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-1820 Part I NEXT-1821 Part I    
 
 
     
1820 - 1829
YEAR BY YEAR:
1820-1829
History at a Glance
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1820 Part I
Ferdinand VII
Trienio Liberal
Caroline of Brunswick
Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry
Henri, Count of Chambord
Cato Street Conspiracy
"Missouri Compromise"
Congress of Troppau
Liberal Revolution in Portugal
Ecuadorian War of Independence
Sucre Antonio Jose
Engels Friedrich
Erskine Thomas
Gorres Joseph
Spencer Herbert
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1820 Part II
Keats: "Ode to a Nightingale"
Pushkin: "Ruslan and Ludmila"
Fet Afanasy
Scott: "Ivanhoe"
Shelley: "Prometheus Unbound"
William Blake: The Book of Job
Tenniel John
Discovery of the Venus de Milo
Fromentin Eugene
Vieuxtemps Henri
Henri Vieuxtemps - Elegy for Viola and Piano Op.30
Henri Vieuxtemps
Moffat Robert
Florence Nightingale
Anthony Susan Brownell
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1821 Part I
Congress of Laibach
Victor Emmanuel I
Felix Charle
Battle of Novara
Greek War of Independence
Greek Revolution Timeline
Battle of Alamana
Battle of Carabobo
Missouri
Independence of Brazil
Ecole Nationale des Chartes
Concordats with individual states of Germany
Baker Eddy Mary
Grote George
Hegel: "Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts"
Mill James
Champollion Jean-François
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1821 Part II
Baudelaire Charles
Charles Baudelaire
"The Flowers of Evil"
Fenimore Cooper: "The Spy"
Dostoevsky Fyodor
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
"The Idiot"
Flaubert Gustave
Gustave Flaubert
"
Madame Bovary
Goethe: "Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre"
William Hazlitt: "Table-Talk"
Quincey Thomas
Thomas de Quincey: "Confessions of an English Opium Eater"
Thomas De Quincey 
"Confessions of an English Opium-Eater"
Shelley: "Adonais"
Nekrasov Nekolay
Brown Ford Madox
Ford Madox Brown
Weber: "Der Freischutz"
Helmholtz Hermann
Seebeck Thomas Johann
Virchow Rudolf
Wheatstone Charles
"The Guardian"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1822 Part I
Chios Massacre
Battle of Dervenakia
Grant Ulysses
Iturbide Augustin
Congress of Verona
Colebrooke Henry Thomas
Fourier Joseph
Poncelet Jean-Victor
Goncourt Edmond
Nodier Charles
Vigny Alfred-Victor
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1822 Part II
Delacroix: "Dante and Virgil Crossing the Styx"
Martin John
John Martin
Franck Cesar
Cesar Franck - Prelude, Chorale and Fugue
Cesar Franck
Royal Academy of Music, London
Schubert: Symphony No. 8 ("The Unfinished")
Mendel Gregor
Pasteur Louis
Schliemann Heinrich
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1823 Part I
Federal Republic of Central America
Monroe Doctrine
Leo XII
Renan Ernest
Ernest Renan
"The Life of Jesus"
Fenimore Cooper: "The Pioneers"
Ostrovski Alexander
Petofi Sandor
Yonge Charlotte Mary
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1823 Part II
Ferdinand Waldmuller: "Portrait of Beethoven"
Beethoven: "Missa Solemnis"
Bishop Henry Rowley
Bishop "Home! Sweet Home!"
Schubert: "Rosamunde"
Weber: "Euryanthe"
Babbage Charles
Macintosh Charles
Navigation of the Niger
Oudney Walter
Denham Dixon
Clapperton Bain Hugh
"The Lancet"
Royal Thames Yacht Club
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1824 Part I
First Anglo-Burmese War (1824–1826)
Russo-American Treaty of 1824
First Siege of Missolonghi
Constitution of Mexico
Battle of Ayacucho
Bockh August
Botta Carlo Giuseppe Guglielmo
Dumas Alexandre, fils
Landor Walter Savage
Walter Scott: "Redgauntlet"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1824 Part II
Delacroix: "The Massacre at Chios"
John Flaxman: "Pastoral Apollo"
Ingres: "Vow of Louis XIII"
Israels Joseph
Joseph Israels
Overbeck: "Christ's entry into Jerusalem"
Gerome Jean-Leon
Jean-Leon Gerome
Boulanger Gustave
Gustave Boulanger
Girodet Anne-Louis
Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1824 Part III
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
Bruckner Anton
Anton Bruckner - Locus Iste
Anton Bruckner
Smetana Bedrich
Smetana - Die Moldau
Bedrich Smetana
Aspdin Joseph
Carnot Sadi
Thomson William
The Hume and Hovell expedition
Hume Hamilton
Hovell William Hilton
Athenaeum Club, London
"Le Globe"
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1825 Part I
Ferdinand IV of Naples
Francis I of the Two Sicilies
Third Siege of Missolonghi
Treaty of Saint Petersburg of 1825
Uruguay became independent of Brazil (1825)
Kruger Paul
Maximilian I
Ludwig I of Bavaria
Nicholas I
Decembrist revolt in Russia
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1825 Part II
Lasalle Ferdinand
William Hazlitt: "The Spirit of the Age"
Manzoni: "The Betrothed"
Meyer Conrad Ferdinand
Pepys Samuel: "The Diaries of Samuel Pepys"
Pushkin: "Boris Godunov"
Tegner Esaias
Esaias Tegner: "Frithjofs Saga"
Constable: "Leaping Horse"
Collinson James
James Collinson
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1825 Part III
Boieldieu: "La Dame blanche"
Strauss II Johann , the "Waltz King"
Johan Strauss - Blue Danube Waltz
Johann Strauss II, the "Waltz King"
Charcot Jean Martin
Gurney Goldsworthy
Stockton and Darlington Railway
The Desert
Caillie Rene-Auguste
Laing Alexander Gordon
John Franklin Canadian and Arctic expedition
Horse-bus
Trade Union
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1826 Part I
The Sortie of Missolonghi
Ottoman–Egyptian Invasion of Mani
Treaty of Yandabo
Pedro I
Maria II, Queen of Portugal
Akkerman Convention
Congress of Panama
Russo-Persian War of 1826-1828
Zollverein
Khan Dost Mohammad
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1826 Part II
Liebknecht Wilhelm
Ruan Yuan
Fenimore Cooper: "The Last of the Mohicans"
Benjamin Disraeli: "Vivian Grey"
Scheffel Josef Viktor
Scott: "Woodstock"
Moreau Gustave
Gustave Moreau
Weber: "Oberon"
Nobili Leopoldo
Unverdorben Otto
Raffles Stamford
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1827 Part I
Battle of Phaleron
Kapodistrias Ioannis Antonios
Siege of the Acropolis (1826–27)
Treaty of London
Battle of Navarino
Mahmud II
Russo-Persian War - Campaign of 1827
Coster Charles
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1827 Part II
Bocklin Arnold
Arnold Bocklin
Constable: "The Cornfield"
Hunt William Holman
William Holman Hunt
Audubon John James
Audubon: "Birds of North America"
Baer Karl Ernst
Bright Richard
Lister Joseph
Niepce Nicephore
Ohm Georg Simon
Ressel Joseph
Simpson James
Wohler Friedrich
Timbuktu
Baedeker Karl
"London Evening Standard"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1828 Part I
Ypsilantis Alexander
Michael
Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829
"Tariff of Abominations"
Treaty of Montevideo
Guerrero Vicente
Lange Friedrich Albert
Muller Karl Otfried
Taine Hippolyte Adolphe
Noah Webster "American Dictionary of the English Language"
About Edmond
Alexandre Dumas pere: "Les Trois Mousquetaires"
Ibsen Henrik
Meredith George
George Meredith 
"The Egoist"
Oliphant Margaret
Tolstoy Leo
Leo Tolstoy
"The Kreutzer Sonata"
Verne Jules
Jules Verne
"Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea."
"The Children of Captain Grant"
"The Mysterious Island"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1828 Part II
Bonington Richard Parkes
Richard Parkes Bonington
Rossetti Dante Gabriel
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Stevens Alfred
Alfred Stevens
Stuart Gilbert
Gilbert Stuart
Auber: "La Muette de Portici"
Marschner: "Der Vampire"
Abel Niels Henrik
Burdon-Sanderson John
Cohn Ferdinand
De Vinne Theodore
Stewart Balfour
Swan Joseph
Dunant Henri
Hauser Kaspar
Working Men's Party
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1829 Part I
Schurz Carl
Biddle Nicholas
Metropolitan Police Act 1829
First Hellenic Republic
Treaty of Adrianople
Attwood Thomas
Bustamante Anastasio
O’Connell Daniel
Gran Colombia–Peru War (1828-1829)
Benson Edward White
Roman Catholic Emancipation Act
Gardiner Samuel Rawson
Pius VIII
Balzac: "Les Chouans"
Goethe: "Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre"
Jefferson Joseph  
Edgar Allan Poe: "Al Araaf"
Salvini Tommaso
Scott: "Anne of Geierstein"
Timrod Henry
Warner Charles Dudley
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1829 Part II
Feuerbach Anselm
Anselm Feuerbach
Millais John Everett
John Everett Millais
Gottschalk Louis
Louis Moreau Gottschalk - Grande Tarantelle
Louis Gottschalk
Rossini: "William Tell"
Rubinstein Anton
Rubinstein - Piano Concerto No. 1
Anton Rubinstein
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1829 Part III
Cantor Moritz Benedikt
Dobereiner Johann Wolfgang
Dreyse Nikolaus
Henry Joseph
Priessnitz Vincenz
Hydropathy, Hydrotherapy
Kekule August
Mitchell Silas Weir
Smithson James
Booth William
Salvation Army
Shillibeer George
Flong
Suttee
 
 
 

Pushkin: "Ruslan and Ludmila"
 
 
 
 
 HISTORY, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, ART, LITERATURE, MUSIC, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, DAILY LIFE
 
 
 
 
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
 
 
 
1820 Part II
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Kean Edmund appears as Richard III in New York
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Keats: "Ode to a Nightingale"
 

"Ode to a Nightingale" is a poem by Keats John written in May 1819 in either the garden of the Spaniards Inn, Hampstead, London, or, according to Keats' friend Charles Armitage Brown, under a plum tree in the garden of Keats House, also in Hampstead. According to Brown, a nightingale had built its nest near his home in the spring of 1819. Inspired by the bird's song, Keats composed the poem in one day. It soon became one of his 1819 odes and was first published in Annals of the Fine Arts the following July. "Ode to a Nightingale" is a personal poem that describes Keats's journey into the state of Negative Capability. The tone of the poem rejects the optimistic pursuit of pleasure found within Keats's earlier poems and explores the themes of nature, transience and mortality, the latter being particularly personal to Keats.

 
The nightingale described within the poem experiences a type of death but does not actually die. Instead, the songbird is capable of living through its song, which is a fate that humans cannot expect. The poem ends with an acceptance that pleasure cannot last and that death is an inevitable part of life. In the poem, Keats imagines the loss of the physical world and sees himself dead—as a "sod" over which the nightingale sings. The contrast between the immortal nightingale and mortal man, sitting in his garden, is made all the more acute by an effort of the imagination. The presence of weather is noticeable in the poem, as spring came early in 1819, bringing nightingales all over the heath. Many critics favor "Ode to a Nightingale" for its themes but some believe that it is structurally flawed because the poem sometimes strays from its main idea.
 
 
Background
Of Keats's six major odes of 1819, "Ode to Psyche" was probably written first and "To Autumn" written last. Sometime between these two, he wrote "Ode to a Nightingale". It is possible that the poem was written between 26 April and 18 May 1819, based on weather conditions and similarities between images in the poem and those in a letter sent to Fanny Keats on May Day. The poem was composed at the Hampstead house Keats shared with Brown, possibly while sitting beneath a plum-tree in the garden.

According to Keats' friend Brown, Keats finished the Ode in just one morning: "In the spring of 1819 a nightingale had built her nest near my house. Keats felt a tranquil and continual joy in her song; and one morning he took his chair from the breakfast-table to the grass-plot under a plum-tree, where he sat for two or three hours. When he came into the house, I perceived he had some scraps of paper in his hand, and these he was quietly thrusting behind the books.

On inquiry, I found those scraps, four or five in number, contained his poetic feelings on the song of the nightingale." Brown's account is personal as he claimed the poem was directly influenced by his house and preserved by his own doing. However, Keats relied on both his own imagination and other literature as sources for his depiction of the nightingale.
 
Joseph Severn's depiction of Keats listening to the nightingale (c. 1845)
 
 
The exact date of "Ode to a Nightingale", as well as "Ode on Indolence", "Ode on Melancholy" and "Ode on a Grecian Urn", is unknown, as Keats dated all as 'May 1819'. However, he worked on the four poems together and there is a unity in both their stanza forms and their themes. The exact order the poems were written in is also unknown, but they form a sequence within their structures. While Keats was writing "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and the other poems, Brown transcribed copies of the poems and submitted them to Richard Woodhouse. During this time, Benjamin Haydon, Keats' friend, was given a copy of "Ode to a Nightingale", and he shared the poem with the editor of the Annals of the Fine Arts, James Elmes. Elmes paid Keats a small sum of money, and the poem was published in the July issue. The poem was later included in Keats' 1820 collection of poems, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St Agnes, and Other Poems.
 
 
Structure
"Ode to a Nightingale" was probably the first of the middle set of four odes that Keats wrote following "Ode to Psyche", according to Brown. There is further evidence of this in the structure of the poems because Keats combines two different types of lyrical poetry in an experimental way: the odal hymn and the lyric of questioning voice that responds to the odal hymn. This combination of structures is similar to that in "Ode on a Grecian Urn". In both poems the dual form creates a sort of dramatic element within the poem. The stanza forms of the poem is a combination of elements from Petrarchan sonnets and Shakespearean sonnets.

When it came to vowel forms, Keats incorporated a pattern of alternating historically "short" and "long" vowel sounds in his ode. In particular, line 18 ("And purple-stained mouth") has the historical pattern of "short" followed by "long" followed by "short" and followed by "long". This alteration is continued in longer lines, including line 31 ("Away! away! for I will fly to thee") which contains five pairs of alternations. However, other lines, such as line 3 ("Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains") rely on a pattern of five "short" vowels followed by "long" and "short" vowel pairings until they end with a "long" vowel. These are not the only combination patterns present, and there are patterns of two "short" vowels followed by a "long" vowel in other lines, including 12, 22, and 59, which are repeated twice and then followed up with two sets of "short" and then "long" vowel pairs. This reliance on vowel sounds is not unique to this ode, but is common to Keats's other 1819 odes and his Eve of St. Agnes.

 
Holograph of Keats's Ode to a Nightingale written in May 1819
 
 
The poem incorporates a complex reliance on assonance—the repetition of vowel sounds—in a conscious pattern, as found in many of his poems. Such a reliance on assonance is found in very few English poems. Within "Ode to a Nightingale", an example of this pattern can be found in line 35 ("Already with thee! tender is the night"), where the "ea" of "Already" connects with the "e" of "tender" and the "i" of "with" connects with the "i" of "is". This same pattern is found again in line 41 ("I cannot see what flowers are at my feet") with the "a" of "cannot" linking with the "a" of "at" and the "ee" of "see" linking with the "ee" of "feet". This system of assonance can be found in approximately a tenth of the lines of Keats's later poetry.
 
 
When it came to other sound patterns, Keats relied on double or triple caesuras in approximately 6% of lines throughout the 1819 odes. An example from "Ode to a Nightingale" can be found within line 45 ("The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild") as the pauses after the commas are a "masculine" pause. Furthermore, Keats began to reduce the amount of Latin-based words and syntax that he relied on in his poetry, which in turn shortened the length of the words that dominate the poem. There is also an emphasis on words beginning with consonants, especially those that begin with "b", "p" or "v". These three consonants are relied on heavily in the first stanza, and they are used syzygically to add a musical tone within the poem.

To Walter Jackson Bate, the use of spondees in lines 31–34 creates a feeling of slow flight, and "in the final stanza . . . the distinctive use of scattered spondees, together with initial inversion, lend[s] an approximate phonetic suggestion of the peculiar spring and bounce of the bird in its flight."
 
