recognition of Hugo as a great poet at the time of his death was followed by a period of critical neglect. A few of his poems were remembered, and Les Misérables continued to be widely read. The generosity of his ideas and the warmth of their expression still moved the public mind, for Hugo was a poet of the common man and knew how to write with simplicity and power of common joys and sorrows. But there was another side to him—what Paul Claudel called his “panic contemplation” of the universe, the numinous fear that penetrates his sombre poems La Fin de Satan and Dieu. Hugo’s knowledge of the resources of French verse and his technical virtuosity in metre and rhyme, moreover, rescued French poetry from the sterility of the 18th century. Hugo is one of those rare writers who excites both popular and academic audiences alike.

Jean-Bertrand Barrère

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  Victor Hugo

"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" 

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Lenau Nikolaus

Nikolaus Lenau, pseudonym of Nikolaus Franz Niembsch, Lord (edler) von Strehlenau (born Aug. 13, 1802, Csatád, Hung.—died Aug. 22, 1850, Oberdöbling, near Vienna, Austria), Austrian poet known for melancholy lyrical verse that mirrors the pessimism of his time as well as his personal despair.


Lenau in 1839
  Severe depression and dissatisfaction characterized Lenau’s life. He began, but never completed, studies in law, medicine, and philosophy. A legacy in 1830 enabled him to devote himself to writing. Frequent moves, a number of unhappy love affairs, and a disastrous year-long emigration to the United States in 1832–33 further exemplified the general disappointment he felt at the failure of his life and acquaintances to measure up to his artistic ideals.

He recognized that his inability to keep separate the spheres of poetic expression and real life was both the source of his depression and the root of his art.

Lenau’s fame rests predominantly on his shorter lyrical poems. These early poems, which were published in Gedichte (1832; “Poems”) and Neuere Gedichte (1838; “Newer Poems”), demonstrate close ties to the Weltschmerz (“World Pain”) mood of the Romantic period and reveal a personal, almost religious relationship to nature. His later poems, Gesammelte Gedichte, 2 vol. (1844), and the religious epics Savonarola (1837) and Die Albigenser (1842; “The Albigensians”), deal with his relentless and unsuccessful search for order and constancy in love, nature, and faith. Following J.W. von Goethe’s death in 1832, the appearance in 1833 of the second part of his Faust inspired many renditions of the legend.

Lenau’s Faust: Ein Gedicht (published 1836, revised 1840) is noticeably derivative of Goethe’s, but Lenau’s version has Faust confronting an absurd life that is devoid of any absolute values, the same position in which Lenau felt himself to be. Lenau’s lifelong mental illness resulted in a complete breakdown in 1844 and later to near-total paralysis from which he never recovered. His epic Don Juan (1851) appeared posthumously. His letters to Baroness Sophie von Löwenthal, with whom he was in love from 1834 to his death, were published in 1968.

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Scott Walter: "Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border"

Sir Walter Scott: "Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border"
Sir Walter Scott

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Mme. de Stael: "Delphine"

Mme. de Stael: "Delphine"
De Stael Germaine

Germaine de Staël, in full Anne-Louise-Germaine Necker, Baronne (baroness) de Staël-Holstein, byname Madame de Staël (born April 22, 1766, Paris, Fr.—died July 14, 1817, Paris), French-Swiss woman of letters, political propagandist, and conversationalist, who epitomized the European culture of her time, bridging the history of ideas from Neoclassicism to Romanticism. She also gained fame by maintaining a salon for leading intellectuals. Her writings include novels, plays, moral and political essays, literary criticism, history, autobiographical memoirs, and even a number of poems. Her most important literary contribution was as a theorist of Romanticism.

Early life and family.
She was born Anne-Louise-Germaine Necker, the daughter of Swiss parents, in Paris. Her father was Jacques Necker, the Genevan banker who became finance minister to King Louis XVI; her mother, Suzanne Curchod, the daughter of a French-Swiss pastor, assisted her husband’s career by establishing a brilliant literary and political salon in Paris.

