Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 
 

TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK-1809 Part I NEXT-1809 Part III    
 
 
     
FitzGerald Edward
1800 - 1809
YEAR BY YEAR:
1800-1809
History at a Glance
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1800 Part II
Edgeworth Maria
Jean Paul: "Titan"
Schiller: "Maria Stuart"
David: "Mme. Recamier"
Boieldieu: "Le Calife de Bagdad"
Gall Franz Joseph
Phrenology
Trevithick Richard
Voltaic pile
Richmond Bill
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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
Chimborazo
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1803 Part I
Act of Mediation
Ohio
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
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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
Dahlia
Hobart
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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
NELSON AND THE WAR AT SEA, 1797-1805
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1807 Part I
Battle of Eylau
Battle of Friedland
Treaty of Tilsit
Bonaparte Jerome
Tribunat
Mustafa IV
Chesapeake–Leopard Affair
Embargo Act
Garibaldi Giuseppe
Stein Karl
Gunboat War (1807-1814)
Invasion of Portugal
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1808 Part I
Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves
Peninsular War (1807–1814)
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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
"Ligeia"
"The Raven"
"The Fall of the House of Usher"
Tennyson Alfred
Alfred Tennyson
"Idylls of the King"
"Lady of Shalott", "Sir Galahad"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
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
Braille
Seton Elizabeth
 
 
 

Francois Chateaubriand: "Les Martyrs"
 
 
 
 
 HISTORY, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, ART, LITERATURE, MUSIC, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, DAILY LIFE
 
 
 
 
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
 
 
 
1809 Part II
 
 
 
1809
 
 
Darwin Charles
 

Charles Robert Darwin, FRS (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist and geologist, best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.

 

Charles Robert Darwin
  Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species. By the 1870s the scientific community and much of the general public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favoured competing explanations and it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. In modified form, Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life.

Darwin's early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the University of Edinburgh; instead, he helped to investigate marine invertebrates. Studies at the University of Cambridge (Christ's College) encouraged his passion for natural science. His five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell's uniformitarian ideas, and publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author.

Puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage, Darwin began detailed investigations and in 1838 conceived his theory of natural selection. Although he discussed his ideas with several naturalists, he needed time for extensive research and his geological work had priority.

 
 
He was writing up his theory in 1858 when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him an essay which described the same idea, prompting immediate joint publication of both of their theories. Darwin's work established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature. In 1871 he examined human evolution and sexual selection in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. His research on plants was published in a series of books, and in his final book, he examined earthworms and their effect on soil.

Darwin became internationally famous, and his pre-eminence as a scientist was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey. Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
     
 
Charles Darwin

On the Origin of Species by Natural selection
     
 
 
 
1809
 
 
Paine Thomas, Anglo-Amer. author, d. (b. 1737)
 
 

Portrait of Thomas Paine by Matthew Pratt
 
 
see also: Thomas Paine
 
 
 
1809
 
 
David Ricardo: "The High Price of Bullion, Proof of the Depreciation of Bank Notes"
 
 
Ricardo David
 

David Ricardo, (born April 18/19, 1772, London, England—died September 11, 1823, Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire), English economist who gave systematized, classical form to the rising science of economics in the 19th century. His laissez-faire doctrines were typified in his Iron Law of Wages, which stated that all attempts to improve the real income of workers were futile and that wages perforce remained near the subsistence level.

 

Portrait of David Ricardo by Thomas Phillips, circa 1821.
  Ricardo was the third son born to a family of Sephardic Jews who had emigrated from the Netherlands to England. At the age of 14 he entered into business with his father, who had made a fortune on the London Stock Exchange. By the time he was 21, however, he had broken with his father over religion, become a Unitarian, and married a Quaker. He continued as a member of the stock exchange, where his talents and character won him the support of an eminent banking house. He did so well that in a few years he acquired a fortune, which allowed him to pursue interests in literature and science, particularly in the fields of mathematics, chemistry, and geology.

Ricardo’s interest in economic questions arose in 1799 when he read Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. For 10 years he studied economics, somewhat offhandedly at first and then with greater concentration. His first published work was The High Price of Bullion, a Proof of the Depreciation of Bank Notes (1810), an outgrowth of letters Ricardo had published in the Morning Chronicle the year before. His book refueled the controversy then surrounding the Bank of England: freed from the necessity of cash payment (strains from the wars with France prompted the government to bar the Bank of England from paying its notes in gold), both the Bank of England and the rural banks had increased their note issues and the volume of their lending. The directors of the Bank of England maintained that the subsequent increase in prices and the depreciation of the pound had no relation to the increase in bank credit.

 
 
Ricardo and others, however, asserted that there indeed was a link between the volume of bank notes and the level of prices. Furthermore, they argued that the price levels in turn affected foreign exchange rates and the inflow or outflow of gold.

It followed, then, that the bank, as custodian of the central gold reserve of the country, had to shape its lending policy according to general economic conditions and exercise control over the volume of money and credit. The controversy was therefore critical to the development of theories concerning central banking. A committee appointed by the House of Commons, known as the Bullion Committee, confirmed Ricardo’s views and recommended the repeal of the Bank Restriction Act.

 
 
At this time Ricardo began to acquire friends who influenced his further intellectual development. One of these was the philosopher and economist James Mill (father of John Stuart Mill), who became his political and editorial counselor. Another friend was the Utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham. Still another was Thomas Malthus, best known for his theory that population tends to increase faster than the food supply—an idea that Ricardo accepted.

In 1815 another controversy arose over the Corn Laws, which regulated the import and export of grain. A decline in wheat prices had led Parliament to raise the tariff on imported wheat. This provoked a popular outcry and caused Ricardo to publish his Essay on the Influence of a Low Price of Corn on the Profits of Stock (1815), in which he argued that raising the tariff on grain imports tended to increase the rents of the country gentlemen while decreasing the profits of manufacturers. One year before his Corn Law essay, at the age of 42, he had retired from business and taken up residence in Gloucestershire, where he had extensive landholdings.

Later, in Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817), Ricardo analyzed the laws determining the distribution of everything that could be produced by the “three classes of the community”—namely, the landlords, the workers, and the owners of capital. As part of his theory of distribution, he concluded that profits vary inversely with wages, which rise or fall in line with the cost of necessities. Ricardo also determined that rent tends to increase as population grows, owing to the higher costs of cultivating more food for the larger population. He supposed that there was little tendency to unemployment, but he remained guarded against rapid population growth that could depress wages to the subsistence level, which would thereby limit both profits and capital formation by extending the margin of cultivation.

  He also concluded that trade between countries was influenced by relative costs of production and by differences in internal price structures that could maximize the comparative advantages of the trading countries.