 

"Ode to a Nightingale"


My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains,
One minute past, and lethe wards had sunk,
’Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,—
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease. (lines 1–10)

O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
* * * * *
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim: (lines 11–13, 19–20)

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! (lines 31–35)

tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways. (lines 35–40)

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild; (lines 41–45)

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath; (lines 51–54)

To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
To thy high requiem become a sod. (lines 55–60)

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that ofttimes hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep? (lines 71–80)

 
Themes
"Ode to a Nightingale" describes a series of conflicts between reality and the Romantic ideal of uniting with nature. In the words of Richard Fogle, "The principal stress of the poem is a struggle between ideal and actual: inclusive terms which, however, contain more particular antitheses of pleasure and pain, of imagination and common sense reason, of fullness and privation, of permanence and change, of nature and the human, of art and life, freedom and bondage, waking and dream." Of course, the nightingale's song is the dominant image and dominant "voice" within the ode. The nightingale is also the object of empathy and praise within the poem. However, the nightingale and the discussion of the nightingale is not simply about the bird or the song, but about human experience in general. This is not to say that the song is a simple metaphor, but it is a complex image that is formed through the interaction of the conflict voices of praise and questioning. On this theme, David Perkins summarizes the way "Ode to a Nightingale" and "Ode on a Grecian Urn" perform this when he says, "we are dealing with a talent, indeed an entire approach to poetry, in which symbol, however necessary, may possibly not satisfy as the principal concern of poetry, any more than it could with Shakespeare, but is rather an element in the poetry and drama of human reactions". However, there is a difference between an urn and a nightingale in that the nightingale is not an eternal entity. Furthermore, in creating any aspect of the nightingale immortal during the poem the narrator separates any union that he can have with the nightingale.
 
W. J. Neatby's 1899 illustration for Ode to a Nightingale
 
 
The nightingale's song within the poem is connected to the art of music in a way that the urn in "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is connected to the art of sculpture. As such, the nightingale would represent an enchanting presence and, unlike the urn, is directly connected to nature. As natural music, the song is for beauty and lacks a message of truth. Keats follows Coleridge's belief, as found in "The Nightingale", in separating from the world by losing himself in the bird's song. Although Keats favours a female nightingale over Coleridge's masculine bird, both reject the traditional depiction of the nightingale as related to the tragedy of Philomela. Their songbird is a happy nightingale that lacks the melancholic feel of previous poetic depictions. The bird is only a voice within the poem, but it is a voice that compels the narrator to join with in and forget the sorrows of the world. However, there is tension in that the narrator holds Keats's guilt regarding the death of Tom Keats, his brother. The song's conclusion represents the result of trying to escape into the realm of fancy.
 
 
Like Percy Bysshe Shelley’s "To a Skylark", Keats’s narrator listens to a bird song, but listening to the song within “Ode to a Nightingale” is almost painful and similar to death. The narrator seeks to be with the nightingale and abandons his sense of vision in order to embrace the sound in an attempt to share in the darkness with the bird.
As the poem ends, the trance caused by the nightingale is broken and the narrator is left wondering if it was a real vision or just a dream. The poem reliance on the process of sleeping common to Keats's poems, and "Ode to a Nightingale" shares many of the same themes as Keats's Sleep and Poetry and Eve of St. Agnes. This further separates the image of the nightingale's song from its closest comparative image, the urn as represented in "Ode on a Grecian Urn". The nightingale is distant and mysterious, and even disappears at the end of the poem. The dream image emphasizes the shadowiness and elusiveness of the poem. These elements make it impossible for there to be a complete self-identification with the nightingale, but it also allows for self-awareness to permeate throughout the poem, albeit in an altered state.

Midway through the poem, there is a split between the two actions of the poem: the first attempts to identify with the nightingale and its song, and the second discusses the convergence of the past with the future while experiencing the present. This second theme is reminiscent of Keats's view of human progression through the Mansion of Many Apartments and how man develops from experiencing and wanting only pleasure to understanding truth as a mixture of both pleasure and pain.

The Elysian fields and the nightingale's song in the first half of the poem represent the pleasurable moments that overwhelm the individual like a drug. However, the experience does not last forever, and the body is left desiring it until the narrator feels helpless without the pleasure. Instead of embracing the coming truth, the narrator clings to poetry to hide from the loss of pleasure. Poetry does not bring about the pleasure that the narrator original asks for, but it does liberate him from his desire for only pleasure.
Responding to this emphasis on pleasure, Albert Guerard, Jr. argues that the poem contains a "longing not for art but a free reverie of any kind.

  The form of the poem is that of progression by association, so that the movement of feeling is at the mercy of words evoked by chance, such words as fade and forlorn, the very words that, like a bell, toll the dreamer back to his sole self." However, Fogle points out that the terms Guerard emphasizes are "associational translations" and that Guerard misunderstands Keats's aesthetic. After all, the acceptance of the loss of pleasure by the end of the poem is an acceptance of life and, in turn, of death. Death was a constant theme that permeated aspects of Keats poetry because he was exposed to death of his family members throughout his life. Within the poem, there are many images of death.

The nightingale experiences a sort of death and even the god Apollo experiences death, but his death reveals his own divine state. As Perkins explains, "But, of course, the nightingale is not thought to be literally dying. The point is that the deity or the nightingale can sing without dying. But, as the ode makes clear, man cannot—or at least not in a visionary way."

With this theme of a loss of pleasure and inevitable death, the poem, according to Claude Finney, describes "the inadequacy of the romantic escape from the world of reality to the world of ideal beauty". Earl Wasserman essentially agrees with Finney, but he extended his summation of the poem to incorporate the themes of Keats's Mansion of Many Apartments when he says, "the core of the poem is the search for the mystery, the unsuccessful quest for light within its darkness" and this "leads only to an increasing darkness, or a growing recognition of how impenetrable the mystery is to mortals." With these views in mind, the poem recalls Keats's earlier view of pleasure and an optimistic view of poetry found within his earlier poems, especially Sleep and Poetry, and rejects them.

 This loss of pleasure and incorporation of death imagery lends the poem a dark air, which connects "Ode to a Nightingale" with Keats' other poems that discuss the demonic nature of poetic imagination, including Lamia. In the poem, Keats imagines the loss of the physical world and sees himself dead—he uses an abrupt, almost brutal word for it—as a "sod" over which the nightingale sings. The contrast between the immortal nightingale and mortal man, sitting in his garden, is made all the more acute by an effort of the imagination.

 
 
Keats's reception
Contemporary critics of Keats enjoyed the poem and it was heavily quoted in their reviews. An anonymous review of Keats's poetry that ran in the August and October 1820 Scots Magazine stated: "Amongst the minor poems we prefer the 'Ode to the Nightingale.' Indeed, we are inclined to prefer it beyond every other poem in the book; but let the reader judge. The third and seventh stanzas have a charm for us which we should find it difficult to explain. We have read this ode over and over again, and every time with increased delight." At the same time, Leigh Hunt wrote a review of Keats's poem for the 2 August and 9 August 1820 The Indicator: "As a specimen of the Poems, which are all lyrical, we must indulge ourselves in quoting entire the 'Ode to a Nightingale'. There is that mixture in it of real melancholy and imaginative relief, which poetry alone presents us in her 'charmed cup,' and which some over-rational critics have undertaken to find wrong because it is not true. It does not follow that what is not true to them, is not true to others. If the relief is real, the mixture is good and sufficing."

John Scott, in an anonymous review for the September 1820 London Magazine argued for the greatness of Keats's poetry as exemplified by poems including "Ode to a Nightingale":

The injustice which has been done to our author's works, in estimating their poetical merit, rendered us doubly anxious, on opening his last volume, to find it likely to seize fast hold of general sympathy, and thus turn an overwhelming power against the paltry traducers of talent, more eminently promising in many respects, than any the present age has been called upon to encourage. We have not found it to be quite all that we wished in this respect--and it would have been very extraordinary if we had, for our wishes went far beyond reasonable expectations. But we have found it of a nature to present to common understandings the poetical power with which the author's mind is gifted, in a more tangible and intelligible shape than that in which it has appeared in any of his former compositions. It is, therefore, calculated to throw shame on the lying, vulgar spirit, in which this young worshipper in the temple of the Muses has been cried-down; whatever questions may still leave to be settled as to the kind and degree of his poetical merits. Take for instance, as proof of the justice of our praise, the following passage from an Ode to the Nightingale:--it is distinct, noble, pathetic, and true: the thoughts have all chords of direct communication with naturally-constituted hearts: the echoes of the strain linger bout the depths of human bosoms.

In a review for the 21 January 1835 London Journal, Hunt claimed that while Keats wrote the poem, "The poet had then his mortal illness upon him, and knew it. Never was the voice of death sweeter." David Moir, in 1851, used The Even of St Agnes to claim, "We have here a specimen of descriptive power luxuriously rich and original; but the following lines, from the 'Ode to a Nightingale,' flow from a far more profound fountain of inspiration."

At the end of the 19th century, Robert Bridges's analysis of the poem became a dominant view and would influence later interpretations of the poem. Bridges, in 1895, declared that the poem was the best of Keats's odes but he thought that the poem contained too much artificial language. In particular, he emphasised the use of the word "forlorn" and the last stanza as being examples of Keats's artificial language. In "Two odes of Keats's" (1897), William C Wilkinson suggested that "Ode to a Nightingale" is deeply flawed because it contains too many "incoherent musings" that failed to supply a standard of logic that would allow the reader to understand the relationship between the poet and the bird. However, Herbert Grierson, arguing in 1928, believed Nightingale to be superior to "Ode on a Grecian Urn", "Ode on Melancholy", and "Ode to Psyche", arguing the exact opposite of Wilkinson as he stated that "Nightingale", along with "To Autumn", showed a greater amount of logical thought and more aptly presented the cases they were intended to make.

  20th-century criticism
At the beginning of the 20th century, Rudyard Kipling referred to lines 69 and 70, alongside three lines from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Kubla Khan, when he claimed of poetry: "In all the millions permitted there are no more than five—five little lines—of which one can say, 'These are the magic. These are the vision. The rest is only Poetry.'" In 1906, Alexander Mackie argued: "The nightingale and the lark for long monopolised poetic idolatry--a privilege they enjoyed solely on account of their pre-eminence as song birds. Keats's Ode to a Nightingale and Shelley's Ode to a Skylark are two of the glories of English literature; but both were written by men who had no claim to special or exact knowledge of ornithology as such." Sidney Colvin, in 1920, argued, "Throughout this ode Keats’s genius is at its height. Imagination cannot be more rich and satisfying, felicity of phrase and cadence cannot be more absolute, than in the several contrasted stanzas calling for the draft of southern vintage […] To praise the art of a passage like that in the fourth stanza […] to praise or comment on a stroke of art like this is to throw doubt on the reader’s power to perceive it for himself."

Bridge's view of "Ode to a Nightingale" was taken up by H. W. Garrod in his 1926 analysis of Keats's poems. Like Albert Gerard would argue later in 1944, Garrod believed that the problem within Keats's poem was his emphasis on the rhythm and the language instead of the main ideas of the poem. When describing the fourth stanza of the poem, Maurice Ridley, in 1933, claimed, "And so comes the stanza, with that remarkable piece of imagination at the end which feels the light as blown by the breezes, one of those characteristic sudden flashes with which Keats fires the most ordinary material." He later declared of the seventh stanza: "And now for the great stanza in which the imagination is fanned to yet whiter heat, the stanza that would, I suppose, by common consent be taken, along with Kubla Khan, as offering us the distilled sorceries of 'Romanticism'". He concluded on the stanza that "I do not believe that any reader who has watched Keats at work on the more exquisitely finished of the stanzas in The Eve of St. Agnes, and seen this craftsman slowly elaborating and refining, will ever believe that this perfect stanza was achieved with the easy fluency with which, in the draft we have, it was obviously written down." In 1936, F. R. Leavis wrote, "One remembers the poem both as recording, and as being for the reader, an indulgence." Following Leavis, Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren, in a 1938 essay, saw the poem as "a very rich poem. It contains some complications which we must not gloss over if we are to appreciate the depth and significance of the issues engaged." Brooks would later argue in The Well-Wrought Urn (1947) that the poem was thematically unified while contradicting many of the negative criticisms lodged against the poem.

Richard Fogle responded to the critical attack on Keats's emphasis on rhyme and language put forth by Garrod, Gerard, and others in 1953. His argument was similar to Brooks: that the poem was thematically coherent and that there is a poet within the poem that is different from Keats the writer of the poem. As such, Keats consciously chose the shift in the themes of the poem and the contrasts within the poem represent the pain felt when comparing the real world to an ideal world found within the imagination. Fogle also responded directly to the claims made by Leavis: "I find Mr. Leavis too austere, but he points out a quality which Keats plainly sought for. His profusion and prodigality is, however, modified by a principle of sobriety." It is possible that Fogle's statements were a defense of Romanticism as a group that was both respectable in terms of thought and poetic ability. Wasserman, following in 1953, claimed that "Of all Keats' poems, it is probably the 'Ode to a Nightingale' that has most tormented the critic [...] in any reading of the 'Ode to a Nightingale' the turmoil will not down. Forces contend wildly within the poem, not only without resolution, but without possibility of resolution; and the reader comes away from his experience with the sense that he has been in 'a wild Abyss'". He then explained, "It is this turbulence, I suspect, that has led Allen Tate to believe the ode 'at least tries to say everything that poetry an say.' But I propose it is the 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' that succeeds in saying what poetry can say, and that the other ode attempts to say all that the poet can."

 
 
Later critical responses
Although the poem was defended by a few critics, E. C. Pettet returned to the argument that the poem lacked a structure and emphasized the word "forlorn" as evidence of his view. In his 1957 work, Pettet did praise the poem as he declared, "The Ode to a Nightingale has a special interest in that most of us would probably regard it as the most richly representative of all Keats’s poems. Two reasons for this quality are immediately apparent: there is its matchless evocation of that late spring and early summer season […] and there is its exceptional degree of 'distillation', of concentrated recollection". David Perkins felt the need to defend the use of the word "forlorn" and claimed that it described the feeling from the impossibility of not being able to live in the world of the imagination. When praising the poem in 1959, Perkins claimed, "Although the "Ode to a Nightingale" ranges more widely than the "Ode on a Grecian Urn," the poem can also be regarded as the exploration or testing out of a symbol, and, compared with the urn as a symbol, the nightingale would seem to have both limitations and advantages." Walter Jackson Bate also made a similar defense of the word "forlorn" by claiming that the world described by describing the impossibility of reaching that land.
 
 
When describing the poem compared to the rest of English poetry, Bate argued in 1963, "Ode to a Nightingale" is among "the greatest lyrics in English" and the only one written with such speed: "We are free to doubt whether any poem in English of comparable length and quality has been composed so quickly."
In 1968, Robert Gittins stated, "It may not be wrong to regard [Ode on Indolence and Ode on Melancholy] as Keats's earlier essays in this [ode] form, and the great Nightingale and Grecian Urn as his more finished and later works."

From the late 1960s onward, many of the Yale School of critics describe the poem as a reworking of John Milton's poetic diction, but they argued that poem revealed that Keats lacked the ability of Milton as a poet. The critics, Harold Bloom (1965), Leslie Brisman (1973), Paul Fry (1980), John Hollander (1981) and Cynthia Chase (1985), all focused on the poem with Milton as a progenitor to "Ode to a Nightingale" while ignoring other possibilities, including Shakespeare who was emphasised as being the source of many of Keats's phrases. Responding to the claims about Milton and Keats's shortcomings, critics like R. S. White (1981) and Willard Spiegelman (1983) used the Shakespearean echoes to argue for a multiplicity of sources for the poem to claim that Keats was not trying to respond just Milton or escape from his shadow. Instead, "Ode to a Nightingale" was an original poem, as White claimed, "The poem is richly saturated in Shakespeare, yet the assimilations are so profound that the Ode is finally original, and wholly Keatsian". Similarly, Spiegelman claimed that Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream had "flavored and ripened the later poem". This was followed in 1986 by Jonathan Bate claiming that Keats was "left enriched by the voice of Shakespeare, the 'immortal bird'".
  Focusing on the quality of the poem, Stuart Sperry, argued in 1973, "'Ode to a Nightingale' is the supreme expression in all Keats's poetry of the impulse to imaginative escape that flies in the face of the knowledge of human limitation, the impulse fully expressed in 'Away! away! for I will fly to thee.'" Wolf Hirst, in 1981, described the poem as "justly celebrated" and claimed that "Since this movement into an eternal realm of song is one of the most magnificent in literature, the poet's return to actuality is all the more shattering."

