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-1816 Part I NEXT-1817 Part I    
 
 
     
FitzGerald Edward
1810 - 1819
YEAR BY YEAR:
1810-1819
History at a Glance
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1810 Part I
Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma
Edict of Fontainebleau
First Republic of Venezuela
Mexican War of Independence
Argentine War of Independence
Colombian Declaration of Independence
Foolish Fatherland
Chilean War of Independence
Bolivian war of independence
Charles XIV John
Invasion of Guadeloupe
Cavour Camillo
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1810 Part II
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Montalembert Charles
Musset Alfred
Scott: "The Lady of the Lake"
Goya: "The Disasters of War"
The Nazarenes
Beethoven: "Egmont"
Chopin Frederic
Chopin - Nocturne Op.9 No.2
Frederic Chopin
Nicolai Otto
Nicolai - The Merry Wives of Windsor - Overture
Otto Nicolai
Rossini: "La Cambiale di Matrimonio"
Schumann Robert
Schumann - Piano sonata n.1 op.11
Robert Schumann
Spurzheim Johann Gaspar
Hahnemann Samuel
Girard Philippe
Humboldt University of Berlin
Krupp Friedrich Carl
Barnum Phineas Taylor
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1811 Part I
George IV
Battle of the Danube
Massacre of the Mamelukes at Cairo
Napoleon Francois-Joseph Charles
Battle of Fuentes de Onoro
Paraguay independent of Spain
Venezuelan War of Independence
Peruvian War of Independence
San Martin Jose
Battle of Las Piedras
Artigas Jose Gervagio
Invasion of Java
Battle of Tippecanoe
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1811 Part II
Bottiger Karl August
Niebuhr Barthold Georg
University of Oslo
Jane Austen: "Sense and Sensibility"
Stowe Harriet Beecher
Friedrich de la Motte-Fouque: "Undine"
Gautier Theophile
Goethe: "Aus meinem Leben: Dichtung und Wahrheit"
Gutzkow Karl
Thackeray William Makepeace
Dupre Jules
Jules Dupre
Ingres: "Jupiter and Thetis"
Thomas Lawrence: Portrait of Benjamin West
Thorvaldsen: "Procession of Alexander the Great"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1811 Part III
Liszt Franz
Franz Liszt - Liebestraum - Love Dream
Franz Liszt
Prague Conservatoire
Carl Maria von Weber: "Abu Hassan"
Avogadro Amedeo
Great Comet of 1811
Bunsen Robert
Poisson Simeon-Denis
Manning Thomas
Berblinger Albrecht Ludwig
"Luddites"
Jungfrau
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1812 Part I
French invasion of Russia
Battle of Borodino
Kutuzov Mikhail
Malet Claude-François
Louisiana
Perceval Spencer
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1812 Part II
War of 1812
Battle of Salamanca
Siege of Burgos
Battle of Tordesillas
Hegel: "Science of Logic"
Jewish emancipation
Browning Robert
Robert Browning 
"Dramatic Romances"
"The Pied Piper of Hamelin"
The Brothers Grimm: "Fairy Tales"
Lord Byron: "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
Dickens Charles
Charles Dickens
"Great Expectations"
Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Goncharov Ivan Aleksandrovich
Smiles Samuel
Krasinski Zygmunt
Kraszewski Joseph Ignatius
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1812 Part III
Elgin Marbles
Rousseau Theodore
Theodore Rousseau
Pforr Franz
Franz Pforr
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 7 (Op. 92)
Encounter between Beethoven and Goethe at Teplitz
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 8 (Op. 93)
Flotow Friedrich
Friedrich von Flotow: Piano Concerto No. 2
Friedrich von Flotow
Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna
Burckhardt Johann Ludwig
Krupp Alfred
Red River Settlement, Manitoba, Canada
Hampden Clubs
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1813 Part I
German Campaign 1813–1814
Battle of Dresden
Battle of Lutzen
Battle of the Katzbach
Battle of Leipzig
Battle of York
Battle of Fort George
Capture of USS Chesapeake
Battle of Crysler's Farm
Capture of Fort Niagara
Battle of Buffalo
Battle of Vitoria
Siege of San Sebastian
First Serbian Uprising
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1813 Part II
Herbart Johann Friedrich
Kierkegaard Soren
Schopenhauer: "On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason"
Colby College, Maine
The Baptist Union of Great Britain
Jane Austen: "Pride and Prejudice"
Buchner Georg
Byron: "The Giaour"
Hebbel Friedrich
Ludwig Otto
Shelley: "Queen Mab"
Turner: "Frosty Morning"
London Philharmonic Society
Rossini: "L'ltaliana in Algeri"
Verdi Giuseppe
Anna Netrebko "Final Scene" La traviata
Giuseppe Verdi
Wagner Richard
Richard Wagner - Ride Of The Valkyries
Richard Wagner
Campbell John
Blaxland Gregory
Across the Blue Mountains
Lord Thomas
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1814 Part I
1814 campaign in France
Six Days Campaign
Battle of Champaubert
Battle of Montmirail
Battle of Chateau-Thierry
Battle of Vauchamps
Battle of Orthez
Treaty of Chaumont
Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube
Battle of Paris
Battle of Toulouse
Treaty of Fontainebleau
Treaty of Paris
Congress of Vienna
Napoleon's exile to Elba
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1814 Part II
Christian VIII
Bakunin Mikhail
Battle of Chippawa
Burning of Washington
Battle of Plattsburgh
Treaty of Ghent
Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814–16
First Anglican bishop in Calcutta
Motley John Lothrop
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1814 Part III
Jane Austen: "Mansfield Park"
Byron: "The Corsair"
Edmund Kean's Shylock
Lermontov Mikhail
Mikhail Lermontov
"Death of the Poet"
"Mtsyri"
"The Demon
"
Walter Scott: "Waverley"
Williav Wordsworth: "The Excursion"
Adelbert von Chamisso: "Peter Schlemihl"
Goya: "The Second of May 1808"
Goya: "The Third of May 1808"
Ingres: "Grande Odalisque"
Millet Jean Francois
Jean Francois Millet
Orfila Mathieu Joseph Bonaventure
Industrial printing presses
Lord's Cricket Ground
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1815 Part I
Battle of New Orleans
Hundred Days
Neapolitan War
Battle of Waterloo
Napoleon's surrender
Second Peace of Paris
Ney Michel
NAPOLEON AND THE STRUGGLE FOR EUROPE, 1796-1815
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1815 Part II
Corn Law
Bismarck Otto
Spanish Invasion of New Granada in 1815–1816
Basel Mission
Beranger Pierre
Byron: "Hebrew Melodies"
Geibel Emanuel
Hoffmann: "Die Elixiere des Teufels"
Scott: "Guy Mannering"
Trollope Anthony
Anthony Trollope 
"Barchester Towers"
Wordsworth: "White Doe of Rylstone"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1815 Part III
Goya: "La Tauromaquia"
Menzel Adolf
Adolf Menzel
Turner: "Crossing the Brook"
Franz Robert
Robert Franz - Oh Wert thou in the Cauld Blast
Robert Franz
Kjerulf Halfdan
Halfdan Kjerulf - Spring Song
Halfdan Kjerulf
Robert Volkmann - Cello Concerto in A minor
Robert Volkmann
Davy lamp
Fresnel Augustin-Jean
Prout William
Prout's hypothesis
Steam battery "Demologos", or "Fulton"
Nations in Arms
Warfare
Nations in Arms
(1763-1815)
Apothecaries Act
McAdam John Loudon
Robertson Allan
Eruption of Sumbawa Volcano
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1816 Part I
Maria I, Queen of Portugal
John VI of Portugal
Argentine War of Independence
Argentine Declaration of Independence
Federal Convention
Indiana
American Bible Society
Gobineau Joseph Arthur
Karamzin Nikolai
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1816 Part II
Jane Austen: "Emma"
Bronte Charlotte
Charlotte Bronte
"Jane Eyre"
Byron: "The Siege of Corinth"
Freytag Gustav
Derzhavin Gavrila
Leigh Hunt: "The Story of Rimini"
Shelley: "Alastor"
Goya: "The Duke of Osuna"
Rossini: "Barbiere di Siviglia"
Spohr: "Faust"
Brewster David
Laennec Rene-Theophile-Hyacinthe
Siemens Werner
Cobbett William
Froebel Friedrich
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1817 Part I
Habeas Corpus Suspension Act
Blanketeers
Wartburg Festival
Second Serbian Uprising (1815-1817)
Mississippi
Third Anglo-Maratha War 1817-1818
Bockh August
Hegel: "Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences"
Llorente Juan Antonio
Mommsen Theodor
David Ricardo: "Principles of Political Economy and Taxation"
Byron: "Manfred"
Thomas Moore: "Lalla Rookh"
Storm Theodor
Thoreau Henry David
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1817 Part II
Constable: "Flatford Mill"
Daubigny Charles
Charles Daubigny
Thorvaldsen: Ganymede Waters Zeus as an Eagle
Leech John
John Leech
Watts George Frederic
George Frederic Watts
Rossini: "La Gazza ladra"
Rossini: "Cenerentola"
Selenium
Lithium
Ritter Carl
Long Stephen Harriman
"Blackwood's Magazine"
"The Scotsman"
Waterloo Bridge
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1818 Part I
Chilean Declaration of Independence
Bavarian constitution proclaimed
Treaty of 1818
Illinois
Dobrovsky Josef
Froude James Anthony
Marx Karl
Karl Marx
"Manifesto of the Communist Party"
- Marxism
Friedrich Engels
First International
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1818 Part II
Byron: "Don Juan"
Keats: "Endymion"
Peacock: "Nightmare Abbey"
Walter Scott: "Heart of Midlothian"
Shelley Mary
Mary Shelley "Frankenstein"
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley 
"Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus"
Turgenev Ivan
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1818 Part III
Burckhardt Jakob
Fohr Carl Philipp
Karl Philipp Fohr
Donizetti: "Enrico, Conte di Borgogna"
Gounod Charles
Gounod - Ave Maria
Charles Gounod
"Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht"
Rossini: "Mose in Egitto"
Bessel Friedrich Wilhelm
Encke Johann Franz
Oxley John
British Admiralty Expeditions
Scoresby William
Phipps Constantine Henry
Buchan David
Parry William Edward
Ross James Clark
Order of Saint Michael and Saint George
Raiffeisen Friedrich Wilhelm
"Savannah"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1819 Part I
Founding of modern Singapore
Florida
Victoria
Queen Victoria
Victorian Era
Peterloo Massacre
Albert, Prince Consort
Alabama
Jakob Grimm: "German Grammar"
Hermes Georg
Schopenhauer: "Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung"
Sismondi Jean
Wilson Horace Hayman
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1819 Part II
Byron: "Mazeppa"
Eliot George
George Eliot 
"Silas Marner"
Fontane Theodor
Howe Julia Ward
Keats: "Hyperion"
Keller Gottfried
Kotzebue August
Lowell James Russell
Shelley: "The Cenci"
Whitman Walt
Walt Whitman
"Leaves of Grass"
Washington Irving: "Rip van Winkle"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1819 Part III
Courbet Gustave
Gustave Courbet
Theodore Gericault: "The Raft of the Medusa"
Ruskin John
Thorvaldsen: "Lion of Lucerne"
Turner: "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
Museo del Prado
Chasseriau Theodore
Theodore Chasseriau
Offenbach Jacques
Offenbach - Barcarole
Jacques Offenbach
Schumann Clara
Mitscherlich Eilhard
Oersted Hans Christian
Central Asia Exploration
Moorcroft William
First Sightings of the Antarctic Continent
Bransfield Edward
Weddell James
Bellingshausen Thaddeus
Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly, London
 