Although he built in part upon the work of Smith, he defined the scope of economics more narrowly than had Smith and included little explicit social philosophy. In 1819 Ricardo purchased a seat in the House of Commons, as was done in those times, and entered Parliament as a member for Portarlington. He was not a frequent speaker, but so great was his reputation in economic affairs that his opinions on free trade were received with respect, even though they did not represent the dominant thinking in the House. Illness forced Ricardo to retire from Parliament in 1823.

He died that year at the age of 51.

Despite his relatively short career and the fact that most of it was preoccupied with business affairs, Ricardo achieved a leading position among the economists of his time. His views won considerable support in England despite the abstract style in which he set them forth and in the face of heavy counterfire from his opponents.

Although his ideas have long since been superseded or modified by other work and by new theoretical approaches, Ricardo retains his eminence as the thinker who first systematized economics. He also treated monetary questions and taxation at length. Writers of various persuasions drew heavily upon his ideas, including those who favoured laissez-faire capitalism and those, such as Karl Marx and Robert Owen, who opposed it.

Joseph J. Spengler

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 
1809
 
 
Thomas Campbell: "Gertrude of Wyoming"
 
 
Campbell Thomas
 
Thomas Campbell (27 July 1777 – 15 June 1844) was a Scottish poet chiefly remembered for his sentimental poetry dealing especially with human affairs[vague]. He was also one of the initiators of a plan to found what became the University of London. In 1799, he wrote "The Pleasures of Hope", a traditional 18th century didactic poem in heroic couplets. He also produced several stirring patriotic war songs—"Ye Mariners of England", "The Soldier's Dream", "Hohenlinden" and in 1801, "The Battle of Mad and Strange Turkish Princes".
 


Thomas Campbell

  Thomas Campbell, (born July 27, 1777, Glasgow, Scot.—died June 15, 1844, Boulogne, France), Scottish poet, remembered chiefly for his sentimental and martial lyrics; he was also one of the initiators of a plan to found what became the University of London.

Campbell went to Mull, an island of the Inner Hebrides, as a tutor in 1795 and two years later settled in Edinburgh to study law.

In 1799 he wrote The Pleasures of Hope, a traditional 18th-century survey in heroic couplets of human affairs. It went through four editions within a year.

He also produced several stirring patriotic war songs—“Ye Mariners of England,” “The Soldier’s Dream,” “Hohenlinden,” and, in 1801, “The Battle of the Baltic.”

With others he launched a movement in 1825 to found the University of London, for students excluded from Oxford or Cambridge by religious tests or lack of funds.

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 
Thomas Campbell: "Gertrude of Wyoming"
 

Gertrude of Wyoming; A Pennsylvanian Tale (1809) is a romantic epic in Spenserian stanza composed by Scottish poet Thomas Campbell (1777-1844). The poem was well received, but not a financial success for its author.

 

Portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence c.1810
  The setting of the poem is the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania and the massacre that occurred there on July 3, 1778. On that day, more than three hundred American Revolutionaries died at the hands of Loyalists and their Iroquois allies. At the time, it was widely believed that the attack was led by Joseph Brant; in the poem, Brant is described as the "Monster Brant" because of the atrocities committed, although it was later determined that Brant had not actually been present. The poem has been criticized for other historical inaccuracies.

The poem begins:

On Susquehanna's side, fair Wyoming!
Although the wild-flower on thy ruin'd wall,
And roofless homes, a sad remembrance bring,
Of what thy gentle people did befall;
Yet thou wert once the loveliest land of all
That see the Atlantic wave their morn restore.
Sweet land! may I thy lost delights recall,
And paint thy Gertrude in her bowers of yore,
Whose beauty was the love of Pennsylvania's shore!


The popularity of the poem may have led to the state of Wyoming being named after the valley, and Wyoming, a suburb north of Gosford, New South Wales, Australia is said to have been given its name by Frederick Augustus Hely because Gertrude of Wyoming was his favourite poem.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
see also: Thomas Campbell
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1809
 
 
Chateaubriand Francois: "Les Martyrs"
 
 
 
 
 
see also: Chateaubriand
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1809
 
 
FitzGerald Edward
 

Edward FitzGerald, (born March 31, 1809, Bredfield, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, Eng.—died June 14, 1883, Merton, Norfolk), English writer, best known for his Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, which, though it is a very free adaptation and selection from the Persian poet’s verses, stands on its own as a classic of English literature. It is one of the most frequently quoted of lyric poems, and many of its phrases, such as “A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou” and “The moving finger writes,” passed into common currency.

 

Edward FitzGerald
  FitzGerald was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he formed a lifelong friendship with William Makepeace Thackeray. Soon after graduating in 1830, he retired to the life of a country gentleman in Woodbridge. Though he lived chiefly in seclusion, he had many intimate friends, including Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Thomas Carlyle, with whom he kept up a steady correspondence.

A slow and diffident writer, FitzGerald published a few works anonymously, then freely translated Six Dramas of Calderón (1853) before learning Persian with the help of his Orientalist friend Edward Cowell. In 1857 FitzGerald “mashed together,” as he put it, material from two different manuscript transcripts (one from the Bodleian Library, the other from Kolkata [Calcutta]) to create a poem whose “Epicurean Pathos” consoled him in the aftermath of his brief and disastrous marriage.

In 1859 the Rubáiyát was published in an unpretentious, anonymous little pamphlet. The poem attracted no attention until, in 1860, it was discovered by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and soon after by Algernon Swinburne.

 
 
FitzGerald did not formally acknowledge his responsibility for the poem until 1876. Its appearance in the same year as Darwin’s Origin of Species, when the sea of faith was at its ebb, lent a timely significance to its philosophy, which combines expressions of outright hedonism (“Ah take the Cash, and let the Credit go”) with uneasy ponderings on the mystery of life and death. See also Omar Khayyam.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1809
 
 
Goethe: "The Elective Affinities"
 

Elective Affinities (German: Die Wahlverwandtschaften), also translated under the title Kindred by Choice, is the third novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Goethe Johann Wolfgang ), published in 1809. The title is taken from a scientific term once used to describe the tendency of chemical species to combine with certain substances or species in preference to others. The novel is based on the metaphor of human passions being governed or regulated by the laws of chemical affinity, and examines whether or not the science and laws of chemistry undermine or uphold the institution of marriage, as well as other human social relations.

 
Theme
The book is situated around the city of Weimar. Goethe’s main characters are Eduard and Charlotte, an aristocratic couple both in their second marriage, enjoying an idyllic but semi-dull life on the grounds of their rural estate. They invite the Captain, Eduard’s childhood friend, and Ottilie, the beautiful, orphaned, coming-of-age niece of Charlotte, to live with them. The decision to invite Ottilie and the Captain is described as an "experiment" and this is exactly what it is. The house and its surrounding gardens are described as "a chemical retort in which the human elements are brought together for the reader to observe the resulting reaction."
 
