Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY



1800 - 1899
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
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1820 - 1829
History at a Glance
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
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
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
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
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"
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
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
1823 Part I
Federal Republic of Central America
Monroe Doctrine
Renan Ernest
Ernest Renan
"The Life of Jesus"
Fenimore Cooper: "The Pioneers"
Ostrovski Alexander
Petofi Sandor
Yonge Charlotte Mary
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
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"
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
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
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
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
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
Trade Union
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
Khan Dost Mohammad
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
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
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
Baedeker Karl
"London Evening Standard"
1828 Part I
Ypsilantis Alexander
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"
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
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
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
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
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

Weber: "Der Freischutz"
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1821 Part II
Baudelaire Charles

Charles Baudelaire, in full Charles-Pierre Baudelaire (born April 9, 1821, Paris, France—died August 31, 1867, Paris), French poet, translator, and literary and art critic whose reputation rests primarily on Les Fleurs du mal (1857; The Flowers of Evil), which was perhaps the most important and influential poetry collection published in Europe in the 19th century. Similarly, his Petits poèmes en prose (1868; “Little Prose Poems”) was the most successful and innovative early experiment in prose poetry of the time.


Charles Baudelaire, 1863 by Étienne Carjat
  Early life
Baudelaire was the only child of François Baudelaire and his much younger second wife, Caroline Defayis, whom he married in 1819. Having begun his career as a priest, François had abandoned holy orders in 1793 and ultimately became a prosperous middle-ranking civil servant. A painter and poet of modest talent, he introduced his son to art, or what the younger Baudelaire would later call his greatest, most consuming, and earliest of passions, “the cult of images.” His father died in February 1827, and for some 18 months thereafter Baudelaire and his mother lived together on the outskirts of Paris in conditions that he would always remember, writing to her in 1861 of that “period of passionate love” for her when “I was forever alive in you; you were solely and completely mine.” This “verdant paradise of childhood loves” abruptly ended in November 1828 when Caroline married Jacques Aupick, a career soldier who rose to the rank of general and who later served as French ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and Spain before becoming a senator under the Second Empire.
In 1831 Aupick was posted to Lyons, and Baudelaire began his education at the Collège Royal there in 1832 before transferring, on the family’s return to Paris in 1836, to the prestigious Lycée Louis-le-Grand. Baudelaire showed promise as a student and began to write his earliest poems, but to his masters he seemed an example of precocious depravity, adopting what they called “affectations unsuited to his age.”
He also developed a tendency to moods of intense melancholy, and he became aware that he was solitary by nature. Regular acts of indiscipline led to his being expelled from the school after a trivial incident in April 1839. After passing his baccalauréat examinations while enrolled at the Collège Saint-Louis, Baudelaire became a nominal student of law at the École de Droit while in reality leading a “free life” in the Latin Quarter. There he made his first contacts in the literary world and also contracted the venereal disease that would eventually kill him, probably from a prostitute nicknamed Sarah la Louchette (“Squint-Eyed Sarah”), whom he celebrated in some of his most affecting early poems.

In an attempt to wean his stepson from such disreputable company, Aupick sent him on a protracted voyage to India in June 1841, but Baudelaire effectively jumped ship in Mauritius and, after a few weeks there and in Réunion, returned to France in February 1842. The voyage had deepened and enriched his imagination, however, and his brief encounter with the tropics would endow his writing with an abundance of exotic images and sensations and an everlasting theme of nostalgic reverie.


Portrait by Gustave Courbet, 1848
Baudelaire came into his inheritance in April 1842 and rapidly proceeded to dissipate it on the lifestyle of a dandified man of letters, spending freely on clothes, books, paintings, expensive food and wines, and, not least, hashish and opium, which he first experimented with in his Paris apartment at the Hôtel Pimodan (now the Hôtel Lauzun) on the Île Saint-Louis between 1843 and 1845. It was shortly after returning from the South Seas that Baudelaire met Jeanne Duval, who, first as his mistress and then, after the mid-1850s, as his financial charge, was to dominate his life for the next 20 years. Jeanne would inspire Baudelaire’s most anguished and sensual love poetry, her perfume and, above all, her magnificent flowing black hair provoking such masterpieces of the exotic-erotic imagination as “La Chevelure” (“The Head of Hair”).

Baudelaire’s continuing extravagance exhausted half his fortune in two years, and he also fell prey to cheats and moneylenders, thus laying the foundation for an accumulation of debt that would cripple him for the rest of his life. In September 1844 his family imposed on him a legal arrangement that restricted his access to his inheritance and effectively made of him a legal minor. The modest annual allowance henceforth granted him was insufficient to clear his debts, and the resulting state of permanently straitened finances led him to still greater emotional and financial dependence on his mother and also exacerbated his growing detestation of his stepfather. The agonizing moods of isolation and despair that Baudelaire had known in adolescence, and which he called his moods of “spleen,” returned and became more frequent.

  Early writings
Baudelaire had returned from the South Seas in 1842 determined as never before to become a poet. From then until 1846 he probably composed the bulk of the poems that make up the first edition (1857) of Les Fleurs du mal.
He refrained from publishing them as separate texts, however, which suggests that from the outset he had in mind a coherent collection governed by a tight thematic architecture rather than a simple sequence of self-contained poems.

In October 1845 he announced the imminent appearance of a collection entitled “Les Lesbiennes” (“The Lesbians”), followed, at intervals after 1848, by “Les Limbes” (“Limbo”), the stated goal of which was to “represent the agitations and melancholies of modern youth.” Neither collection ever appeared in book form, however, and Baudelaire first established himself in the Parisian cultural milieu not as a poet but as an art critic with his reviews of the Salons of 1845 and 1846.

Inspired by the example of the Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix, he elaborated in his Salons a wide-ranging theory of modern painting, with painters being urged to celebrate and express the “heroism of modern life.”

In January 1847 Baudelaire published a novella entitled La Fanfarlo whose hero, or antihero, Samuel Cramer, is widely, if simplistically, seen as a self-portrait of the author as he agonizedly oscillates between desire for the maternal and respectable Madame de Cosmelly and the erotic actress-dancer of the title.

Jeanne Duval, in a painting by Édouard Manet
Thereafter little is heard of Baudelaire until February 1848, when he is widely reported to have participated in the riots that overthrew King Louis-Philippe and installed the Second Republic; one uncorroborated account has him brandishing a gun and urging the insurgents to shoot General Aupick, who was then director of the École Polytechnique. Such stories have led some to dismiss Baudelaire’s involvement in the revolutionary events of 1848–51 as mere rebelliousness on the part of a disaffected (and still unpublished) bourgeois poet. More recent studies suggest he had a serious commitment to a radical political viewpoint that probably resembled that of the socialist-anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Baudelaire is reliably reported to have taken part both in the working-class uprising of June 1848 and in the resistance to the Bonapartist military coup of December 1851; the latter, he claimed shortly afterwards, ended his active interest in politics. Henceforth his focus would be exclusively on his writing.

Portrait of Baudelaire, painted in 1844 by Emile Deroy
  Maturity and decline
In 1847 Baudelaire had discovered the work of Edgar Allan Poe. Overwhelmed by what he saw as the almost preternatural similarities between the American writer’s thought and temperament and his own, he embarked upon the task of translation that was to provide him with his most regular occupation and income for the rest of his life. His translation of Poe’s Mesmeric Revelation appeared as early as July 1848, and thereafter translations appeared regularly in reviews before being collected in book form in Histoires extraordinaires (1856; “Extraordinary Tales”) and Nouvelles Histoires extraordinaires (1857; “New Extraordinary Tales”), each preceded by an important critical introduction by Baudelaire. These were followed by Les Aventures d’Arthur Gordon Pym (1857), Eurêka (1864), and Histoires grotesques et sérieuses (1865; “Grotesque and Serious Tales”). As translations these works are, at their best, classics of French prose, and Poe’s example gave Baudelaire greater confidence in his own aesthetic theories and ideals of poetry. Baudelaire also began studying the work of the conservative theorist Joseph de Maistre, who, together with Poe, impelled his thought in an increasingly antinaturalist and antihumanist direction. From the mid-1850s Baudelaire would regard himself as a Roman Catholic, though his obsession with original sin and the Devil remained unaccompanied by faith in God’s forgiveness and love, and his Christology was impoverished to the point of nonexistence.
Between 1852 and 1854 Baudelaire addressed a number of poems to Apollonie Sabatier, celebrating her, despite her reputation as a high-class courtesan, as his madonna and muse, and in 1854 he had a brief liaison with the actress Marie Daubrun. In the meantime Baudelaire’s growing reputation as Poe’s translator and as an art critic at last enabled him to publish some of his poems. In June 1855 the Revue des deux mondes published a sequence of 18 of his poems under the general title of Les Fleurs du mal. The poems, which Baudelaire had chosen for their original style and startling themes, brought him notoriety. The following year Baudelaire signed a contract with the publisher Poulet-Malassis for a full-length poetry collection to appear with that title. When the first edition of Les Fleurs du mal was published in June 1857, 13 of its 100 poems were immediately arraigned for offences to religion or public morality. After a one-day trial on August 20, 1857, six of the poems were ordered to be removed from the book on the grounds of obscenity, with Baudelaire incurring a fine of 300 (later reduced to 50) francs. The six poems were first republished in Belgium in 1866 in the collection Les Épaves (“Wreckage”), and the official ban on them would not be revoked until 1949. Owing largely to these circumstances, Les Fleurs du mal became a byword for depravity, morbidity, and obscenity, and the legend of Baudelaire as the doomed dissident and pornographic poet was born.
The last years
The failure of Les Fleurs du mal, from which he had expected so much, was a bitter blow to Baudelaire, and the remaining years of his life were darkened by a growing sense of failure, disillusionment, and despair. Shortly after his book’s condemnation, he had a brief and apparently botched physical liaison with Apollonie Sabatier, followed, in late 1859, by an equally brief and unhappy reunion with Marie Daubrun. Although Baudelaire wrote some of his finest works in these years, few were published in book form. After publishing his earliest experiments in prose poetry, he set about preparing a second edition of Les Fleurs du mal. In 1859, while living with his mother at Honfleur on the Seine River estuary, where she had retired after Aupick’s death in 1857, Baudelaire produced in rapid succession a series of poetic masterpieces beginning with “Le Voyage” in January and culminating in what is widely regarded as his greatest single poem, “Le Cygne” (“The Swan”), in December. At the same time, he composed two of his most provocative essays in art criticism, the “Salon de 1859” and “Le Peintre de la vie moderne” (“The Painter of Modern Life”). The latter essay, inspired by the draftsman Constantin Guys, is widely viewed as a prophetic statement of the main elements of the Impressionist vision and style a decade before the actual emergence of that school. The year 1860 saw the publication of Les Paradis artificiels, Baudelaire’s translation of sections of the English essayist Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater accompanied by his own searching analysis and condemnation of drugs. In February 1861 a second, and greatly enlarged and improved, edition of Les Fleurs du mal was published by Poulet-Malassis.
Apollonie Sabatier, muse and one time mistress,
painted by Vincent Vidal
Concurrently Baudelaire published important critical essays on Théophile Gautier (1859), Richard Wagner (1861), Victor Hugo and other contemporary poets (1862), and Delacroix (1863), all of which would be collected after his death in L’Art romantique (1869). The tantalizing autobiographical fragments entitled Fusées (“Rockets”) and Mon coeur mis à nu (“My Heart Laid Bare”) also date from the 1850s and early ’60s.