 
 

16-year-old Pushkin reciting his poem before old Derzhavin in the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum (
 
 
 
 
 HISTORY, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, ART, LITERATURE, MUSIC, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, DAILY LIFE
 
 
 
 
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
 
 
 
1816 Part II
 
 
 
1816
 
 
Jane Austen: "Emma"
 

Emma, by Austen Jane , is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance. The novel was first published in December 1815. As in her other novels, Austen explores the concerns and difficulties of genteel women living in Georgian-Regency England; she also creates a lively comedy of manners among her characters.

 
Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." In the very first sentence she introduces the title character as "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich." Emma, however, is also rather spoiled, headstrong, and self-satisfied; she greatly overestimates her own matchmaking abilities; she is blind to the dangers of meddling in other people's lives; and her imagination and perceptions often lead her astray.
 
Plot summary
Emma Woodhouse, aged 20 at the start of the novel, is a young, beautiful, witty, and privileged woman in Regency England. She lives on the fictional estate of Hartfield in Surrey in the village of Highbury with her elderly widowed father, a valetudinarian who is excessively concerned for the health and safety of his loved ones. Emma's friend and only critic is the gentlemanly George Knightley, her neighbour from the adjacent estate of Donwell, and the brother of her elder sister Isabella's husband, John. As the novel opens, Emma has just attended the wedding of Miss Taylor, her best friend and former governess. Having introduced Miss Taylor to her future husband, Mr. Weston, Emma takes credit for their marriage, and decides that she rather likes matchmaking.

Against Mr. Knightley's advice, Emma forges ahead with her new interest, and tries to match her new friend Harriet Smith, a sweet, pretty, but none-too-bright parlour boarder of seventeen—described as "the natural [i.e., illegitimate] daughter of somebody"—to Mr. Elton, the local vicar. Emma becomes convinced that Mr. Elton's constant attentions are a result of his attraction and growing love for Harriet.

But before events can unfold as she plans, Emma must first persuade Harriet to refuse an advantageous marriage proposal. Her suitor is a respectable, educated, and well-spoken young farmer, Robert Martin, but Emma decides he isn't good enough for Harriet. Against her own wishes, the easily influenced Harriet rejects Mr. Martin.

Emma's schemes go awry when Mr. Elton, a social climber, fancies Emma is in love with him and proposes to her. Emma's friends had suggested that Mr. Elton's attentions were really directed at her, but she had misread the signs. Emma, rather shocked and a bit insulted, tells Mr. Elton that she had thought him attached to Harriet; however Elton is outraged at the very idea of marrying the socially inferior Harriet.

 
Title page of first edition, volume 1 of 3
 
 
After Emma rejects Mr. Elton, he leaves for a while for a sojourn in Bath, and Harriet fancies herself heartbroken. Emma feels dreadful about misleading Harriet and resolves—briefly—to interfere less in people's lives.

Mr. Elton, as Emma's misconceptions of his character melt away, reveals himself to be arrogant, resentful, and pompous. He soon returns from Bath with a pretentious, nouveau-riche wife who becomes part of Emma's social circle, though the two women soon loathe each other. The Eltons treat the still lovestruck Harriet deplorably, culminating with Mr Elton very publicly snubbing Harriet at a dance. Mr. Knightley, who had until this moment refrained from dancing, gallantly steps in to partner Harriet, much to Emma's gratification.

An interesting development is the arrival in the neighbourhood of the handsome and charming Frank Churchill, Mr. Weston's son, who had been given to his deceased wife's wealthy brother and his wife, the Churchills, to raise. Frank, who is now Mrs. Weston's stepson, and Emma have never met, but she has a long-standing interest in doing so. The whole neighborhood takes a fancy to him, with the partial exception of Mr. Knightley, who becomes uncharacteristically grumpy whenever his name is mentioned and suggests to Emma that while Frank is clever and engaging, he is also a rather shallow character.

 
 
A third newcomer is the orphaned Jane Fairfax, the reserved, beautiful, and elegant niece of Emma's impoverished neighbour, the talkative Miss Bates, who lives with her deaf, widowed mother. Miss Bates is an aging spinster, well-meaning but increasingly poor; Emma strives to be polite and kind to her, but is irritated by her constant chattering. Jane, very gifted musically, is Miss Bates' pride and joy; Emma envies her talent, and although she has known Jane all her life has never warmed to her personally. Jane had lived with Miss Bates until she was nine, but Colonel Campbell, a friend of her father's, welcomed her into his own home, where she became fast friends with his daughter and received a first-rate education.

But now Miss Campbell has married, and the accomplished but penniless Jane has returned to her Bates relations, ostensibly to regain her health and to prepare to earn her living as a governess. Emma is annoyed to find the entire neighborhood, including Mrs. Weston and Mr. Knightley, singing Jane's praises, but when Mrs. Elton, who fancies herself the new leader of Highbury society, patronizingly takes Jane under her wing and announces that she will find her the ideal governess post, Emma begins to feel some sympathy for Jane's predicament.

Still, Emma sees something mysterious in Jane's sudden return to Highbury and imagines that Jane and Miss Campbell's husband, Mr. Dixon, were mutually attracted, and that is why she has come home instead of going to Ireland to visit them. She shares her suspicions with Frank, who had become acquainted with Jane and the Campbells when they met at a vacation spot a year earlier, and he apparently agrees with her. Suspicions are further fueled when a piano, sent by an anonymous benefactor, arrives for Jane.

Emma tries to make herself fall in love with Frank largely because almost everyone seems to expect it. Frank appears to be courting Emma, and the two flirt and banter together in public, at parties, and on a day-trip to Box Hill, a local beauty spot. However, when his demanding and ailing aunt, Mrs. Churchill, summons Frank home, Emma discovers she does not miss her "lover" nearly as much as she expected and sets about plotting a match between him and Harriet, who seems to have finally got over Mr. Elton.

Harriet breathlessly reports that Frank has "saved" her from a band of Gypsies, and seems to be confessing her admiration for him. Meanwhile, Mrs. Weston wonders if Emma's old friend Mr. Knightley has taken a fancy to Jane. Emma immediately dismisses that idea and protests that she does not want Mr. Knightley to marry anyone, and that her little nephew Henry must inherit Donwell, the Knightley family property.

  When Mr. Knightley scolds her for a thoughtless insult to Miss Bates, Emma is stunned and ashamed and tries to atone by going to visit Miss Bates. Mr. Knightley is surprised and deeply impressed by Emma's recognition of her wrongdoing, but this meaningful rapprochement is broken off when he announces he must leave for London to visit his brother. Meanwhile, Jane reportedly becomes ill, but refuses to see Emma or accept her gifts, and it is suddenly announced that she has accepted a governess position from one of Mrs. Elton's friends.

On the heels of this comes word that Frank Churchill's aunt has died, and with it the astonishing news that Frank and Jane have been secretly engaged since they first met on holiday a year ago. They had been keeping the engagement quiet because they knew that Frank's imperious aunt would disapprove and likely disinherit him if he went through with the match. The strain of the clandestine relationship had been much harder on the conscientious Jane than the carefree Frank, and the two had quarreled bitterly; but now that his aunt has died, his easygoing uncle has already given his blessing. The engagement becomes public, the secrets behind Jane and Frank's behavior are revealed, and Emma is chagrined to discover that once again she has been so wrong about so much.

Emma is certain that Harriet will be devastated by Frank's engagement, but Harriet reassures her that this is not the case. In fact, Harriet tells Emma, it is Mr. Knightley who has captured her heart, and she believes he returns her feelings. Emma is dumbstruck over what she at first thinks is the impropriety of the match, but as she faces her feelings of dismay and jealousy, she realizes in a flash that she has long been in love with Mr. Knightley herself. She is shattered to think that it may be too late and resolves to support her dear friends in whatever they do, even at the cost of her own broken heart. However, when Mr. Knightley hurries back to Highbury to console Emma over what he imagines to be the loss of Frank Churchill, she discovers that he is also in love with her. He proposes and she joyfully accepts.

There is one more match to be made: With encouragement from Mr. Knightley, the farmer, Robert Martin, proposes again to Harriet, and this time she accepts. Jane and Emma reconcile and all misunderstandings are cleared up before Jane and Frank leave for their wedding and life with his uncle in Yorkshire. Emma and Mr. Knightley decide that after their marriage they will live with Emma's father at Hartfield to spare Mr. Woodhouse loneliness and distress. They seem all set for a union of "perfect happiness," to the great joy of their friends. Mrs. Weston gives birth to a baby girl, to the great satisfaction of Emma, who looks forward to introducing little Miss Weston to her young nephews.