 
Theory
The term "elective affinities" is based on the older notion of chemical affinities. In the late 19th century, German sociologist Max Weber, who had read the works of Goethe at the age of 14, used Goethe's conception of human "elective affinities" to formulate a large part of sociology. In early nineteenth century chemistry, the phrase "elective affinities" or chemical affinities was used to describe compounds that only interacted with each other under select circumstances. Goethe used this as an organizing metaphor for marriage, and for the conflict between responsibility and passion.

In the book, people are described as chemical species whose amorous affairs and relationships were pre-determined via chemical affinities similar to the pairings of alchemical species. Goethe outlined the view that passion, marriage, conflict, and free-will are all subject to the laws of chemistry and in which the lives of human species are regulated no differently from the lives of chemical species. Opinions over the years have been split as to whether Goethe's theory was used in metaphor.

In the novella, the central chemical reaction that takes place is a double displacement reaction (double elective affinity), between a married couple Eduard and Charlotte (BA), at the end of their first year of marriage (for each their second marriage), and their two good friends the Captain and Ottilie (CD), respectively. The first marriages, for both Eduard and Charlotte, are described as having been marriages of financial convenience, essentially arranged marriages. Specifically, when they were younger, Eduard was married off to a rich older woman through the workings and insatiable greed of his father; Charlotte, likewise, when her prospects were none the best, was compelled or obliged to marry a wealthy man, whom she did not love.

 
1809 title page of "Die Wahlverwandtschaften"
 
 
In the fourth chapter, the characters detail the world’s first ever verbally-depicted human double displacement chemical reaction. The chapter begins with description of the affinity map (reaction map) or ‘topographical chart’ as Goethe calls it. On this reaction map, we are told that on it ‘the features of the estate and its surroundings were clearly depicted, on quite a large scale, in pen and in different colors, to which the Captain had give a firm basis by taking trigonometrical measurements’.

Next, to explain the reaction, we are told:

’provided it does not seem pedantic,’ the Captain said, ‘I think I can briefly sum up in the language of signs. Imagine an A intimately united with a B, so that no force is able to sunder them; imagine a C likewise related to a D; now bring the two couples into contact: A will throw itself at D, C at B, without our being able to say which first deserted its partner, which first embraced the other’s partner.’ This is shown below:
AB + CD → AD + BC
‘Now then!’ Eduard interposed: ‘until we see all this with our own eyes, let us look on this formula as a metaphor from which we may extract a lesson we can apply immediately to ourselves. You, Charlotte, represent the A, and I represent your B; for in fact I do depend altogether on you and follow you as A follows B. The C is quite obviously the Captain, who for the moment is to some extent drawing me away from you. Now it is only fair that, if you are not to vanish into the limitless air, you must be provided with a D, and this D is unquestionably the charming little lady Ottilie, whose approaching presence you may no longer resist.’

 
 

Critical reactions
Astrida Tantillo's 2001 book Goethe's Elective Affinities and the Critics notes that:

“ From the time of its publication to today, Goethe’s novel, Die Wahlverwandtschaften (Elective Affinities, 1809), has aroused a storm of interpretive confusion. Readers fiercely debate the role of the chemical theory of elective affinities presented in the novel. Some argue that it suggest a philosophy of nature that is rooted in fate. Others maintain that it is about free choice. Others believe that the chemical theory is merely a structural device that allows the author to foreshadow events in the novel and bears no relevance to the greater issues of the novel.“

 
Adaptations
In 1979, director Francis Ford Coppola, in the grip of clinical manic depression and anxiety over his incomplete opus Apocalypse Now, and while purportedly under the influence of his girlfriend, screenwriter Melissa Mathison, proposed making a "ten-hour film version of Goethe's Elective Affinities, in 3D".

John Banville's 1982 novel "The Newton Letter" adapts the story to Ireland (description by Gordon Burgess can be found in "German life and letters" April 1992.

The 1993 play Arcadia, by British playwright Tom Stoppard, is a modern-day remake of Elective Affinities, albeit with a twist. The play takes place in modern times and 1809, Goethe's time; characters are replaced subtly, e.g. 'The Captain' becomes 'The Naval Captain'; and the chemical affinity becomes updated in the play with discussion on the second law of thermodynamics, chaos theory, among other subjects; albeit the play still holds to the idea that the characters of reactive entities, discussing ideas such as the "heat" of interactions between the characters.

Robin Gordon's 1995 short story "Leaves in the Wind" adapts the story to modern England, with Edward and Charlotte as an academic couple.

In 1996, a film version was made, entitled The Elective Affinities, by director Paolo Taviani.

  References in culture and theory
Max Weber, in opposition to Karl Marx, described the rise of capitalism as subject to a number of social, cultural and historical elective affinities rather than purely economic material, most notably the Protestant Work Ethic.

Walter Benjamin wrote an essay entitled "Goethe's Elective Affinities". Published in Neue Deutsche Beiträge in 1924. It is one of his important early essays on German Romanticism.

In 1933, René Magritte executed a painting entitled "Elective Affinities".

In French New Wave director François Truffaut's 1962 movie Jules et Jim, one of the two male characters, Jim, who is visiting his friend Jules, is lent the book, but Jules' wife, Catherine, suddenly asks him to return it. She then becomes Jim's lover.

In Michael Ondaatje's novel, Anil's Ghost, the book is discussed as being placed with other novels in the doctors' common room of a Sri Lankan hospital, but remaining unread.

In Günter Grass's first novel The Tin Drum, Elective Affinities is one of the two books which the central character Oskar uses for guidance, along with a book on Rasputin.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
     
  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Faust"

Illustrations by Eugene Delacroix and Harry Clarke
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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1809
 
 
Gogol Nikolai
 

Nikolay Gogol, in full Nikolay Vasilyevich Gogol (born March 19 [March 31, New Style], 1809, Sorochintsy, near Poltava, Ukraine, Russian Empire [now in Ukraine]—died February 21 [March 4], 1852, Moscow, Russia), Ukrainian-born Russian humorist, dramatist, and novelist, whose novel Myortvye dushi (Dead Souls) and whose short story “Shinel” (“The Overcoat”) are considered the foundations of the great 19th-century tradition of Russian realism.

 

Nikolay Gogol
  Youth and early fame
The Ukrainian countryside, with its colourful peasantry, its Cossack traditions, and its rich folklore, constituted the background of Gogol’s boyhood. A member of the petty Ukrainian gentry, Gogol was sent at the age of 12 to the high school at Nezhin. There he distinguished himself by his biting tongue, his contributions of prose and poetry to a magazine, and his portrayal of comic old men and women in school theatricals.

In 1828 he went to St. Petersburg, hoping to enter the civil service, but soon discovered that without money and connections he would have to fight hard for a living. He even tried to become an actor, but his audition was unsuccessful. In this predicament he remembered a mediocre sentimental-idyllic poem he had written in the high school. Anxious to achieve fame as a poet, he published it at his own expense, but its failure was so disastrous that he burned all the copies and thought of emigrating to the United States. He embezzled the money his mother had sent him for payment of the mortgage on her farm and took a boat to the German port of Lübeck.
He did not sail but briefly toured Germany. Whatever his reasons for undertaking such an irresponsible trip, he soon ran out of money and returned to St. Petersburg, where he got an ill-paid government post.
 