Helen Vendler continued the earlier view that the poem was artificial but added that the poem was an attempt to be aesthetic and spontaneous that was later dropped. In 1983, she argued, "In its absence of conclusiveness and its abandonment to reverie, the poem appeals to readers who prize it as the most personal, the most apparently spontaneous, the most immediately beautiful, and the most confessional of Keats's odes. I believe that the 'events' of the ode, as it unfolds in time, have more logic, however, than is usually granted them, and that they are best seen in relation to Keats's pursuit of the idea of music as a nonrepresentational art."

In a review of contemporary criticism of "Ode to a Nightingale" in 1998, James O'Rouke claimed that "To judge from the volume, the variety, and the polemical force of the modern critical responses engendered, there have been few moments in English poetic history as baffling as Keats's repetition of the word 'forlorn'". When referring to the reliance of the ideas of John Dryden and William Hazlitt within the poem, Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, in 1999, argued "whose notion of poetry as a 'movement' from personal consciousness to an awareness of suffering humanity it perfectly illustrates."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
     
 
John Keats 

"The Eve of St. Agnes"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Alphonse de Lamartine (Lamartine Alphonse): "Meditations poetiques"
 
 

Alphonse de Lamartine: "Meditations poetiques"
 
 
see also: Alphonse de Lamartine
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Pushkin: "Ruslan and Ludmila"
 

Ruslan and Ludmila (Russian: Руслан и Людмила; Ruslan i Lyudmila) is a poem by Pushkin Aleksandr Sergeyevich , published in 1820. It is written as an epic fairy tale consisting of a dedication (посвящение, six "songs" (песни) or "cantos", and an epilogue (эпилог). It tells the story of the abduction of Ludmila, the daughter of Prince Vladimir of Kiev, by an evil wizard and the attempt by the brave knight Ruslan to find and rescue her.

 
Origin
Pushkin began writing the poem in 1817, while attending the Imperial Lyceum at Tsarskoye Selo. He based it on Russian folktales he had heard as a child. Before it was published in 1820, Pushkin was exiled to the south of Russia for political ideas he had expressed in other works such as his ode to "Freedom” (вольность). A slightly revised edition was published in 1828.
 
 

Ruslan confronts the head, by Nikolai Ge
 
 
Adaptations
The poem was the basis of an opera of the same name composed by Mikhail Glinka between 1837 and 1842.

A feature film based on the poem was produced in the Soviet Union in 1972, directed by Aleksandr Ptushko and starring Valeri Kozinets and Natalya Petrova as the title characters. Other film versions include a 1915 silent produced by the Russian production company Khanzhonkov, directed by Wladyslaw Starewicz, and a 1996 made-for-TV version based on Glinka's opera, directed by Hans Hulscher and produced by NHK.

Lines from the prologue of this poem are repetitively recited by the character Masha in the play Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov.

 
 
Synopsis
 
Dedication
Pushkin dedicates the poem to unnamed young beauties, the “queens of my soul” (души моей царицы), and states that his reward is the hope that some lovesick girl will read the poem in secret.
 
 
Song 1
In a brief prologue, the narrator of the story describes a green oak by the sea, and makes reference to several other elements common in Russian folktales (remarking that "it smells of Rus' here"), such as a hut on hen’s legs (избушка на курьих ножках), Baba Yaga (Баба-Яга), and King Koschei (царь Кащей).

Walking on a golden chain that is bound to an oak is a story-telling cat. The narrator remembers one of the cat’s stories in particular, namely the one that follows. This prologue was not part of the original 1820 edition; it first appeared in the 1828 edition.

The story opens with a feast given by Prince Vladimir (Владимир) to celebrate the marriage of his daughter, Ludmila, to the bold warrior Ruslan. Among the guests are Ruslan’s jealous rivals, the bold warrior Rogday (Рогдай), the boastful Farlaf (Фарлаф), and the young khazar Khan Ratmir (Ратмир).

On their wedding night, as Ruslan prepares to consummate the marriage, a strange presence fills the bedroom, accompanied by thunder and lightning. Ruslan finds that his bride has mysteriously vanished.

On hearing of Ludmila's disappearance, the angered Vladimir annuls the marriage and promises his daughter’s hand to whoever is able to return her safely. Ruslan and his three rivals set off on horseback.

Ruslan encounters an old man in a cavern who tells him that Ludmila had been abducted by the sorcerer Chernomor (Черномор), and that Ruslan would find her unharmed. The old man himself is a Finn who tells the story of how he had fallen in love with a beautiful young maiden, Naina (Наина), who spurned his attention. In order to win her love he tried to become a glorious warrior, but when she rejected him, spent years learning the magical arts instead. He finally cast a spell to win Naina’s love, only to find that she herself was actually an old crone, who now was bent on revenge.

  Song 2
(This and each of the remaining songs begin with an “editorial comment” by the author. These comments often evoke classical mythology and sometimes contain contemporary references.)

Rogday decides to abandon the quest for Ludmila and to find and kill Ruslan instead. Seeing a rider, he attacks, only to find it is Farlaf and not Ruslan, and leaves him shaken but alive. An old woman appears and points Rogday to the direction in which to find Ruslan. She then advises Farlaf to return to Kiev (Киев) to await his trophy.

Ruslan is challenged by another rider and the story turns briefly to Ludmila’s fate.

She finds herself in a lavish chamber where three maidens are ready to fulfill her every desire. Opening the chamber door, she discovers a marvelous garden to rival Solomon’s. However, she feels empty without Ruslan.

She is startled by a hunchbacked dwarf approaching her, carried by ten manservants. She lashes out and he tumbles to the ground, tripping over his long beard. It is the wizard Chernomor, who leaves his hat as he flees.

Back to Ruslan, who defeats the challenger and leaves him to drown in the Dnieper (Днепр). It is, of course, Rogday.

Song 3
Chernomor is visited by a flying dragon who turns out to be Naina, pledging her alliance in defeating the Finn. Encouraged, he decides to go to Ludmila and make advances toward her, but she is nowhere to be found. She had tried on the wizard’s hat and found that she could vanish and reappear at will by varying its position on her head.

As Ruslan rides on, he finds himself in the midst of a deserted battlefield, strewn with bones, dead horses, and war relics.

 
 
He momentarily mourns his own fate, then realizes it is an opportunity to arm himself. He leaves with a lance, helmet, coat of armor, and a battle horn. He could not, however, find a suitable sword.

Continuing, he finds his path blocked by a huge hill emitting strange sounds. Closer inspection reveals it to be a giant slumbering human head. Ruslan awakens the head, which becomes angered and begins to taunt him. It sticks out its tongue. Ruslan seizes the opportunity and thrusts his lance into the tongue, then into its cheek. As the startled head leaps away, Ruslan finds a bright sword where it had been. As Ruslan prepares to attack with the sword, the head pleads for mercy.

The head tells his story: He was once a mighty warrior, the brother of Chernomor, who envied him. Chernomor’s magic power lay in his beard, and he told his brother that they must secure the sword, which had the power to kill the both of them – Chernomor, by cutting his beard, the brother, by severing his head. They set off in quest of the sword, but then disputed to whom it should belong once they found it. Chernomor proposed that they both put their heads to the ground and the sword would go to the one who first heard a sound. Instead, he used the sword to sever his brother’s head, which magically remained alive.

The head tells Ruslan that he bears no grudge and will be grateful if Ruslan uses the sword to defeat Chernomor.

 
 
Song 4
Ratmir is interrupted in his journey by a young maiden who beckons him into a castle, where he finds himself enveloped in luxury. He soon forgets Ludmila. Ludmila eludes Chernomor’s henchmen by remaining invisible, but then is tricked by the wizard into revealing herself when he takes the form of Ruslan and calls to her in his voice. He is thwarted by the sound of a horn and hurries off, leaving his hat behind.

Song 5
Chernomor confronts Ruslan, who has arrived at the wizard’s lair. They trade blows, and Chernomor flies off, with Ruslan holding on to his beard. For three days they fly, with Ruslan snipping away at the beard, until the bedraggled wizard pleads for mercy and agrees to take Ruslan to Ludmila. Ruslan searches the palace and wanders into the garden, all the time calling for Ludmila, who remains hidden. Finally, a chance thrust of his flailing sword knocks the hat from her head. However, his lover is in a trance and does not hear him calling. He hears the Finn’s voice from a distance telling him to return Ludmila to Kiev where she will awaken.
Ruslan sets off, carrying his bride and Chernomor. He encounters the head, who, contented that he has been avenged, dies in peace. Ruslan comes to rest at a stream and is met by a fisherman, who turns out to be the Khan Ratmir. He explains that he has met his true love and no longer yearns for Ludmila. The two part as friends.

Naina appears to Farlaf and tells him that his hour has arrived. He saddles up and rides off, finding Ruslan encamped and thrusting his sword into him as he sleeps. As Farlaf rides off with his prey, Ruslan lies unconscious and finally succumbs to his injuries.

 
Frontispiece of the 1st edition of 1820
 
 
Song 6
Chernomor awakens and is joyful to see Ruslan lying dead. Farlaf returns Ludmila to Vladimir, whose initial happiness soon turns to mourning as he finds that she cannot be awakened from her deep slumber.

Farlaf hangs his head in remorse. To make matters even worse, the city of Kiev is under siege.

The Finn finds Ruslan and resurrects him with magical waters. He gives Ruslan a ring which will break Ludmila’s spell, but tells him that he must first save the city from its attackers.

Ruslan returns to Kiev, Chernomor still in tow, and leads the city’s warriors to victory.

Ruslan touches Ludmila’s face with the ring and she awakens. Vladimir gives the couple his blessing.

Ruslan forgives both Farlaf and Chernomor.

  Epilogue
Another editorial comment by the author, who bemoans better days gone by.

Historical basis
Some of the events and names in the poem have a historical basis. The story takes place during the time Kiev was the capital of the East Slavic state Rus’. Vladimir the Great ruled this state from 980 to 1015. The name Ruslan is adapted from Yeruslan Lazarevich, who appears in earlier Russian tales and is mentioned in Pushkin’s Peter the Great's Negro. Rogday and Farlaf are mentioned in Nikolay Karamzin's History of the Russian State (История государства Российского).
The Pechenegs, mentioned in Song 6, besieged the city of Kiev in 968, and again (in a date which would make sense in a possible timeline of the poem) in 997. The descriptions of battle are historically accurate with regard to weapons and tactics used in the 10th century.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
     
  Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin

"The Bronze Horseman" 
Illustration by Alexandre Benois
"Eugene Onegin"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Fet Afanasy
 

Afanasy Afanasyevich Fet, Fet also spelled Foeth, legitimatized name Afanasy Afanasyevich Shenshin (b. Dec. 5 [Nov. 23, Old Style], 1820, Novosyolki, near Mtsensk, Orlov district, Russia—d. Dec. 3 [Nov. 21], 1892, Moscow), Russian poet and translator, whose sincere and passionate lyric poetry strongly influenced later Russian poets, particularly the Symbolist Aleksandr Blok.

 

Afanasy Afanasyevich Fet
  The illegitimate son of a German woman named Fet (or Foeth) and of a Russian landowner named Shenshin, whose name he assumed by decree in 1876, Fet was still a student at the University of Moscow when, in 1842, he published several admirable lyrics in the literary magazine Moskvityanin.

In 1850 a volume of his poems appeared, followed by another in 1856. He served several years in the army, retiring in 1856 with the grade of captain. In 1860 he settled on an estate at Stepanovka, in his home district, where he was often visited by his friends Ivan Turgenev and Leo Tolstoy.

His intense and brief lyrics, which aimed to convey vivid momentary sensations, were to have great influence on the later Symbolists, but during his lifetime he was decried because of his reactionary political views and somewhat unattractive personality.

After 1863 he published very little, but he continued to write nature poetry and love lyrics (published posthumously in a four-volume collected edition, 1894). His works also include translations of Ovid, Virgil, J.W. von Goethe’s Faust, and Arthur Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Idea.

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 

Newer

I wake. Yes, it's a coffin lid.-With effort
I reach my hands out and I call
For help. Yes, I recall the tortures
Of dying.-Yes, this is no dream!-
And without effort, like a spider web
I push aside my casket's rotting wood

And stand. How bright the winter light appears
In the crypt's doorway! Can I doubt it?-
I see the snow. The crypt's without a door.
It's time to head for home. How stunned they'll be!
I know this park, I cannot lose my way.
But oh how different it looks now!

I hurry. Snowdrifts. Frigid boughs
Of dead trees poke deep into the sky,
There are no tracks or sounds. It's still.
The realm of death in an enchanted world.
And here's my home. But what decay!
I'm shocked by this heartbreaking sight.

The village sleeps beneath a snowy blanket,
There is no path in all the boundless steppe.
Yes, there it is: upon a far-off hill
I see the ancient belfry of the church.
A frozen traveler in the whirling snow,
It stands out clear against the cloudless span.

No winter birds or midges dot the snow.
I understand: the earth has long lain chill
And dead. For whom do I conserve
The breath within my chest? To whom did death
Return me? What's my mind
Connected to? And what's its final purpose?

Where shall I go if there is no one to embrace?
And time has lost itself in space?
O, Death, return! And hasten to assume
The fatal burden of this final life.
And you, stiff corpse of earth take flight
And bear my corpse on the eternal path!

 
see also: Afanasy Fet
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Scott: "Ivanhoe"
 

Ivanhoe is a historical novel by Sir Scott Walter published in 1820 and set in 12th-century England. Ivanhoe is sometimes credited for increasing interest in romance and medievalism; John Henry Newman claimed Scott "had first turned men's minds in the direction of the middle ages," while Carlyle and Ruskin made similar assertions of Scott's overwhelming influence over the revival based primarily on the publication of this novel.

 
Plot introduction
Ivanhoe is the story of one of the remaining Saxon noble families at a time when the nobility in England was overwhelmingly Norman. It follows the Saxon protagonist, Wilfred of Ivanhoe, who is out of favour with his father for his allegiance to the Norman king, Richard I. The story is set in 1194, after the failure of the Third Crusade, when many of the Crusaders were still returning to their homes in Europe. King Richard, who had been captured by Leopold of Austria on his return journey to England, was believed to be still in captivity.

The legendary Robin Hood, initially under the name of Locksley, is also a character in the story, as are his "merry men". The character that Scott gave to Robin Hood in Ivanhoe helped shape the modern notion of this figure as a cheery noble outlaw.

Other major characters include Ivanhoe's intractable father, Cedric, one of the few remaining Saxon lords; various Knights Templar, most notable of which is Brian de Bois-Guilbert, Ivanhoe's main rival; a number of clergymen; the loyal serfs Gurth the swineherd and the jester Wamba, whose observations punctuate much of the action; and the Jewish moneylender, Isaac of York, who is equally passionate about his people and his beautiful (Jewish) daughter, Rebecca. The book was written and published during a period of increasing struggle for the emancipation of the Jews in England, and there are frequent references to injustices against them.

 
 
Plot summary
     
Opening
Wilfred of Ivanhoe is disinherited by his father Cedric of Rotherwood for supporting the Norman King Richard and for falling in love with the Lady Rowena, Cedric's ward and a descendant of the Saxon Kings of England. Cedric had planned to marry her to the powerful Lord Aethelstane, pretender to the Crown of England through his descent from the last Saxon King, Harold Godwinson, thus cementing a Saxon political alliance between two rivals for the same claim. Ivanhoe accompanies King Richard on the Crusades, where he is said to have played a notable role in the Siege of Acre by enduring with great fortitude the privations of life in the city and Christian camp after their containment by Saladin; Ivanhoe also tends to Louis of Thuringia who suffers from malaria.

The book opens with a scene of Norman knights and prelates seeking the hospitality of Cedric. They are guided there by a palmer, who has recently returned from the Holy Land. The same night, seeking refuge from inclement weather and bandits, Isaac of York, a Jewish moneylender, arrives at Rotherwood. Following the night's meal, the palmer observes one of the Normans, the Templar Brian de Bois-Guilbert, issue orders to his Saracen soldiers to follow Isaac of York after he leaves Rotherwood in the morning and take him captive to a noble's castle.