 
 
Principal characters
Emma Woodhouse, the protagonist of the story, is a beautiful, high-spirited, intelligent, and 'slightly' spoiled young woman of the age of twenty. Her mother died when she was very young, and she has been mistress of the house ever since, certainly since her older sister got married. Although intelligent, she lacks the necessary discipline to practise or study anything in depth. She is portrayed as very compassionate to the poor, but at the same time has a strong sense of class. Her affection for and patience towards her valetudinarian father are also noteworthy.
While she is in many ways mature for her age, Emma makes some serious mistakes, mainly due to her conviction that she is always right and her lack of real world experience. Although she has vowed she will never ever marry, she delights in making matches for others. She seems unable to fall in love, until she realises at the end that she has loved Mr. Knightley all along.

George Knightley, about thirty-seven years old, is a close friend of Emma, and her only critic, although he cares deeply for her. Mr. Knightley is the owner of the estate of Donwell Abbey, which includes extensive grounds and a farm. He is the elder brother of Mr. John Knightley, the husband of Emma's elder sister Isabella. Mr. Knightley is very annoyed with Emma for persuading Harriet to turn down Mr. Martin, thinking that the advantage is all on Harriet's side; he also warns Emma against matchmaking Harriet with Mr. Elton, correctly guessing that Mr. Elton has a much higher opinion of himself, and will 'act rationally'.

He is suspicious of Frank Churchill and his motives; although his suspicion turns out to be based mainly on jealousy of the younger man, his instincts are proved correct by the revelation that Frank Churchill is not all that he seems.

 
1898 illustration of Mr. Knightley and Emma Woodhouse, chapter XIII
 
 
Mr. Frank Churchill, Mr. Weston's son by his previous marriage, is an amiable young man, who manages to be liked by everyone except Mr. Knightley, who considers him quite immature, although this partially results from his jealously of Frank's supposed 'pursuit' of Emma. After his mother's death, he was raised by his wealthy aunt and uncle, whose last name he took. Frank enjoys dancing and music and living life to the fullest. Frank may be viewed as a careless but less villainous version of characters from other Austen novels, such as Mr. Wickham from Pride and Prejudice or Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility. He often manipulates and plays games with the other characters so as to ensure his engagement to Jane remains concealed.

Jane Fairfax, an orphan whose only family consists of an aunt, Miss Bates, and a grandmother, Mrs. Bates, is regarded as a very beautiful, clever, and elegant woman, with the best of manners, and is also very well-educated and exceptionally talented at singing and playing the piano; in fact, she is the sole person whom Emma envies. She has little fortune, however, and seems destined to become a governess – a prospect she dislikes.

 
 
Harriet Smith, a young friend of Emma's, is a very pretty but unsophisticated girl who is too easily led by others, especially Emma; she has been educated at a nearby school. The illegitimate daughter of initially unknown parents, she is revealed in the last chapter to be the daughter of a fairly rich and decent tradesman, although not a "gentleman".

Emma takes Harriet under her wing early in the novel, and she becomes the subject of some of Emma's misguided matchmaking attempts. Harriet initially rebuffs a marriage proposal from farmer Robert Martin because of Emma's belief that he is beneath her, despite Harriet's own doubtful origins. She then develops a passion for Mr. Knightley, which is the catalyst for Emma realising her own feelings. Ultimately, Harriet and Mr. Martin are wed, despite Emma's initial meddling. The now wiser Emma approves of the match.

Philip Elton is a good-looking, seemingly well mannered, and ambitious young vicar. Emma wants him to marry Harriet; however he aspires to secure Emma's hand in marriage in order to gain her dowry. Mr. Elton displays his mercenary nature by quickly marrying another woman of means after Emma's rejection.

Augusta Elton, formerly Miss Hawkins, is Mr. Elton's wife. She is moneyed but lacks breeding and possesses moderately good manners, at best. She is a boasting, domineering, pretentious woman who likes to be the centre of attention and is generally disliked by Emma and her circle. She displays many of the faults that Mr. Knightley reprimands Emma for, however on a much larger scale. Ironically much of Emma's dislike of Mrs. Elton arises from these faults. She patronises Jane, which earns Jane the sympathy of others.

Mrs. Anne Weston, formerly Miss Taylor, was Emma's governess for sixteen years and remains her closest friend and confidante after she marries Mr. Weston in the opening chapter. She is a sensible woman who adores and idolises Emma.

Mrs. Weston acts as a surrogate mother to her former charge and, occasionally, as a voice of moderation and reason, although she is the one to yield in arguments more often than not.

  Mr. Weston, a recently wealthy man living in the vicinity of Hartfield, marries Emma's former governess, Miss Taylor, and by his first marriage is father to Frank Churchill, who was adopted and raised by his late wife's brother and sister-in-law. Mr. Weston is a sanguine, optimistic man, who enjoys socialising. His friendship is so indiscriminate that it almost loses its value. Mr. Weston is often blind to the faults of his son, Frank.

Miss Bates is a friendly, garrulous spinster whose mother, Mrs. Bates, is a friend of Mr. Woodhouse. Her accomplished niece, Jane Fairfax, is the light of her life. One day, Emma humiliates her on a day out in the country, when she pointedly alludes to her tiresome prolixity. Afterward, Mr. Knightley sternly rebukes Emma. Shamed, Emma tries to make amends.

Mr. Henry Woodhouse, Emma's father, is always concerned for his own health and comfort, and to the extent that it does not interfere with his own, the health and comfort of his friends. He is a valetudinarian (i.e., similar to a hypochondriac but more likely to be genuinely ill). He assumes a great many things are hazardous to one's health, and is generally a difficult person to handle because he is always fussing about the trifling things which bother him and which he assumes must bother everyone else just the same, to the point of trying to convince his visitors to deny foods he considers too rich. He laments that "poor Isabella" and especially "poor Miss Taylor" have married and been taken away from him, because since he is unhappy about their being gone, he assumes they must be miserable as well; moreover, he dislikes change in general, and marriage is a form of change.

Isabella Knightley (née Woodhouse) is the elder sister of Emma and daughter of Henry. She is married to John Knightley, and spends much of her time at home caring for her five children (Henry, 'little' John, Bella, 'little' Emma, and George), often displaying concern for their health and comfort in a similar manner to her father.

John Knightley is Isabella's husband and George's younger brother. He is an old acquaintance of Jane Fairfax. He indulges his family's desires for visits and vacations, although he would prefer to stay at home, especially if the weather is less than perfect. He can be quite forthright, which sometimes borders on rude.

 
 
Criticism and themes

Criticism

Early reviews of Emma were generally favourable, but there were some criticisms about the lack of story. John Murray remarked that it lacked "incident and Romance"; Maria Edgeworth, the author of Belinda, to whom Austen had sent a complimentary copy, wrote:

there was no story in it, except that Miss Emma found that the man whom she designed for Harriet's lover was an admirer of her own – & he was affronted at being refused by Emma & Harriet wore the willow – and smooth, thin water-gruel is according to Emma's father's opinion a very good thing & it is very difficult to make a cook understand what you mean by smooth, thin water-gruel!!

 
 
Themes
Emma Woodhouse is the first Austen heroine with no financial concerns, which, she declares to the naïve Miss Smith, is the reason that she has no inducement to marry. This is a great departure from Austen's other novels, in which the quest for marriage and financial security are often important themes in the stories. Emma's ample financial resources put her in a much more privileged position than the heroines of Austen's earlier works, such as Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. Jane Fairfax's prospects, in contrast, are bleak.
 
In contrast to other Austen heroines Emma seems immune to romantic attraction. Unlike Marianne Dashwood, who is attracted to the wrong man before she settles on the right one, Emma shows no romantic interest in the men she meets. She is genuinely surprised (and somewhat disgusted) when Mr. Elton declares his love for her—much in the way Elizabeth Bennet reacts to the obsequious Mr. Collins, also a parson. Her fancy for Frank Churchill represents more of a longing for a little drama in her life than a longing for romantic love. Notably too, Emma utterly fails to understand the budding affection between Harriet Smith and Robert Martin; she interprets the prospective match solely in terms of financial settlements and social ambition. It is only after Harriet Smith reveals her interest in Mr. Knightley that Emma realises her own feelings for him.

While Emma differs strikingly from Austen's other heroines in these two respects, she resembles Elizabeth Bennet and Anne Elliot, among others, in another way: she is an intelligent young woman with too little to do and no ability to change her location or everyday routine. Though her family is loving and her economic status secure, Emma's everyday life is dull indeed; she has few companions her own age when the novel begins. Her determined though inept matchmaking may represent a muted protest against the narrow scope of a wealthy woman's life, especially that of a woman who is single and childless.

  Emma, or the banality of the real world
Populated by small "minute detail" (to borrow the term from Sir Walter Scott), very realistic but anodyne, the novel disoriented a number of Jane Austen's contemporaries by its immersion in the daily life of a small town, and with the corresponding absence of spectacle. We see, for example, Emma accompanying Harriet to Mr. Ford's haberdashery and, while her friend gets on with her shopping, she posts herself at the door to observe the spectacle of the street:

[...] the butcher with his tray, a tidy old woman travelling homewards from shop with her full basket, two curs quarrelling over a dirty bone, and a string of dawdling children round the baker's little bow-window eyeing the gingerbread [...].

We find the centre of Highbury life in Mr. Ford's shop. It is there, for example, that Harriet Smith meets her admirer, Robert Martin (volume II, chapter III). Also, convinced of the importance of the place, Frank Churchill declares:

that I may prove myself to belong to the place, to be a true citizen of Highbury, I must buy something at Ford's (volume II, chapter VI).

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1816
 
 
Bronte Charlotte
 

Carlotte Bronte, married name Mrs. Arthur Bell Nicholls, pseudonym Currer Bell (born April 21, 1816, Thornton, Yorkshire, England—died March 31, 1855, Haworth, Yorkshire), English novelist, noted for Jane Eyre (1847), a strong narrative of a woman in conflict with her natural desires and social condition. The novel gave new truthfulness to Victorian fiction. She later wrote Shirley (1849) and Villette (1853).