In 1861 Baudelaire made an ill-advised and unsuccessful attempt to gain election to the French Academy. In 1862 Poulet-Malassis was declared bankrupt; Baudelaire was involved in his publisher’s failure, and his financial difficulties became desperate. By this time he was in a critical state both physically and psychologically, and feeling what he chillingly called “the wind of the wing of imbecility” pass over him. Abandoning verse poetry as his medium, Baudelaire now concentrated on writing prose poems, a sequence of 20 of which was published in La Presse in 1862. In April 1864 he left Paris for Brussels in the hope of persuading a Belgian publisher to publish his complete works. He would remain in Belgium, increasingly embittered and impoverished, until the summer of 1866, when, following a collapse in the Church of Saint-Loup at Namur, he was stricken with paralysis and aphasia from which he would never recover. Baudelaire died at age 46 in the Paris nursing home in which he had been confined for the last year of his life.

At the time of Baudelaire’s death, many of his writings were unpublished and those that had been published were out of print. This was soon to change, however. The future leaders of the Symbolist movement who attended his funeral were already describing themselves as his followers, and by the 20th century he was widely recognized as one of the greatest French poets of the 19th century.

Les Fleurs du mal
Baudelaire’s poetic masterpiece, the 1861 edition of Les Fleurs du mal, consists of 126 poems arranged in six sections of varying length. Baudelaire always insisted that the collection was not a “simple album” but had “a beginning and an end,” each poem revealing its full meaning only when read in relation to the others within the “singular framework” in which it is placed. A prefatory poem makes it clear that Baudelaire’s concern is with the general human predicament of which his own is representative.

The collection may best be read in the light of the concluding poem, “Le Voyage,” as a journey through self and society in search of some impossible satisfaction that forever eludes the traveler.

The first section, entitled “Spleen et idéal,” opens with a series of poems that dramatize contrasting views of art, beauty, and the artist, who is depicted alternately as martyr, visionary, performer, pariah, and fool. The focus then shifts to sexual and romantic love, with the first-person narrator of the poems oscillating between extremes of ecstasy (“idéal”) and anguish (“spleen”) as he attempts to find fulfillment through a succession of women whom it is possible, if simplistic, to identify with Jeanne Duval, Apollonie Sabatier, and Marie Daubrun. Each set of love poems describes an erotic cycle that leads from intoxication through conflict and revulsion to an eventual ambivalent tranquillity born of memory and the transmutation of suffering into art.

Yet the attempt to find plenitude through love comes in the end to nothing, and “Spleen et idéal” ends with a sequence of anguished poems, several of them entitled “Spleen,” in which the self is shown imprisoned within itself, with only the certainty of suffering and death before it.

Illustration cover for Les Épaves, by Baudelaire's friend Félicien Rops
The second section, “Tableaux parisiens,” was added to the 1861 edition and describes a 24-hour cycle in the life of the city through which the Baudelairean traveler, now metamorphosed into a flaneur (idle man-about-town), moves in quest of deliverance from the miseries of self, only to find at every turn images of suffering and isolation that remind him all too pertinently of his own. The section includes some of Baudelaire’s greatest poems, most notably “Le Cygne,” where the memory of a swan stranded in total dereliction near the Louvre becomes a symbol of an existential condition of loss and exile transcending time and space. Having gone through the city forever meeting himself, the traveler turns, in the much shorter sections that follow, successively to drink (“Le Vin”), sexual depravity (“Fleurs du mal”), and Satanism (“Révolte”) in quest of the elusive ideal. His quest is predictably to no avail for, as the final section, entitled “La Mort,” reveals, his journey is an everlasting, open-ended odyssey that, continuing beyond death, will take him into the depths of the unknown, always in pursuit of the new, which, by definition, must forever elude him.

Baudelaire's cenotaph by José de Charmoy, Montparnasse cemetery, division 26-27.
(Baudelaire's grave is in the 6th division.)
Prose poems
Baudelaire’s Petits poèmes en prose was published posthumously in 1869 and was later, as intended by the author, entitled Le Spleen de Paris (translated as The Parisian Prowler). He did not live long enough to bring these poems together in a single volume, but it is clear from his correspondence that the work he envisaged was both a continuation of, and a radical departure from, Les Fleurs du mal. Some of the texts may be regarded as authentic poems in prose, while others are closer to miniature prose narratives. Again the setting is primarily urban, with the focus on crowds and the suffering lives they contain: a broken-down street acrobat (“Le Vieux Saltimbanque”), a hapless street trader (“Le Mauvais Vitrier”), the poor staring at the wealthy in their opulent cafés (“Le Yeux des pauvres”), the deranged (“Mademoiselle Bistouri”) and the derelict (“Assommons les pauvres!”), and, in the final text (“Les Bons Chiens”), the pariah dogs that scurry and scavenge through the streets of Brussels. Not only is the subject matter of the prose poems essentially urban, but the form itself, “musical but without rhythm and rhyme, both supple and staccato,” is said to derive from “frequent contact with enormous cities, from the junction of their innumerable connections.” In its deliberate fragmentation and its merging of the lyrical with the sardonic, Le Spleen de Paris may be regarded as one of the earliest and most successful examples of a specifically urban writing, the textual equivalent of the city scenes of the Impressionists, embodying in its poetics of sudden and disorienting encounter that ambiguous “heroism of modern life” that Baudelaire celebrated in his art criticism.
  Influence and assessment
As both poet and critic, Baudelaire stands in relation to French and European poetry as Gustave Flaubert and Édouard Manet do to fiction and painting, respectively: as a crucial link between Romanticism and modernism and as a supreme example, in both his life and his work, of what it means to be a modern artist.

His catalytic influence was recognized in the 19th century by Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Algernon Charles Swinburne and, in the 20th century, by Paul Valéry, Rainer Maria Rilke, and T.S. Eliot.
In his pursuit of an “evocative magic” of images and sounds, his blending of intellect and feeling, irony and lyricism, and his deliberate eschewal of rhetorical utterance, Baudelaire moved decisively away from the Romantic poetry of statement and emotion to the modern poetry of symbol and suggestion.

He was, said his disciple Jules Laforgue, the first poet to write of Paris as one condemned to live day to day in the city, his greatest originality being, as Verlaine wrote as early as 1865, to “represent powerfully and essentially modern man” in all his physical, psychological, and moral complexity.

He is a pivotal figure in European literature and thought, and his influence on modern poetry has been immense.

Richard D.E. Burton

Encyclopædia Britannica

Charles Baudelaire

"The Flowers of Evil"
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Fenimore Cooper: "The Spy"

The Spy: a Tale of the Neutral Ground was James Fenimore Cooper's second novel, published in 1821. This was the earliest United States novel to win wide and permanent fame and may be said to have begun the type of romance which dominated U.S. fiction for 30 years.

The action takes place during the American Revolution. The share of historical fact in the story is not large, but the action takes place so near to great events that the characters are all invested with something of the dusky light of heroes, while George Washington moves among them like an unsuspected god. The book is full of swelling rhetoric and the ardent national piety of Cooper's generation.

The plot ranges back and forth over the neutral ground between the Continental and British armies with great haste and sweep.

To rapid movement Cooper adds the merit of a very real setting. He knew Westchester County, New York, where he was then living, and its sparse legends as Walter Scott knew the Anglo-Scottish border. Thus, the topography of The Spy is drawn with a firm hand.

Accepting [Excepting] for women the romantic ideals of the day, the heroines of the novel are cast in the conventional mold of helplessness and decorum. The less sheltered Betty Flanagan, no heroine at all in the elegant sense, is amusing and truthful. The gentlemen are little more than mere heroes, whatever the plain fellows may be.
But Harvey Birch, peddler and patriot, his character remotely founded upon that of a real spy who had helped John Jay, is essentially memorable and arresting.

James Fenimore Cooper "The Spy"
Gaunt, weather-beaten, canny, mysterious, he prowls about on his subtle errands, pursued by friend and foe, sustained only by the confidence of Washington, serving a half supernatural spirit of patriotism which drives him to his destiny, at once wrecking and honoring him. This romantic fate also condemns him to be sad and lonely, a dedicated soul. H. L. Barnum's The Spy Unmasked; or Memoirs of Enoch Crosby, alias Harvey Birch (1828; 5th ed., 1864) claimed to identify the historical spy.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

see also: James Fenimore Cooper
  Western Literature

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

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, in full Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky, Dostoyevsky also spelled Dostoevsky (born Nov. 11 [Oct. 30, Old Style], 1821, Moscow, Russia—died Feb. 9 [Jan. 28, Old Style], 1881, St. Petersburg), Russian novelist and short-story writer whose psychological penetration into the darkest recesses of the human heart, together with his unsurpassed moments of illumination, had an immense influence on 20th-century fiction.

Dostoyevsky is usually regarded as one of the finest novelists who ever lived. Literary modernism, existentialism, and various schools of psychology, theology, and literary criticism have been profoundly shaped by his ideas. His works are often called prophetic because he so accurately predicted how Russia’s revolutionaries would behave if they came to power. In his time he was also renowned for his activity as a journalist.

Portrait of Dostoyevsky by Vasily Perov, 1872

Major works and their characteristics
Dostoyevsky is best known for his novella Notes from the Underground and for four long novels, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Possessed (also and more accurately known as The Demons and The Devils), and The Brothers Karamazov. Each of these works is famous for its psychological profundity, and, indeed, Dostoyevsky is commonly regarded as one of the greatest psychologists in the history of literature. He specialized in the analysis of pathological states of mind that lead to insanity, murder, and suicide and in the exploration of the emotions of humiliation, self-destruction, tyrannical domination, and murderous rage. These major works are also renowned as great “novels of ideas” that treat timeless and timely issues in philosophy and politics. Psychology and philosophy are closely linked in Dostoyevsky’s portrayals of intellectuals, who “feel ideas” in the depths of their souls. Finally, these novels broke new ground with their experiments in literary form.