The palmer then warns the moneylender of his peril and assists in his escape from Rotherwood. The swineherd Gurth refuses to open the gates until the palmer whispers a few words in his ear, which turns Gurth as helpful as he was recalcitrant earlier.

 
 
 
This is but one of the many mysterious incidents that occur throughout the book.

Isaac of York offers to repay his debt to the palmer by offering him a suit of armour and a war horse to participate in the tournament at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, where he was bound. He makes the offer on his inference that the palmer was in reality a knight, having observed his knight's chain and spurs (a fact that he mentions to the palmer). The palmer is taken by surprise but accepts the offer.

 
 
The tournament
The story then moves to the scene of the tournament, which is presided over by Prince John, King Richard's younger brother. Other characters in attendance are Cedric, Aethelstane, Lady Rowena, Isaac of York, his daughter Rebecca, Robin of Locksley and his men, Prince John's advisor Waldemar Fitzurse, and numerous Norman knights.

On the first day of the tournament, a bout of individual jousting, a mysterious masked knight, identifying himself only as "Desdichado" (which is described in the book as Spanish for the "Disinherited One", though actually meaning "Unfortunate"), makes his appearance and manages to defeat some of the best Norman lances, including Bois-Guilbert, Maurice de Bracy, a leader of a group of "Free Companions" (mercenary knights), and the baron Reginald Front-de-Boeuf. The masked knight declines to reveal himself despite Prince John's request, but is nevertheless declared the champion of the day and is permitted to choose the Queen of the Tournament. He bestows this honour upon the Lady Rowena.
On the second day, which is a melée, Desdichado is chosen to be leader of one party. Most of the leading knights of the realm, however, flock to the opposite standard under which Desdichado's vanquished opponents fought. Desdichado's side is soon hard pressed and he himself beset by multiple foes, when a knight who had until then taken no part in the battle, thus earning the sobriquet Le Noir Faineant (or the Black Sluggard), rides to Desdichado's rescue.

 
 
 
The rescuing knight, having evened the odds by his action, then slips away. Though Desdichado was instrumental in the victory, Prince John, being displeased with his behaviour of the previous day, wishes to bestow his accolades on the vanished Black Knight. Since the latter has departed, he is forced to declare Desdichado the champion. At this point, being forced to unmask himself to receive his coronet, Desdichado is revealed to be Wilfred of Ivanhoe himself, returned from the Crusades. This causes much consternation to Prince John and his court who now fear the imminent return of King Richard.

Because he is severely wounded in the competition and because Cedric refuses to have anything to do with him, Ivanhoe is taken into the care of Rebecca, the beautiful daughter of Isaac, who is a skilled healer. She convinces her father to take him with them to York, where he can be best treated. The story then goes over the conclusion of the tournament including feats of archery by Locksley.

 
 
Capture and rescue
Meanwhile, de Bracy finds himself infatuated with the Lady Rowena and, with his companions-in-arms, makes plans to abduct her. In the forests between Ashby and York, the Lady Rowena, Cedric, and Aethelstane encounter Isaac, Rebecca, and the wounded Ivanhoe, who had been abandoned by their servants for fear of bandits. The Lady Rowena, in response to the requests of Isaac and Rebecca, urges Cedric to take the group under his protection to York. Cedric, unaware that the wounded man is his son, agrees. En route, the party is captured by de Bracy and his companions and taken to Torquilstone, the castle of Front-de-Boeuf. However, the swineherd Gurth, who had run away from Rotherwood to serve Ivanhoe as squire at the tournament and who was recaptured by Cedric when Ivanhoe was identified, manages to escape.

The Black Knight, having taken refuge for the night in the hut of a local friar, the Holy Clerk of Copmanhurst, volunteers his assistance on learning about the captives from Robin of Locksley, who had come to rouse the friar for an attempt to free them. They then besiege the Castle of Torquilstone with Robin's own men, including the friar and assorted Saxon yeomen whom they had managed to raise due to their hatred of Front-de-Boeuf and his neighbour, Philip de Malvoisin.

At Torquilstone, de Bracy expresses his love for the Lady Rowena, but is refused. In the meantime, Brian de Bois-Guilbert, who had accompanied de Bracy on the raid, takes Rebecca for his captive, and tries to force his attentions on her, which are rebuffed. Front-de-Boeuf, in the meantime, tries to wring a hefty ransom, by torture over a fire, from Isaac of York. However, Isaac refuses to pay a farthing unless his daughter is freed from her Templar captor.

When the besiegers deliver a note to yield up the captives, their Norman captors retort with a message for a priest to administer the Final Sacrament to the captives. It is then that Cedric's jester Wamba slips in disguised as a priest, and takes the place of Cedric, who then escapes and brings important information to the besiegers on the strength of the garrison and its layout.

Then follows an account of the storming of the castle. Front-de-Boeuf is killed while de Bracy surrenders to the Black Knight, who identifies himself as King Richard. Showing mercy, he releases de Bracy. Bois-Guilbert escapes with Rebecca while Isaac is released from his underground dungeon by the Clerk of Copmanhurst. The Lady Rowena is saved by Cedric, while the still-wounded Ivanhoe is rescued from the burning castle by King Richard. In the fighting, Aethelstane is wounded and believed by all to be killed while attempting to rescue Rebecca, whom he mistakes for Rowena.

  Rebecca's trial and Ivanhoe's reconciliation
Following the battle, Locksley plays host to King Richard. Word is also conveyed by de Bracy to Prince John of the King's return and the fall of Torquilstone. In the meantime, Bois-Guilbert rushes with his captive to the nearest Templar Preceptory, which is under his friend Albert de Malvoisin, expecting to be able to flee the country. However, Lucas de Beaumanoir, the Grand-Master of the Templars is unexpectedly present there.

He takes umbrage at Bois-Guilbert's sinful passion, which is in violation of his Templar vows; and decides to subject Rebecca, who he thinks has cast a spell on Bois-Guilbert, to a trial for witchcraft. She is found guilty through a flawed trial, but claims the right to trial by combat. Bois-Guilbert, who had hoped to fight as her champion incognito, is devastated when the Grand-Master orders him to fight against Rebecca's champion. Rebecca then writes to her father to procure a champion for her.

Meanwhile Cedric organises Aethelstane's funeral at Coningsburgh, in the midst of which the Black Knight arrives with a companion. Cedric, who had not been present at Locksley's carousal, is ill-disposed towards the knight upon learning his true identity.

However, King Richard calms Cedric and reconciles him with his son, convincing him to agree to the marriage of Ivanhoe and Rowena. During this conversation, Aethelstane emerges – not dead, but having been laid in his coffin alive by avaricious monks desirous of the funeral money. Over Cedric's renewed protests, Aethelstane pledges his homage to the Norman King Richard and urges Cedric to marry Rowena to Ivanhoe; to which Cedric finally agrees.

Soon after this reconciliation, Ivanhoe receives word from Isaac beseeching him to fight on Rebecca's behalf. Upon arriving at the scene of the witch-burning, Ivanhoe engages Brian de Bois-Guilbert in single combat and goes down along with his mount, but the Templar reels in the saddle and falls from his horse.

Ivanhoe recovers to put his foot on Bois-Guilbert's chest but does not kill him. The Templar has suffered a seizure and died "a victim to the violence of his own contending passions," which is pronounced by the Grand Master as the judgement of God and proof of Rebecca's innocence. King Richard, who had left Kyningestun soon after Ivanhoe's departure, arrives at the Templar Preceptory, banishes the Templars and declares that the Malvoisins' lives are forfeit for having aided in the plots against him.

Fearing further persecution, Rebecca and her father leave England for Granada. Before leaving, Rebecca comes to bid Rowena a fond farewell. Finally, Ivanhoe and Rowena marry and live a long and happy life together, though the final paragraphs of the book note that Ivanhoe's long service ended with the death of King Richard.

 
 
Characters
Wilfred of Ivanhoe, the titular character, is a knight and son of Cedric the Saxon. Ivanhoe, though of a more noble lineage than some of the other characters, represents a middling individual in the medieval class system who is not exceptionally outstanding in his abilities, as is expected of other quasi-historical fictional characters, such as the Greek heroes. Critic Georg Lukács points to middling main characters like Ivanhoe in Sir Walter Scott's other novels as one of the primary reasons Scott's historical novels depart from previous historical works and better explore social and cultural history.
 
 

Other characters
Rebecca – a beautiful Jewish healer, young daughter of Isaac of York
Lady Rowena – a pretty Saxon lady under the protection of Cedric of Rotherwood
Prince John – brother of King Richard
The Black Knight or Knight of the Fetterlock – King Richard himself, incognito
Locksley – Robin Hood, an English yeoman
The Hermit or Clerk of Copmanhurst – Friar Tuck
Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert – the leader of the Knights Templar; a friend of Prince John
Isaac of York – the father of Rebecca; a Jewish merchant and money-lender
Prior Aymer – Prior of Jorvaulx Abbey; friendly to Prince John
Reginald Front-de-Boeuf – a local baron who was given Ivanhoe's estate by Prince John
Cedric the Saxon/Cedric of Rotherwood – Ivanhoe's father, a Saxon noble
Lucas de Beaumanoir – Grand Master of the Knights Templar
Conrade de Montfichet – a Templar knight
Maurice de Bracy – Captain of the Free Companions, a band of mercenaries. He introduces the word "freelance": "I offered Richard the service of my Free Lances, and he refused them... thanks to the bustling times, a man of action will always find employment."
Waldemar Fitzurse – Prince John's loyal minion
Aethelstane of Coningsburgh – last of the Saxon royal line
Albert de Malvoisin – Preceptor of Templestowe
Philip de Malvoisin – a local baron, the brother of Albert
Gurth – Cedric the Saxon's swineherd
Wamba – Cedric the Saxon's loyal jester
Ulrica – An elderly woman locked in the castle of Front-de-Boeuf, where she has been imprisoned for much of her life. The castle was captured from her father by Front-de-Boeuf when she herself was young.
Kirjath Jairam of Leicester – a rich Jew
Hubert - winner of the first round of the archery contest
Alan-a-Dale - member of Locksley's band

 
Style
Critics of the novel have treated it as a romance intended mainly to entertain boys. Ivanhoe maintains many of the elements of the Romance genre, including the quest, a chivalric setting, and the overthrowing of a corrupt social order in order to bring on a time of happiness. Other critics assert that the novel creates a realistic and vibrant story, idealising neither the past nor its main character.
 
 
Themes
Scott treats themes similar to those of some of his earlier novels, like Rob Roy and The Heart of Midlothian, examining the conflict between heroic ideals and modern society. In the latter novels, industrial society becomes the centre of this conflict as the backward Scottish nationalists and the "advanced" English have to arise from chaos to create unity. Similarly, the Normans in Ivanhoe, who represent a more sophisticated culture, and the Saxons, who are poor, disenfranchised, and resentful of Norman rule, band together and begin to mould themselves into one people. The conflict between the Saxons and Normans focuses on the losses both groups must experience before they can be reconciled and thus forge a united England. The particular loss is in the extremes of their own cultural values, which must be disavowed in order for the society to function. For the Saxons, this value is the final admission of the hopelessness of the Saxon cause. The Normans must learn to overcome the materialism and violence in their own codes of chivalry. Ivanhoe and Richard represent the hope of reconciliation for a unified future.
  Allusions to real history and geography
The location of the novel is centred upon South Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire in England.

Castles mentioned within the story include Ashby de la Zouch Castle (now a ruin in the care of English
Heritage), York (though the mention of Clifford's Tower, likewise an extant English Heritage property, is anachronistic, it not having been called that until later after various rebuilds) and 'Coningsburgh', which is based upon Conisbrough Castle, in the ancient town of Conisbrough near Doncaster (the castle also being a popular English Heritage site).

Reference is made within the story to the York Minster, where the climactic wedding takes place, and to the Bishop of Sheffield, although the Diocese of Sheffield was not founded until 1914. Such references suggest that Robin Hood lived or travelled in the region.

Conisbrough is so dedicated to the story of Ivanhoe that many of its streets, schools, and public buildings are named after characters from the book.

 
 
Lasting influence on the Robin Hood legend
Our modern conception of Robin Hood as a cheerful, decent, patriotic rebel owes much to Ivanhoe.

"Locksley" becomes Robin Hood's title in the Scott novel, and it has been used ever since to refer to the fictional outlaw. Scott appears to have taken the name from an anonymous manuscript – written in 1600 – that employs "Locksley" as an epithet for Robin Hood. Owing to Scott's decision to make use of the manuscript, Robin Hood from Locksley has been transformed for all time into "Robin of Locksley", alias Robin Hood. (There is, incidentally, a village called Loxley in Yorkshire.)

Scott makes the 12th-century's Saxon-Norman conflict a major theme in his novel. Recent re-tellings of the story retain his emphasis. Scott also shunned the late 16th-century depiction of Robin as a dispossessed nobleman (the Earl of Huntingdon). This, however, has not prevented Scott from making an important contribution to the noble-hero strand of the legend, too, because some subsequent motion picture treatments of the Robin Hood's adventures give Robin traits that are characteristic of Ivanhoe as well.

  The most notable Robin Hood films are the lavish Douglas Fairbanks 1922 silent film, the 1938 triple Academy Award winning Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn as Robin (which contemporary reviewer Frank Nugent links specifically with Ivanhoe), and the 1991 box-office success Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves with Kevin Costner). There is also the Mel Brooks spoof, Robin Hood: Men in Tights. In most versions of Robin Hood, both Ivanhoe and Robin, for instance, are returning Crusaders. They have quarreled with their respective fathers, they are proud to be Saxons, they display a highly evolved sense of justice, they support the rightful king even though he is of Norman-French ancestry, they are adept with weapons, and they each fall in love with a "fair maid" (Rowena and Marian, respectively).

This particular time-frame was popularised by Scott. He borrowed it from the writings of the 16th-century chronicler John Mair or a 17th-century ballad presumably to make the plot of his novel more gripping. Medieval balladeers had generally placed Robin about two centuries later in the reign of Edward I, II or III.

Robin's familiar feat of splitting his competitor's arrow in an archery contest appears for the first time in Ivanhoe.

 
 
Historical accuracy
The general political events depicted in the novel are relatively accurate; the novel tells of the period just after King Richard's imprisonment in Austria following the Crusade and of his return to England after a ransom is paid. Yet the story is also heavily fictionalised. Scott himself acknowledged that he had taken liberties with history in his "Dedicatory Epistle" to Ivanhoe. Modern readers are cautioned to understand that Scott's aim was to create a compelling novel set in a historical period, not to provide a book of history.
 
 
There has been criticism of Scott's portrayal of the bitter extent of the "enmity of Saxon and Norman, represented as persisting in the days of Richard" as "unsupported by the evidence of contemporary records that forms the basis of the story." However, Scott may have intended to suggest parallels between the Norman conquest of England, about 130 years previously, and the prevailing situation in Scott's native Scotland (Scotland's union with England in 1707 – about the same length of time had elapsed before Scott's writing and the resurgence in his time of Scottish nationalism evidenced by the cult of Robert Burns, the famous poet who deliberately chose to work in Scots vernacular though he was an educated man and spoke modern English eloquently). Indeed, some experts suggest that Scott deliberately used Ivanhoe to illustrate his own combination of Scottish patriotism and pro-British Unionism.

The novel generated a new name in English – Cedric. The original Saxon name had been Cerdic but Sir Walter misspelled it – an example of metathesis. "It is not a name but a misspelling," said satirist H. H. Munro. In 1194 England, it would have been unlikely for Rebecca to face the threat of being burned at the stake on charges of witchcraft. It is thought that it was shortly afterwards, from the 1250s, that the Church began to undertake the finding and punishment of witches and death did not become the usual penalty until the 15th century. Even then, the form of execution used for witches in England (unlike Scotland and Continental Europe) was hanging, burning being reserved for those also convicted of treason. There are various minor errors e.g. the description of the tournament at Ashby owes more to the 14th century, and most of the coins mentioned by Scott are exotic.