 
In the meantime Gogol wrote occasionally for periodicals, finding an escape in childhood memories of the Ukraine. He committed to paper what he remembered of the sunny landscapes, peasants, and boisterous village lads, and he also related tales about devils, witches, and other demonic or fantastic agents that enliven Ukrainian folklore. Romantic stories of the past were thus intermingled with realistic incidents of the present. Such was the origin of his eight narratives, published in two volumes in 1831–32 under the title Vechera na khutore bliz Dikanki (Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka). Written in a lively and at times colloquial prose, these works contributed something fresh and new to Russian literature. In addition to the author’s whimsical inflection, they abounded in genuine folk flavour, including numerous Ukrainian words and phrases, all of which captivated the Russian literary world.
 
 

Nikolay Gogol
  Mature career
The young author became famous overnight. Among his first admirers were the poets Aleksandr Pushkin and Vasily Zhukovsky, both of whom he had met before. This esteem was soon shared by the writer Sergey Aksakov and the critic Vissarion Belinsky, among others. Having given up his second government post, Gogol was now teaching history in a boarding school for girls. In 1834 he was appointed assistant professor of medieval history at St. Petersburg University, but he felt inadequately equipped for the position and left it after a year. Meanwhile, he prepared energetically for the publication of his next two books, Mirgorod and Arabeski (Arabesques), which appeared in 1835. The four stories constituting Mirgorod were a continuation of the Evenings, but they revealed a strong gap between Gogol’s romantic escapism and his otherwise pessimistic attitude toward life. Such a splendid narrative of the Cossack past as “Taras Bulba” certainly provided an escape from the present. But “Povest o tom, kak possorilsya Ivan Ivanovich s Ivanom Nikiforovichem” (“Story of the Quarrel Between Ivan Ivanovich and Ivan Nikiforovich”) was, for all its humour, full of bitterness about the meanness and vulgarity of existence. Even the idyllic motif of Gogol’s “Starosvetskiye pomeshchiki” (“Old-World Landowners”) is undermined with satire, for the mutual affection of the aged couple is marred by gluttony, their ceaseless eating for eating’s sake.
 
 
The aggressive realism of a romantic who can neither adapt himself to the world nor escape from it, and is therefore all the more anxious to expose its vulgarity and evil, predominates in Gogol’s Petersburg stories printed (together with some essays) in the second work, Arabesques. In one of these stories, “Zapiski sumasshedshego” (“Diary of a Madman”), the hero is an utterly frustrated office drudge who finds compensation in megalomania and ends in a lunatic asylum. In another, “Nevsky prospekt” (“Nevsky Prospect”), a tragic romantic dreamer is contrasted to an adventurous vulgarian, while in the revised finale of “Portret” (“The Portrait”) the author stresses his conviction that evil is ineradicable in this world. In 1836 Gogol published in Pushkin’s Sovremennik (“The Contemporary”) one of his gayest satirical stories, “Kolyaska” (“The Coach”). In the same periodical also appeared his amusingly caustic surrealist tale, “Nos” (“The Nose”). Gogol’s association with Pushkin was of great value because he always trusted his friend’s taste and criticism; moreover, he received from Pushkin the themes for his two principal works, the play Revizor (The Government Inspector, sometimes titled The Inspector General), and Dead Souls, which were important not only to Russian literature but also to Gogol’s further destiny.
 
 
A great comedy, The Government Inspector mercilessly lampoons the corrupt bureaucracy under Nicholas I. Having mistaken a well-dressed windbag for the dreaded incognito inspector, the officials of a provincial town bribe and banquet him in order to turn his attention away from the crying evils of their administration. But during the triumph, after the bogus inspector’s departure, the arrival of the real inspector is announced—to the horror of those concerned. It was only by a special order of the tsar that the first performance of this comedy of indictment and “laughter through tears” took place on April 19, 1836. Yet the hue and cry raised by the reactionary press and officialdom was such that Gogol left Russia for Rome, where he remained, with some interruptions, until 1842. The atmosphere he found in Italy appealed to his taste and to his somewhat patriarchal—not to say primitive—religious propensity. The religious painter Aleksandr Ivanov, who worked in Rome, became his close friend. He also met a number of traveling Russian aristocrats and often saw the émigrée princess Zinaida Volkonsky, a convert to Roman Catholicism, in whose circle religious themes were much discussed. It was in Rome, too, that Gogol wrote most of his masterpiece, Dead Souls.

This comic novel, or “epic,” as the author labeled it, reflects feudal Russia, with its serfdom and bureaucratic iniquities. Chichikov, the hero of the novel, is a polished swindler who, after several reverses of fortune, wants to get rich quick. His bright but criminal idea is to buy from various landowners a number of their recently deceased serfs (or “souls,” as they were called in Russia) whose deaths have not yet been registered by the official census and are therefore regarded as still being alive. The landowners are only too happy to rid themselves of the fictitious property on which they continue to pay taxes until the next census. Chichikov intends to pawn the “souls” in a bank and, with the money thus raised, settle down in a distant region as a respectable gentleman.

  The provincial townsmen of his first stop are charmed by his polite manners; he approaches several owners in the district who are all willing to sell the “souls” in question, knowing full well the fraudulent nature of the deal. The sad conditions of Russia, in which serfs used to be bought and sold like cattle, are evident throughout the grotesquely humorous transactions. The landowners, one more queer and repellent than the last, have become nicknames known to every Russian reader. When the secret of Chichikov’s errands begins to leak out, he hurriedly leaves the town.

Dead Souls was published in 1842, the same year in which the first edition of Gogol’s collected works was published. The edition included, among his other writings, a sprightly comedy titled Zhenitba (Marriage) and the story “The Overcoat.” The latter concerns a humble scribe who, with untold sacrifices, has acquired a smart overcoat; when robbed of it he dies of a broken heart. The tragedy of this insignificant man was worked out with so many significant trifles that, years later, Fyodor Dostoyevsky was to exclaim that all Russian realists had come “from under Gogol’s greatcoat.” The apex of Gogol’s fame was, however, Dead Souls. The democratic intellectuals of Belinsky’s brand saw in this novel a work permeated with the spirit of their own liberal aspirations. Its author was all the more popular because after Pushkin’s tragic death Gogol was now looked upon as the head of Russian literature. Gogol, however, began to see his leading role in a perspective of his own. Having witnessed the beneficent results of the laughter caused by his indictments, he was sure that God had given him a great literary talent in order to make him not only castigate abuses through laughter but also to reveal to Russia the righteous way of living in an evil world. He therefore decided to continue Dead Souls as a kind of Divine Comedy in prose; the already published part would represent the Inferno of Russian life, and the second and third parts (with Chichikov’s moral regeneration) would be its Purgatorio and Paradiso.