Background and early life
The major events of Dostoyevsky’s life—mock execution, imprisonment in Siberia, and epileptic seizures—were so well known that, even apart from his work, Dostoyevsky achieved great celebrity in his own time. Indeed, he frequently capitalized on his legend by drawing on the highly dramatic incidents of his life in creating his greatest characters.

Even so, some events in his life have remained clouded in mystery, and careless speculations have unfortunately gained the status of fact.

Unlike many other Russian writers of the first part of the 19th century, Dostoyevsky was not born into the landed gentry.
He often stressed the difference between his own background and that of Leo Tolstoy or Ivan Turgenev and the effect of that difference on his work. First, Dostoyevsky was always in need of money and had to hurry his works into publication.

Although he complained that writing against a deadline prevented him from achieving his full literary powers, it is equally possible that his frenzied style of composition lent his novels an energy that has remained part of their appeal. Second, Dostoyevsky often noted that, unlike writers from the nobility who described the family life of their own class, shaped by “beautiful forms” and stable traditions, he explored the lives of “accidental families” and of “the insulted and the humiliated.”

Dostoyevsky’s father, a retired military surgeon, served as a doctor at the Mariinsky Hospital for the Poor in Moscow, where he treated charity cases while also conducting a private practice.

Though a devoted parent, Dostoyevsky’s father was a stern, suspicious, and rigid man. By contrast, his mother, a cultured woman from a merchant family, was kindly and indulgent. Dostoyevsky’s lifelong attachment to religion began with the old-fashioned piety of his family, so different from the fashionable skepticism of the gentry.

  In 1828 Dostoyevsky’s father managed to earn the rank of a nobleman (the reforms of Peter I the Great had made such a change in status possible). He bought an estate in 1831, and so young Fyodor spent the summer months in the country. Until 1833 Dostoyevsky was educated at home, before being sent to a day school and then to a boarding school. Dostoyevsky’s mother died in 1837. Some 40 years after Dostoyevsky’s death it was revealed that his father, who had died suddenly in 1839, might have been murdered by his own serfs; however, this account is now regarded by many scholars as a myth. At the time, Dostoyevsky was a student in the Academy of Military Engineering in St. Petersburg, a career as a military engineer having been marked out for him by his father.

Dostoyevsky was evidently unsuited for such an occupation. He and his older brother Mikhail, who remained his close friend and became his collaborator in publishing journals, were entranced with literature from a young age. As a child and as a student, Dostoyevsky was drawn to Romantic and Gothic fiction, especially the works of Sir Walter Scott, Ann Radcliffe, Nikolay Karamzin, Friedrich Schiller, and Aleksandr Pushkin.

Not long after completing his degree (1843) and becoming a sublieutenant, Dostoyevsky resigned his commission to commence a hazardous career as a writer living off his pen.

Early works
The first work Dostoyevsky published was a rather free and emotionally intensified translation of Honoré de Balzac’s novel Eugénie Grandet; and the French writer’s oeuvre was to exercise a great influence on his own fiction. Dostoyevsky did not have to toil long in obscurity. No sooner had he written his first novella, Bednyye lyudi (1846; Poor Folk), than he was hailed as the great new talent of Russian literature by the most influential critic of his day, the “furious” Vissarion Belinsky.

Three decades later, in The Diary of a Writer, Dostoyevsky recalled the story of his “discovery.” After completing Poor Folk, he gave a copy to his friend, Dmitry Grigorovich, who brought it to the poet Nikolay Nekrasov.

Dostoyevsky, 1847

 Reading Dostoyevsky’s manuscript aloud, these two writers were overwhelmed by the work’s psychological insight and ability to play on the heartstrings. Even though it was 4:00 am, they went straight to Dostoyevsky to tell him his first novella was a masterpiece. Later that day, Nekrasov brought Poor Folk to Belinsky. “A new Gogol has appeared!” Nekrasov proclaimed, to which Belinsky replied, “With you, Gogols spring up like mushrooms!” Belinsky soon communicated his enthusiasm to Dostoyevsky: “Do you, you yourself, realize what it is that you have written!” In The Diary of a Writer, Dostoyevsky remembered this as the happiest moment of his life.

Poor Folk, the appeal of which has been overshadowed by Dostoyevsky’s later works, is cast in the then already anachronistic form of an epistolary novel. Makar Devushkin, a poor copying clerk who can afford to live only in a corner of a dirty kitchen, exchanges letters with a young and poor girl, Varvara Dobrosyolova. Her letters reveal that she has already been procured once for a wealthy and worthless man, whom, at the end of the novel, she agrees to marry. The novel is remarkable for its descriptions of the psychological (rather than just material) effects of poverty. Dostoyevsky transformed the techniques Nikolay Gogol used in The Overcoat, the celebrated story of a poor copying clerk. Whereas Gogol’s thoroughly comic hero utterly lacks self-awareness, Dostoyevsky’s self-conscious hero suffers agonies of humiliation. In one famous scene, Devushkin reads Gogol’s story and is offended by it.


In the next few years Dostoyevsky published a number of stories, including Belyye nochi (“White Nights”), which depicts the mentality of a dreamer, and a novella, Dvoynik (1846; The Double), a study in schizophrenia. The hero of this novella, Golyadkin, begets a double of himself, who mocks him and usurps his place. Dostoyevsky boldly narrates the story through one of the voices that sounds within Golyadkin’s psyche so that the story reads as if it were a taunt addressed directly to its unfortunate hero.

Although Dostoyevsky was at first lionized, his excruciating shyness and touchy vanity provoked hostility among the members of Belinsky’s circle. Nekrasov and Turgenev circulated a satiric poem in which the young writer was called, like Don Quixote, “The Knight of the Doleful Countenance”; years later, Dostoyevsky paid Turgenev back with a devastating parody of him in The Possessed. Belinsky himself gradually became disappointed with Dostoyevsky’s preference for psychology over social issues. Always prone to nervous illness, Dostoyevsky suffered from depression.


Dostoyevsky in Paris, 1863

Political activity and arrest
In 1847 Dostoyevsky began to participate in the Petrashevsky Circle, a group of intellectuals who discussed utopian socialism. He eventually joined a related, secret group devoted to revolution and illegal propaganda. It appears that Dostoyevsky did not sympathize (as others did) with egalitarian communism and terrorism but was motivated by his strong disapproval of serfdom. On April 23, 1849, he and the other members of the Petrashevsky Circle were arrested. Dostoyevsky spent eight months in prison until, on December 22, the prisoners were led without warning to the Semyonovsky Square.

There a sentence of death by firing squad was pronounced, last rites were offered, and three prisoners were led out to be shot first. At the last possible moment, the guns were lowered and a messenger arrived with the information that the tsar had deigned to spare their lives. The mock-execution ceremony was in fact part of the punishment. One of the prisoners went permanently insane on the spot; another went on to write Crime and Punishment.
Dostoyevsky passed several minutes in the full conviction that he was about to die, and in his novels characters repeatedly imagine the state of mind of a man approaching execution. The hero of The Idiot, Prince Myshkin, offers several extended descriptions of this sort, which readers knew carried special authority because the author of the novel had gone through the terrible experience.

The mock execution led Dostoyevsky to appreciate the very process of life as an incomparable gift and, in contrast to the prevailing determinist and materialist thinking of the intelligentsia, to value freedom, integrity, and individual responsibility all the more strongly.

Instead of being executed, Dostoyevsky was sentenced to four years in a Siberian prison labour camp, to be followed by an indefinite term as a soldier.
After his return to Russia 10 years later, he wrote a novel based on his prison camp experiences, Zapiski iz myortvogo doma (1861–62; The House of the Dead). Gone was the tinge of Romanticism and dreaminess present in his early fiction. The novel, which was to initiate the Russian tradition of prison camp literature, describes the horrors that Dostoyevsky actually witnessed: the brutality of the guards who enjoyed cruelty for its own sake, the evil of criminals who could enjoy murdering children, and the existence of decent souls amid filth and degradation—all these themes, warranted by the author’s own experience, gave the novel the immense power that readers still experience. Tolstoy considered it Dostoyevsky’s masterpiece. Above all, The House of the Dead illustrates that, more than anything else, it is the need for individual freedom that makes us human. This conviction was to bring Dostoyevsky into direct conflict with the radical determinists and socialists of the intelligentsia.

In Siberia Dostoyevsky experienced what he called the “regeneration” of his convictions. He rejected the condescending attitude of intellectuals, who wanted to impose their political ideas on society, and came to believe in the dignity and fundamental goodness of common people.
  He describes this change in his sketch The Peasant Marey (which appears in The Diary of a Writer). Dostoyevsky also became deeply attached to Russian Orthodoxy, as the religion of the common people, although his faith was always at war with his skepticism. In one famous letter he describes how he thirsts for faith “like parched grass” and concludes: “if someone proved to me that Christ is outside the truth, and that in reality the truth were outside of Christ, then I should prefer to remain with Christ rather than with the truth.”

Dostoyevsky suffered his first attacks of epilepsy while in prison. No less than his accounts of being led to execution, his descriptions of epileptic seizures (especially in The Idiot) reveal the heights and depths of the human soul. As Dostoyevsky and his hero Myshkin experience it, the moment just before an attack grants the sufferer a strong sensation of perfect harmony and of overcoming time.
Freud interpreted Dostoyevsky’s epilepsy as psychological in origin, but his account has been vitiated by research showing that his analysis was based on misinformation. In 1857 Dostoyevsky married a consumptive widow, Mariya Dmitriyevna Isayeva (she died seven years later); the unhappy marriage began with her witnessing one of his seizures on their honeymoon.