 
 
 
"For a [Scottish] writer whose early novels [all set in Scotland] were prized for their historical accuracy, Scott was remarkably loose with the facts when he wrote Ivanhoe... But it is crucial to remember that Ivanhoe, unlike the Waverly books, is entirely a romance. It is meant to please, not to instruct, and is more an act of imagination than one of research. Despite this fancifulness, however, Ivanhoe does make some prescient historical points. The novel is occasionally quite critical of King Richard, who seems to love adventure more than he loves the well-being of his subjects. This criticism did not match the typical idealised, romantic view of Richard the Lion-Hearted that was popular when Scott wrote the book, and yet it accurately echoes the way King Richard is often judged by historians today."

It has been conjectured that the character of Rebecca in the book was inspired by Rebecca Gratz, a Philadelphia teacher and philanthropist and the first Jewish female college student in America. Scott's attention had been drawn to Gratz's character by novelist Washington Irving, who was a close friend of the Gratz family. The claim has been disputed, but it has been supported by "The Original of Rebecca in Ivanhoe", an article that appeared in The Century Magazine in 1882.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
     
 
Sir Walter Scott

"Ivanhoe"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Shelley: "Prometheus Unbound"
 

Prometheus Unbound is a four-act lyrical drama by Shelley Percy Bysshe , first published in 1820. It is concerned with the torments of the Greek mythological figure Prometheus, who defies the gods and gives fire to humanity, for which he is subjected to eternal punishment and suffering at the hands of Zeus. It is inspired by the classical Prometheia, a trilogy of plays attributed to Aeschylus. Shelley's play concerns Prometheus' release from captivity, but unlike Aeschylus' version, there is no reconciliation between Prometheus and Jupiter (Zeus). Instead, Jupiter is abandoned by his supportive elements and falls from power, which allows Prometheus to be released.

 
Shelley's play is closet drama, meaning it was not intended to be produced on the stage. In the tradition of Romantic poetry, Shelley wrote for the imagination, intending his play's stage to reside in the imaginations of his readers. However, the play is filled with suspense, mystery and other dramatic effects that make it, in theory, performable.
 
 
Background
Mary Shelley, in a letter on 5 September 1818, was the first to describe her husband Percy Shelley's writing of Prometheus Unbound. On 22 September 1818, Shelley, while in Padua, wrote to Mary, who was at Este, requesting "The sheets of 'Prometheus Unbound,' which you will find numbered from one to twenty-six on the table of the pavilion." There is little other evidence as to when Shelley began Prometheus Unbound while he was living in Italy, but Shelley first mentions his progress in a letter to Thomas Peacock on 8 October 1818: "I have been writing – and indeed have just finished the first act of a lyrical and classical drama, to be called 'Prometheus Unbound'."

Shelley stopped working on the poem following the death of his daughter Clara Everina Shelley on 24 September 1818. After her death, Shelley began to travel across Italy, and would not progress with the drama until after 24 January 1819. By April, the majority of the play was completed, and Shelley wrote to Peacock on 6 April 1819: "My Prometheus Unbound is just finished, and in a month or two I shall send it". Shelley also wrote to Leigh Hunt to tell him that the play was finished. However, the play was not yet published; Shelley would be delayed in editing and finishing the work by another death, that of his son William Shelley, who died on 7 June 1819. On 6 September 1819, Shelley wrote to Charles and James Ollier to say, "My 'Prometheus,' which has been long finished, is now being transcribed, and will soon be forwarded to you for publication." The play was delayed in publication, because John Gisborne, whom Shelley trusted to go to England with the text, delayed his journey.

  It was not until December 1819 that the manuscript with the first three acts of Prometheus Unbound was sent to England. The fourth act was incomplete by this time, and on 23 December 1819, Shelley wrote to Gisborne, "I have just finished an additional act to 'Prometheus' which Mary is now transcribing, and which will be enclosed for your inspection before it is transmitted to the Bookseller."

While in Italy, Shelley became concerned about the progress of publishing Prometheus Unbound. He wrote many letters to Charles Ollier from March until April asking about the drama's progress and wanted to know if the text was accurate because he was unable to check the proofs himself. Both Percy and Mary Shelley were eager to hear when the book was published, and inquired Gisborne's wife, Thomas Medwin, and John Keats about its release throughout July 1820. It was not until late August that they received word that the book was published. They were eager to read the published version and obtained one by November 1820.

After they procured a copy, Shelley wrote to the Olliers on 10 November 1820: "Mr. Gisborne has sent me a copy of the 'Prometheus,' which is certainly most beautifully printed. It is to be regretted that the errors of the press are so numerous, and in many respects so destructive of the sense of a species of poetry which, I fear, even with this disadvantage, very few will understand or like." A corrected edition was sent on 20 January 1821 along with a letter from Shelley that explains "the Errata of 'Prometheus,' which I ought to have sent long since – a formidable list, as you will see". Shelley did not forget the printing errors, and even criticised Charles Ollier later when Shelley sent Adonais to be published.

 
 
Æschylus
Shelley's own introduction to the play explains his intentions behind the work and defends the artistic freedom he has taken in his adaptation of Aeschylus' myth:

The "Prometheus Bound" of Æschylus supposed the reconciliation of Jupiter with his victim as the price of the disclosure of the danger threatened to his empire by the consummation of his marriage with Thetis. Thetis, according to this view of the subject, was given in marriage to Peleus, and Prometheus, by the permission of Jupiter, delivered from his captivity by Hercules. Had I framed my story on this model, I should have done no more than have attempted to restore the lost drama of Æschylus; an ambition which, if my preference to this mode of treating the subject had incited me to cherish, the recollection of the high comparison such an attempt would challenge might well abate. But, in truth, I was averse from a catastrophe so feeble as that of reconciling the Champion with the Oppressor of mankind. The moral interest of the fable, which is so powerfully sustained by the sufferings and endurance of Prometheus, would be annihilated if we could conceive of him as unsaying his high language and quailing before his successful and perfidious adversary.

When Shelley wrote Prometheus Unbound, the authorship of the Prometheia and its connection as a trilogy was not in question. Of the three works, Prometheus Bound is the only tragedy that survived intact, although fragments of Prometheus Unbound remained, allowing a fairly detailed outline based on the Prometheus myth told by Hesiod and extensive prophesying in the first work. It is this assumed trilogy, including Prometheus' reconciliation with Zeus, thought to occur in the final part of the cycle, which Shelley considers in the introduction.

 
 
Play
 
Act I
Act I begins in the Indian Caucasus where the Titan Prometheus is bound to a rock face and he is surrounded by the Oceanides Panthea and Ione. As morning breaks, Prometheus cries out against the "Monarch of Gods and Daemons", Jupiter, and his tyrannous kingship.

From his bound position, Prometheus claims to be greater than Jupiter before relating his suffering to the conditions of nature, including the Earth, Heaven, Sun, Sea, and Shadow.

He turns to how nature has aided in his torture along with the constant tearing at his flesh by "Heaven's winged hound", the hawks of Jupiter. As he accounts his sufferings more and more, he reaches a peak of declaring that he would recall "The curse / Once breathed on thee..." Four voices, from the mountains, springs, air, and whirlwinds, respond to Prometheus through describing how they see the world and how "we shrank back: for dreams of ruin / To frozen caves our flight pursuing / Made us keep silence". The Earth then joins in to describe how all parts of the world cried out "Misery!".

Prometheus reflects on the voices before returning to his own suffering at Jupiter's hands and recalling his love for the Oceanid Asia. Shortly after, he demands to hear his curse against Jupiter, and the Earth tells Prometheus "I dare not speak like life, lest Heaven's fell King / Should hear, and link me to some wheel of pain / More torturing than the one whereon I roll" and also that he is "more than God / Being wise and kind".

Prometheus asks who he is talking to, and the Earth admits to being the mother of all who suffers under Jupiter's tyranny. Prometheus praises her, but demands that she recalls the curse he laid upon Jupiter.

The Earth responds by describing Zoroaster and that there are two realities: the current and the shadow reality that exists "Till death unite them and they part no more". She then mentions Demogorgon, "the supreme Tyrant" of the shadow realm, and asks Prometheus to call upon "Thine own ghost, or the ghost of Jupiter, / Hades, or Typhon or what mightier Gods / From all-prolific Evil" if he wishes to hear his curse spoken again.

Taking her advice, Prometheus calls upon the Phantasm of Jupiter, and Ione and Panthea describe the phantasm's appearance soon after. The phantasm first asks, "Why have the secret / powers of this strange world / Driven me, a frail and empty phantom, hither/ On direst storms?" Prometheus commands the phantasm to recall the curse against Jupiter, and the phantasm obeys:

  Fiend, I defy thee! with a calm, fixed mind,
All that thou canst inflict I bid thee do;
Foul Tyrant both of Gods and Human-kind,
One only being shalt thou not subdue....
Thou art omnipotent.
O'er all things but thyself I gave thee power,
And my own will....
I curse thee! let a sufferer's curse
Clasp thee, his torturer, like remorse;
'Till thine Infinity shall be
A robe of envenomed agony;
And thine Omnipotence a crown of pain,
To cling like burning gold round thy dissolving brain.


After hearing these words, Prometheus repents and claims, "I wish no living thing to suffer pain." The Earth laments that Prometheus is vanquished and Ione responds by claiming that he has not been, but both are interrupted by the appearance of Mercury. With him appear a group of furies who hope to torture Prometheus, but Mercury keeps them from interfering as he brings his message from Jupiter: "I come, by the great Father's will driven down, / To execute a doom of new revenge."

Although Mercury admits to pitying Prometheus, he is bound to oppose Prometheus who stands against Jupiter. He asks Prometheus to reveal the secret of Jupiter's fate only Prometheus knows, and Prometheus refuses to submit to Jupiter's will. Mercury tries to barter with Prometheus, offering him the pleasure of being free from bondage and being welcomed among the gods, but Prometheus refuses. At the refusal, Jupiter makes his anger known by causing thunder to ring out across the mountains. Mercury departs at the omen, and the furies begin to taunt Prometheus by saying that they attack people from within before they attack Prometheus without. After all of the furies but one leave, Panthea and Ione despair over Prometheus's tortured body. Prometheus describes his torture as part of his martyrdom and tells the remaining fury, "Thy words are like a cloud of winged snakes; / And yet I pity those they torture not," to which the fury departs.

Soon after, Prometheus declares that peace comes with death, but that he would never want to be mortal. The Earth responds to Prometheus, "I felt thy torture, son, with such mixed joy / As pain and virtue give." At that moment, a Chorus of Spirits appears and celebrate Prometheus's secret knowledge, which then break into accounts of dying individuals and the ultimate triumph of good people over evil. The spirits together tell Prometheus, "Thou shalt quell this horseman grim, / Woundless though in heart or limb," an act which shall happen because of Prometheus's secret. The spirits depart, leaving Ione and Panthea to discuss the spirits' message with Prometheus, and Prometheus recalls the Oceanid Asia, and the Act ends with Panthea telling Prometheus that Asia awaits him.

 
 
Act II
Act II Scene I begins in an Indian Caucasus valley where the Oceanid Asia proclaims that "This is the season, this the day, the hour;/ At sunrise thou shouldst come, sweet sister mine" and so Panthea enters. Panthea describes to Asia how life for her and Ione has changed since Prometheus's fall and how she came to know of Prometheus's love in a dream. Asia asks Panthea to "lift/ Thine eyes, that I may read his written soul!" to which Panthea agreed, and the dream of Prometheus was revealed to Asia. Asia witnesses another dream in Panthea's eyes, and the two discuss the many new images of nature that both of their minds are filled with and the words "Follow! Follow!" are repeated in their minds. Their words are soon repeated by Echoes, which join in telling the two to follow. Asia questions the Echoes, but the Echoes only beckon them further, "In the world unknown/ sleeps a voice unspoken;/ By thy step alone/ Can its rest be broken", and the two begin to follow the voices.

Scene II takes place in a forest with a group of spirits and fauns. Although the scene transitions to the next quickly, the spirits describe Asia's and Panthea's journey and how "There those enchanted eddies play/ Of echoes, music-tongued, which draw,/ By Demogorgon's mighty law,/ With melting rapture, or sweet awe,/ All spirits on that secret way". Scene III takes place in mountains, to which Panthea declares, "Hither the sound has borne us – to the realm/ Of Demogorgon". After Asia and Panthea are overwhelmed by their surroundings and witness the acts of nature around the mountains, a Song of Spirits begins, calling them "To the deep, to the deep,/ Down, down!" Asia and Panthea descend, and Scene IV begins in the cave of the Demogorgon. Panthea describes Demogorgon upon his ebon throne: "I see a mighty darkness/ Filling the seat of power, and rays of gloom/ Dart round, as light from the meridian sun,/ Ungazed upon and shapeless; neither limb,/ Nor form, nor outline; yet we feel it is/ A living Spirit."

 
1820 title page, C. and J. Ollier, London.
 
 
Asia questions Demogorgon about the creator of the world, and Demogorgon declares that God created all, including all of the good and all of the bad. Asia becomes upset that Demogorgon will not reveal the name of God, first demanding, "Utter his name: a world pining in pain/ Asks but his name: curses shall drag him down." Asia continues to question Demogorgon, and accounts the history of Saturn and Jupiter as rulers of the universe. She declares that "Then Prometheus/ Gave wisdom, which is strength, to Jupiter,/ And with this law alone, 'Let man be free,'/ Clothed him with the dominion of wide Heaven. To know nor faith, nor love, nor law; to be/ Omnipotent but friendless is to reign". She criticises Jupiter for all of the problems of the world: famine, disease, strife and death. Prometheus, she continues, gave man fire, the knowledge of mining, speech, science, and medicine. Demogorgon simply responds, "All spirits are enslaved which serve things evil:/ Thou knowest if Jupiter be such or no", and, when Asia continues to press Demogorgon for answers, Demogorgon claims that "All things are subject to eternal Love".

Asia declares that Demogorgon's answer is the same as that her own heart had given her, and then asks when Prometheus will be freed. Demogorgon cries out "Behold!" and Asia watches as the mountain opens and chariots moves out across the night sky, which Demogorgon explains as being driven by the Hours. One Hour stays to talk to Asia, and Asia questions him as to who he is. The Hour responds, "I am the shadow of a destiny/ More dread than is my aspect: ere yon planet/ Has set, the darkness which ascends with me/ Shall wrap in lasting night heaven's kingless throne." Asia questions as to what the Hour means, and Panthea describes how Demogorgon has risen from his throne to join the Hour to travel across the sky. Panthea witnesses another Hour come, and that Hour asks Asia and Panthea to ride with him. The chariot takes off, and Scene V takes place upon a mountaintop as the chariot stops. The Hour claims that his horses are tired, but Asia encourages him onwards. However, Panthea asks the hour to stay and "tell whence is the light/ Which fills the cloud? the sun is yet unrisen", and the Hour tells her "Apollo/ Is held in heaven by wonder; and the light... Flows from thy mighty sister."

Panthea realises that Asia is changed, and described how her sister radiates with beauty. A song fills the air singing the "Life of Life", a song about the power of love. Asia tells of her current state and describes, "Realms where the air we breathe is love,/ Which in the winds on the waves doth move,/ Harmonizing this earth with what we feel above." It is through her love that she witnesses how people move through time, and ends with the idea of a coming paradise.

 
 
Act III
Act III Scene I takes place in heaven, with Jupiter upon his throne before other gods. Jupiter speaks to the gods and calls them to rejoice over his omnipotence. He claims to have conquered all but the soul of mankind, "which might make/ Our antique empire insecure, though built/ On eldest faith, and hell's coeval, fear". Jupiter admits that "Even now have I begotten a strange wonder,/ That fatal child, the terror of the earth,/ Who waits but till the distant hour arrive,/ Bearing from Demogorgon's vacant throne/ The dreadful might of ever-living limbs/ Which clothed that awful spirit unbeheld,/ To redescend, and trample out the spark." He commands the gods to drink before saying, "even then/ Two mighty spirits, mingling, made a third/ Mightier than either, which, unbodied now,/ Between us floats, felt, although unbeheld,/ Waiting the incarnation, which ascends... from Demogorgon's throne/ Victory! victory! Feel'st thou not, O world,/ The earthquake of his chariot thundering up/ Olympus? Awful shape, what art though? Speak!" Demogorgon appears and answers – Eternity. He proclaims himself to be Jupiter's child and more powerful than Jupiter. Jupiter pleads for mercy, and claims that not even Prometheus would have him suffer. When Demogorgon does not respond, Jupiter declares that he shall fight Demogorgon, but as Jupiter moves to attack, the elements refuse to help him and so Jupiter falls.