 

An idealised posthumous portrait by Duyckinick, 1873, based on a drawing by George Richmond
  Life.
Her father was Patrick Brontë (1777–1861), an Anglican clergyman. Irish-born, he had changed his name from the more commonplace Brunty. After serving in several parishes, he moved with his wife, Maria Branwell Brontë, and their six small children to Haworth amid the Yorkshire moors in 1820, having been awarded a rectorship there. Soon after, Mrs. Brontë and the two eldest children (Maria and Elizabeth) died, leaving the father to care for the remaining three girls—Charlotte, Emily, and Anne—and a boy, Patrick Branwell. Their upbringing was aided by an aunt, Elizabeth Branwell, who left her native Cornwall and took up residence with the family at Haworth. In 1824 Charlotte and Emily, together with their elder sisters before their deaths, attended Clergy Daughters’ School at Cowan Bridge, near Kirkby Lonsdale, Lancashire. The fees were low, the food unattractive, and the discipline harsh. Charlotte condemned the school (perhaps exaggeratedly) long years afterward in Jane Eyre, under the thin disguise of Lowood; and the principal, the Rev. William Carus Wilson, has been accepted as the counterpart of Mr. Naomi Brocklehurst in the novel.

Charlotte and Emily returned home in June 1825, and for more than five years the Brontë children learned and played there, writing and telling romantic tales for one another and inventing imaginative games played out at home or on the desolate moors. In 1831 Charlotte was sent to Miss Wooler’s school at Roe Head, near Huddersfield, where she stayed a year and made some lasting friendships; her correspondence with one of her friends, Ellen Nussey, continued until her death, and has provided much of the current knowledge of her life.

 
 
In 1832 she came home to teach her sisters but in 1835 returned to Roe Head as a teacher. She wished to improve her family’s position, and this was the only outlet that was offered to her unsatisfied energies. Branwell, moreover, was to start on his career as an artist, and it became necessary to supplement the family resources. The work, with its inevitable restrictions, was uncongenial to Charlotte. She fell into ill health and melancholia and in the summer of 1838 terminated her engagement.
 
 

Portrait by J. H. Thompson at the Bronte Parsonage Museum
  In 1839 Charlotte declined a proposal from the Rev. Henry Nussey, her friend’s brother, and some months later one from another young clergyman. At the same time Charlotte’s ambition to make the practical best of her talents and the need to pay Branwell’s debts urged her to spend some months as governess with the Whites at Upperwood House, Rawdon. Branwell’s talents for writing and painting, his good classical scholarship, and his social charm had engendered high hopes for him; but he was fundamentally unstable, weak willed, and intemperate. He went from job to job and took refuge in alcohol and opium.

Meanwhile his sisters had planned to open a school together, which their aunt had agreed to finance, and in February 1842 Charlotte and Emily went to Brussels as pupils to improve their qualifications in French and acquire some German. The talent displayed by both brought them to the notice of Constantin Héger, a fine teacher and a man of unusual perception. After a brief trip home upon the death of her aunt, Charlotte returned to Brussels as a pupil-teacher. She stayed there during 1843 but was lonely and depressed. Her friends had left Brussels, and Madame Héger appears to have become jealous of her. The nature of Charlotte’s attachment to Héger and the degree to which she understood herself have been much discussed. His was the most interesting mind she had yet met, and he had perceived and evoked her latent talents.

 
 
His strong and eccentric personality appealed both to her sense of humour and to her affections. She offered him an innocent but ardent devotion, but he tried to repress her emotions. The letters she wrote to him after her return may well be called love letters. When, however, he suggested that they were open to misapprehension, she stopped writing and applied herself, in silence, to disciplining her feelings. However they are interpreted, Charlotte’s experiences at Brussels were crucial for her development. She received a strict literary training, became aware of the resources of her own nature, and gathered material that served her, in various shapes, for all her novels.
 
 

Branwell Brontë, Painting of the 3 Brontë Sisters, l to r Anne, Emily and Charlotte Brontë. Branwell painted himself out of this portrait of his three sisters.
  In 1844 Charlotte attempted to start a school that she had long envisaged in the parsonage itself, as her father’s failing sight precluded his being left alone. Prospectuses were issued, but no pupils were attracted to distant Haworth.

In the autumn of 1845 Charlotte came across some poems by Emily, and this led to the publication of a joint volume of Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell (1846), or Charlotte, Emily, and Anne; the pseudonyms were assumed to preserve secrecy and avoid the special treatment that they believed reviewers accorded to women. The book was issued at their own expense. It received few reviews and only two copies were sold. Nevertheless, a way had opened to them, and they were already trying to place the three novels they had written. Charlotte failed to place The Professor: A Tale but had, however, nearly finished Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, begun in August 1846 in Manchester, where she was staying with her father, who had gone there for an eye operation. When Smith, Elder and Company, declining The Professor, declared themselves willing to consider a three-volume novel with more action and excitement in it, she completed and submitted it at once. Jane Eyre was accepted, published less than eight weeks later (on Oct. 16, 1847), and had an immediate success, far greater than that of the books that her sisters published the same year.
The months that followed were tragic ones. Branwell died in September 1848, Emily in December, and Anne in May 1849. Charlotte completed Shirley: A Tale in the empty parsonage, and it appeared in October.
In the following years Charlotte went three times to London as the guest of her publisher; there she met the novelist William Makepeace Thackeray and sat for her portrait by George Richmond.

 
 
She stayed in 1851 with the writer Harriet Martineau and also visited her future biographer, Mrs. Elizabeth Gaskell, in Manchester and entertained her at Haworth. Villette came out in January 1853. Meanwhile, in 1851, she had declined a third offer of marriage, this time from James Taylor, a member of Smith, Elder and Company. Her father’s curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls (1817–1906), an Irishman, was her fourth suitor. It took some months to win her father’s consent, but they were married on June 29, 1854, in Haworth church. They spent their honeymoon in Ireland and then returned to Haworth, where her husband had pledged himself to continue as curate to her father. He did not share his wife’s intellectual life, but she was happy to be loved for herself and to take up her duties as his wife. She began another book, Emma, of which some pages remain. Her pregnancy, however, was accompanied by exhausting sickness, and she died in 1855.
 
 


Portrait by George Richmond

  Jane Eyre and other novels.
Charlotte’s first novel, The Professor (published posthumously, 1857), shows her sober reaction from the indulgences of her girlhood. Told in the first person by an English tutor in Brussels, it is based on Charlotte’s experiences there, with a reversal of sexes and roles. The necessity of her genius, reinforced by reading her sister Emily’s Wuthering Heights, modified this restrictive self-discipline; and, though there is plenty of satire and dry, direct phrasing in Jane Eyre, its success was the fiery conviction with which it presented a thinking, feeling woman, craving for love but able to renounce it at the call of impassioned self-respect and moral conviction. The book’s narrator and main character, Jane Eyre, is an orphan and is governess to the ward of Mr. Rochester, the Byronic and enigmatic employer with whom she falls in love. Her love is reciprocated, but on the wedding morning it comes out that Rochester is already married and keeps his mad and depraved wife in the attics of his mansion.
 
 
Jane leaves him, suffers hardship, and finds work as a village schoolmistress. When Jane learns, however, that Rochester has been maimed and blinded while trying vainly to rescue his wife from the burning house that she herself had set afire, Jane seeks him out and marries him.
 
 
There are melodramatic naïvetés in the story, and Charlotte’s elevated rhetorical passages do not much appeal to modern taste, but she maintains her hold on the reader.

The novel is subtitled An Autobiography and is written in the first person; but, except in Jane Eyre’s impressions of Lowood, the autobiography is not Charlotte’s. Personal experience is fused with suggestions from widely different sources, and the Cinderella theme may well come from Samuel Richardson’s Pamela.

The action is carefully motivated, and apparently episodic sections, like the return to Gateshead Hall, are seen to be necessary to the full expression of Jane’s character and the working out of the threefold moral theme of love, independence, and forgiveness.

In her novel Shirley, Charlotte avoided melodrama and coincidences and widened her scope. Setting aside Maria Edgworth and Sir Walter Scott as national novelists, Shirley is the first regional novel in English, full of shrewdly depicted local material—Yorkshire characters, church and chapel, the cloth workers and machine breakers of her father’s early manhood, and a sturdy but rather embittered feminism.

 
Title page of the first edition of Jane Eyre
 
 


1854 photograph

  In Villette she recurred to the Brussels setting and the first-person narrative, disused in Shirley; the characters and incidents are largely variants of the people and life at the Pension Héger.

Against this background she set the ardent heart, deprived of its object, contrasted with the woman happily fulfilled in love.
The influence of Charlotte’s novels was much more immediate than that of Wuthering Heights.

Charlotte’s combination of romance and satiric realism had been the mode of nearly all the women novelists for a century.

Her fruitful innovations were the presentation of a tale through the sensibility of a child or young woman, her lyricism, and the picture of love from a woman’s standpoint.

Joyce M.S. Tompkins

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 
     
  Charlotte Bronte

"Jane Eyre"

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1816
 
 
Byron: "The Siege of Corinth"
 

The Siege of Corinth is a rhymed, tragic narrative poem by Byron George Gordon. Published in 1816, it was inspired by the Ottoman massacre of the Venetian garrison holding the Acrocorinth — an incident in the Ottoman conquest of Morea during the Ottoman-Venetian Wars.

 
Overview
In this moving poem, Byron recounts the final, desperate resistance of the Venetians on the day the Ottoman army stormed Acrocorinth: revealing the closing scenes of the conflict through the eyes of Alp (a Venetian renegade fighting for the Ottomans) and Francesca (the beautiful maiden daughter of the governor of the Venetian garrison: Minotti).
Alp — whose impassioned suit for Francesca's hand had been previously refused by Minotti — had later fled the Venetian Empire after being falsely denounced by anonymous accusers via the infamous "Lion's Mouth" at the Doge's palace (see insert). Enlisting under the Turkish flag, he repudiates both his nationality and his religion, as well as his old name 'Lanciotto', only to be challenged by Francesca herself the night before the final assault to repent his apostasy, to forgive his accusers, and to save the Venetian garrison from certain slaughter.
Alp's ensuing moral dilemma: viz. to forgive those who unjustly accused him and save the lives of his enemies; or to prosecute his revenge on Venice using all the Turkish forces under his command — forms the climax of the unfolding drama as the battle between the Ottomans and the Venetians presses to its conclusion.

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Lord Byron "The Siege of Corinth"
 
 
 
     
 
George Gordon, Lord Byron 

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1816
 
 
Freytag Gustav
 

Gustav Freytag, (born July 13, 1816, Kreuzburg, Silesia, Prussia—died April 30, 1895, Wiesbaden, Ger.), German writer of realistic novels celebrating the merits of the middle classes.