Works of the 1860s
Upon his return to Russia, Dostoyevsky plunged into literary activity. With his brother Mikhail, he edited two influential journals, first Vremya (1861–63; “Time”), which was closed by the government on account of an objectionable article, and then Epokha (1864–65; “Epoch”), which collapsed after the death of Mikhail. After first trying to maintain a middle-of-the-road position, Dostoyevsky began to attack the radicals, who virtually defined the Russian intelligentsia. Dostoyevsky was repulsed by their materialism, their utilitarian morality, their reduction of art to propaganda, and, above all, their denial of individual freedom and responsibility. For the remainder of his life, he maintained a deep sense of the danger of radical ideas, and so his post-Siberian works came to be resented by the Bolsheviks and held in suspicion by the Soviet regime.
Notes from the Underground
In the first part of Zapiski iz podpolya (1864; Notes from the Underground) an unnamed first-person narrator delivers a brilliant attack on a set of beliefs shared by liberals and radicals: that it is possible to discover the laws of individual psychology, that human beings consequently have no free choice, that history is governed by laws, and that it is possible to design a utopian society based on the laws of society and human nature. Even if such a society could be built, the underground man argues, people would hate it just because it denied them caprice and defined them as utterly predictable. In the novella’s second part the underground man recalls incidents from his past, which show him behaving, in answer to determinism, according to sheer spite. Dostoyevsky thus makes clear that the underground man’s irrationalist solution is no better than the rationalists’ systems. Notes from the Underground also parodied the bible of the radicals, Nikolay Chernyshevsky’s utopian fiction What Is to Be Done? (1863).
Stay in western Europe
For several reasons, Dostoyevsky spent much of the 1860s in western Europe: he wanted to see the society that he both admired for its culture and deplored for its materialism, he was hoping to resume an affair with the minor author Appolinariya Suslova, he was escaping his creditors in Russia, and he was disastrously attracted to gambling. An unscrupulous publisher offered him a desperately needed advance on the condition that he deliver a novel by a certain date; the publisher was counting on the forfeit provisions, which would allow him nine years to publish all of Dostoyevsky’s works for free. With less than a month remaining, Dostoyevsky hired a stenographer and dictated his novel Igrok (1866; The Gambler)—based on his relations with Suslova and the psychology of compulsive gambling—which he finished just on time. A few months later (1867) he married the stenographer, Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina. She at last put his life and finances in order and created stable conditions for his work and new family. They had four children, of whom two survived to adulthood.

Crime and Punishment
Written at the same time as The Gambler, Prestupleniye i nakazaniye (1866; Crime and Punishment) describes a young intellectual, Raskolnikov, willing to gamble on ideas. He decides to solve all his problems at a stroke by murdering an old pawnbroker woman. Contradictory motives and theories all draw him to the crime. Utilitarian morality suggests that killing her is a positive good because her money could be used to help many others. On the other hand, Raskolnikov reasons that belief in good and evil is itself sheer prejudice, a mere relic of religion, and that, morally speaking, there is no such thing as crime. Nevertheless, Raskolnikov, despite his denial of morality, sympathizes with the unfortunate and so wants to kill the pawnbroker just because she is an oppressor of the weak. His most famous theory justifying murder divides the world into extraordinary people, such as Solon, Caesar, and Napoleon, and ordinary people, who simply serve to propagate the species. Extraordinary people, he theorizes, must have “the right to transgress,” or progress would be impossible. Nothing could be further from Dostoyevsky’s own morality, based on the infinite worth of each human soul, than this Napoleonic theory, which Dostoyevsky viewed as the real content of the intelligentsia’s belief in its superior wisdom. After committing the crime, Raskolnikov unaccountably finds himself gripped by “mystic terror” and a horrible sense of isolation. The detective Porfiry Petrovich, who guesses Raskolnikov’s guilt but cannot prove it, plays psychological games with him until the murderer at last confesses.

Dostoevskaia, Anna Grigorevna Snitkina - Dostoevsky Portrayed by his Wife
Meanwhile, Raskolnikov tries to discover the real motive for his crime but never arrives at a single answer. In a famous commentary, Tolstoy argued that there was no single motive but rather a series of “tiny, tiny alterations” of mood and mental habits. Dostoyevsky’s brilliance in part lies in his complex rethinking of such concepts as motive and intention.

Crime and Punishment also offers remarkable psychological portraits of a drunkard, Marmeladov, and of a vicious amoralist haunted by hallucinations, Svidrigailov. Raskolnikov’s friend Razumikhin voices the author’s distaste for an ideological approach to life; Razumikhin’s own life exemplifies how one can solve problems neither by grand ideas nor by dramatic gambles but by slow, steady, hard work.

Quite deliberately, Dostoyevsky made the heroine of the story, Sonya Marmeladova, an unrealistic symbol of pure Christian goodness. Having become a prostitute to support her family, she later persuades Raskolnikov to confess and then follows him to Siberia. In the novel’s epilogue, the prisoner Raskolnikov, who has confessed not out of remorse but out of emotional stress, at first continues to maintain his amoral theories but at last is brought to true repentance by a revelatory dream and by Sonya’s goodness. Critical opinion is divided over whether the epilogue is artistically successful.

  The Idiot
Dostoyevsky’s next major novel, Idiot (1868–69; The Idiot), represents his attempt to describe a perfectly good man in a way that is still psychologically convincing—seemingly an impossible artistic task.

If he could succeed, Dostoyevsky believed, he would show that Christ-like goodness is indeed possible; and so the very writing of the work became an attempt at what might be called a novelistic proof of Christianity.

The work’s hero, Prince Myshkin, is indeed perfectly generous and so innocent as to be regarded as an idiot; however, he is also gifted with profound psychological insight. Unfortunately, his very goodness seems to bring disaster to all he meets, even to the novel’s heroine, Nastasya Filippovna, whom he wishes to save.

With a remarkably complex psychology, she both accepts and bitterly defies the world’s judgment of her as a fallen woman.

Ippolit, a spiteful young man dying of consumption, offers brilliant meditations on art, on death, on the meaninglessness of dumb brutish nature, and on happiness, which, to him, is a matter of the very process of living. Columbus, he explains, was happy not when he discovered America but while he was discovering it.

Dostoyevsky’s last decade

The Possessed

Dostoyevsky’s next novel, Besy (1872; The Possessed), earned him the permanent hatred of the radicals. Often regarded as the most brilliant political novel ever written, it interweaves two plots. One concerns Nikolay Stavrogin, a man with a void at the centre of his being. In his younger years Stavrogin, in a futile quest for meaning, had embraced and cast off a string of ideologies, each of which has been adopted by different intellectuals mesmerized by Stavrogin’s personality. Shatov has become a Slavophile who, like Dostoyevsky himself, believes in the “God-bearing” Russian people. Existentialist critics (especially Albert Camus) became fascinated with Kirillov, who adopts a series of contradictory philosophical justifications for suicide. Most famously, Kirillov argues that only an utterly gratuitous act of self-destruction can prove that a person is free because such an act cannot be explained by any kind of self-interest and therefore violates all psychological laws. By killing himself without reason, Kirillov hopes to become the “man-god” and so provide an example for human freedom in a world that has denied Christ (the God-man).

Dostoyevsky, 1876
  It is the novel’s other plot that has earned Dostoyevsky the reputation of a political prophet. It describes a cell of revolutionary conspirators led by Pyotr Stepanovich Verkhovensky, who binds the group together by involving them in murdering Shatov. (This incident was based on the scheme of a real revolutionary of the time, Sergey Nechayev.) One of the revolutionaries, Shigalyov, offers his thoughts on the emergence of the perfect society: “Starting with unlimited freedom, I arrive at unlimited despotism.” Enforced equality and guaranteed utopia demand the suppression of all individuality and independent thought. In lines that anticipate Soviet and Maoist cultural policy, Pyotr Stepanovich predicts that, when the revolution comes, “Cicero will have his tongue cut out, Copernicus will have his eyes put out, Shakespeare will be stoned,” all in the name of “equality.”

Pyotr is the son and Stavrogin the former student of the novel’s weak but endearing liberal, Stepan Trofimovich Verkhovensky. Dostoyevsky suggests that the madness of the radical sons derives from their fathers’ liberal skepticism, mockery of traditional morals, and, above all, neglect of the family.
The Possessed is a profoundly conservative and Christian work. In contrast to its savage portraits of intellectuals, the novel expresses great sympathy for workers and other ordinary people ill-served by the radicals who presume to speak in their name.

A Writer’s Diary and other works
In 1873 Dostoyevsky assumed the editorship of the conservative journal Grazhdanin (“The Citizen”), where he published an irregular column entitled “Dnevnik pisatelya” (“The Diary of a Writer”). He left Grazhdanin to write Podrostok (1875; A Raw Youth, also known as The Adolescent), a relatively unsuccessful and diffuse novel describing a young man’s relations with his natural father.

In 1876–77 Dostoyevsky devoted his energies to Dnevnik pisatelya, which he was now able to bring out in the form he had originally intended. A one-man journal, for which Dostoyevsky served as editor, publisher, and sole contributor, the Diary represented an attempt to initiate a new literary genre. Issue by monthly issue, the Diary created complex thematic resonances among diverse kinds of material: short stories, plans for possible stories, autobiographical essays, sketches that seem to lie on the boundary between fiction and journalism, psychological analyses of sensational crimes, literary criticism, and political commentary. The Diary proved immensely popular and financially rewarding, but as an aesthetic experiment it was less successful, probably because Dostoyevsky, after a few intricate issues, seemed unable to maintain his complex design. Instead, he was drawn into expressing his political views, which, during these two years, became increasingly extreme. Specifically, Dostoyevsky came to believe that western Europe was about to collapse, after which Russia and the Russian Orthodox church would create the kingdom of God on earth and so fulfill the promise of the Book of Revelation. In a series of anti-Catholic articles, he equated the Roman Catholic church with the socialists because both are concerned with earthly rule and maintain (Dostoyevsky believed) an essentially materialist view of human nature. He reached his moral nadir with a number of anti-Semitic articles.

Because Dostoyevsky was unable to maintain his aesthetic design for the Diary, its most famous sections are usually known from anthologies and so are separated from the context in which they were designed to fit. These sections include four of his best short stories—Krotkaya (“The Meek One”), Son smeshnogo cheloveka (“The Dream of a Ridiculous Man”), Malchik u Khrista na elke (“The Heavenly Christmas Tree”), and Bobok—as well as a number of autobiographical and semifictional sketches, including Muzhik Marey (“The Peasant Marey”), Stoletnaya (“A Hundred-Year-Old Woman”), and a satire, Spiritizm. Nechto o chertyakh Chrezychaynaya khitrost chertey, esli tolko eto cherti (“Spiritualism. Something about Devils. The Extraordinary Cleverness of Devils, If Only These Are Devils”).

  The Brothers Karamazov
Dostoyevsky’s last and probably greatest novel, Bratya Karamazovy (1879–80; The Brothers Karamazov), focuses on his favourite theological and philosophical themes: the origin of evil, the nature of freedom, and the craving for faith. A profligate and vicious father, Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, mocks everything noble and engages in unseemly buffoonery at every opportunity. When his sons were infants, he neglected them not out of malice but simply because he “forgot” them. The eldest, Dmitry, a passionate man capable of sincerely loving both “Sodom” and “the Madonna” at the same time, wrangles with his father over money and competes with him for the favours of a “demonic” woman, Grushenka. When the old man is murdered, circumstantial evidence leads to Dmitry’s arrest for the crime, which actually has been committed by the fourth, and illegitimate, son, the malicious epileptic Smerdyakov.