 
 

Gogol burning the manuscript of the second part of Dead Souls by Ilya Repin
 
 
Creative decline
Unfortunately, having embarked upon such a soul-saving task, Gogol noticed that his former creative capacity was deserting him. He worked on the second part of his novel for more than 10 years but with meagre results. In drafts of four chapters and a fragment of the fifth found among his papers, the negative and grotesque characters are drawn with some intensity, whereas the virtuous types he was so anxious to exalt are stilted and devoid of life. This lack of zest was interpreted by Gogol as a sign that, for some reason, God no longer wanted him to be the voice exhorting his countrymen to a more worthy existence.
 
 

Daguerreotype of Gogol taken in 1845 by Sergey Lvovich Levitsky
  In spite of this he decided to prove that at least as teacher and preacher—if not as artist—he was still able to set forth what was needed for Russia’s moral and worldly improvement.

This he did in his ill-starred Bybrannyye mesta iz perepiski s druzyami (1847; Selected Passages from Correspondence with My Friends), a collection of 32 discourses eulogizing not only the conservative official church but also the very powers that he had so mercilessly condemned only a few years before. It is no wonder that the book was fiercely attacked by his one-time admirers, most of all by Belinsky, who in an indignant letter called him “a preacher of the knout, a defender of obscurantism and of darkest oppression.” Crushed by it all, Gogol saw in it a further proof that, sinful as he was, he had lost God’s favour forever.

He increased his prayers and his ascetic practices; in 1848 he even made a pilgrimage to Palestine, but in vain. Despite a few bright moments he began to wander from place to place like a doomed soul. Finally he settled in Moscow, where he came under the influence of a fanatical priest, Father Matvey Konstantinovsky, who seems to have practiced on Gogol a kind of spiritual sadism. Ordered by him, Gogol burned the presumably completed manuscript of the second volume of Dead Souls on February 24 (February 11, O.S.), 1852.

Ten days later he died, on the verge of semimadness.
 
 
Influence and reputation
Whatever the vagaries of Gogol’s mind and life, his part in Russian literature was enormous. Above all, it was from the nature of such works as The Government Inspector, Dead Souls, and “The Overcoat” that Belinsky derived the tenets of the “natural school” (as distinct from the “rhetorical,” or Romantic, school) that was responsible for the trend of subsequent Russian fiction. Gogol was among the first authors to have revealed Russia to itself. Yet in contrast to the simple classical-realistic prose of Pushkin, adopted by Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Goncharov, and Ivan Turgenev, Gogol’s ornate and agitated prose was assumed by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Gogol’s realism of indictment found many followers, among them the great satirist Mikhail Saltykov. He was also a champion of the little man as a literary hero. His vexation of spirit, too, was continued (but on a higher level) by both Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky as was his effort to transcend “mere literature.”

Janko Lavrin

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
see also: Nikolay Gogol
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1809
 
 
Ivan Krilov: "Fables"
 
 
Krylov Ivan
 

Ivan Andreyevich Krylov, (born Feb. 2 [Feb. 13, New Style], 1768/69, Moscow, Russia—died Nov. 9 [Nov. 21], 1844, St. Petersburg), Russian writer of innocent-sounding fables that satirized contemporary social types in the guise of beasts. His command of colloquial idiom brought a note of realism to Russian classical literature. Many of his aphorisms have become part of everyday Russian speech.

 

Portrait of Ivan Krylov by Karl Briullov
  Born to an impoverished family, Krylov had little formal education and began to work as a clerk at the age of nine. While still in his teens he wrote operas, comedies, and tragedies. After 1789 he enjoyed some success as a satirical journalist until government censorship intervened.

In 1805 he began translating the fables of Jean de La Fontaine but found that his true medium was writing fables of his own.

The publication of his first book of fables in 1809 gained him the patronage of the imperial family and virtually an official sinecure—a post in the St. Petersburg public library—which Krylov maintained for 30 years. He produced eight additional books of fables, all written in verse, and received many honours.

Although some of his themes were borrowed from Aesop and La Fontaine, they altered in Krylov’s hands. His foxes and crows, wolves and sheep, whether wise or foolish, were always recognizable Russian types.

His salty, down-to-earth parables emphasized common sense, hard work, and love of justice and made him one of the first Russian writers to reach a broad audience.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
see also: Ivan Krylov
 
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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French literature - Russian literature
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1809
 
 
More Hannah: "Coelebs in Search of a Wife"
 
 
 
 
see also: Hannah More
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1809
 
 
Рое Edgar Allan
 

Edgar Allan Poe, (born January 19, 1809, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.—died October 7, 1849, Baltimore, Maryland), American short-story writer, poet, critic, and editor who is famous for his cultivation of mystery and the macabre. His tale The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) initiated the modern detective story, and the atmosphere in his tales of horror is unrivaled in American fiction. His “The Raven” (1845) numbers among the best-known poems in the national literature.

 

1849 "Annie" daguerreotype of Poe
  Life
Poe was the son of the English-born actress Elizabeth Arnold Poe and David Poe, Jr., an actor from Baltimore. After his mother died in Richmond, Virginia, in 1811, he was taken into the home of John Allan, a Richmond merchant (presumably his godfather), and of his childless wife. He was later taken to Scotland and England (1815–20), where he was given a classical education that was continued in Richmond. For 11 months in 1826 he attended the University of Virginia, but his gambling losses at the university so incensed his guardian that he refused to let him continue, and Poe returned to Richmond to find his sweetheart, (Sarah) Elmira Royster, engaged. He went to Boston, where in 1827 he published a pamphlet of youthful Byronic poems, Tamerlane, and Other Poems. Poverty forced him to join the army under the name of Edgar A. Perry, but, on the death of Poe’s foster mother, John Allan purchased his release from the army and helped him get an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Before going, Poe published a new volume at Baltimore, Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems (1829). He successfully sought expulsion from the academy, where he was absent from all drills and classes for a week. He proceeded to New York City and brought out a volume of Poems, containing several masterpieces, some showing the influence of John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He then returned to Baltimore, where he began to write stories. In 1833 his MS. Found in a Bottle won $50 from a Baltimore weekly, and by 1835 he was in Richmond as editor of the Southern Literary Messenger.
 