The young Germaine Necker early gained a reputation for lively wit, if not for beauty. While still a child, she was to be seen in her mother’s salon, listening to, and even taking part in, the conversation with that lively intellectual curiosity that was to remain her most attractive quality. When she was 16, her marriage began to be considered. William Pitt the Younger was regarded as a possible husband, but she disliked the idea of living in England. She was married in 1786 to the Swedish ambassador in Paris, Baron Erik de Staël-Holstein. It was a marriage of convenience and ended in 1797 in formal separation. There were, however, three children: Auguste (b. 1790), who edited his mother’s complete works; Albert (b. 1792); and Albertine (b. 1796), who was allegedly fathered by Benjamin Constant.


Madame de Staël, portrait par Gérard
  Political views.
Before she was 21, Germaine de Staël had written a romantic drama, Sophie, ou les sentiments secrets (1786), and a tragedy inspired by Nicholas Rowe, Jane Gray (1790). But it was her Lettres sur les ouvrages et le caractère de J.-J. Rousseau (1788; Letters on the Works and the Character of J.-J. Rousseau) that made her known. There is in her thought an unusual and irreconcilable mixture of Rousseau’s enthusiasm and Montesquieu’s rationalism. Under the influence of her father, an admirer of Montesquieu, she adopted political views based on the English parliamentary monarchy. Favouring the French Revolution, she acquired a reputation for Jacobinism. Under the Convention, the elected body that abolished the monarchy, the moderate Girondin faction corresponded best to her ideas.

Protected by her husband’s diplomatic status, she was in no danger in Paris until 1793, when she retreated to Coppet, Switz., the family residence near Geneva. It was here that she gained fame by establishing a meeting place for some of the leading intellectuals of western Europe. Since 1789 she had been the mistress of Louis de Narbonne, one of Louis XVI’s last ministers. He took refuge in England in 1792, where she joined him in 1793.

She stayed at Juniper Hall, near Mickleham in Surrey, a mansion that had been rented since 1792 by French émigrés. There she met Fanny Burney (later Mme d’Arblay), but their friendship was cut short because Mme de Staël’s politics and morals were considered undesirable by good society in England.

She returned to France, via Coppet, at the end of the Terror in 1794. A brilliant period of her career then began. Her salon flourished, and she published several political and literary essays, notably De l’influence des passions sur le bonheur des individus et des nations (1796; A Treatise on the Influence of the Passions upon the Happiness of Individuals and of Nations), which became one of the important documents of European Romanticism. She began to study the new ideas that were being developed particularly in Germany. She read the elderly Swiss critic Karl Viktor von Bonstetten; the German philologist Wilhelm von Humboldt; and, above all, the brothers August Wilhelm and Friedrich von Schlegel, who were among the most influential German Romanticists.

But it was her new lover, Benjamin Constant, the author and politician, who influenced her most directly in favour of German culture. Her fluctuating liaison with Constant started in 1794 and lasted 14 years, although after 1806 her affections found little response.

Literary theories.
At about the beginning of 1800 the literary and political character of Mme de Staël’s thought became defined. Her literary importance emerged in De la littérature considérée dans ses rapports avec les institutions sociales (1800; A Treatise of Ancient and Modern Literature and The Influence of Literature upon Society).

This complex work, though not perfect, is rich in new ideas and new perspectives—new, at least to France. The fundamental theory, which was to be restated and developed in the positivism of Hippolyte Taine, is that a work must express the moral and historical reality, the zeitgeist, of the nation in which it is conceived. She also maintained that the Nordic and classical ideals were basically opposed and supported the Nordic, although her personal taste remained strongly classical.