The youngest legitimate son, Alyosha, is another of Dostoyevsky’s attempts to create a realistic Christ figure. Following the wise monk Zosima, Alyosha tries to put Christian love into practice. The narrator proclaims him the work’s real hero, but readers are usually most interested in the middle brother, the intellectual Ivan.

Like Raskolnikov, Ivan argues that, if there is no God and no immortality, then “all is permitted.” And, even if all is not permitted, he tells Alyosha, one is responsible only for one’s actions but not for one’s wishes. Of course, the Sermon on the Mount says one is responsible for one’s wishes, and, when old Karamazov is murdered, Ivan, in spite of all his theories, comes to feel guilty for having desired his father’s death. In tracing the dynamics of Ivan’s guilt, Dostoyevsky in effect provides a psychological justification for Christian teaching. Evil happens not just because of a few criminals but because of a moral climate in which all people participate by harbouring evil wishes. Therefore, as Father Zosima teaches, “everyone is responsible for everyone and for everything.”

The novel is most famous for three chapters that may be ranked among the greatest pages of Western literature. In “Rebellion,” Ivan indicts God the Father for creating a world in which children suffer. Ivan has also written a “poem,” “The Grand Inquisitor,” which represents his response to God the Son.

It tells the story of Christ’s brief return to earth during the Spanish Inquisition. Recognizing him, the Inquisitor arrests him as “the worst of heretics” because, the Inquisitor explains, the church has rejected Christ. For Christ came to make people free, but, the Inquisitor insists, people do not want to be free, no matter what they say.

They want security and certainty rather than free choice, which leads them to error and guilt. And so, to ensure happiness, the church has created a society based on “miracle, mystery, and authority.” The Inquisitor is evidently meant to stand not only for medieval Roman Catholicism but also for contemporary socialism.

Dostoevsky 1879

“Rebellion” and “The Grand Inquisitor” contain what many have considered the strongest arguments ever formulated against God, which Dostoyevsky includes so that, in refuting them, he can truly defend Christianity.

It is one of the greatest paradoxes of Dostoyevsky’s work that his deeply Christian novel more than gives the Devil his due.

In the work’s other most famous chapter, Ivan, now going mad, is visited by the Devil, who talks philosophy with him. Quite strikingly, this Devil is neither grand nor satanic but petty and vulgar, as if to symbolize the ordinariness and banality of evil.

He also keeps up with all the latest beliefs of the intelligentsia on earth, which leads, in remarkably humorous passages, to the Devil’s defense of materialism and agnosticism. The image of the “petty demon” has had immense influence on 20th-century thought and literature.

In 1880 Dostoyevsky delivered an electrifying speech about the poet Aleksandr Pushkin, which he published in a separate issue of The Diary of a Writer (August 1880).

After finishing Karamazov, he resumed the monthly Diary but lived to publish only a single issue (January 1881) before dying of a hemorrhage on January 28 in St. Petersburg.

Dostoyevsky’s name has become synonymous with psychological profundity. For generations, the depth and contradictoriness of his heroes have made systematic psychological theories look shallow by comparison. Many theorists (most notably Freud) have tried to claim Dostoyevsky as a predecessor.
His sense of evil and his love of freedom have made Dostoyevsky especially relevant to a century of world war, mass murder, and totalitarianism.

Dostoyevsky's funeral

At least two modern literary genres, the prison camp novel and the dystopian novel (works such as Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four), derive from his writings. His ideas and formal innovations exercised a profound influence on Friedrich Nietzsche, André Gide, Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, André Malraux, and Mikhail Bulgakov, to name only a few. Above all, his works continue to enthrall readers by combining suspenseful plots with ultimate questions about faith, suffering, and the meaning of life.

Gary Saul Morson

Encyclopædia Britannica

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

"The Idiot"
  Western Literature

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Flaubert Gustave

Gustave Flaubert, (born December 12, 1821, Rouen, France—died May 8, 1880, Croisset), novelist regarded as the prime mover of the realist school of French literature and best known for his masterpiece, Madame Bovary (1857), a realistic portrayal of bourgeois life, which led to a trial on charges of the novel’s alleged immorality.


Gustave Flaubert, photographed by Nadar
  Early life and works
Flaubert’s father, Achille Cléophas Flaubert, who was from Champagne, was chief surgeon and clinical professor at the Hôtel-Dieu hospital in Rouen. His mother, a doctor’s daughter from Pont l’Évêque, belonged to a family of distinguished magistrates typical of the great provincial bourgeoisie.

Gustave Flaubert began his literary career at school, his first published work appearing in a little review, Le Colibri, in 1837. He early formed a close friendship with the young philosopher Alfred Le Poittevin, whose pessimistic outlook had a strong influence on him. No less strong was the impression made by the company of great surgeons and the environment of hospitals, operating theatres, and anatomy classes, with which his father’s profession brought him into contact.

Flaubert’s intelligence, moreover, was sharpened in a general sense. He conceived a strong dislike of accepted ideas (idées reçues), of which he was to compile a “dictionary” for his amusement. He and Le Poittevin invented a grotesque imaginary character, called “le Garçon” (the Boy), to whom they attributed whatever sort of remark seemed to them most degrading. Flaubert came to detest the “bourgeois,” by which he meant anyone who “has a low way of thinking.”

In November 1841 Flaubert was enrolled as a student at the Faculty of Law in Paris. At age 22, however, he was recognized to be suffering from a nervous disease that was taken to be epilepsy, although the essential symptoms were absent.

This made him give up the study of law, with the result that henceforth he could devote all his time to literature. His father died in January 1846, and his beloved sister Caroline died in the following March after giving birth to a daughter. Flaubert then retired with his mother and his infant niece to his estate at Croisset, near Rouen, on the Seine. He was to spend nearly all the rest of his life there.

On a visit to Paris in July 1846, at the sculptor James Pradier’s studio, Flaubert met the poet Louise Colet. She became his mistress, but their relationship did not run smoothly. His self-protecting independence and her jealousy made separation inevitable, and they parted in 1855.

In 1847 Flaubert went on a walking tour along the Loire and the coast of Brittany with the writer Maxime du Camp, whose acquaintance he had made as a law student. The pages written by Flaubert in their journal of this tour “over fields and shores” were published after his death under that title, Par les champs et par les grèves. This book contains some of his best writing—e.g., his description of a visit to Chateaubriand’s family estate, Combourg.


Gustave Flaubert
  Mature career
Some of the works of Flaubert’s maturity dealt with subjects on which he had tried to write earlier. At age 16, for instance, he completed the manuscript of Mémoires d’un fou (“Memoirs of a Mad Man”), which recounted his devastating passion for Elisa Schlésinger, 11 years his senior and the wife of a music publisher, whom he had met in 1836. This passion was only revealed to her 35 years later when she was a widow. Elisa provided the model for the character Marie Arnoux in the novel L’Education sentimentale. Before receiving its definitive form, however, this work was to be rewritten in two distinct intermediate versions in manuscript: Novembre (1842) and a preliminary draft entitled L’Éducation sentimentale (1843–45). Stage by stage it was expanded into a vast panorama of France under the July Monarchy—indispensable reading, according to Georges Sorel, for any historian studying the period that preceded the coup d’etat of 1851.

The composition of La Tentation de Saint Antoine provides another example of that tenacity in the pursuit of perfection that made Flaubert go back constantly to work on subjects without ever being satisfied with the results. In 1839 he was writing Smarh, the first product of his bold ambition to give French literature its Faust. He resumed the task in 1846–49, in 1856, and in 1870, and finally published the book as La Tentation de Saint Antoine in 1874. The four versions show how the author’s ideas changed in the course of time.

The version of 1849, influenced by Spinoza’s philosophy, is nihilistic in its conclusion. In the second version the writing is less diffuse, but the substance remains the same. The third version shows a respect for religious feeling that was not present in the earlier ones, since in the interval Flaubert had read Herbert Spencer and reconciled the Spencerian notion of the Unknown with his Spinozism. He had come to believe that science and religion, instead of conflicting, are rather the two poles of thought. The published version incorporated a catalog of errors in the field of the Unknown (just as Bouvard et Pécuchet was to contain a list of errors in the field of science).
From November 1849 to April 1851 Flaubert was travelling in Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Italy with Maxime du Camp. Before leaving, however, he wanted to finish La Tentation and to submit it to his friend the poet Louis Bouilhet and to du Camp for their sincere opinion. For three days in September 1849 he read his manuscript to them, and they then condemned it mercilessly. “Throw it all into the fire, and let’s never mention it again.” Bouilhet gave further advice: “Your Muse must be kept on bread and water or lyricism will kill her. Write a down-to-earth novel like Balzac’s Parents pauvres. The story of Delamare, for instance. . . .”

Eugéne Delamare was a country doctor in Normandy who died of grief after being deceived and ruined by his wife, Delphine (née Couturier). The story, in fact that of Madame Bovary, is not the only source of that novel. Another was the manuscript Mémoires de Mme Ludovica, discovered by Gabrielle Leleu in the library of Rouen in 1946.
  This is an account of the adventures and misfortunes of Louise Pradier (née d’Arcet), the wife of the sculptor James Pradier, as dictated by herself, and, apart from the suicide, it bears a strong resemblance to the story of Emma Bovary. Flaubert, out of kindness as well as out of professional curiosity, had continued to see Louise Pradier when the “bourgeois” were ostracizing her as a fallen woman, and she must have given him her strange document.

Even so, when inquisitive people asked him who served as model for his heroine, Flaubert replied, “Madame Bovary is myself.” As early as 1837 he had written Passion et vertu, a short and pointed story with a heroine, Mazza, resembling Emma Bovary.
For Madame Bovary he took a commonplace story of adultery and made of it a book that will always be read because of its profound humanity.
While working on his novel Flaubert wrote: “My poor Bovary suffers and cries in more than a score of villages in France at this very moment.”
Madame Bovary, with its unrelenting objectivity—by which Flaubert meant the dispassionate recording of every trait or incident that could illuminate the psychology of his characters and their role in the logical development of his story—marks the beginning of a new age in literature.
Madame Bovary cost the author five years of hard work. Du Camp, who had founded the periodical Revue de Paris, urged him to make haste, but he would not. The novel, with the subtitle Moeurs de province (“Provincial Customs”), eventually appeared in installments in the Revue from October 1 to December 15, 1856.

The French government then brought the author to trial on the ground of his novel’s alleged immorality, and he narrowly escaped conviction (January–February 1857). The same tribunal found the poet Charles Baudelaire guilty on the same charge six months later.