 

Gustav Freytag
  After studying philology at Breslau and Berlin, Freytag became Privatdozent (lecturer) in German literature at the University of Breslau (1839), but he resigned after eight years to devote himself to writing. He was much excited by the revolutions of 1848 and became, with Julian Schmidt, joint editor of the Leipzig weekly Die Grenzboten, which he made into the leading organ of the middle-class liberals. He abhorred both the democratic radicalism of the Jungdeutschen (“Young Germany”) and the escapism of the Romantics. From 1867 to 1870 he represented the national liberal party in the North German Reichstag, and he served at the headquarters of the 3rd Army in the Franco-German War until the battle of Sedan (1870).
His literary work was influenced by his early reading of English novelists, especially Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens, and of French plays. His name was made with the comedy Die Journalisten (1854; The Journalists), still regarded as one of the most successful German comedies, and he acquired an international reputation with his widely translated novel Soll und Haben (1855; Debit and Credit, 1857). It celebrates the solid bourgeois qualities of the German merchants, and the close relationships between people’s characters and the work they do is well brought out. The success of the novel was such that its author was recognized as the leading German writer of his day. He attempted to realize a similar intention with Die verlorene Handschrift (1864; The Lost Manuscript, 1865), which depicts Leipzig university life in the same realistic manner, but the plot is much weaker and the effect less successful.
 
 
His most ambitious literary work was the novel-cycle Die Ahnen, 6 vol. (1873–81) which unfolded the story of a German family from the 4th century ad up to Freytag’s own time. His Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangenheit, 5 vol. (1859–67; partial Eng. trans. Pictures of German Life, 1862–63) were originally contributed to Die Grenzboten and give a vivid and popular account of the history of the Germans, in which Freytag stresses the idea of folk character as determinative in history. His collected works, Gesammelte Werke, 22 vol. (1886–88) were reissued, edited by H.M. Elster (12 vol.) in 1926.

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1816
 
 
Derzhavin Gavrila
 

Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin (Russian: Гаврии́л (Гаври́ла) Рома́нович Держа́вин); July 14, 1743 – July 20, 1816) was arguably one of the greatest Russian poets before Alexander Pushkin, as well as a statesman. Although his works are traditionally considered literary classicism, his best verse is rich with antitheses and conflicting sounds in a way reminiscent of John Donne and other metaphysical poets.

 

Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin
  Life
Derzhavin was born in Kazan. His distant ancestor Morza Bagrim, who relocated from the Great Horde in the 15th century to Moscow, was baptized and became a vassal of the Russian Grand Prince Vasily II. Nevertheless, by the 18th century Derzhavin's father was just a poor country squire who died when Gavrila was still young. He received a little formal education at the gymnasium there but left for Petersburg as a private in the guards.

There he rose from the ranks as a common soldier to the highest offices of state under Catherine the Great. He first impressed his commanders during Pugachev's Rebellion. Politically astute, his career advanced when he left the military service for civil service. He rose to the position of governor of Olonets (1784) and Tambov (1785), personal secretary to the Empress (1791), President of the College of Commerce (1794), and finally the Minister of Justice (1802).

He was dismissed from his post in 1803 and spent much of the rest of his life in the country estate at Zvanka near Novgorod, writing idylls and anacreontic verse. At his Saint Petersburg house, he held monthly meetings of the conservative Lovers of the Russian Word society.

He died in 1816 and was buried in the Khutyn Monastery near Zvanka, reburied by the Soviets in the Novgorod Kremlin, and then reinterred at Khutyn.
 
 
Works
Derzhavin is best remembered for his odes, dedicated to the Empress and other courtiers. He paid little attention to the prevailing system of genres, and many a time would fill an ode with elegiac, humorous, or satiric contents. In his grand ode to the Empress, for instance, he mentions searching for fleas in his wife's hair and compares his own poetry with lemonade.
 
 
Unlike other Classicist poets, Derzhavin found delight in carefully chosen details, such as a colour of wallpaper in his bedroom or a poetic inventory of his daily meal. He believed that French was a language of harmony but that Russian was a language of conflict. Although he relished harmonious alliterations, sometimes he deliberately instrumented his verse with cacophonous effect.

Derzhavin's major odes were the impeccable "On the Death of Prince Meschersky" (1779); the playful "Ode to Felica" (1782); the lofty "God" (1785), which was translated into many European languages; "Waterfall" (1794), occasioned by the death of Prince Potemkin; and "Bullfinch" (1800), a poignant elegy on the death of his friend Suvorov. He also provided lyrics for the first Russian national anthem, Let the thunder of victory sound!

  In 1800, Derzhavin wrote the political work Opinion, an anti-Semitic tract in response to a request by Emperor Paul I to investigate recent famines in Belorussia. In the Opinion, Derzhavin blamed Belorussian famines on the "mercenary trades" of Jews, who exploited peasants through leaseholding of estates and distilling of alcohol, as well as the indifference of the local magnates who allowed this exploitation to occur. In response to these issues, Derzhavin proposed a series of reforms to substantially restrict the freedoms of the magnates, abolish the Jewish Qahal, end the autonomy of the Russian Jewish community, and resettle Russian Jews in colonies along the Black Sea.
The Opinion became an influential source of information during the early reign of Alexander I, who eventually implemented several of Derzhavin's suggested reforms in the 1804 Statute Concerning the Organization of the Jews.
 
 

16-year-old Pushkin reciting his poem before old Derzhavin in the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum (1911 painting by Ilya Repin).
 
 
Influence
According to D.S. Mirsky, "Derzhavin's poetry is a universe of amazing richness; its only drawback was that the great poet was of no use either as a master or as an example. He did nothing to raise the level of literary taste or to improve the literary language, and as for his poetical flights, it was obviously impossible to follow him into those giddy spheres." Nevertheless, Nikolai Nekrasov professed to follow Derzhavin rather than Pushkin, and Derzhavin's line of broken rhythms was continued by Marina Tsvetaeva in the 20th century.
 
 

Lines found at Derzhavin's table after his death

The current of Time's river
Will carry off all human deeds
And sink into oblivion
All peoples, kingdoms and their kings.
And if there's something that remains
Through sounds of horn and lyre,
It too will disappear into the maw of time
And not avoid the common pyre...

<lines broken>

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
see also: Gavrila Derzhavin
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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1816
 
 
Leigh Hunt: "The Story of Rimini"
 

The Story of Rimini was a poem composed by Hunt Leigh published in 1816. The work was based on his reading about Paolo and Francesca in hell. Hunt's version gives a sympathetic portrayal of how the two lovers came together after Francesca was married off to Paolo's brother. The work promotes compassion for all of humanity and the style served to contrast against the traditional 18th century poetic conventions. The work received mix reviews, with most critics praising the language.

 
Background
The first mention of The Story of Rimini comes in Hunt's 1811 edition of The Feast of the Poets where he alludes to writing the poem. In October 1811, Hunt started reading various works to develop a theme for his poem and he fixated on the Paolo and Francesca episode in Canto V of Dante's Inferno. The poem was originally intended to be a satire on England during 1811 but it was edited to focus on nature. Hunt travelled to Hampstead to work on his poem. However, his life was soon interrupted in 1812 when he was put on trial for libel. However, the trial was pushed back, and Hunt visited Taunton at the end of the summer. While there, he continued to work on his poem.

By September 1812, Hunt was busy at work on the poem and he remained there until his trial in December. He was sentenced to two years in prison, and he continued to work on the poem during that time. In 1813, George Gordon Byron, the poet, came to visit Hunt and even brought him material on Italy that helped Hunt with his poem.

The poem was almost finished by the time Hunt was released from prison in 1815. To raise money to pay a 500 pound fine, he sold The Story of Rimini, The Descent of Liberty, and The Feast of the Poets to the publisher Gale, Curtis and Fenner for 450 pounds. However, Hunt did not send them the works, and the firm backed down from the deal in December 1815. In October 1816, Hunt sent portions of the work to Byron for approval, and the work was edited on the basis of his responses.

In November, Byron served as intermediary between Hunt and the publisher John Murray. On 18 December, Hunt asked for 450 to 500 pounds from Murray as an advanced, but Murray believed that the work would not bring in such money. Instead, Murray proposed a limited release of the work with split profits with Hunt retaining the copyright. Hunt soon agreed to the terms as he needed the money, and the work was published in February 1816. In March, the work brought Hunt 45 pounds, and he sought to have Murray buy the rest of the copyright. Murray declined, which caused a rift between Hunt and the publisher.

  Poem
The Story of Rimini describes the background of Paolo and Francesca's story from Dante's Inferno. The purpose was to describe how Francesca was still able to love Paolo even though the two were in hell. The first canto of the work discusses Ravenna and how the Duke of Ravenna wishes to marry his daughter, Francesca, to Duke Giovanni of Rimini. The poem begins with a description of an urban environment that focuses on the bustle of the crowd:

For on this sparkling day, Ravenna's pride,
The daughter of their prince, becomes a bride,
A bride, to crown the comfort of the land:
And he, whose victories have obtained her hand,
Has taken with the dawn, so flies report.
His promised journey to the expecting court
With hasting pomp, and squires of high degree.
The bold Giovanni, lord of Rimini.
Already in the streets the stir grows loud
Of expectation and a bustling crowd.
With feet and voice the gathering hum contends.
The deep talk heaves, the ready laugh ascends:
Callings, and clapping doors, and curs unite.
And shouts from mere exuberance of delight,
And armed bands, making important way.
Gallant and grave, the lords of holiday.
And nodding neighbours, greeting as they run.
And pilgrims, chanting in the morning sun.

(lines I:1–18)

Although the first canto ended with a marriage that seemed to be well received, the second canto describes how the marriage was problematic. Instead of Giovanni himself being there to marry, his brother Paulo was sent to serve as a proxy:

The truth was this:— The bridegroom had not come.
But sent his brother, proxy in his room.
A lofty spirit the former was, and proud, ao
Little gallant, and had a sort of cloud
Hanging for ever on his cold address.
Which he mistook for proper manliness.
But more of this hereafter. Guido knew
The prince's character; and he knew too.
(lines II:18–25)

 
 
After the political marriage, Francesca travels to Rimini while describing how there is little ability to make free choices in life. In Rimini, she is kept as a possession and is isolated. However, she falls in love with Paulo. After the two read the story "Launcelot of the Lake, a bright romance", they believe that the story describes their own situation. Together, they believe that they enter into a paradise type of life. Canto IV introduces how the relationship came to an end. While sleeping, Francesca speaks words that tip Giovanni off to the relationship, and he attacks Paulo. Paulo is stabbed by Giovanni, and Francesca soon after dies because she cannot bear to be without Paulo.
 