Scene II takes place at a river on Atlantis, and Ocean discusses Jupiter's fall with Apollo. Apollo declares that he will not dwell on the fall, and the two part. Scene III takes place on the Caucasus after Hercules has unbound Prometheus. Hercules tells Prometheus: "Most glorious among spirits! thus doth strength/ To wisdom, courage, and long-suffering love,/ and thee, who art the form they animate,/ Minister like a slave." Prometheus thanks Hercules, and then turns to Asia and describes to her a cave in which they could call home and be with each other forever. Prometheus requests the Hour to take Ione, with the conch shell of Proteus, over the earth so she can "breathe into the many-folded shell, Loosing its mighty music; it shall be/ As thunder mingled with clear echoes: then/ Return; and thou shalt dwell besides our cave." He calls upon the Earth, and she responds that she feels life and joy. She then proclaims, "And death shall be the last embrace of her/ Who takes the life she gave, even as a mother/ Folding her child, says, 'Leave me not again.'"

Asia questions Earth as to why she mentions death, and the Earth responds that Asia could not understand because she is immortal. She then describes the nature of death, of war, and faithless faith. She then calls forth a spirit, her torch bearer, who would guide Prometheus, Asia, and the others to a temple that was once dedicated to Prometheus and will become their cave to dwell in. Scene IV takes place in a forest near the cave, the place the spirit guided them. Prometheus describes how the spirit was once close to Asia, and Asia and the spirit begin to talk to each other about nature and love. The Hour comes and tells of a change: "Soon as the sound had ceased whose thunder filled/ The abysses of the sky and the wide earth,/ There was a change: the impalpable thing air/ And the all-circling sunlight were transformed,/ As if the sense of love dissolved in them/ Had folded itself round the sphered world." He then describes a revolution within mankind: thrones were abandoned and men treated each other as equals and with love. Mankind no longer feared Jupiter the tyrant, men no longer acted as tyrants themselves, and "The painted veil, by those who were, called life,/ Which mimicked, as with colours idly spread,/ All men believed and hoped, is torn aside;/ The loathsome mask has fallen, the man remains/ Sceptreless, free, uncircumscribed, but man/ Equal, unclassed, tribeless, and nationless,/ Exempt from awe, worship, degree, the king/ Over himself; just, gentle, wise: but man/ Passionless; no, yet free from guilt or pain".

  Act IV
Act IV opens as a voice fills the forest near Prometheus's cave as Ione and Panthea sleep. The voice describes the dawn before a group of dark forms and shadows, who claim to be the dead Hours, begin to sing of the King of the Hours' death. Ione awakes and asks Panthea who they were, and Panthea explains. The voice breaks in to ask "where are ye" before the Hours describe their history.

Panthea describes spirits of the human mind approaching, and these spirits soon join in with the others singing and rejoice in love. Eventually, they decide to break their song and go across the world to proclaim love. Ione and Panthea notice a new music, which Panthea describes as "the deep music of the rolling world/ Kindling within the strings of the waved air,/ Æolian modulations." Panthea then describes how the two melodies are parted, and Ione interrupts by describing a beautiful chariot with a winged infant whose "two eyes are heavens/ Of liquid darkness, which the Deity/ Within seems pouring, as a storm is poured/ From jagged clouds" and "in its hand/ It sways a quivering moon-beam". Panthea resumes describing a sphere of music and light containing a sleeping child who is the Spirit of the Earth.

The Earth interrupts and describes "The joy, the triumph, the delight, the madness!/ The boundless, overflowing, bursting gladness,/ The vapourous exultation not to be confined!" The Moon responds by describing a light which has come from the Earth and penetrates the Moon. The Earth explains how all of the world "Laugh with a vast and inextinguishable laughter". The Moon then describes how all of the moon is awakening and singing. The Earth sings of how man is restored and united: "Man, oh, not men! a chain of linked thought,/ Of love and might to be divided not,/ Compelling the elements with adamantine stress". The Earth continues by declaring that man now controls even lightning, and that the Earth has no secrets left from man.

Panthea and Ione interrupt the Earth and the Moon by describing the passing of the music as a nymph rising from water. Panthea then claims, "A mighty Power, which is as darkness,/ Is rising out of Earth, and from the sky/ Is showered like night, and from within the air/ Bursts, like eclipse which has been gathered up/ Into the pores of sunlight". Demogorgon appears and speaks to the Earth, the Moon, and "Ye kings of suns and stars, Dæmons and Gods,/ Ætherial Dominations, who possess/ Elysian, windless, fortunate abodes/ Beyond Heaven's constellated wilderness". The Demogorgon speaks to all of the voices the final lines of the play:

This is the day, which down the void abysm
At the Earth-born's spell yawns for Heaven's despotism,
And Conquest is dragged captive through the deep:
Love, from its awful throne of patient power
In the wise heart, from the last giddy hour
Of dead endurance, from the slippery, steep,
And narrow verge of crag-like agony, springs
And folds over the world its healing wings.
Gentleness, Virtue, Wisdom, and Endurance,
These are the seals of that most firm assurance
Which bars the pit over Destruction's strength;
And if, with infirm hand, Eternity,
Mother of many acts and hours, should free
The serpent that would clasp her with his length;
These are the spells by which to re-assume
An empire o'er the disentangled doom.
To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.
 
 

Characters
Prometheus
Demogorgon
Jupiter
The Earth
Ocean
Apollo
Mercury
Hercules
Asia (Oceanides)
Panthea (Oceanides)
Ione (Oceanides)
The Phantasm of Jupiter
The Spirit of the Earth
Spirits of the Hours
Spirits
Echoes
Fawns
Furiess

 
Themes
Satanic hero

Shelley compares his Romantic hero Prometheus to Milton's Satan from Paradise Lost.

The only imaginary being, resembling in any degree Prometheus, is Satan; and Prometheus is, in my judgment, a more poetical character than Satan, because, in addition to courage, and majesty, and firm and patient opposition to omnipotent force, he is susceptible of being described as exempt from the taints of ambition, envy, revenge, and a desire for personal aggrandizement, which, in the hero of Paradise Lost, interfere with the interest.

The character of Satan engenders in the mind a pernicious casuistry which leads us to weigh his faults with his wrongs, and to excuse the former because the latter exceed all measure. In the minds of those who consider that magnificent fiction with a religious feeling it engenders something worse. But Prometheus is, as it were, the type of the highest perfection of moral and intellectual nature, impelled by the purest and the truest motives to the best and noblest ends.

In other words, while Milton's Satan embodies a spirit of rebellion, and, as Maud Bodkin claims, "The theme of his heroic struggle and endurance against hopeless odds wakens in poet and reader a sense of his own state as against the odds of his destiny". However, Satan's character is flawed because his aims are not humanistic. Satan is like Prometheus in his struggle against the universe, but Satan loses his heroic aspect after being turned into a serpent who desires only revenge and becomes an enemy to mankind. But Bodkin, unlike Shelley, believes that humans would view Prometheus and Satan together in a negative way:

We must similarly recognize that within our actual experience the factors we distinguish are more massively intangible, more mutually incompatible and more insistent than they can appear as translated into reflective speech. Take, for example, the sense of sin imaginatively revived as we respond to Milton's presentation of Satan, or to the condemnation, suggested by Aeschylus' drama, of the rebellion of Prometheus in effecting the 'progress' of man. What in our analysis we might express as the thought that progress is evil or sinful, would, in the mind of Aeschylus, Abercromer comments, 'more likely be a shadowy relic of loyalty to the tribe' – a vague fear of anything that might weaken social solidarity. Not in the mind of Aeschylus only but in the mind of the reader of to-day.

If we do sympathise with Prometheus or Satan, we view Jupiter and God as omnipotent and unchallengeable beings that rely on their might to stay in power.

  Furthermore, Æschylus's Jupiter is a representation of Destiny, and it is a force that is constantly at odds with the individual's free will. In Milton, God is able to easily overthrow Satan. Although both divine beings represent something that is opposed to the human will, both represent something inside of the human mind that seeks to limit uncontrolled free will: reason and conscience. However, Shelley's version of Jupiter is unable to overwhelm the will of Prometheus, and Shelley gives the power of reason and conscience to his God: the Unseen Power of Hymn to Intellectual Beauty.

The character Demogorgon represents, according to Bodkin, the Unconscious. It is "the unknown force within the soul that, after extreme conflict and utter surrender of the conscious will, by virtue of the imaginative, creative element drawn down into the depths, can arise and shake the whole accustomed attitude of a man, changing its established tensions and oppressions." The Demogorgon is the opposite of Jupiter who, "within the myth, is felt as such a tension, a tyranny established in the far past by the spirit of a man upon himself and his world, a tyranny that, till it can be overthrown, holds him straightened and tormented, disunited from his own creative energies."

Apocalyptic

In his Prometheus, Shelley seeks to create a perfect revolutionary in an ideal, abstract sense (thus the difficulty of the poem). Shelley's Prometheus could be loosely based upon the Jesus of the Bible and Christian orthodox tradition, as well as Milton's character of the Son in Paradise Lost. While Jesus or the Son sacrifices himself to save mankind, this act of sacrifice does nothing to overthrow the type of tyranny embodied, for Shelley, in the figure of God the Father. Prometheus resembles Jesus in that both uncompromisingly speak truth to power, and in how Prometheus overcomes his tyrant, Jupiter; Prometheus conquers Jupiter by "recalling" a curse Prometheus had made against Jupiter in a period before the play begins. The word "recall" in this sense means both to remember and to retract, and Prometheus, by forgiving Jupiter, removes Jupiter's power, which all along seems to have stemmed from his opponents' anger and will to violence.

However, in Act I, Shelley relies on the Furies as the image of the crucifixion of Jesus. When Prometheus is tortured by the furies, Panthea describes Prometheus as "a youth/ With patient looks nailed to a crucifix." Soon after, Prometheus asks a fury "Remit the anguish of that lighted stare;/ Close those wan lips; let that thorn-wounded brow/ Stream not with blood" and "So thy sick throes shake not that crucifix".

The regeneration of mankind and the world is symbolised by the union of Prometheus and Asia. To achieve this, Shelley relies on classical myth to draw upon the idea of Saturn's Golden Age, and then he combines it with the Biblical ideas of the fall and the millennium.

 
 
Political
Prometheus, then, is also Shelley's answer to the mistakes of the French Revolution and its cycle of replacing one tyrant with another. Shelley wished to show how a revolution could be conceived which would avoid doing just that, and in the end of this play, there is no power in charge at all; it is an anarchist's paradise.

Shelley finishes his "Preface" to the play with an evocation of his intentions as a poet:

My purpose has hitherto been simply to familiarize the highly refined imagination of the more select classes of poetical readers with beautiful idealisms of moral excellence; aware that, until the mind can love, and admire, and trust, and hope, and endure, reasoned principles of moral conduct are seeds cast upon the highway of life which the unconscious passenger tramples into dust, although they would bear the harvest of his happiness.

Essentially, Prometheus Unbound, as re-wrought in Shelley's hands, is a fiercely revolutionary text championing free will, goodness, hope and idealism in the face of oppression. The Epilogue, spoken by Demogorgon, expresses Shelley's tenets as a poet and as a revolutionary:

To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.

Shelley's Prometheus Unbound responds to the revolutions and economic changes affecting his society, and the old views of good and evil needed to change to accommodate the current civilisation.

  Technical aspects
Later editing

Shelley continued working on the play until his death on 8 July 1822. After his death, Timothy Shelley, his father, refused to allow Mary Shelley to publish any of Shelley's poems, which kept any immediate corrected editions of the play from being printed. Although reluctant to help the Parisian publishers A. and W. Galignani with an edition of Shelley's works, she eventually sent an "Errata" in January 1829. The Galignanis relied on most of her punctuation changes, but only a few of her spelling changes. The next critical edition was not released until 1839, when Mary Shelley produced her own edition of Shelley's work for Edward Moxon. Included with the edition was Mary Shelley's notes on the production and history of Prometheus Unbound.

Before his death, Shelley completed many corrections to a manuscript edition of his work, but many of these changes were not carried over into Mary Shelley's edition. William Rossetti, in his 1870 edition, questioned Mary Shelley's efforts: "Mrs. Shelley brought deep affection and unmeasured enthusiasm to the task of editing her husband's works. But ill health and the pain of reminiscence curtailed her editorial labours: besides which, to judge from the result, you would say that Mrs. Shelley was not one of the persons to whome the gift of consistent accuracy has been imparted". Later, Charles Locock, in his 1911 edition of Shelley's works, speculated: "May we suppose that Mrs. Shelley never made use of that particular list at all? that what she did use was a preliminary list, – the list which Shelley "hoped to despatch in a day or two" (10 November 1820) – not the "formidable list"... which may in the course of nine years have been mislaid? Failing this hypothesis, we can only assume that Shelley's 'formidable list' was not nearly so formidable as it might have been".

Although Mary Shelley's editing of Prometheus Unbound has its detractors, her version of the text was relied on for many of the later editions. G. G. Foster, in 1845, published the first American edition of Shelley's poems, which relied on both Mary Shelley's edits and her notes.

 
 
Foster was so attached to Mary Shelley's edition that, when Edgar Allan Poe suggested changing some of the text, Foster responded "But I have not felt at liberty to change the text sanctioned by Mrs. Shelley – whom I regard as the evangelist of her transifigured lord". However, he, like Rossetti, tended to differ from Mary Shelley when it came to punctuation and capitalisation. Rossetti went beyond Foster, and, prefaced his edition with: "I have considered it my clear duty and prerogative to set absolutely wrong grammar right... and to set absolutely wrong rhyming right... and to set absolutely wrong metre right..." but made sure to point out that his purpose was to respect Shelley's original poetic intent.
 
 
Allegory or myth
Earl Wasserman believed that Prometheus personified "One Mind" among humanity, and thus "the drama is the history of the One Mind's evolution into perfection."

Critical response
Melvin Solve believed that Prometheus Unbound is so highly idealised and so remote from the conditions of life that the moral lesson is not essential to the enjoyment of the piece, and is, in fact, so well disguised that the critics have differed widely as to its interpretation". William Butler Yeats famously called it "among the sacred books of the world."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
     
 
Percy Bysshe Shelley 

"
Prometheus Unbound"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1820
 
 
William Blake: The Book of Job
 
Book of Hebrew scripture that is often counted among the masterpieces of world literature. It is found in the third section of the biblical canon known as the Ketuvim (“Writings”). The book's theme is the eternal problem of unmerited suffering, and it is named after its central character, Job, who attempts to understand the sufferings that engulf him.
 
The Book of Job may be divided into two sections of prose narrative, consisting of a prologue (chapters 1–2) and an epilogue (chapter 42:7–17), and intervening poetic disputation (chapters 3–42:6). The prose narratives date to before the 6th century BCE, and the poetry has been dated between the 6th and the 4th century BCE. Chapters 28 and 32–37 were probably later additions.

The Book of Job's artful construction accounts for much of its impact. The poetic disputations are set within the prose framework of an ancient legend that originated outside Israel. This legend concerns Job, a prosperous man of outstanding piety. Satan acts as an agent provocateur to test whether or not Job's piety is rooted merely in his prosperity. But faced with the appalling loss of his possessions, his children, and finally his own health, Job still refuses to curse God.

Three of his friends then arrive to comfort him, and at this point the poetic dialogue begins. Thepoetic discourses—which probe the meaning of Job's sufferings and the manner in which he should respond—consist of three cycles of speeches that contain Job's disputes with his three friends and his conversations with God.
 
Blake William.
The Book of Job
 
 
Job proclaims his innocence and the injustice of hissuffering, while his “comforters” argue that Job is being punished for his sins. Job, convinced of his faithfulness and uprighteousness, is not satisfied with this explanation. The conversation between Job and God resolves the dramatic tension—but without solving the problem of undeserved suffering. The speeches evoke Job's trust in the purposeful activity of God in the affairs of the world, even though God's ways with man remain mysterious and inscrutable.