Her two novels, Delphine (1802) and Corinne (1807), to some extent illustrate her literary theories, the former being strongly sociological in outlook, while the latter shows the clash between Nordic and southern mentalities.
  Banishment from Paris.
She was also an important political figure and was regarded by contemporary Europe as the personal enemy of Napoleon. With Constant and his friends she formed the nucleus of a liberal resistance that so embarrassed Napoleon that in 1803 he had her banished to a distance of 40 miles (64 km) from Paris. Thenceforward Coppet was her headquarters, and in 1804 she began what she called, in a work published posthumously in 1821, her Dix Années d’exil (Ten Years’ Exile). From December 1803 to April 1804 she made a journey through Germany, culminating in a visit to Weimar, already established as the shrine of J.W. von Goethe and Friedrich von Schiller. In Berlin she met August Wilhelm von Schlegel, who was to become, after 1804, her frequent companion and counselor. Her guide in Germany, however, was a young Englishman, Henry Crabb Robinson, who was studying at Jena. The journey was interrupted in 1804 by news of the death of her father, whom she had always greatly admired. His death affected her deeply, but in 1805 she set out for Italy, accompanied by Schlegel and Simonde de Sismondi, the Genevan economist who was her guide on the journey. Returning in June 1805, she spent the next seven years of her exile from Paris for the most part at Coppet.
While Corinne can be considered the result of her Italian journey, the fruits of her visit to Germany are contained in her most important work, De l’Allemagne (1810; Germany). This is a serious study of German manners, literature and art, philosophy and morals, and religion in which she made known to her contemporaries the Germany of the Sturm und Drang movement (1770–1780). Its only fault is the distorted picture it gives, ignoring, for example, the violently nationalistic aspect of German Romanticism. Napoleon took it for an anti-French work, and the French edition of 1810 (10,000 copies) was seized and destroyed. It was finally published in England in 1813.

Meanwhile Mme de Staël, persecuted by the police, fled from Napoleon’s Europe. Having married, in 1811, a young Swiss officer, “John” Rocca, in May 1812 she went to Austria and, after visiting Russia, Finland, and Sweden, arrived, in June 1813, in England.

Madame de Staël en Corinne (1807). Collection du château de Coppet (Suisse).
  She was received with enthusiasm, although reproached by such liberals as Lord Byron for being more anti-Napoleonic than liberal and by the Tories for being too liberal. Her guide in England was Sir James Mackintosh, the Scottish publicist. She collected documents for, but never wrote, a De l’Angleterre: (the material for it can be found in the Considérations sur la Révolution française [1818; Considerations on the Principal Events of the French Revolution], which represents a return to Necker’s ideas and holds up the English political system as a model for France).

On the Bourbon Restoration in 1814, Mme de Staël returned to Paris but was deeply disillusioned: the fall of Napoleon had been followed by foreign occupation and had in no way reestablished liberty in France. During the Hundred Days she escaped to Coppet and in September 1815 set out again for Italy. In 1816 she returned to spend the summer at Coppet, where she was joined by Byron, in flight from England after his unhappy matrimonial experience. A strong friendship developed between the two writers.

Mme de Staël’s health was declining. After Byron’s departure she went to Paris for the winter. Though poorly received by the returned émigrés and suspected by the government, she held her salon throughout the winter and part of the spring, but after April 1817 she was an invalid. She died in Paris in July of that year.

Germaine de Staël’s purely literary importance is far exceeded by her importance in the history of ideas. Her novels and plays are now largely forgotten, but the value of her critical and historical work is undeniable. Though careless of detail, she had a clear vision of wider issues and of the achievements of civilization. Her involvement in, and understanding of, the events and tendencies of her time gave her an unusual position: it may be said that she helped the dawning 19th century to take stock of itself.

Robert Escarpit

Encyclopædia Britannica

Mme de Stael

"Corinne, Or Italy"
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Chateaubriand: "Rene"

René is a short novella by François-René de Chateaubriand (Chateaubriand Francois), which first appeared in 1802. The work had an immense impact on early Romanticism, comparable to that of Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther. Like the German novel, it deals with a sensitive and passionate young man who finds himself at odds with contemporary society. René was first published as part of Chateaubriand's Génie du christianisme along with another novella, Atala, although it was in fact an excerpt from a long prose epic the author had composed between 1793 and 1799 called Les Natchez, which would not be made public until 1826. René enjoyed such immediate popularity that it was republished separately in 1805 along with Atala.