 
Themes
Hunt chose the Paolo and Francesca episode from the Inferno to discuss problems relating to "setting authorized selfishness above the most natural impulses, and making guilt by mistaking innocence". The tone of the work is one of compassion, and he promoted the idea of universal restoration, a view that came from the preaching of Elhanan Winchester that was connected to the Universalism movement.
Hunt's use of such beliefs was a source of criticism lodged against him. Hunt also believed that wisdom was connected to understanding the workings of the human heart, and his understanding of it in The Story of Rimini was later developed in Hunt's Christianism and The Religion of the Heart. Part of the basis for the intimacy and the emotion within the story, especially when Francesca turns to her father before she is forced into marriage, is from Hunt's own emotional reaction after he was sentenced to jail for 2 years and separated from his brother.

The landscape of Hampstead influenced the depictions of the land found within The Story of Remini. He described the land in an impressionistic manner like a painter with a mix of his political believes in regards to criticising land enclosure or other rural matters.
When Hunt was forced to go to Taunton, the valley became the basis for Hunt's description of Ravenna within the work.

  The description also marked a change in Hunt's style, as he became more spontaneous in his writing and more familiar in his tone.

However, he also made sure to political and social matters. When describing urban life, Hunt was quite different from William Wordsworth's repulsion regarding crowds; Hunt focused on the sights and sounds of the crowd to represent the human community that Wordsworth ignored.

Hunt wanted the poem as a response to poetry written by those like Alexander Pope and "to break the set cadence for which Pope was the professed authority, as he broke through the set morals which had followed in reaction upon the licence of many reigns". Within the poem, Hunt attempted to follow the pattern of Wordsworth in Lyrical Ballads by relying on common speech. Hunt felt that too many works dealt with a written language and were disconnected from spoken language. This emphasis on what was deemed natural was in contrast to the 18th century emphasis on the neoclassical rules to poetry and language. Previously, those like Samuel Johnson viewed the common language like that of barbarians and that it was poetry's job to protect society against vulgarity. Although other Romantics turned to Scotland or rural England for their language, Hunt turned to Italian to basis his views of natural language.

     
 
Critical response
A review in the Edinburgh Review by William Hazlitt praised the poem as a "gem of great grace and spirit, and in many passages and in many particulars, of infinite beauty and delicacy". In a letter to Hunt, Hazlitt stated, "I have read the story of Rimini with extreme satisfaction. It is full of beautiful & affected passages. You have, I think, perfectly succeeded. I like the description of the death of Francesca better than any. This will do." A review in the Quarterly Review attacked the poem, which Byron attributed to Hunt's poetic diction. Thomas Moore told Byron: "though it is, I own, full of beauties, and though I like himself sincerely, I really could not undertake to praise it seriously. There is so much of the quizzible in all he writes, that I never can put on the proper pathetic face in reading him."

Nicholas Roe claimed that "Hunt reveals a keen observation of gestures, manners and motives: he could readily turn such details to satirical effect [...] but in his poem satirical disruption is smoothed into an attractively 'fluttering impatience' for what will follow [...] Hunt's master of townscape is highlighted by Wordsworth's repulsion from crowds". He later argued: "The Story of Rimini is structurally satisfying as a narrative, opening with the springtime pageant of Paulo's arrival at Ravenna and closing with a funeral cortege and an autumnal landscape" and that it is "an artful poem about artful behaviour, in which the malign intrigue of the two dukes is doubled and answered by the gentler dissimulation of the lovers—simultaneously transgressive and a discovery of truth."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
see also: Leigh Hunt
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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1816
 
 
Leopardi Giacomo: "Appressamento alia Morte"
 
 

Leopardi: "Appressamento alia Morte"
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1816
 
 
Shelley: "Alastor"
 

Alastor, or The Spirit of Solitude is a poem by Shelley Percy Bysshe, written from 10 September to 14 December in 1815 in Bishopsgate, London and first published in 1816. The poem was without a title when Shelley passed it along to his contemporary and friend, Thomas Love Peacock. The poem is 720 lines long. It is considered to be one of the first of Shelley's major poems.

Peacock suggested the name Alastor which comes from Roman mythology. Peacock has defined Alastor as "evil genius." The name does not refer to the hero or Poet of the poem, however, but instead to the spirit who divinely animates the Poet's imagination.

 
Summary
In Alastor the speaker ostensibly recounts the life of a Poet who zealously pursues the most obscure part of nature in search of "strange truths in undiscovered lands", journeying to the Caucasus Mountains ("the ethereal cliffs of Caucasus"), Persia, "Arabie", Cashmire, and "the wild Carmanian waste". The Poet rejects an "Arab maiden" in his search for an idealised embodiment of a woman. As the Poet wanders one night, he dreams of a "veiled maid".

This veiled vision brings with her an intimation of the supernatural world that lies beyond nature. This dream vision serves as a mediator between the natural and supernatural domains by being both spirit and an element of human love. As the Poet attempts to unite with the spirit, night's blackness swallows the vision and severs his dreamy link to the supernatural.

Once touched by the maddening hand of the supernatural, the Poet restlessly searches for a reconciliation with his lost vision. Though his imagination craves a reunion with the infinite, it too is ultimately anchored to the perceptions of the natural world.

Ruminating on thoughts of death as the possible next step beyond dream to the supernatural world he tasted, the Poet notices a small boat ("little shallop") floating down a nearby river. Passively, he sits in the boat furiously being driven down the river by a smooth wave. Deeper and deeper into the very source of the natural world he rushes. Like the water's surface supports the boat, the supernatural world "cradles" the mutability both of nature and of man.

 
1816 first edition title page.
 
 
As his senses are literally dulled, his imagination helps him sense the spirit's supernatural presence. Instead of perceiving the vision through the senses, the Poet imaginatively observes her in the dying images of the passing objects of nature. The boat flows onward to an "immeasurable void" and the Poet finds himself ready to sink into the supernatural world and break through the threshold into death.

When the Poet reaches the "obscurest chasm," his last sight is of the moon. As that image fades from the Poet's mind, he has finally attained transcendence to the supernatural world. The journey to the very source of nature led, finally, to an immanence within nature's very structure and to a world free of decay and change.

 
 
1816 Publication
The work was first published in London in 1816 under the title Alastor; or, The Spirit of Solitude: And Other Poems, printed for Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, Pater-Noster Row; and Carpenter and Son, Old Bond-Street: by S. Hamilton, Weybridge, Surrey, consisting of the title poem and the following additional poems:

-"O! There Are Spirits Of The Air"
-Stanzas.—April 1814
-Mutability
-"The Pale, The Cold, And The Moony Smile"
-A Summer-evening Church-yard
-To Wordsworth
-Feelings Of A Republican On The Fall Of Bonaparte
-Superstition
-Sonnet From The Italian Of Dante
-Translated From The Greek Of Moschus
-The Daemon Of The World
-The epigraph to the poem is from St. Augustine's Confessions, III, i, written between 397 and 398 AD:

Nondum amabam, et amare amabam, quaerebam quid amarem, amans amare.

The English translation of the Latin is: "I was not yet in love, and I loved to be in love, I sought what I might love, in love with loving."

Shelley also quotes from William Wordsworth's The Excursion (1814) the lines, "The good die first,/ And they whose hearts are dry as summer dust / Burn to the socket!" The line "It is a woe 'too deep for tears'" is a quote from Wordsworth's "Ode: Intimations of Immortality".

Eight lines from the poem "Mutability" are quoted in Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818) in the scene when Victor Frankenstein climbs Montanvert in the Swiss Alps:

"We rest. A dream has power to poison sleep;
We rise. One wandering thought pollutes the day;
We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;
Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:
It is the same! For, be it joy or sorrow,
The path of its departure still is free:
Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutablilty."

  Critical reception
Reviews were initially negative when Alastor was published in 1816. John Gibson Lockhart of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine wrote the first major positive review in the November 1819 issue. Lockhart wrote that Shelley is "a man of genius... Mr. Shelley is a poet, almost in the very highest sense of that mysterious word."

Leigh Hunt praised Alastor in the December 1816 issue of The Examiner.

The poem was attacked by contemporary critics for its "obscurity". In a review in The Monthly Review for April 1816, the critic wrote: "We must candidly own that these poems are beyond our comprehension; and we did not obtain a clue to their sublime obscurity, till an address to Mr. Wordsworth explained in what school the author had formed his taste." In the Eclectic Review for October 1816, Josiah Condor wrote:

"We fear that not even this commentary [Shelley's Preface], will enable ordinary readers to decipher the import of the greater part of Mr. Shelley's allegory. All is wild and specious,intangible and incoherent as a dream. We should be utterly at a loss to convey any distinct idea of the plan or purpose of the poem."

In The British Critic for May 1816, the reviewer dismissed the work as "the madness of a poetic mind."

Mary Shelley, in her note on the work, wrote: "None of Shelley's poems is more characteristic than this." In the spring of 1815, Shelley had been erroneously diagnosed as suffering from consumption. Shelley suffered from spasms and there were abscesses in his lungs. He made a full recovery but the shock of imminent death is reflected in the work. Mary Shelley noted that the work "was the outpouring of his own emotions, embodied in the purest form he could conceive, painted in the ideal hues which his brilliant imagination inspired, and softened by the recent anticipation of death."

In his biography of John Keats, Sidney Colvin wrote on the influence of Alastor on Keats' Endymion: "It is certain that Keats read and was impressed by Alastor."

Alastor influenced the poetry of William Butler Yeats, whose own work The Wanderings of Oisin was influenced by the Shelley poem.

 
 
Critical review
Critics have spent a great deal of effort attempting to identify the Poet. The most convincing possibility is William Wordsworth, since the poem is framed with direct quotations from Wordsworth's poetry, and Shelley had a deeply ambivalent reaction to Wordsworth's poetry, as witnessed in his sonnet "To Wordsworth."