To refresh himself after his long application to the dull world of the bourgeoisie in Madame Bovary, Flaubert immediately began work on Salammbô, a novel about ancient Carthage, in which he set his sombre story of Hamilcar’s daughter Salammbô, an entirely fictitious character, against the authentic historical background of the revolt of the mercenaries against Carthage in 240–237 bc.

His transformation of the dry record of Polybius into richly poetic prose is comparable to Shakespeare’s treatment of Plutarch’s narrative in the lyrical descriptions in Antony and Cleopatra. A play, Le Château des coeurs (The Castle of Hearts, 1904), written in 1863, was not printed until 1880.

Later years
The merits of L’Éducation sentimentale, which appeared a few months before the outbreak of the Franco-German War of 1870, were not appreciated, and Flaubert was much disappointed. Two plays, Le Sexe faible (“The Feeble Sex”) and Le Candidat (The Candidate, 1904), likewise had no success, though the latter was staged for four performances in March 1874. The last years of his life, moreover, were saddened by financial troubles. In 1875 his niece Caroline’s husband, Ernest Commanville, a timber importer, found himself heavily in debt. Flaubert sacrificed his own fortune to save him from bankruptcy. Flaubert sought consolation in his work and in the friendship of George Sand, Ivan Turgenev, and younger novelists—Émile Zola, Alphonse Daudet, and, especially, Guy de Maupassant, who was the son of his friend Alfred Le Poittevin’s sister Laure and who regarded himself as Flaubert’s disciple.

Gustave Flaubert by Eugène Giraud
  Flaubert temporarily abandoned work on a long novel, Bouvard et Pécuchet, in order to write Trois Contes, containing the three short stories “Un Coeur simple,” a tale about the drab and simple life of a faithful servant; “La Légende de Saint Julien l’Hospitalier”; and “Hérodias.” This book, through the diversity of the stories’ themes, shows Flaubert’s talent in all its aspects and has often been held to be his masterpiece.

The heroes of Bouvard et Pécuchet are two clerks who receive a legacy and retire to the country together. Not knowing how to use their leisure, they busy themselves with one abortive experiment after another and plunge successively into scientific farming, archaeology, chemistry, and historiography, as well as taking an abandoned child into their care. Everything goes wrong because their futile book learning cannot compensate for their lack of judgment.

The profound meaning of Bouvard et Pécuchet, which was left unfinished by Flaubert and which was not published until after his death, has been seriously misunderstood by those critics who have regarded it as a denial of the value of science. In fact it is “scientism” (and by analogy the confusion of doctrines) that Flaubert is arraigning—i.e., the practice of taking science out of its own domain, of confusing efficient and final causes, and of convincing oneself that one understands fundamentals when one has not even grasped the superficial phenomena. Intoxicated with empty words, Bouvard and Pécuchet awake from their dream only when catastrophe overtakes all of their efforts.

Flaubert has been accused of presenting them as imbeciles, but in fact he expresses his compassion for them: “They acquire a faculty deserving of pity, they recognize stupidity and can no longer tolerate it. Through their inquisitiveness their understanding grows; having had more ideas, they suffered more.” Flaubert’s satire is thus to some extent the history of his own experience told with a sad humour.

Flaubert died suddenly of an apoplectic stroke. He left on his table an unfinished page and notes for the second volume of his novel. Bouvard and Pécuchet, tired of experimenting, were to go back to the work of transcribing and copying that they had done as clerks. The matter that they chose to transcribe was the subject of the notes: it was to be a selection of quotations, a sottisier , or anthology of foolish remarks. There has been much controversy about this bitter conclusion, as the form that it was to take was left undetermined in the notes Flaubert left, though the materials were gathered and have been published.


Gustave Flaubert

  Method of composition
Flaubert’s aim in art was to create beauty, and this consideration often overrode moral and social issues in his depiction of truth.

He worked slowly and carefully, and, as he worked, his idea of his art became gradually more exact. His letters to Louise Colet, written while he was working on Madame Bovary, show how his attitude changed. His ambition was to achieve a style “as rhythmical as verse and as precise as the language of science” (letter of April 24, 1852).

In his view “the faster the word sticks to the thought, the more beautiful is the effect.” He often repeated that there was no such thing as a synonym and that a writer had to track down le seul mot juste, “the unique right word,” to convey his thought precisely.

But at the same time he always wanted a cadence and a harmony of sounding syllables in his prose, so that it would appeal not only to the reader’s intelligence but also to his subconscious mind in the same way as music does and thus have a more penetrating effect than the mere sense of the words at their face value. Composition for him was a real anguish.
Flaubert sought objectivity above all else in his writing: “The author, in his work, must be like God in the Universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere.” It is paradoxical, therefore, that his personality should be so clearly discernible in all his work and that his letters, written casually to his intimates and full of disarming sincerity, delicate sensibility, and even exquisite tenderness—side by side with jovial coarseness of expression—should be considered by some critics as his masterpiece.

René Dumesnil
Jacques Barzun

Encyclopædia Britannica

Gustave Flaubert

"Madame Bovary
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Goethe: "Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre"

Wilhelm Meister's Journeyman Years, or the Renunciants,[a] is the fourth novel by German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Goethe Johann Wolfgang ), and the sequel to the Bildungsroman Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre) (1795–96). Though initially conceived during the 1790s, the first edition did not appear until 1821, and the second edition—differing substantially from the first—in 1829.

The novel was greeted by mixed reviews in the 1820s, and did not gain full critical attention until the mid-20th century. Consisting largely of discrete short stories and novellas woven together with elements of the epistolary novel, lengthy sections of aphorisms, and several interspersed poems, the structure of this novel challenged the novel form as commonly practiced at the time of its publication.

A major theme running through the various parts of the novel is that of "Entsagung," translatable as "renunciation." The most famous section of the novel is probably the episode in which the protagonist and his son Felix visit the "Pedagogical Province."

Contents of the 1829 version of the novel
First Book
Chapter One: opens with "Flight into Egypt," in which Wilhelm and Felix encounter a family in the course of their travels; the father of the family identifies himself as "Saint Joseph." Felix befriends the boys of the family, and returns with them to their residence. Wilhelm, declining their invitation to come as well, returns to his lodge at the mountaintop and writes to Natalie. The chapter closes with this letter. Wilhelm speaks here of his wish to be with her, and also comments on the rules guiding his travels: "Not more than three days shall I remain under one roof. I shall leave no lodging without distancing myself at least one mile from it." These rules are meant to give him – quite literally – journeyman status. He affirms to Natalie his determination to adhere to the rules, yet also betrays doubts.

Chapter Two: consists of the sections "Saint Joseph the Second," "The Visitation," and "The Lily Stem." In "Saint Joseph the Second," Wilhelm descends the mountain to the valley where this family lives. In their encounter the day before, Wilhelm had been struck by the resemblance of the family with familiar paintings representing the Biblical The Flight into Egypt; the father of the family had identified himself as "Saint Joseph." Now, visiting the family's residence, Wilhelm is astonished to see that paintings of the real Saint Joseph, as well as of the Flight into Egypt, adorn the family's home. The correspondence of the actual family's appearance with these Biblical images is made the more striking by the fact that the man who introduced himself as "Saint Joseph" turns out really to be named Joseph, and his wife named Mary. Joseph tells Wilhelm of why he came to be named after the saint, and how the Biblical images played a role in his life. "The Visitation" continues Joseph's story, telling of how he met his wife, Mary, when she lost her first husband in an attack by robbers in the woods, and he helped her to safety. "The Lily Stem" tells of how he gradually won her affection, and, after her mourning was over, they married and began to live in resemblance to the Biblical model in the paintings.

Chapter Three: opens with a letter from Wilhelm to Natalie in which Wilhelm comments briefly on the story he has just retold. He states a further rule of his journey: "Now in the course of my journey no third person shall become a constant companion. We wish to, and we are required to, be and remain two..." When the narration of the novel resumes, Felix's playmate Fitz leads Wilhelm and Felix into the mountains where they encounter their old friend Jarno (from Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship), who is now traveling under the name "Montan." Felix, who has developed a "tremendous interest" in stones, asks many questions about geology. The manner of Mountain's explanations leads him and Wilhelm into a discussion of human understanding, of the need for "resignation," and of the inadequacy of language and the written word to express what can be perceived clearly in nature. "Nature only has one kind of writing, and I don't need to get bogged down with so many kinds of scribbling," states Mountain, adding at the close of the chapter; "Precisely for this reason I don't talk with anyone about it, and I don't want – precisely because you are dear to me – deceptively to exchange the wretched stuff of dreary words with you any further."

  Chapter Four: After further conversation with Mountain, the latter parts ways with Wilhelm and Felix, and takes Fitz along with him. As Wilhelm and Felix travel on, Felix follows an inexplicable intuition and makes his way into a cave in which he discovers a small ornate box. When Wilhelm finds him, he takes the mysterious box from Felix for safe keeping, and both agree that in this unexpected discovery, they share "a deep secret." As they then continue traveling on, they walk into a trap that holds them enclosed within iron gates. Felix has ever experienced such constriction and therefore rages at being closed in, but Wilhelm calmly recognizes signs that the trap is employed out of necessity rather than out of cruelty. They are released shortly and brought as guests to the nearby castle.

Chapter Five: Wilhelm and Felix are welcomed by the family who live on the land on which they had been trapped. The master of the house shows Wilhelm an elaborate assortment of maps and images of cities; his nieces, Hersilie and Juliette, acquaint him with the customs and interests of the family. All members of the family, they explain, read avidly, and each member has a particular literature they are interested in. The uncle likes ancient classics, while his son prefers contemporary works. Hersilie reads French, while Juliette reads English. During this discussion at the diner table, it becomes apparent that the young Felix – a "budding adventurer" – has taken a liking to Hersilie. With his attention fixed too much on her, he distractedly cuts himself in the finger while peeling an apple, and bleeds profusely at the dinner table. Later, when all get up to go too sleep, Hersilie asks Wilhelm, "Do you also read before going to sleep?" and hands him the manuscript of a short story she has herself translated into German from French. This text is "The Wandering Madwoman," which is then reproduced in full within the novel.