Plot summary
René, a desperately unhappy young Frenchman, seeks refuge among the Natchez people of Louisiana. It is a long time before he is persuaded to reveal the cause of his melancholy. He tells of his lonely childhood in his father's castle in Brittany. His mother died giving birth to him and since his father is a remote, forbidding figure, René takes refuge in an intense friendship with his sister Amélie and in long, solitary walks in the countryside around the castle.

When René's father dies and his brother inherits the family home, he decides to travel. He visits the ruins of ancient Greece and Rome which inspire him with melancholy reflections. He travels to Scotland to view the places mentioned by the bard Ossian and to the famous sights of Italy. Nothing satisfies him: "The ancient world had no certainty, the modern world had no beauty." He returns to France and finds society corrupt and irreligious. His sister Amélie inexplicably seems to avoid him too. As René explains:

"I soon found myself more isolated in my own land, than I had been in a foreign country. For a while I wanted to fling myself into a world which said nothing to me and which did not understand me. My soul, not yet worn out by any passion, sought an object to which it might be attached; but I realised I was giving more than I received. It was not elevated language or deep feelings that were asked of me. My only task was to shrink my soul and bring it down to society's level."

Disgusted, René withdraws from society and lives in an obscure part of the city. But this reclusive life soon bores him too.

Engraving from 1803 Génie du christianisme showing René walking with Amélie
He decides to move to the countryside but he finds no happiness there: "Alas, I was alone, alone on the earth. A secret languor was taking hold of my body. The disgust for life I had felt since childhood came back with renewed force. Soon my heart no longer provided food for my mind, and the only thing I felt in my existence was a deep ennui."

René decides to kill himself, but when his sister learns of his plan, the two are joyfully reunited. But there is no happy ending. Amélie seems to be pining for something. One day, René finds she has gone, leaving a letter saying she wants to become a nun but giving no explanation why. René goes to witness her initiation ceremony where she reveals she has joined the convent because she wants to overcome her incestuous love for him. Devastated by this confession, René decides to leave Europe forever and travel to America. After spending some time with the Indians, he receives a letter announcing his sister's death. The novella concludes by revealing shortly after René told his tale, he was killed in a battle between the Natchez and the French.

(Note: according to the version in Les Natchez, the action of the story takes place in the 1720s).

Literary significance & criticism
As the title suggests, there are numerous autobiographical elements in the book, which draws extensively on Chateaubriand's memories of his own childhood in Brittany and his travels in North America in 1791.

Chateaubriand was criticised for his use of the theme of incest and there is no evidence that his sister Lucile had any such passion for him in real life.

René proved an immense inspiration to young Romantics who felt it was the perfect expression of the mal du siècle their generation experienced. Notable admirers included Berlioz and Alfred de Musset.

Its fame reached abroad; René's travels through Europe were imitated by Lord Byron in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.

Both René and Harold are restless outsiders with an aristocratic contempt for the banality of the world.

  Like Goethe with Werther, in later years, Chateaubriand came to resent the popularity of his early work. As he wrote in his memoirs:

"If René did not exist, I would not write it again; if it were possible for me to destroy it, I would destroy it. It spawned a whole family of René poets and René prose-mongers; all we hear nowadays are pitiful and disjointed phrases; the only subject is gales and storms, and unknown ills moaned out to the clouds and to the night. There's not a fop who has just left college who hasn't dreamt he was the most unfortunate of men; there's not a milksop who hasn't exhausted all life has to offer by the age of sixteen; who hasn't believed himself tormented by his own genius; who, in the abyss of his thoughts, hasn't given himself over to the "wave of passions"; who hasn't struck his pale and dishevelled brow and astonished mankind with a sorrow whose name neither he, nor it, knows".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

see also: Chateaubriand
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature

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