Encyclopedia Britannica
 
 
 

Lo let that night be solitary
and let no joyful voice come therein

Let the Day perish wherein I was Born

And they sat down with him upon the
ground seven days & seven
nights & none spake a word unto him

for they saw that his grief
was very great

 
 
 
see also: "The Book of Job"
 
 
 
     
  William Blake 

 
I.
"Songs of Innocence", II."Songs of Experience", III."The Marriage of Heaven and Hell", IV-V."The Book of Job"

William Blake
- artist
     
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Tenniel John
 

Sir John Tenniel, (born February 28, 1820, London, England—died February 25, 1914, London), English illustrator and satirical artist, especially known for his work in Punch and his illustrations for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1872).

 

Sir John Tenniel
  Tenniel attended the Royal Academy schools and in 1836 sent his first picture to the exhibition of the Society of British Artists.

In 1845 he contributed a 16-foot cartoon to the competition of designs for mural decoration of the new Palace of Westminster and received £100 and a commission for a fresco in the Upper Waiting Hall (or “Hall of Poets”) in the House of Lords.

In 1850 he was invited to succeed Richard Doyle as joint cartoonist with John Leech for Punch, a periodical Tenniel worked on for most of his life.

Gradually he took over altogether the weekly drawing of the political “big cut.” In his drawings for Punch Tenniel lent new dignity to the political cartoon. His most famous cartoon was probably “Dropping the Pilot” (1890), on the subject of Bismarck’s resignation.

Tenniel was knighted in 1893 and retired from Punch in 1901. He illustrated many books; his drawings for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass are remarkably subtle and clever and are extremely well-suited to Lewis Carroll’s text. These illustrations won him an international reputation and a continuing audience.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 

 
see also:
 
Lewis Carroll "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". Illustrations by John Tenniel
"Through the Looking-Glass". Illustrations by John Tenniel
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Discovery of the Venus de Milo
 

Aphrodite of Milos (Greek: Ἀφροδίτη τῆς Μήλου, Aphroditē tēs Mēlou), better known as the Venus de Milo, is an ancient Greek statue and one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture. Created sometime between 130 and 100 BC, it is believed to depict Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty (Venus to the Romans). It is a marble sculpture, slightly larger than life size at 203 cm (6 ft 8 in) high. The arms and original plinth were lost following its discovery. From an inscription that was on its plinth, it is thought to be the work of Alexandros of Antioch; earlier, it was mistakenly attributed to the master sculptor Praxiteles. It is currently on permanent display at the Louvre Museum in Paris. The statue is named after the Greek island of Milos, where it was discovered.

 
Description
The Aphrodite of Milos is widely renowned for the mystery of her missing arms. There is a filled hole below her right breast that originally contained a metal tenon that would have supported the separately carved right arm.
 
 
Discovery and history
The Aphrodite of Milos was discovered on 8 April 1820 by a peasant named Yorgos Kentrotas, inside a buried niche within the ancient city ruins of Milos, the current village of Tripiti, on the island of Milos (also Melos, or Milo) in the Aegean, which was then a part of the Ottoman Empire. The statue was found in two large pieces (the upper torso and the lower draped legs) along with several herms (pillars topped with heads), fragments of the upper left arm and left hand holding an apple, and an inscribed plinth. Olivier Voutier, a French naval officer, was exploring the island. With the help of the young farmer, Voutier began to dig around what were clearly ancient ruins. Within a few hours Voutier had uncovered Venus de Milo. About ten days later, another French naval officer, Jules Dumont d'Urville, recognized its significance and arranged for a purchase by the French ambassador to Turkey, Charles-François de Riffardeau, marquis, later duc de Rivière.

Twelve days out of Toulon the ship was anchored off the island of Melos. Ashore, d'Urville and [fellow officer] Matterer met a Greek farmer named Moraitis, who a few days earlier while ploughing his fields had uncovered blocks of marble and a statue in two pieces, which he offered cheaply to the two young men. The marble base where the Venus de Milo originally stood still resides today on the property of his great, great nephew, Dimitri Moraitis. The Venus de Milo is a statue of a naked woman with an apple in her raised left hand, the right hand holding a draped sash falling from hips to feet, both hands damaged and separated from the body. Even with a broken nose, the face was beautiful. D'Urville the classicist recognized the Venus of the Judgement of Paris. It was, of course, the Venus de Milo.

 
Drawing by Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Debay of the statue with the missing inscribed plinth published
in 1821
 
 
He was eager to acquire it, but his practical captain, apparently uninterested in antiquities, said there was nowhere to store it on the ship, so the transaction lapsed. The tenacious d'Urville on arrival at Constantinople showed the sketches he had made to the French ambassador, the Marquis de Rivière, who sent his secretary in a French Navy vessel to buy it for France. Before he could take delivery, French sailors had to fight Greek brigands for possession. In the mêlée the statue was roughly dragged across rocks to the ship, breaking off both arms, and the sailors refused to go back to search for them.
 
 
This story however proved to be a fabrication – Voutier's drawings of the statue when it was first discovered show that its arms were already missing (Curtis, 2003).

News of the discovery took longer than normal to get to the German ambassador. The peasant grew tired of waiting for payment and was pressured into selling it to Nicholas Mourousi, Grand Dragoman of the Fleet, working as a translator for Sultan Mahmud II in Constantinople (present day Istanbul, Turkey). The German ambassador's representative, Hermes de Marcellus, arrived just as the statue was being loaded aboard a ship bound for Constantinople and seized the statue and persuaded the island's chief citizens to annul the sale.

Upon learning of the reversal of the sale, Nicholas Mourousi presumably had the chiefs whipped and fined. In 1821, Mourousi was executed by order of Sultan Mahmud II in front of the arsenal in Constantinople. This was amidst massive executions of Phanariote Greeks and the beginning of the Greek War of Independence.
Upon arrival at the Louvre, the statue was reassembled, but the fragments of the left hand and arm were dismissed initially as being a later restoration because of the rougher workmanship. It now is accepted that the left hand holding the apple and the left arm are in fact original to the statue, but were not so well finished as the rest of the statue since they would have been somewhat above visible level and difficult to see.
 
Front view
 
 
This was a standard practice for many sculptors of the era—less visible parts of statues often were not so well finished since typically, they would be invisible to the casual observer. Sculptures and statues from this era normally were carved out of several blocks of stone and carefully pieced together. The Venus de Milo was found to have been carved from at least six or seven blocks of Parian marble: one block for the nude torso, another block for the draped legs, another block apiece for each arm, another small block for the right foot, another block for the inscribed plinth, and finally, the separately carved herm that stood beside the statue.
 
 
Initially, the plinth was found to fit perfectly as part of the statue, but after its inscription was translated and dated, the embarrassed experts who had publicized the statue as a possible original work by the artist Praxiteles dismissed the plinth as a later addition.

The inscription read: "...(Alex)andros son of Menides, citizen of Antioch on the Maeander made this (statue)...". The inscribed plinth would have moved the dating of the statue from the Classical period to the Hellenistic period because of the style of lettering and the mention of the ancient city of Antioch on the Maeander, which did not exist in the early fourth century BC, when Praxiteles lived.

At that time the Hellenistic Age was considered a period of decline for Greek art. The quality workmanship in the carving would not have fit into the incorrect assessment of Hellenistic art and the plinth mysteriously disappeared shortly before the statue was presented to King Louis XVIII in 1821 and evidence of it only survives in two drawings and an early description. The king eventually presented the statue to the Louvre museum in Paris.

In 1920, sculptor Robert Ingersoll Aitken created a stir when he criticized the display, lighting, and placement of the statue of Venus de Milo in the museum.

In the autumn of 1939, the Venus was packed for removal from the Louvre in anticipation of the outbreak of war.

 
Three-quarter view
 
 
Scenery trucks from the Comédie-Française transported the masterpieces of the Louvre to safer locations in the countryside.

During the years of World War II, the statue was sheltered safely in the Château de Valençay along with the Winged Victory of Samothrace and Michelangelo's Slaves.
 
 
Fame
The great fame of the Aphrodite of Milos during the nineteenth century was not simply the result of its admitted beauty, but also owed much to a major propaganda effort by the French authorities.

In 1815, France had returned the Medici Venus to the Italians after it had been looted from Italy by Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Medici Venus, regarded as one of the finest Classical sculptures in existence, caused the French to promote the Venus de Milo as a greater treasure than that which they recently had lost.

The de Milo statue was praised dutifully by many artists and critics as the epitome of graceful female beauty. However, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was among its detractors, labeling it a "big gendarme".

Contemporary use
The statue used to be on the seal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), one of the oldest associations of plastic surgeons in the world.

In February 2010, the German magazine Focus featured a doctored image of this Venus giving Europe the middle finger, which resulted in a defamation lawsuit against the journalists and the publication.

They were found not guilty by the Greek court. An alternative explanation for the loss of her arms is given in the film Carry on Cleo.

 
Back view
 
 
Influence
The statue has greatly influenced masters of modern art, one prime example is Salvador Dali's 'Venus de Milo with Drawers'.

The statue has also influenced film. Director David Lynch used The Venus de Milo in 'The Black Lodge' in the television series 'Twin Peaks'.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
     
  Art in Pompeii & Herculaneum
Archaic Vase Painting
Ancient Greek Sculpture
Lysippos - Praxiteles
Collections
     
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Fromentin Eugene
 

Eugene Fromentin (1820—76). French 'oriental' painter who followed P. Marilhat and Delacroix. He is, however, remembered for his discerning criticism of Dutch and Flemish painting, Les Matties d'antrcfois (1876; The Masters of Past Time, 1913). He also wrote a nostalgic autobiographical novel, Dominique (1862; 1932), and 2 books describing N. Africa.

 

Eugene Fromentin
  Eugene Fromentin, (b La Rochelle, 24 Oct 1820; d Saint-Maurice, 27 Aug 1876). French painter and writer.

The wide skies and sweeping plains of his native Charente region left him with a love of natural beauty for which he later found affinities in Algeria and the Netherlands.
From his youth he showed academic intelligence, literary talent and artistic aptitude.

In 1839 he was sent to Paris to study law, but he became increasingly interested in drawing. Although his father, a skilled amateur artist who had studied with Jean-Victor Bertin, never became reconciled to his son’s desire to pursue painting as a career, Fromentin was sent to study with the Neo-classical landscape painter Jean-Charles-Joseph Rémond (1795–1875); however, he preferred the more naturalistic Nicolas-Louis Cabat.

Fromentin developed slowly as an artist and began to show real promise as a landscape draughtsman only in the early to mid-1840s. He published his first important piece of criticism on the Salon of 1845.
 
 

Eugene Fromentin. Arab Falconer
 
 
 
     
 
Eugene Fromentin
     
 
 
     
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Post-Impressionism
Symbolism
     
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Vieuxtemps Henri
 

 (17 February 1820 – 6 June 1881) was a Belgian composer and violinist. He occupies an important place in the history of the violin as a prominent exponent of the Franco-Belgian violin school during the mid-19th century. He is also known for playing upon what is now known as the Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesu, a violin of superior workmanship.

 

Henri François Joseph Vieuxtemps
  Biography
Vieuxtemps was born in Verviers, Belgium (then part of the Netherlands), son of a weaver and amateur violinist and violin-maker. He received his first violin instruction from his father and a local teacher and gave his first public performance at the age of six, playing a concerto by Pierre Rode. Soon he was giving concerts in various surrounding cities, including Liège and Brussels where he met the violinist Charles Auguste de Bériot, with whom he began studies. In 1829, Bériot took him to Paris where he made a successful concert debut, again with a concerto by Rode, but he had to return the next year because of the July Revolution and Bériot's marriage to his mistress Maria Malibran and departure on concert tour. Back in Brussels, Vieuxtemps continued developing his violin technique on his own, his musicianship deepened by playing with the deeply musical mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot, Malibran's sister. A tour of Germany in 1833 brought friendship with Louis Spohr and with Robert Schumann, who compared the boy to Niccolò Paganini. During the following decade he visited various European cities, impressing with his virtuosity not only audiences but also famous musicians such as Hector Berlioz and Paganini himself, whom he encountered at his London debut in 1834. But he had aspirations of becoming a composer as well and, having already taken lessons with the respected Simon Sechter in Vienna, spent the winter of 1835–1836 studying composition with Anton Reicha in Paris. His first violin concerto, later published as Concerto No. 2, dates from this time. Vieuxtemps's Violin Concerto No. 1 was acclaimed when he played it in Saint Petersburg on his second visit in 1840 and in Paris the next year; Berlioz found it "a magnificent symphony for violin and orchestra".
 
 
Based in Paris, Vieuxtemps continued to compose with great success and perform throughout Europe. With the pianist Sigismond Thalberg, he concertized in the United States. He was particularly admired in Russia where he resided permanently between 1846 and 1851 as a court musician of Tsar Nicholas I and soloist in the Imperial Theatre. He founded the violin school of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory and guided the formation of a "Russian school" of violinists. In 1871, he returned to his native country to accept a professorship at the Brussels Conservatory, where his most illustrious pupil was Eugène Ysaÿe. Some of his other notable students include Enrique Fernández Arbós, Eduard Caudella, Alfred De Sève, Sam Franko, Émile Sauret, Simon Sechter, and César Thomson.

A paralytic stroke disabled his right arm two years later and he moved to Paris again, his violin class being taken over by Henryk Wieniawski. Although he seemed to be gradually recovering from his stroke, another one in 1879 ended his career as a violinist for good. He spent his last years in a sanatorium in Mustapha Supérieur, Algeria, where his daughter and her husband had settled, and continued to compose, though frustrated by his inability to play or, far from the musical centres of Europe, even hear his music played by others.

 
 
The bulk of Vieuxtemps's compositions were for his own instrument, including seven concertos and a variety of short salon pieces, though towards the end of his life, when he had to give up the violin, he often turned to other instruments, writing two cello concertos, a viola sonata and three string quartets among other things. It is because of his seven violin concertos, however, that Vieuxtemps is generally known to audiences and musicians around the world.

Through his own concertos and his advocacy of the concertos of Beethoven (he also played Beethoven's sonatas and string quartets) and Mendelssohn, he added a more classical dimension to the violin repertoire which had tended towards technically brilliant but often shallow variations and fantasies on popular operatic themes. Vieuxtemps never indulged in sheer virtuosity for its own sake, like some of his predecessors. Eugène Ysaÿe quotes him as saying "Not runs for the sake of runs - sing, sing!"
  Vieuxtemps del Gesu
Henri Vieuxtemps is also known for owning and playing what is now referred to as the Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesu, a violin, built in 1741, that is considered one of the finest examples of the craftsmanship of Giuseppe Guarneri and which is considered to be without defect despite its continued use over many years. The 'del Gesu' (literally 'of Jesus') refers to the manufacture by Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri who incorporated the nomina sacra, I.H.S. (iota-eta-sigma) and a Roman Cross in the labels he affixed to his work. At Vieuxtemps' funeral the violin was carried upon a pillow behind the hearse carrying the body.  The instrument was later played by noted violin masters like Yehudi Menuhin, Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman. In January of 2012 the instrument was purchased, by a private collector, for an undisclosed sum and lifetime use of it bequeathed to violinist Anne Akiko Meyers.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
 
Henri Vieuxtemps - Elegy for Viola and Piano Op.30
 
Simonide Braconi - Marco Sollini play Henri Vieuxtemps
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
Henri Vieuxtemps
     
 
 
     
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
     
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Ampere Andre: "Laws of the Electrodynamic Action"
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Moffat Robert
 

Robert Moffat (21 December 1795 – 9 August 1883) was a Scottish Congregationalist missionary to Africa, and father-in-law of David Livingstone.

 

Robert Moffat
  Moffat was born of humble parentage in Ormiston, East Lothian. To find employment, he moved south to Cheshire in England as a gardener. In 1814, whilst employed at West Hall High Legh in Cheshire he experienced difficulties with his employer due to his Methodist sympathies. For a short period, after having applied successfully to the London Missionary Society (LMS) to become an overseas missionary, he took an interim post as a farmer, at Plantation Farm in Dukinfield (where he first met his future wife). In September 1816, he was formally commissioned at Surrey Chapel in London as a missionary of LMS (on the same day as John Williams) and was sent out to South Africa. His fiancée Mary Smith (1795–1870) was able to join him three years later, after he returned to Cape Town from Namaqualand (where he converted the chief, Afrikaner, to Christianity) and she actively assisted further missionary work.