 
There he made a name as a critical reviewer and married his young cousin Virginia Clemm, who was only 13. Poe seems to have been an affectionate husband and son-in-law.
Poe was dismissed from his job in Richmond, apparently for drinking, and went to New York City. Drinking was in fact to be the bane of his life. To talk well in a large company he needed a slight stimulant, but a glass of sherry might start him on a spree; and, although he rarely succumbed to intoxication, he was often seen in public when he did. This gave rise to the conjecture that Poe was a drug addict, but according to medical testimony he had a brain lesion. While in New York City in 1838 he published a long prose narrative, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, combining (as so often in his tales) much factual material with the wildest fancies. It is considered one inspiration of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. In 1839 he became coeditor of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine in Philadelphia. There a contract for a monthly feature stimulated him to write William Wilson and The Fall of the House of Usher, stories of supernatural horror. The latter contains a study of a neurotic now known to have been an acquaintance of Poe, not Poe himself.
 
 
Later in 1839 Poe’s Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque appeared (dated 1840). He resigned from Burton’s about June 1840 but returned in 1841 to edit its successor, Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine, in which he printed the first detective story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue. In 1843 his The Gold-Bug won a prize of $100 from the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper, which gave him great publicity. In 1844 he returned to New York, wrote The Balloon-Hoax for the Sun, and became subeditor of the New York Mirror under N.P. Willis, thereafter a lifelong friend. In the New York Mirror of January 29, 1845, appeared, from advance sheets of the American Review, his most famous poem, “The Raven,” which gave him national fame at once. Poe then became editor of the Broadway Journal, a short-lived weekly, in which he republished most of his short stories, in 1845. During this last year the now-forgotten poet Frances Sargent Locke Osgood pursued Poe. Virginia did not object, but “Fanny’s” indiscreet writings about her literary love caused great scandal. His The Raven and Other Poems and a selection of his Tales came out in 1845, and in 1846 Poe moved to a cottage at Fordham (now part of New York City), where he wrote for Godey’s Lady’s Book (May–October 1846) “The Literati of New York City”—gossipy sketches on personalities of the day, which led to a libel suit.   Poe’s wife, Virginia, died in January 1847. The following year he went to Providence, Rhode Island, to woo Sarah Helen Whitman, a poet.
There was a brief engagement. Poe had close but platonic entanglements with Annie Richmond and with Sarah Anna Lewis, who helped him financially. He composed poetic tributes to all of them.

In 1848 he also published the lecture “Eureka,” a transcendental “explanation” of the universe, which has been hailed as a masterpiece by some critics and as nonsense by others.

In 1849 he went south, had a wild spree in Philadelphia, but got safely to Richmond, where he finally became engaged to Elmira Royster, by then the widowed Mrs. Shelton, and spent a happy summer with only one or two relapses. He enjoyed the companionship of childhood friends and an unromantic friendship with a young poet, Susan Archer Talley.

Poe had some forebodings of death when he left Richmond for Baltimore late in September. There he died, although whether from drinking, heart failure, or other causes was still uncertain in the 21st century. He was buried in Westminster Presbyterian churchyard in Baltimore.

 
 
Appraisal
Poe’s work owes much to the concern of Romanticism with the occult and the satanic. It owes much also to his own feverish dreams, to which he applied a rare faculty of shaping plausible fabrics out of impalpable materials. With an air of objectivity and spontaneity, his productions are closely dependent on his own powers of imagination and an elaborate technique. His keen and sound judgment as an appraiser of contemporary literature, his idealism and musical gift as a poet, his dramatic art as a storyteller, considerably appreciated in his lifetime, secured him a prominent place among universally known men of letters.

The outstanding fact in Poe’s character is a strange duality. The wide divergence of contemporary judgments on the man seems almost to point to the coexistence of two persons in him. With those he loved he was gentle and devoted. Others, who were the butt of his sharp criticism, found him irritable and self-centred and went so far as to accuse him of lack of principle. Was it, it has been asked, a double of the man rising from harrowing nightmares or from the haggard inner vision of dark crimes or from appalling graveyard fantasies that loomed in Poe’s unstable being?
Much of Poe’s best work is concerned with terror and sadness, but in ordinary circumstances the poet was a pleasant companion. He talked brilliantly, chiefly of literature, and read his own poetry and that of others in a voice of surpassing beauty.

 
In 1835, Poe, then 26, married his 13-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm. They were married for some eleven years until her early death, which may have inspired some of his writing.
 
 
He admired Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. He had a sense of humour, apologizing to a visitor for not keeping a pet raven. If the mind of Poe is considered, the duality is still more striking. On one side, he was an idealist and a visionary. His yearning for the ideal was both of the heart and of the imagination. His sensitivity to the beauty and sweetness of women inspired his most touching lyrics (“To Helen,” “Annabel Lee,” “Eulalie,” “To One in Paradise”) and the full-toned prose hymns to beauty and love in “Ligeia” and “Eleonora.” In “Israfel” his imagination carried him away from the material world into a dreamland. This Pythian mood was especially characteristic of the later years of his life.
 
 

1848 "Ultima Thule" daguerreotype of Poe
  More generally, in such verses as “The Valley of Unrest,” “Lenore,” “The Raven,” “For Annie,” and “Ulalume” and in his prose tales, his familiar mode of evasion from the universe of common experience was through eerie thoughts, impulses, or fears.

From these materials he drew the startling effects of his tales of death (The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death, The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, The Premature Burial, The Oval Portrait, Shadow), his tales of wickedness and crime (Berenice, The Black Cat, William Wilson, The Imp of the Perverse, The Cask of Amontillado, The Tell-Tale Heart), his tales of survival after dissolution (Ligeia, Morella, Metzengerstein), and his tales of fatality (The Assignation, The Man of the Crowd).
Even when he does not hurl his characters into the clutch of mysterious forces or onto the untrodden paths of the beyond, he uses the anguish of imminent death as the means of causing the nerves to quiver (The Pit and the Pendulum), and his grotesque invention deals with corpses and decay in an uncanny play with the aftermath of death.

On the other side, Poe is conspicuous for a close observation of minute details, as in the long narratives and in many of the descriptions that introduce the tales or constitute their settings. Closely connected with this is his power of ratiocination.

 
 
He prided himself on his logic and carefully handled this real accomplishment so as to impress the public with his possessing still more of it than he had; hence the would-be feats of thought reading, problem unraveling, and cryptography that he attributed to his Legrand and Dupin.
 
 
This suggested to him the analytical tales, which created the detective story, and his science fiction tales.

The same duality is evinced in his art. He was capable of writing angelic or weird poetry, with a supreme sense of rhythm and word appeal, or prose of sumptuous beauty and suggestiveness, with the apparent abandon of compelling inspiration; yet he would write down a problem of morbid psychology or the outlines of an unrelenting plot in a hard and dry style. In Poe’s masterpieces the double contents of his temper, of his mind, and of his art are fused into a oneness of tone, structure, and movement, the more effective, perhaps, as it is compounded of various elements.

As a critic, Poe laid great stress upon correctness of language, metre, and structure. He formulated rules for the short story, in which he sought the ancient unities: i.e., the short story should relate a complete action and take place within one day in one place. To these unities he added that of mood or effect.