In 1912, Russian composer Nikolai Myaskovsky wrote his symphonic poem Alastor, Poème d'après Shelley (Op. 14) based on Shelley's work.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
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1816
 
 
Goya: "The Duke of Osuna"
 
 

Goya Francisco. The Duke of Osuna (1785)
 
Goya Francisco. The Duchess of Osuna (1785)
 
 
 

Goya Francisco. The Duke of Osuna and his young family (1788)
 
 
 

Goya Francisco. The Duchess of Abrantes (1816)
 
Goya Francisco. The 10th Duke of Osuna (1816)
 
 
Duke of Osuna is a Spanish noble title that was first awarded in 1562 by King Philip II of Spain to Don Pedro Girón de la Cueva, (Osuna, Sevilla, 29 July 1537–1590). Don Pedro was also Viceroy of Naples, (1582–1586), Ambassador in Portugal and 5th Count of Ureña.

The fortunes of the town of Osuna started to rise in the mid-15th century. At that time, Osuna was ruled by Pedro Girón Acuña Pacheco, the younger brother of Juan Pacheco. His son Alfonso Téllez-Girón de las Casas was elevated to Count of Ureña in 1464 by King Enrique IV of Castile. The dynasty’s influence increased, obtaining the title of Duke of Osuna in 1562. Osuna became the Andalusian capital of the domains of the Téllez-Girón family, who carried the ducal title.

Some of the most notable members of the House of Osuna were Don Pedro Téllez-Girón, 3rd Duke of Osuna, who was a general and viceroy of Naples. He became known to history as the "Great Duke of Osuna".

Another celebrated member was Don Pedro Téllez-Girón, 9th Duke of Osuna and his wife Doña María Josefa Pimentel, 12th Countess-Duchess of Benavente, who were some of the most prominent patrons of the painter Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
     
 
Francisco de Goya
     
 
 
     
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Post-Impressionism
Symbolism
     
 
 
 
1816
 
 
Rossini: "Barbiere di Siviglia"
 

The Barber of Seville, or The Futile Precaution (Italian: Il barbiere di Siviglia, ossia L'inutile precauzione) is an opera buffa in two acts by Rossini Gioachino with an Italian libretto by Cesare Sterbini. The libretto was based on Pierre Beaumarchais's French comedy Le Barbier de Séville (1775). The première of Rossini's opera (under the title Almaviva, o sia L'inutile precauzione) took place on 20 February 1816 at the Teatro Argentina, Rome.

 
Rossini's Barber has proven to be one of the greatest masterpieces of comedy within music, and has been described as the opera buffa of all "opere buffe". Even after two hundred years, its popularity on the modern opera stage attests to that greatness.
 
 
 
 
Luciano Pavarotti - Figaro - Largo al factotum (Il Barbiere di Siviglia-Rossini)
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
Gioachino Rossini
 
     
 
 
     
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
     
 
 
 
1816
 
 
Spohr: "Faust," opera, Prague, conducted by С. М. von Weber
 
 
Spohr: "Faust"
 
Faust is an opera by the German composer Spohr Louis . The libretto, by Josef Karl Bernard, is based on the legend of Faust; it is not influenced by Goethe's Faust, though Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy had been published in 1808. Instead, Carl Bernard's libretto draws mainly on Faust plays and poems by Maximilian Klinger and Heinrich von Kleist. Spohr's Faust is an important work in the history of German Romantic opera.
 
Performance history
Spohr had left his court appointment at Gotha and taken up a post in Vienna at the Theater An der Wien, which had recently been purchased by Count Ferdinand Palffy von Erdöd. He composed the opera in less than four months, May to September 1813 but had difficulties with count Palffy that interfered with getting it staged in Vienna. Though he took the manuscript score privately to Giacomo Meyerbeer, who played it, with Spohr singing— supplementing his vocal range by whistling— it was not until Carl Maria von Weber took an interest in the score that it received its premiere. Weber conducted the first performance of Faust at the Ständetheater, Prague on 1 September 1816. Meyerbeer introduced it at Berlin.

In its original form, the opera was a Singspiel in two acts. In 1851, Spohr turned the piece into a grand opera in three acts, replacing the spoken dialogue with recitative. This "version (in an Italian translation) received its premiere at the Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden, London on 15 July 1852. The Bielefeld Opera rediscovered Faust in 1993 in the first staged production world-wide since 1931. Conducted by Geoffrey Moull and directed by Matthias Oldag, the opera was given 8 performances and subsequently recorded for CPO.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
 
Louis Spohr Aria "Ich Bin Allein" from Faust.
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
Louis Spohr
 
     
 
 
     
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
     
 
 
 
1816
 
 
Sir David Brewster (1781-1868) invents kaleidoscope
 
 
Brewster David
 

Sir David Brewster, (born December 11, 1781, Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, Scotland—died February 10, 1868, Allerby, Melrose, Roxburghshire), Scottish physicist noted for his experimental work in optics and polarized light—i.e., light in which all waves lie in the same plane.

 

Sir David Brewster
  When light strikes a reflective surface at a certain angle (called the polarizing angle), the reflected light becomes completely polarized. Brewster discovered a simple mathematical relationship between the polarizing angle and the refractive index of the reflective substance. This law is useful in determining the refractive index of materials that are opaque or available only in small samples.
Brewster was educated for the ministry at the University of Edinburgh, but his interest in science deflected him from pursuing this profession. In 1799 he began his investigations of light. His most important studies involved polarization, metallic reflection, and light absorption. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1815, and he invented the kaleidoscope the following year. He was knighted in 1831. In the early 1840s he improved the stereoscope by utilizing lenses to combine the two dissimilar binocular pictures and produce the three-dimensional effect. Brewster was instrumental in persuading the British to adopt the lightweight, flat Fresnel lens for use in lighthouses. In 1838 he became principal of the United College of St. Salvator and St. Leonard of the University of St. Andrews and in 1859 became principal of the University of Edinburgh.

Of Brewster’s numerous published works, his Treatise on Optics (1831) and Memoirs of the Life, Writings and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton (1855) are probably the most important.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
1816
 
 
R. T. Laennec invents stethoscope
 
 
Laennec Rene-Theophile-Hyacinthe
 

Rene-Theophile-Hyacinthe Laennec, (born Feb. 17, 1781, Quimper, Brittany, France—died Aug. 13, 1826, Kerlouanec), French physician who invented the stethoscope and perfected the art of auditory examination of the chest cavity.

 

Rene-Theophile-Hyacinthe Laennec
  When Laënnec was five years old, his mother, Michelle Félicité Guesdon, died from tuberculosis, leaving Laënnec and his brother, Michaud, in the incompetent care of their father, Théophile-Marie Laënnec, who worked as a civil servant and had a reputation for reckless spending.

In 1793, during the French Revolution, Laënnec went to live with his uncle, Guillaume-François Laënnec, in the port city of Nantes, located in the Pays de la Loire region of western France.

Laënnec’s uncle was the dean of medicine at the University of Nantes.
Although the region was in the midst of counterrevolutionary revolts, the young Laënnec settled into his academic training and, under his uncle’s direction, began his medical studies.

His first experience working in a hospital setting was at the Hôtel-Dieu of Nantes, where he learned to apply surgical dressings and to care for patients.

In 1800 Laënnec went to Paris and entered the École Pratique, studying anatomy and dissection in the laboratory of surgeon and pathologist Guillaume Dupuytren.

Dupuytren was a bright and ambitious academic who became known for his many surgical accomplishments and for his work in alleviating permanent tissue contracture in the palm, a condition later named Dupuytren contracture.
 
 
While Dupuytren undoubtedly influenced Laënnec’s studies, Laënnec also received instruction from other well-known French anatomists and physicians, including Gaspard Laurent Bayle, who studied tuberculosis and cancer; Marie-François-Xavier Bichat, who helped establish histology, the study of tissues; and Jean-Nicolas Corvisart des Marets, who used chest percussion to assess heart function and who served as personal physician to Napoleon I.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 

The first drawing of a stethoscope, 1819.
René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laennec with stethoscope.
 
 
 
1816
 
 
Siemens Werner
 

Werner von Siemens, in full Ernst Werner Von Siemens (born Dec. 13, 1816, Lenthe, Prussia [now in Germany]—died Dec. 6, 1892, Charlottenburg, Berlin, Ger.), German electrical engineer who played an important role in the development of the telegraph industry.

 

Werner von Siemens
  After attending grammar school at Lübeck, Siemens joined the Prussian artillery at age 17 for the training in engineering that his father could not afford. While in prison briefly at Magdeburg for acting as second in a duel between fellow officers, he carried out chemistry experiments in his cell. These led, in 1842, to his first invention: an electroplating process. His appointment about 1841 to the artillery workshops in Berlin gave him an opportunity to do research, which in turn set the direction of his life’s work.

When Siemens saw an early model of an electric telegraph, invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1837, he realized at once its possibilities for international communication and invented improvements for it. A specialist on the electric telegraph, he laid an underground line for the Prussian army in 1847 and, at the same time, persuaded a young mechanic named Johann Georg Halske to start a telegraph factory with him in Berlin. In 1848, during hostilities with Denmark at Kiel, Siemens laid a government telegraph line from Berlin to the National Assembly of Frankfurt, and supervised the laying of lines to other parts of Germany. In 1849 he resigned his commission to become a telegraph manufacturer.

 
The firm of Telegraphenbauanstalt Siemens & Halske prospered rapidly, carrying out large telegraphic projects and expanding into other electrical fields as new applications of electricity were developed. Werner and his brother Carl (1829–1906) established subsidiary factories in London, St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Paris. Werner’s continued research efforts and his inventions in electrical engineering resulted in many new products. His use in 1847 of gutta-percha to insulate telegraphic cables against moisture was later widely applied to electric-light cables and also made the first underground and submarine telegraph cables possible. Under Werner’s direction, the firm of Siemens & Halske laid cables across the Mediterranean and from Europe to India. In 1866 he invented the self-excited generator, a dynamo that could be set in motion by the residual magnetism of its powerful electromagnet, which replaced the inefficient steel magnet.

In 1888 Siemens was raised to the rank of nobility (with the addition of von to his name).