Chapter Six: Wilhelm is shown a gallery of paintings consisting entirely of portraits. "We chatter enough," is the patron's rationale – there is no need for narrative images that encourage this "dangerous characteristic of our intellect" any further. Wilhelm is also introduced to the house patron's liking for maxims inscribed around the house. One such phrase that is discussed in the chapter is: "From the useful, through the true, to the beautiful." There is some discussion of the way that short aphorisms of this sort can be variously interpreted – Hersilie points out that for women, it is often the inverse of "the maxims of men" that prove to be true. ("We women are in a distinctive circumstance.") Prefiguring the chapters that follow, there is mention of a venerable elder aunt who lives in a castle nearby (Makarie), and a cousin whose visit is expected soon (Lenardo). Another event, the meaning of which becomes clear only later in the novel, is Felix's fall from a horse that he is riding. Wilhelm witnesses his son's fall, but is not permitted to come to his aid, because he is not a qualified doctor. The chapter closes with letters between Lenardo, the Aunt, Juliette, Hersilie, Wilhelm, and Natalie. Lenardo sends a letter to his family announcing his intention to visit them soon; he has been traveling for three years without any contact with them other than an assortment of unexplained gifts. His aunt and cousins are perplexed and annoyed both by his long silence and by the presumptuous sudden return. This exchange of letters is given to Wilhelm; Wilhelm sends some of them on to Natalie as a way of sharing with her the family and community he now finds himself welcomed into.

Chapter Seven: In the early morning Wilhelm admires portraits in the gallery of the house, in particular one of a general who seems to look like Wilhelm himself. His host then joins him in the gallery, and they view a number of sixteenth-century portraits together. He expresses his pleasure at Wilhelm's appreciation for the past and its artifacts. Later, the family asks Wilhelm to visit their aunt Makarie, and also attempt to find out why their cousin Lenardo so inexplicably delays his announced return to the family. The narration is then interrupted for a brief account of the host's background: he was born in the United States, to which his father had earlier emigrated, but moved back to Germany as an adolescent. He decided that he prefers the European life: he would rather endure monarchy and the proximity of neighbors, he explains, than live in greater freedom in a country where he has to either conquer or deceive American Indians in order to survive in mosquito-infested swampland. There follows a discussion of religion, community, and resignation.

Chapters Eight and Nine: the novella "Who Is the Traitor?"

Chapter Ten: Wilhelm and Felix arrive at the home of the old woman Makarie, and are welcomed as friends. Makarie's friend the astronomer is also present, and, after a discussion of mathematics in the evening, Wilhelm and the astronomer ascend to an astronomical observatory where Wilhelm observes the night sky. The following day the young woman Angela tells Wilhelm about the archive that Makarie maintains, containing written records of spoken conversations – in these, she explains, things are said "that no book contains, and on the other hand the best things that books have ever contained." The archive contains the mathematical treatise that had been the object of discussion the previous evening, and Wilhelm is permitted to read and copy it. On the third day of their stay Wilhelm asks Angela about Makarie's unusual character, which has gradually revealed itself to him. Angela confides in him that Makarie possesses an intuitive insight into, and harmony with, the solar system; this fact has even been confirmed by investigations carried out by the astronomer. (This foreshadows chapter 15 of book three). Finally, the conversation turns to Lenardo. Angela believes he is worried about having harmed an unnamed young woman, and she asks Wilhelm, as a favor to the family, to deliver a message to him in this regard.

Chapter Eleven: As he has been requested to do, Wilhelm informs the nephew Lenardo that a certain young woman named Valerine is happily married and living well. Lenardo is greatly relieved to hear this, and the nature of his reactions compels Wilhelm to ask who Valerine is, and what the cause of Lenardo's worry had been. Lenardo thus tells the story of "The Nut-Brown Girl." When he was younger, he had planned to undertake a journey around Europe. To finance this trip, his uncle had collected money from a longtime debtor who had one daughter, and whose wife was recently deceased. Fearing the consequences of this financial ruin of her family, the daughter – known as the "Nut-Brown Girl" because of her complexion – approaches Lenardo and pleads with him to intervene on their behalf with his uncle.

Goethe "Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre"
Lenardo, knowing his uncle's character, tells her that there is nothing possible that he can to do influence the situation; "Do the impossible," she then pleads with him. Lenardo, who feels obliged because his travels are ultimately the cause of her coming hardship, tries and fails to gain some leniency toward her. A combined feeling of both obligation and affection toward her have compounded his sense of guilt over time; this is why the news Wilhelm brings is so welcome – since hearing from Wilhelm that she is living in happiness and prosperity, he knows that her life was not ruined because of him after all. Lenardo and Wilhelm decide to visit her; however, when they meet Valerine, his relief is suddenly shattered. The woman who greets them is not "nut-brown" at all, but rather fair and blonde. Since the girl in question had always been known simply by her nickname, Lenardo realizes that he had confused her real name – Nachodine – with that of another childhood friend – Valerine, the happy and prosperous woman whom they now find themselves accidentally visiting. Once again uncertain of Nachodine's fate, Lenardo anguishes. He and Wilhelm reach the agreement that, since Wilhelm is obliged continually to wander, he will now direct his travels toward finding Nachodine, and will send Lenardo word as to her circumstances. "I hope," Lenardo says, "that when I know the girl is happy, I will be free from her." Lenardo directs him to an old acquaintance of his who may be of help.

Chapter Twelve: Wilhelm arrives in a city that appears to have been burnt down and entirely rebuild, judging by the striking newness of its appearance. Here, Wilhelm finds the old man Lenardo had directed him to, who engages him in a conversation about time, permanence, and change. Asked for advice as to whether to attempt to open the box, the old man says that while it might entirely possible to get it open, he advises against it: "... since you obtained it by such a remarkable chance, you should test your luck by it. For if you were born fortunate and if this box has meaning for you, then the key to it must eventually turn up – and just there, where you least expect to find it." Wilhelm decides to follow this advice, and leaves the box there for safe keeping. The conversation then turns to education, and to the question of where and how Felix should be schooled.
Second Book
Chapter One: Arriving at the Pedagogical Province, Wilhelm is struck by the unusual customs of the place. Since his intention is the entrust his son to them, the directors initiate Wilhelm in the pedagogical philosophy and methods of the Province. Music – singing in particular – is central to their mode of education; a distinct notion of respect – combined with elements of humility and awe – is at the center of the guiding worldview.

Chapter Two: Pedagogical Province features visual representations of the Israelites as an exemplary people. Wilhelm is explained the ideas of world history and the aesthetic principles that inform these images. Philosophical discussion of forms of representation dominates the discussion.

Chapters Three, Four, and Five: novella "The Man of Fifty Years"

Chapter Six: Consists of two letters: One, from Wilhelm to Lenardo, announcing that he has found Nachodine, and that she is living "in circumstances in which, for the good soul, there is little further that remains to be wished for." The second letter, from Wilhelm to the Abbé, expresses Wilhelm's "wish to complete my journeyman years with more composure and steadiness," and his resolution, after a new beginning, to live more in accordance with his inner inclination.

Chapter Seven: Wilhelm meets a painter, with whom he travels onward. The painter is greatly taken with the figure of Mignon, from Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, whom he paints in many images; the initial purpose of Wilhelm and the painter's travels together is to visit the places where Mignon lived. Once they have done this, however, a further desire asserts itself: Wilhelm wishes to meet Hilarie and the Beautiful Widow. Both of these are characters from "The Man of Fifty Years" (the frame story of the novel and the novellas it contains begin to intermingle at this point). The two men and the two women spend time together at a lake and on an island.

Their attentions are devoted to art, for which Hilarie reveals herself to have a talent; music, as the painter shows himself to be a gifted singer and lute player as well; and nature – the landscape surrounding them is exceptionally rich and beautiful. The episode reaches its climax when the painter overwhelms his companions with a performance of Mignon's song "Do You Know the Land?" from Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship. The two women depart the following day. The chapter closes with letters from Lenardo to Wilhelm, and from the Abbé to Wilhelm, and with an "Interruption" by the narrator, who informs the reader that a period of several years will have passed when the action resumes in Chapter Eight.

Chapter Eight: Arriving at the Pedagogical Province, Wilhelm is shown the various pedagogical practices of the institution: foreign language, instrumental music, singing, poetry. Felix, whom he has not seen for some time, is now nearing adolescence. The chapter contains the song "To invent, to resolve..."

Chapter Nine: Wilhelm is invited to a mountain festival, where he sees his friend Montan again. The two engage in a discussion of geology, and of theories regarding the creation of the world. Montan doesn't betray which of the many theories he himself believes in; when Wilhelm persists in asking who he agrees with, Mountain explains, "I know as much as they do, and prefer not to think about it"; "Once one knows what everything is all about," he adds, "one stops being talkative."

Chapter Ten: Letter from Hersilie to Wilhelm, in which she tells him of her astonishment when Felix – by messenger – confesses his love to her.

Chapter Eleven: Letter from Wilhelm to Natalie

"Observations in the Mindset of the Wanderers: Art, Ethics, Nature": collection of 177 aphorisms

The poem "Legacy"

  Third Book
Chapter One: Wilhelm, traveling onward, arrives at an inn in the mountains. The words "Ubi homines sunt, modi sunt" – translated by Goethe as "there, where people come together into community, a way and manner in which they wish to be and remain together shows itself" – are written in gold letters above a door in the inn. He is greeted by two singing men who perform an impromptu rendition of a bit of verse that Wilhelm had composed while walking. That night Wilhelm is awoken by an unidentifiable sound; he does not, however, find anyone whom he can ask what it was. The following morning he is shaved by a barber who does not speak. To Wilhelm's great surprise, Lenardo – about whom Wilhelm had recently been thinking – appears at the inn along with Natalie's brother Friedrich. The chapter ends with very much singing.

Chapter Two: Letters from Hersilie to Wilhelm. The first letter scolds Wilhelm for not writing to her in a way that allows any dialogue to emerge: "... correspondence with you is completely like a monologue," she complains. In the second letter, she lets him know – in an excited and conspiratorial, secretive tone – that she has finally found the key to the box Felix found earlier in the novel. Felix's friend Fitz, she tells him, has gotten himself into trouble, and the authorities came asking for a jacket he had lost. Before handing it over, she unexplainably reached into the pocket of it, and found a key there that she immediately knew was the one to the box. Having quietly kept the key rather than giving it to the authorities who asked for the jacket, she is agitated and fearful: "the law and the courts are not to be joked with," she writes. She urges Wilhelm to come to her so that they can open the box together, and she tries to raise his curiosity to get him to come soon. Her letter includes an illustration of the key (the only visual element ever incorporated into any of Goethe's literary works). In a postscript she points out that it is actually Felix who found the box, and to whom it belongs, and that he should therefore be present for its opening, as well.

Chapter Three: Wilhelm does not heed Hersilie's request to come to her; he is not all that curious about the box and the key, and furthermore, having now mastered his medical calling, he is too busy tending to patients to leave at will. In a conversation with Lenardo and Friedrich, Wilhelm tells a story from his training in human anatomy: Due to an outbreak of crime that sought to capitalize on medical students' need for human corpses to dissect, laws had become increasingly strict about the acquisition of these. As Wilhelm hesitates one day to proceed with the dissection of an especially beautiful young woman's arm, a stranger approaches him and brings him to see a collection of artificial human body parts he has made. Though those in the medical profession look askance at the practice, the man believes that anatomy can be learned better by building models of the body than by dissecting real parts: "As you will shortly learn," he says to Wilhelm, "constructing teaches more than destructing, connecting teaches more than separating, reviving dead material teaches more than killing further what has already been killed. So then, do you want to be my student?" Wilhelm agrees, and proceeds to study with the man.