In 1820 Moffat and his wife left the Cape and proceeded to Griquatown, where their daughter Mary (who was later to marry David Livingstone) was born. The family later settled at Kuruman, to the north of the Vaal River, among the Batswana people. Here they lived and worked passionately for the missionary cause, until in 1870 they returned to Britain. During this period, Robert Moffat made frequent journeys into the neighbouring regions as far north as the Matabele country. The results of these journeys he communicated to the Royal Geographical Society (Journal 25-38 and Proceedings ii). Whilst in Britain on leave (1839–1843) an account of the family's experience, Missionary Labours and Scenes in South Africa (1842) was published.

 
 
He translated the whole of the Bible and The Pilgrim's Progress into Setswana. Besides his early training as a gardener and farmer, and later as a writer, Moffat developed skills in building, carpentry, printing and as a blacksmith. On his return to England he received a testimonial of £5000.[citation needed]

Robert and Mary Moffat had ten children: Mary (who married David Livingstone), Ann, Robert (who died as an infant), Robert, Helen, Elizabeth (who also died as an infant), James, John, Elizabeth and Jean. Their son John Smith Moffat became an LMS missionary and took over running of the mission at Kuruman before entering colonial service. Their grandson Howard Unwin Moffat became a prime minister of Southern Rhodesia.

Robert Moffat died at Leigh near Tunbridge Wells, on 9 August 1883, and is buried at West Norwood Cemetery. A memorial monument, paid for by public subscription, was in his birthplace in 1885.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
see also: Southern Africa
 
 
 
 
 
1820
 
 
"Ballown," a kind of soccer, played for the first time in the U.S.
 
 
Although there are mentions of Native Americans playing games, modern American football has its origins in traditional ball games played at villages and schools in Europe for many centuries before America was settled by Europeans. There are reports of early settlers at Jamestown, Virginia playing games with inflated balls in the early 17th century.

Early games appear to have had much in common with the traditional "mob football" played in England, especially on Shrove Tuesday when they used a lemon instead of a ball. The games remained largely unorganized until the 19th century, when intramural games of football began to be played on college campuses. This was when Walter Camp, a Yale graduate and "The Father of American Football", invented certain rules (such as system of downs) to provide singularity in the sport. Each school played its own variety of football.

Princeton students played a game called "ballown" as early as 1820. A Harvard tradition known as "Bloody Monday" began in 1827, which consisted of a mass ballgame between the freshman and sophomore classes. Dartmouth played its own version called "Old division football", the rules of which were first published in 1871, though the game dates to at least the 1830s. All of these games, and others, shared certain commonalities. They remained largely "mob" style games, with huge numbers of players attempting to advance the ball into a goal area, often by any means necessary. Rules were simple, violence and injury were common. The violence of these mob-style games led to widespread protests and a decision to abandon them. Yale, under pressure from the city of New Haven, banned the play of all forms of football in 1860, while Harvard followed suit in 1861.

 
 
 
1820
 
 
Fouche Joseph, Fr. Minister of Police, d. (b. 1763)
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Florence Nightingale
 

Florence Nightingale, byname Lady with the Lamp (born May 12, 1820, Florence [Italy]—died August 13, 1910, London, England), foundational philosopher of modern nursing, statistician, and social reformer. Nightingale was put in charge of nursing British and allied soldiers in Turkey during the Crimean War. She spent many hours in the wards, and her night rounds giving personal care to the wounded established her image as the “Lady with the Lamp.” Her efforts to formalize nursing education led her to establish the first scientifically based nursing school—the Nightingale School of Nursing, at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London (opened 1860). She also was instrumental in setting up training for midwives and nurses in workhouse infirmaries. She was the first woman awarded the Order of Merit (1907). International Nurses Day, observed annually on May 12, commemorates her birth and celebrates the important role of nurses in health care.

 

Florence Nightingale
  Family ties and spiritual awakening
Florence Nightingale was the second of two daughters born, during an extended European honeymoon, to William Edward and Frances Nightingale. (William Edward’s original surname was Shore; he changed his name to Nightingale after inheriting his great-uncle’s estate in 1815.)

Florence was named after the city of her birth. After returning to England in 1821, the Nightingales had a comfortable lifestyle, dividing their time between two homes, Lea Hurst in Derbyshire, located in central England, and Embley Park in warmer Hampshire, located in south-central England.

Embley Park, a large and comfortable estate, became the primary family residence, with the Nightingales taking trips to Lea Hurst in the summer and to London during the social season.

Florence was a precocious child intellectually. Her father took particular interest in her education, guiding her through history, philosophy, and literature. She excelled in mathematics and languages and was able to read and write French, German, Italian, Greek, and Latin at an early age. Never satisfied with the traditional female skills of home management, she preferred to read the great philosophers and to engage in serious political and social discourse with her father.

 
 
As part of a liberal Unitarian family, Florence found great comfort in her religious beliefs. At the age of 16, she experienced one of several “calls from God.” She viewed her particular calling as reducing human suffering. Nursing seemed the suitable route to serve both God and humankind. However, despite having cared for sick relatives and tenants on the family estates, her attempts to seek nurse’s training were thwarted by her family as an inappropriate activity for a woman of her stature.
 
 


Florence Nightingale

  Nursing in peace and war
Despite family reservations, Nightingale was eventually able to enroll at the Institution of Protestant Deaconesses at Kaiserswerth in Germany for two weeks of training in July 1850 and again for three months in July 1851. There she learned basic nursing skills, the importance of patient observation, and the value of good hospital organization. In 1853 Nightingale sought to break free from her family environment. Through social connections, she became the superintendent of the Institution for Sick Gentlewomen (governesses) in Distressed Circumstances, in London, where she successfully displayed her skills as an administrator by improving nursing care, working conditions, and efficiency of the hospital. After one year she began to realize that her services would be more valuable in an institution that would allow her to train nurses. She considered becoming the superintendent of nurses at King’s College Hospital in London. However, politics, not nursing expertise, was to shape her next move.
In October 1853 the Turkish Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia, following a series of disputes over holy places in Jerusalem and Russian demands to exercise protection over the Orthodox subjects of the Ottoman sultan. The British and the French, allies of Turkey, sought to curb Russian expansion. The majority of the Crimean War was fought on the Crimean Peninsula in Russia. However, the British troop base and hospitals for the care of the sick and wounded soldiers were primarily established in Scutari (Üsküdar), across the Bosporus from Constantinople (Istanbul).
 
 
The status of the care of the wounded was reported to the London Times by the first modern war correspondent, British journalist William Howard Russell. The newspaper reports stated that soldiers were treated by an incompetent and ineffective medical establishment and that the most basic supplies were not available for care. The British public raised an outcry over the treatment of the soldiers and demanded that the situation be drastically improved.
 
 

Florence Nightingale, 1858
  Sidney Herbert, secretary of state at war for the British government, wrote to Nightingale requesting that she lead a group of nurses to Scutari. At the same time, Nightingale wrote to her friend Liz Herbert, Sidney’s wife, asking that she be allowed to lead a private expedition. Their letters crossed in the mail, but in the end their mutual requests were granted. Nightingale led an officially sanctioned party of 38 women, departing October 21, 1854, and arriving in Scutari at the Barrack Hospital on November 5. Not welcomed by the medical officers, Nightingale found conditions filthy, supplies inadequate, staff uncooperative, and overcrowding severe. Few nurses had access to the cholera wards, and Nightingale, who wanted to gain the confidence of army surgeons by waiting for official military orders for assistance, kept her party from the wards. Five days after Nightingale’s arrival in Scutari, injured soldiers from the Battle of Balaklava and the Battle of Inkerman arrived and overwhelmed the facility. Nightingale said it was the “Kingdom of Hell.”

In order to care for the soldiers properly, it was necessary that adequate supplies be obtained. Nightingale bought equipment with funds provided by the London Times and enlisted soldiers’ wives to assist with the laundry. The wards were cleaned and basic care was provided by the nurses. Most important, Nightingale established standards of care, requiring such basic necessities as bathing, clean clothing and dressings, and adequate food. Attention was given to psychological needs through assistance in writing letters to relatives and through providing educational and recreational activities. Nightingale herself wandered the wards at night, providing support to the patients; this earned her the title of “Lady with the Lamp.”

 
 
She gained the respect of the soldiers and medical establishment alike. Her accomplishments in providing care and reportedly reducing the mortality rate to about 2 percent brought her fame in England through the press and the soldiers’ letters. (Investigations by historians in the 20th century revealed that the mortality rate at Barrack Hospital under Nightingale’s care was actually much higher than had been reported—the British government had concealed the actual mortality rate.)
 
 

Florence Nightingale at the Barrack Hospital in Scutari (Üsküdar), writing letters for wounded soldiers of the Crimean War, 1855.
 
 
In May 1855 Nightingale began the first of several excursions to Crimea; however, shortly after arriving, she fell ill with “Crimean fever”—most likely brucellosis, which she probably contracted from drinking contaminated milk. Nightingale experienced a slow recovery, as no active treatment was available. The lingering effects of the disease were to last for 25 years, frequently confining her to bed because of severe chronic pain.

On March 30, 1856, the Treaty of Paris ended the Crimean War. Nightingale remained in Scutari until the hospitals were ready to close, returning to her home in Derbyshire on August 7, 1856, as a reluctant heroine.

 
 

Florence Nightingale, the “Lady with the Lamp,” at the Barrack Hospital at Scutari (Üsküdar) in 1854 during the Crimean War. Portrait published in 1891 by Cassell & Company, from a painting by Henrietta Rae.
  Homecoming and legacy
Although primarily remembered for her accomplishments during the Crimean War, Nightingale’s greatest achievements centred on attempts to create social reform in health care and nursing. On her return to England, Nightingale was suffering the effects of both brucellosis and exhaustion. In September 1856 she met with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to discuss the need for reform of the British military establishment. Nightingale kept meticulous records regarding the running of the Barrack Hospital, causes of illness and death, the efficiency of the nursing and medical staffs, and difficulties in purveyance. A Royal Commission was established, which based its findings on the statistical data and analysis provided by Nightingale. The result was marked reform in the military medical and purveyance systems.

In 1855, as a token of gratitude and respect for Nightingale, the Nightingale Fund was established. Through private donations, £45,000 was raised by 1859 and put at Nightingale’s disposal. She used a substantial part of these monies to institute the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, which opened in 1860. The school formalized secular nursing education, making nursing a viable and respectable option for women who desired employment outside of the home. The model was taken worldwide by matrons (women supervisors of public health institutions). Nightingale’s statistical models—such as the Coxcomb chart, which she developed to assess mortality—and her basic concepts regarding nursing remain applicable today. For these reasons she is considered the foundational philosopher of modern nursing.

 
 

"Nightingale receiving the Wounded at Scutari", a portrait by Jerry Barrett
 
 
Nightingale improved the health of households through her most famous publication, Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not, which provided direction on how to manage the sick. This volume has been in continuous publication worldwide since 1859. Additional reforms were financed through the Nightingale Fund, and a school for the education of midwives was established at King’s College Hospital in 1862. Believing that the most important location for the care of the sick was in the home, she established training for district nursing, which was aimed at improving the health of the poor and vulnerable. A second Royal Commission examined the health of India, resulting in major environmental reform, again based on Nightingale’s statistical data.
 
 

Florence Nightingale in a hospital ward at Scutari (Üsküdar) during the Crimean War.
 
 
Florence Nightingale was honoured in her lifetime by receiving the title of Lady of Grace of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and by becoming the first woman to receive the Order of Merit. On her death in 1910, at Nightingale’s prior request, her family declined the offer of a state funeral and burial in Westminster Abbey. Instead, she was honoured with a memorial service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. Her burial is in the family plot in St. Margaret’s Church, East Wellow, Hampshire.

Louise Selanders

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Rich deposits of platinum are discovered in the Russ. Urals
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Washington Colonization Society founds Liberia for repatriation of Negroes
 
 
 
1820
 
 
Anthony Susan Brownell
 
Susan B. Anthony, in full Susan Brownell Anthony (born Feb. 15, 1820, Adams, Mass., U.S.—died March 13, 1906, Rochester, N.Y.), pioneer crusader for the woman suffrage movement in the United States and president (1892–1900) of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Her work helped pave the way for the Nineteenth Amendment (1920) to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote.
 

Susan B. Anthony
  Anthony was reared in the Quaker tradition in a home pervaded by a tone of independence and moral zeal. She was a precocious child and learned to read and write at the age of three. After the family moved from Massachusetts to Battensville, New York, in 1826, she attended a district school, then a school set up by her father, and finally a boarding school near Philadelphia. In 1839 she took a position in a Quaker seminary in New Rochelle, New York. After teaching at a female academy in upstate New York (1846–49), she settled in her family home, now near Rochester, New York.

There she met many leading abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass, Parker Pillsbury, Wendell Phillips, William Henry Channing, and William Lloyd Garrison. Soon the temperance movement enlisted her sympathy and then, after meeting Amelia Bloomer and through her Elizabeth Cady Stanton, so did that of woman suffrage.

The rebuff of Anthony’s attempt to speak at a temperance meeting in Albany in 1852 prompted her to organize the Woman’s New York State Temperance Society, of which Stanton became president, and pushed Anthony farther in the direction of women’s rights advocacy.

 
 
In a short time she became known as one of the cause’s most zealous, serious advocates, a dogged and tireless worker whose personality contrasted sharply with that of her friend and coworker Stanton. She was also a prime target of public and newspaper abuse. While campaigning for a liberalization of New York’s laws regarding married women’s property rights, an end attained in 1860, Anthony served from 1856 as chief New York agent of Garrison’s American Anti-Slavery Society. During the early phase of the Civil War she helped organize the Women’s National Loyal League, which urged the case for emancipation. After the war she campaigned unsuccessfully to have the language of the Fourteenth Amendment altered to allow for woman as well as "Negro" suffrage, and in 1866 she became corresponding secretary of the newly formed American Equal Rights Association. Her exhausting speaking and organizing tour of Kansas in 1867 failed to win passage of a state enfranchisement law.
 
 
 

Susan B. Anthony, a founder of the International Council of Women.
  In 1868 Anthony became publisher, and Stanton editor, of a new periodical, Revolution, originally financed by the eccentric George Francis Train. The same year, she represented the Working Women’s Association of New York, which she had recently organized, at the National Labor Union convention.

In January 1869 she organized a woman suffrage convention in Washington, D.C., and in May she and Stanton formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA). A portion of the organization deserted later in the year to join Lucy Stone’s more conservative American Woman Suffrage Association, but the NWSA remained a large and powerful group and Anthony remained its principal leader and spokeswoman.

In 1870 she relinquished her position at the Revolution and embarked on a series of lecture tours to pay off the paper’s accumulated debts. As a test of the legality of the suffrage provision of the Fourteenth Amendment, she cast a vote in the 1872 presidential election in Rochester, New York.
She was arrested, convicted (the judge’s directed verdict of guilty had been written before the trial began), and fined, and although she refused to pay the fine the case was carried no further. She traveled constantly, often with Stanton, in support of efforts in various states to win the franchise for women: California in 1871, Michigan in 1874, Colorado in 1877, and elsewhere.

 
 
In 1890, after lengthy discussions, the rival suffrage associations were merged into the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and at Stanton’s resignation in 1892 Anthony became president. Her principal lieutenant in later years was Carrie Chapman Catt.

By the 1890s Anthony had largely outlived the abuse and sarcasm that had attended her early efforts, and she emerged as a national heroine.
 
 

Susan B. Anthony
  Her visits to the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and to the Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon, in 1905 were warmly received, as were her trips to London in 1899 and Berlin in 1904 as head of the U.S. delegation to the international Council of Women (which she helped found in 1888). In 1900, at age 80, she retired from the presidency of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, passing it on to Catt.

Principal among Anthony’s written works are the first four volumes of the six-volume History of Woman Suffrage, written with Stanton and Matilda J. Gage. Various of her writings are collected in The Elizabeth Cady Stanton-Susan B. Anthony Reader (1992), edited by Ellen Carol DuBois, and The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (1997), edited by Ann D. Gordon.

With the issue of a new dollar coin in 1979, she became the first woman to be depicted on United States currency, although the honour was somewhat mitigated by popular rejection of the coin because its size was so similar to that of the 25-cent coin.

The opening in 2010 of the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum in Adams, Mass., on the occasion of the 190th anniversary of Anthony’s birth, stirred controversy when the owner of the property and president of the museum led with an exhibit presenting Anthony as an antiabortion feminist in 21st-century terms.

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 

 
 
CONTENTS
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