Siemens’ Lebenserinnerungen (1892; Personal Recollections, also translated as Inventor and Entrepreneur: Recollections) gives interesting details of his family relationships and industrial enterprises.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
1816
 
 
William Cobbett's: "Political Register," the first cheap periodical, published
 
 
Cobbett William
 

William Cobbett, pseudonym Peter Porcupine (born March 9, 1763, Farnham, Surrey, Eng.—died June 18, 1835, London), English popular journalist who played an important political role as a champion of traditional rural England against the changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution.

 

William Cobbett, portrait in oils, possibly by George Cooke, about 1831. National Portrait Gallery, London.
  His father was a small farmer and innkeeper. Cobbett’s memories of his early life were pleasant, and, although he moved to London when he was 19, his experiences on the land left their impressions on his life. Cobbett’s careers as a journalist and, for the last three years of his life, as a member of the House of Commons were devoted to restoring his ideal of rural England in a country rapidly being transformed by the Industrial Revolution into the world’s foremost manufacturing nation.

Although he embraced advanced political ideas, Cobbett was at heart not a radical but instead deeply conservative, even reactionary. His object was to use radical means to break the power of what he regarded as a selfish oligarchy and thus establish the earlier England of his imagination. In his England, political parties, the national debt, and the factory system would not exist. Instead, all classes would live in harmony on the land. Despite this seemingly backward-looking viewpoint, Cobbett’s writings were widely read, in part because of his lucid, racy style but mainly because he struck a powerful chord of nostalgia at a time when rapid economic changes and war with France had produced widespread anxiety.

At the age of 21, Cobbett joined the army, in which he eventually rose to the rank of sergeant major. He taught himself English grammar and thus laid the foundation of his future career as a journalist. After serving in Canada, he returned to England in 1791 and charged certain of his former officers with corruption.

 
 
Although venality was all but general in the army, indeed in the whole of public life, his charges boomeranged when the officers sought to bring countercharges against him. Rather than appear at a court-martial, Cobbett fled to France. Quickly realizing that France in the throes of revolution was no place for an Englishman, he sailed for America, settling in Philadelphia, where he supported himself and his family by teaching English to French émigrés.

An effusive welcome accorded Joseph Priestley by radical republican groups in the United States after the radical scientist had left England in 1794 drew Cobbett into controversy. Convinced that Priestley was a traitor, Cobbett wrote a pamphlet, Observations on the Emigration of Joseph Priestley. It launched his career as a journalist. For the next six years he published enough writings against the spirit and practice of American democracy to fill 12 volumes. His violent journalism won him many enemies and the nickname “Peter Porcupine.” After paying a heavy fine in a libel judgment, Cobbett returned to England in 1800.

 
 
The Tory government of William Pitt welcomed Cobbett and offered to subsidize his powerful pen in further publishing ventures. But Cobbett, whose journalism was entirely personal and always incorruptible, rejected the offer and in 1802 started a weekly, Political Register, which he published until his death in 1835. Though the Register at first supported the government, the Treaty of Amiens (1802) with France disgusted him, and he promptly called for a renewal of the war. Cobbett believed that commercial interests were dictating English foreign policy and were responsible for all that was wrong with the country. In 1805 he announced that England was the victim of a “System,” which debauched liberty, undermined the aristocracy and the Church of England, and almost extinguished the gentry.

His conviction grew in the following year after he witnessed the widely accepted corruption in parliamentary elections. Cobbett’s career as an orthodox Tory was over. Advocacy of radical measures brought him into an uneasy association with reformers. Cobbett and the radicals could never be close, however, since his goals were so different from theirs.
  Cobbett was at his best when condemning specific abuses. He spent two years in jail (1810–12) and paid a fine of £1,000 after denouncing the flogging of militiamen who had protested against unfair deductions from their pay. He also recognized that unrest among the poor was caused by unemployment and hunger and not, as the government had alleged, by a desire to overthrow English society. Cobbett could see no solution to economic distress without a reform of Parliament and reduction of interest on the national debt. In 1816, at the height of his influence, he was able to reach the common man by putting out the Political Register (denounced as Cobbett’s “two-penny trash”) in a cheap edition that avoided the heavy taxes on ordinary newspapers. The government, seeing sedition in even the most moderate proposals for change, repressed dissent, and the following year Cobbett was forced to flee to the United States to avoid arrest.

Renting a farm on Long Island, New York, Cobbett continued to edit and write for the Political Register, which was published by his agents in England. When he returned to England at the end of 1819, his influence had waned and he was insolvent.
 
 
During the 1820s he supported many causes in an attempt to regain his standing and in the hope that they would lead to the changes in England’s political and economic system that he desired. He unsuccessfully tried to be elected to the House of Commons in 1820 from Coventry and in 1826 from Preston. His famous tours of the countryside began in 1821 and were to lead to his greatest book, Rural Rides, which was an unrivalled picture of the land.

Although he had no love for the Whigs, Cobbett supported the parliamentary Reform Bill of 1832, which, despite its limited nature, he sensed was the best that could be had. In 1830 agricultural labourers in his beloved southern England had rioted in protest against their low wages.
 
 
Cobbett defended them and as a result was prosecuted in 1831 by a Whig government that was anxious to prove its zeal in moving against “sedition.” Acting as his own counsel, Cobbett confounded his opponents and was set free. Yet, despite this threat of another jail term, he supported his persecutors on the issue of parliamentary reform.

In 1832 Cobbett was elected to Parliament as a member from Oldham. At 69 years of age he found the nocturnal schedule of Parliament an unpleasant contrast to his lifelong preference for early rising and working in the morning. Essentially an individualist and a man of action, he chafed at parliamentary routine. Most members of the House of Commons did not respect him, and Cobbett’s parliamentary career was a failure. The unnatural hours hastened his death, from influenza, in 1835.

Passionate and prejudiced, Cobbett’s prose, full of telling phrases and inspired ridicule, was completely personal. He had no theoretical understanding of the complicated issues about which he wrote. While his views of the ideal society were retrograde, no one could excel him in specific criticisms of corruption and extravagance, harsh laws, low wages, absentee clergymen—indeed, nearly everything that was wrong with England.

John W. Osborne

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
Cartoon of Cobbett enlisting in the army. From the Political Register of 1809. Artist James Gillray.
 
 
 
1816
 
 
Eng. economic crisis causes large-scale emigration to Canada and U.S.
 
 
 
1816
 
 
Ger. educator Friedrich Frobel moves his first educational community from Griesheim to Keilhau, Thuringia
 
 
Froebel Friedrich
 
Friedrich Froebel, Froebel also spelled Fröbel, in full Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel (born April 21, 1782, Oberweissbach, Thuringia, Ernestine Saxony [now in Germany]—died June 21, 1852, Marienthal, near Bad Liebenstein, Thuringia), German educator who was founder of the kindergarten and one of the most influential educational reformers of the 19th century.
 

Friedrich Froebel
  Froebel was the fifth child in a clergyman’s family. His mother died when he was only nine months old, and he was neglected as a child until an uncle gave him a home and sent him to school. Froebel acquired a thorough knowledge of plants and natural phenomena while at the same time beginning the study of mathematics and languages. After apprenticeship to a forester, he pursued some informal university courses at Jena until he was jailed for an unpaid debt. He tried various kinds of employment until he impulsively took a teaching appointment at a progressive model school in Frankfurt run by Anton Gruner on lines advocated by the Swiss educator Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. Froebel became convinced of his vocation as a teacher at the school. After two years as assistant to Gruner, Froebel went to Yverdon, Switz., where he came into close contact with Pestalozzi. Though he learned much at Yverdon, he quickly discovered the weakness of organization that characterized Pestalozzi’s work. In 1811 Froebel entered the University of Göttingen, where military service in the Napoleonic Wars soon interrupted his studies. During the campaign of 1813 he formed a lasting friendship with H. Langenthal and W. Middendorff, who became his devoted followers and who joined him at a school he opened at Griesheim in Thuringia in 1816.
 
 
Two years later the school moved to Keilhau, also in Thuringia, and it was there that Froebel put into practice his educational theories. He and his friends and their wives became a kind of educational community, and the school expanded into a flourishing institution. During this time Froebel wrote numerous articles and in 1826 published his most important treatise, Menschenerziehung (The Education of Man), a philosophical presentation of principles and methods pursued at Keilhau.

In 1831 Froebel left Keilhau to his partner and accepted the Swiss government’s invitation to train elementary school teachers. His experiences at Keilhau and as head of a new orphan asylum at Burgdorf in Switzerland impressed him with the importance of the early stages of education.
 
 
On returning to Keilhau in 1837 he opened an infant school in Blankenburg, Prussia, that he originally called the Child Nurture and Activity Institute, and which by happy inspiration he later renamed the Kindergarten, or “garden of children.” He also started a publishing firm for play and other educational materials, including a collection of Mother-Play and Nursery Songs, with lengthy explanations of their meaning and use. This immensely popular book was translated into many foreign languages.
Froebel insisted that improvement of infant education was a vital preliminary to comprehensive educational and social reform. His experiments at the Kindergarten attracted widespread interest, and other kindergartens were started. Unfortunately, because of a confusion with the socialist views of Froebel’s nephew, the Prussian government proscribed the kindergarten movement in 1851. The ban was not removed until after 1860, several years after Froebel’s death in 1852.

One of Froebel’s most enthusiastic disciples, the Baroness of Marenholtz-Bülow, was largely responsible for bringing his ideas to the notice of educators in England, France, and the Netherlands. Later they were introduced into other countries, including the United States, where the Froebelian movement achieved its greatest success.
  There John Dewey adopted Froebel’s principles in his experimental school at the University of Chicago. Kindergartens were established throughout Europe and North America and became a standard educational institution for children of four to six years of age.

Froebel was influenced by the outstanding German idealist philosophers of his time and by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Pestalozzi. He was a sincerely religious man who, because of his belief in the underlying unity of all things, tended toward pantheism and has been called a nature mystic. His most important contribution to educational theory was his belief in “self-activity” and play as essential factors in child education. The teacher’s role was not to drill or indoctrinate the children but rather to encourage their self-expression through play, both individually and in group activities. Froebel devised circles, spheres, and other toys—all of which he referred to as “gifts” or “occupations”—that were designed to stimulate learning through play activities accompanied by songs and music. Modern educational techniques in kindergarten and preschool are much indebted to him.

Stanley James Curtis

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 
1816
 
 
Protective tariff in U.S.
 
 
 

 
 
CONTENTS
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