  He was not extreme in these views, however. He praised longer works and sometimes thought allegories and morals admirable if not crudely presented. Poe admired originality, often in work very different from his own, and was sometimes an unexpectedly generous critic of decidedly minor writers.

Poe’s genius was early recognized abroad. No one did more to persuade the world and, in the long run, the United States, of Poe’s greatness than the French poets Charles Baudelaire and Stéphane Mallarmé. Indeed his role in French literature was that of a poetic master model and guide to criticism. French Symbolism relied on his “The Philosophy of Composition,” borrowed from his imagery, and used his examples to generate the modern theory of “pure poetry.”

Charles Cestre
Thomas Ollive Mabbott
Jacques Barzun

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
     
  Edgar Allan Poe

1. "Ligeia"
2. "The Raven"
3.
"The Fall of the House of Usher"
     
 
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1809
 
 
Schlegel August Wilhelm: "Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature"
 
 
see also: August Wilhelm von Schlegel
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1809
 
 
Tennyson Alfred
 

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in full Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson of Aldworth and Freshwater (born August 6, 1809, Somersby, Lincolnshire, England—died October 6, 1892, Aldworth, Surrey), English poet often regarded as the chief representative of the Victorian age in poetry. He was raised to the peerage in 1884.

 

1869 Carbon print by Julia Margaret Cameron
  Early life and work
Tennyson was the fourth of 12 children, born into an old Lincolnshire family, his father a rector. Alfred, with two of his brothers, Frederick and Charles, was sent in 1815 to Louth grammar school—where he was unhappy. He left in 1820, but, though home conditions were difficult, his father managed to give him a wide literary education. Alfred was precocious, and before his teens he had composed in the styles of Alexander Pope, Sir Walter Scott, and John Milton.

To his youth also belongs The Devil and the Lady (a collection of previously unpublished poems published posthumously in 1930), which shows an astonishing understanding of Elizabethan dramatic verse. Lord Byron was a dominant influence on the young Tennyson.

At the lonely rectory in Somersby the children were thrown upon their own resources. All writers on Tennyson emphasize the influence of the Lincolnshire countryside on his poetry: the plain, the sea about his home, “the sand-built ridge of heaped hills that mound the sea,” and “the waste enormous marsh.”

In 1824 the health of Tennyson’s father began to break down, and he took refuge in drink. Alfred, though depressed by unhappiness at home, continued to write, collaborating with Frederick and Charles in Poems by Two Brothers (1826; dated 1827). His contributions (more than half the volume) are mostly in fashionable styles of the day.

In 1827 Alfred and Charles joined Frederick at Trinity College, Cambridge. There Alfred made friends with Arthur Hallam, the gifted son of the historian Henry Hallam. This was the deepest friendship of Tennyson’s life.

 
 
The friends became members of the Apostles, an exclusive undergraduate club of earnest intellectual interests.
Tennyson’s reputation as a poet increased at Cambridge. In 1829 he won the chancellor’s gold medal with a poem called Timbuctoo.
 
 
In 1830 Poems, Chiefly Lyrical was published; and in the same year Tennyson, Hallam, and other Apostles went to Spain to help in the unsuccessful revolution against Ferdinand VII. In the meantime, Hallam had become attached to Tennyson’s sister Emily but was forbidden by her father to correspond with her for a year.

In 1831 Tennyson’s father died. Alfred’s misery was increased by his grandfather’s discovery of his father’s debts. He left Cambridge without taking a degree, and his grandfather made financial arrangements for the family. In the same year, Hallam published a eulogistic article on Poems, Chiefly Lyrical in The Englishman’s Magazine. He went to Somersby in 1832 as the accepted suitor of Emily.

In 1832 Tennyson published another volume of his poems (dated 1833), including “The Lotos-Eaters,” “The Palace of Art,” and “The Lady of Shalott.” Among them was a satirical epigram on the critic Christopher North (pseudonym of the Scottish writer John Wilson), who had attacked Poems, Chiefly Lyrical in Blackwood’s Magazine.
Tennyson’s sally prompted a scathing attack on his new volume in the Quarterly Review. The attacks distressed Tennyson, but he continued to revise his old poems and compose new ones.

  In 1833 Hallam’s engagement was recognized by his family, but while on a visit to Vienna in September he died suddenly. The shock to Tennyson was severe. It came at a depressing time; three of his brothers, Edward, Charles, and Septimus, were suffering from mental illness, and the bad reception of his own work added to the gloom. Yet it was in this period that he wrote some of his most characteristic work: “The Two Voices” (of which the original title, significantly, was “Thoughts of a Suicide”), “Ulysses,” “St. Simeon Stylites,” and, probably, the first draft of “Morte d’Arthur.” To this period also belong some of the poems that became constituent parts of In Memoriam, celebrating Hallam’s death, and lyrics later worked into Maud.

In May 1836 his brother Charles married Louisa Sellwood of Horncastle, and at the wedding Alfred fell in love with her sister Emily. For some years the lovers corresponded, but Emily’s father disapproved of Tennyson because of his bohemianism, addiction to port and tobacco, and liberal religious views; and in 1840 he forbade the correspondence. Meanwhile the Tennysons had left Somersby and were living a rather wandering life nearer London. It was in this period that Tennyson made friends with many famous men, including the politician William Ewart Gladstone, the historian Thomas Carlyle, and the poet Walter Savage Landor.

 
 

Alfred Tennyson, portrait by P. Krämer-Friedrich Bruckmann
  Major literary work
In 1842 Tennyson published Poems, in two volumes, one containing a revised selection from the volumes of 1830 and 1832, the other, new poems. The new poems included “Morte d’Arthur,” “The Two Voices,” “Locksley Hall,” and “The Vision of Sin” and other poems that reveal a strange naïveté, such as “The May Queen,” “Lady Clara Vere de Vere,” and “The Lord of Burleigh.” The new volume was not on the whole well received.

But the grant to him at this time, by the prime minister, Sir Robert Peel, of a pension of £200 helped to alleviate his financial worries. In 1847 he published his first long poem, The Princess, a singular anti-feminist fantasia.

The year 1850 marked a turning point. Tennyson resumed his correspondence with Emily Sellwood, and their engagement was renewed and followed by marriage. Meanwhile, Edward Moxon offered to publish the elegies on Hallam that Tennyson had been composing over the years. They appeared, at first anonymously, as In Memoriam (1850), which had a great success with both reviewers and the public, won him the friendship of Queen Victoria, and helped bring about, in the same year, his appointment as poet laureate.

In Memoriam is a vast poem of 131 sections of varying length, with a prologue and epilogue. Inspired by the grief Tennyson felt at the untimely death of his friend Hallam, the poem touches on many intellectual issues of the Victorian Age as the author searches for the meaning of life and death and tries to come to terms with his sense of loss.

 
 
Most notably, In Memoriam reflects the struggle to reconcile traditional religious faith and belief in immortality with the emerging theories of evolution and modern geology. The verses show the development over three years of the poet’s acceptance and understanding of his friend’s death and conclude with an epilogue, a happy marriage song on the occasion of the wedding of Tennyson’s sister Cecilia.
 
 

Tennyson with his wife Emily (1813–1896) and his sons Hallam (1852–1928) and Lionel (1854–1886).
 
 
After his marriage, which was happy, Tennyson’s life became more secure and outwardly uneventful. There were two sons: Hallam and Lionel. The times of wandering and unsettlement ended in 1853, when the Tennysons took a house, Farringford, in the Isle of Wight. Tennyson was to spend most of the rest of his life there and at Aldworth (near Haslemere, Surrey).

Tennyson’s position as the national poet was confirmed by his Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington (1852)—though some critics at first thought it disappointing—and the famous poem on the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava, published in 1855 in Maud and Other Poems. Maud itself, a strange and turbulent “monodrama,” provoked a storm of protest; many of the poet’s admirers were shocked by the morbidity, hysteria, and bellicosity of the hero. Yet Maud was Tennyson’s favourite among his poems.

A project that Tennyson had long considered at last issued in Idylls of the King (1859), a series of 12 connected poems broadly surveying the legend of King Arthur from his falling in love with Guinevere to the ultimate ruin of his kingdom. The poems concentrate on the introduction of evil to Camelot because of the adulterous love of Lancelot and Queen Guinevere, and on the consequent fading of the hope that had at first infused the Round Table fellowship. Idylls of the King had an immediate success, and Tennyson, who loathed publicity, had now acquired a sometimes embarrassing public fame. The Enoch Arden volume of 1864 perhaps represents the peak of his popularity. New Arthurian Idylls were published in The Holy Grail, and Other Poems in 1869 (dated 1870). These were again well received, though some readers were beginning to show discomfort at the “Victorian” moral atmosphere that Tennyson had introduced into his source material from Sir Thomas Malory.

  In 1874 Tennyson decided to try his hand at poetic drama. Queen Mary appeared in 1875, and an abridged version was produced at the Lyceum in 1876 with only moderate success. It was followed by Harold (1876; dated 1877), Becket (not published in full until 1884), and the “village tragedy” The Promise of May, which proved a failure at the Globe in November 1882.

This play—his only prose work—shows Tennyson’s growing despondency and resentment at the religious, moral, and political tendencies of the age. He had already caused some sensation by publishing a poem called “Despair” in The Nineteenth Century (November 1881). A more positive indication of Tennyson’s later beliefs appears in “The Ancient Sage,” published in Tiresias and Other Poems (1885). Here the poet records his intimations of a life before and beyond this life.

Tennyson accepted a peerage (after some hesitation) in 1884. In 1886 he published a new volume containing “Locksley Hall Sixty Years After,” consisting mainly of imprecations against modern decadence and liberalism and a retraction of the earlier poem’s belief in inevitable human progress.

In 1889 Tennyson wrote the famous short poem “Crossing the Bar,” during the crossing to the Isle of Wight. In the same year he published Demeter and Other Poems, which contains the charming retrospective “To Mary Boyle,” “The Progress of Spring,” a fine lyric written much earlier and rediscovered, and “Merlin and the Gleam,” an allegorical summing-up of his poetic career.

In 1892 his play The Foresters was successfully produced in New York City. Despite ill health, he was able to correct the proofs of his last volume, The Death of Oenone, Akbar’s Dream, and Other Poems (1892).

 
 

Statue of Lord Tennyson in the chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge.
 
 
Assessment
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, was the leading poet of the Victorian Age in England and by the mid-19th century had come to occupy a position similar to that of Alexander Pope in the 18th. Tennyson was a consummate poetic artist, consolidating and refining the traditions bequeathed to him by his predecessors in the Romantic movement—especially Wordsworth, Byron, and Keats. His poetry is remarkable for its metrical variety, rich descriptive imagery, and exquisite verbal melodies. But Tennyson was also regarded as the preeminent spokesman for the educated middle-class Englishman, in moral and religious outlook and in political and social consciousness no less than in matters of taste and sentiment. His poetry dealt often with the doubts and difficulties of an age in which established Christian faith and traditional assumptions about man’s nature and destiny were increasingly called into question by science and modern progress. His poetry dealt with these misgivings, moreover, as the intimate personal problems of a sensitive and troubled individual inclined to melancholy.
 
 

Lord Tennyson
  Yet through his poetic mastery—the spaciousness and nobility of his best verse, its classical aptness of phrase, its distinctive harmony—he conveyed to sympathetic readers a feeling of implicit reassurance, even serenity. Tennyson may be seen as the first great English poet to be fully aware of the new picture of man’s place in the universe revealed by modern science. While the contemplation of this unprecedented human situation sometimes evoked his fears and forebodings, it also gave him a larger imaginative range than most of the poets of his time and added a greater depth and resonance to his art.
Tennyson’s ascendancy among Victorian poets began to be questioned even during his lifetime, however, when Robert Browning and Algernon Charles Swinburne were serious rivals. And 20th-century criticism, influenced by the rise of a new school of poetry headed by T.S. Eliot (though Eliot himself was an admirer of Tennyson), proposed some drastic devaluations of his work. Undoubtedly, much in Tennyson that appealed to his contemporaries has ceased to appeal to many readers today. He can be mawkish and banal, pompous and orotund, offering little more than the mellifluous versifying of shallow or confused thoughts. The rediscovery of such earlier poets as John Donne or Gerard Manley Hopkins (a poet of Tennyson’s own time who was then unknown to the public), together with the widespread acceptance of Eliot and W.B. Yeats as the leading modern poets, opened the ears of readers to a very different, and perhaps more varied, poetic music.
A more balanced estimate of Tennyson has begun to prevail, however, with the recognition of the enduring greatness of “Ulysses,” the unique poignancy of Tennyson’s best lyric poems, and, above all, the stature of In Memoriam as the great representative poem of the Victorian Age.
 
 
It is now also recognized that the realistic and comic aspects of Tennyson’s work are more important than they were thought to be during the period of the reaction against him. Finally, the perception of the poet’s awed sense of the mystery of life, which lies at the heart of his greatness, as in “Crossing the Bar” or “Flower in the Crannied Wall,” unites his admirers in this century with those in the last. Though less of Tennyson’s work may survive than appeared likely during his Victorian heyday, what does remain—and it is by no means small in quantity—seems likely to be imperishable.

William Wallace Robson

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 

Stained glass at Ottawa Public Library features Charles Dickens, Archibald Lampman,
Duncan Campbell Scott, Lord Byron, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, William Shakespeare, Thomas Moore
 
 
 
     
  Alfred Tennyson

"Idylls of the King"
"Lady of Shalott", "Sir Galahad"
 
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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

 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK-1809 Part I NEXT-1809 Part III