Chapter Four: Wilhelm having spoken in the previous chapter of his experiences as a medical student, Friedrich wishes to share with him his own talent: he has a precise memory and writes well, and with these talents was able to transcribe Wilhelm's story from the previous day virtually verbatim. In the conversation that ensues, the talents of various people are talked about, and Lenardo comes to speak of his own inclination for technical matters. He has been keeping a journal in which he records the technical details of industry and economy in the mountain regions, and offers this journal to Wilhelm to read that evening. "I don't want to claim that it is exactly pleasant to read," he concedes. "It always seemed to me entertaining and in a certain way instructive." The following chapter consists of excerpts from this journal.
Chapter Five: Consists of entries from Lenardo's journal regarding the rural textile industry in the mountains. After reading them, Wilhelm asks Lenardo for the continuation of the manuscripts, but is told that the rest of the text has been sent to Makarie. Instead of reading further, then, Wilhelm seeks to pass the evening in conversation.

Chapter Six: The barber whom Wilhelm met in the first chapter of Book Three – who did not speak – is now introduced to him as a master storyteller; the story he tells Wilhelm is "The New Melusine." A young man – indulgent both with money and with women – sets out on a long journey. At one of the first stops he intends to flatter the young woman cooking at an inn – both to get her attention, and in hopes she will lower the bill for his food. However, he is distracted by a beautiful and mysterious young woman who arrives at the inn just after he does. He falls passionately in love with her, but she tells that he will have to prove himself worthy of her by carrying out an enigmatic set of instructions: he must travel onward without her, and carry with him a small box that she gives him; this box must be kept in a separate room from the one he sleeps in. She gives him money for the trip, and he travels forth. Though he promptly gambles away the money and loses himself in the attentions of other women, she gives him another chance, and gives him a magically bottomless supply of gold for his expenses. Traveling by wagon one dark night, he notices a strange light. "I observed it and found that it was coming from inside the small box, which seemed to have a crack in it as if it had been split open by the hot and dry weather of the beginning summertime." Looking into the crack he sees inside the box the interior of a tiny, majestic, and ornate hall in which his loved one – in miniature – was sitting by a fireplace from which the light was coming. She later explains to him that she is from the kingdom of dwarves, who sent her to find a human to marry in order to replenish the threatened dwarf population. Their love almost comes to an end one night when, drunk and jealous, the young man betrays her secret by openly mocking her as a dwarf in front of others. He redeems himself to her, though, by agreeing to be shrunk to dwarf stature in order to remain with her. With time, though, he grows discontented with life among the dwarves – because the thought of marriage is odious to him, and also because of unease in his diminutive form – and cuts off the magic ring that had shrunk him from his natural size. Back among humans, he makes his way back to the cook at the inn whose attention he had hoped to get at the beginning of the story.

Chapter Seven: letter from Hersilie to Wilhelm

Chapter Eight: contains the story "The Risky Bet," which the narrator includes here in unedited form because, he explains, the tone of the novel is getting ever more serious, and so there won't be place for the inclusion of such "irregularities" later in the novel. A group of young men observe an older man "of lordly, austere appearance" but with a big nose arriving in a mountain village, and one of them offers a bet: "... what do you want to bet that I will tweak his nose without suffering any dire consequences for it? Indeed, I will even earn myself a gracious master in him by doing so." His friends bet him one Louisdor that this will not happen. Learning that the man wishes to have his beard shaved, the young man presents himself as a barber, and, in the course of the shave, pulls the man's nose conspicuously.
At the end, he earns the man's praise for his skillful work, but is admonished for one thing: "One does not touch people of stature on the nose." His friends witness the deed, and the young man wins the bet. One of the friends, however, tells his lover of the bet; she tells a friend, and by evening the old man who was tricked hears about it. Enraged, he comes after the group with an axe, but they are able to escape. This slight to the noble old man's dignity hurts his pride, compromises his health over time, and is believed to be a contributing factor to his eventual death.

Chapter Nine: narration of Wilhelm's travels resumes

Chapter Ten: contains the short story "Not Too Far." A husband and children wait at the dinner table to celebrate the mother's birthday; she does not appear, and after waiting for hours, the husband, Odoard, storms restlessly out into the street. The absent woman, Albertine, is known to crave society and attention, especially from men, and has even been warned that this attribute of hers could put her marriage at risk. "I said it to her more than once," the family's servant reflects, "she shouldn't push things too far." (Hence the title of the story.)

Odoard spends the evening in a room at a local inn, pacing and brooding. He asks the innkeeper not to let on to anyone that he is there, but when a company of women arrive at the same inn, and insist on meeting the unnamed guest – believing that it is an uncle of theirs – Odoard falls to the feet of one of the women, recognizing her as an old love. At home, meanwhile, Albertine finally arrives, explaining to the servant that there had been an accident; her coach had fallen into a ditch en route. (The servant tells her that Odoard was called away on business.) When the accident occurs, a gentleman, Lelio, who was riding with them, helps her friend Florine out of the overturned wagon, but leaves Albertine inside to be helped by the coachman and a servant. It soon becomes clear that there is an amorous affair between Lelio and Florine; from Albertine's feeling of shock and betrayal at this revelation, it becomes clear that she herself had been involved with Lelio.

  Once the coachman has gotten the wagon out of the ditch, the three are nonetheless forced to ride onward together, "and in hell itself there could not have been a group with more mutually repulsed feelings – traitors together with the betrayed – so tightly packed together."

Chapter Eleven: conversation regarding "that which genuinely holds people together: religion and custom." Christianity, time, police and authority, law, and the state are all discussed; the narrator relates only the "quintessence" of the conversation, however, rather than its entirety.

Chapter Twelve: Odoard speaks generally and abstractly about plans for building settlements, and about the roles of discipline and creative freedom in the arts.

Chapter Thirteen: three further entries from Lenardo's journal, telling of his observation of the yarn industry and of his conversation with a young woman named Gretchen, who tells of her past romantic attachment to an unnamed man. After this relationship ended, Gretchen kept a page composed by her ex-lover summarizing the ideas of certain conversations they had had together; Lenardo recognizes the handwriting as being Wilhelm's.

Chapter Fourteen: narration of Wilhelm's travels resumes

Chapter Fifteen: consists of a characterization of the character Makarie. This characterization, the narrator tells us, is taken from Makarie's own archive, but, as he also tells us, cannot necessarily be seen as "authentic." Makarie's unique nature and her relation to the solar system are described.

Chapter Sixteen: narration of Wilhelm's travels resumes

Chapter Seventeen: letter from Hersilie to Wilhelm telling of her encounter with his son Felix. Felix kisses her, but although the affection is mutual, she scolds him for doing so. Taking this rebuff to be a true reflection of her feelings, he takes offense and rides off on his horse.

Chapter Eighteen: close of the narration: By the side of a river, Wilhelm sees a horseman slip and fall into the water. Wilhelm saves him by helping bring him to land, and then opening one of his veins with a blade. The young man – Felix – comes to and embraces his father; the two stand together "like Castor and Pollux."

"From Makarie's Archive": collection of 182 aphorisms

Untitled poem: "In the austere charnelhouse..." (often referred to as "Upon Viewing Schiller's Skull," though this title is not from Goethe himself).

At the close of the poem it reads, "(To be continued.)"

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Illustrations by Eugene Delacroix and Harry Clarke
  Western Literature

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William Hazlitt: "Table-Talk"

Table-Talk is a collection of essays by the English cultural critic and social commentator Hazlitt William. It was originally published as two volumes, the first of which appeared in April 1821. The essays deal with topics such as art, literature and philosophy. Duncan Wu has described the essays as the "pinnacle of [Hazlitt's] achievement", and argues that Table-Talk and The Plain Speaker (1826) represent Hazlitt's masterpiece.

Hazlitt published his first book, a work of philosophy, in 1803. In the years between his authorial debut and the publication of Table-Talk, Hazlitt was employed as a journalist, critic and lecturer, and published several collections of writing on topics such as Shakespearean criticism, politics and literature. In 1819, following the hostile reception of his Political Essays by the Tory press and the repressive legislation introduced after the Peterloo Massacre, Hazlitt foreswore writing further essays on political subjects. It should be noted that political insight is by no means absent from Hazlitt's subsequent works, and publications such as The Spirit of the Age (1825) condemn figures such as Robert Southey for their abandonment of political radicalism, while Hazlitt's biography of Napoleon (four volumes; 1828–1830) aimed to defend his reputation against a biography from the Tory Sir Walter Scott.

Hazlitt's first wife, Sarah Stoddart, owned property in Winterslow, a village in Wiltshire. Hazlitt regularly travelled from London to the village, and was particularly fond of staying at Winterslow Hut, an inn, where he could write in peace. Many of the Table-Talk essays were composed there. The second volume was completed on 7 March 1822 at Renton Inn, near Edinburgh.

An example of Hazlitt's style is provided by the first essay in the volume, entitled "On the Pleasure of Painting". The piece was originally intended to be a reflection on the life of Hazlitt's father, who died in 1820. However, it grew into an account of Hazlitt's views on the nature of art and the mental satisfaction to be derived from painting.

It concludes with a deeply personal account of an occasion when Hazlitt painted his father's portrait in the Unitarian chapel at Wem, Shropshire. The use of the pronoun "I" here, along with the personal subject matter, is indicative of Hazlitt's mastery of the familiar essay.

I used regularly to set my work in the chair to look at it through the long evenings; and many a time did I return to take leave of it before I could go to bed at night... I think, but am not sure, that I finished this portrait (or another afterwards) on the same day that the news of the battle of Austerlitz came; I walked out in the afternoon, and, as I returned, saw the evening star set over a poor man's cottage with other thoughts and feelings than I shall ever have again. Oh for the revolution of the great Platonic year, that those times might come over again! I could sleep out the three hundred and sixty-five thousand intervening years very contentedly!--The picture is left: the table, the chair, the window where I learned to construe Livy, the chapel where my father preached, remain where they were; but he himself is gone to rest, full of years, of faith, of hope, and charity!

Another essay in the volume, "The Indian Jugglers", is often included in anthologies of Hazlitt's writings.
After philosophically musing on the nature of greatness and genius, Hazlitt concludes the essay with a reprise of his obituary of John Cavanagh, a noted fives player who died in 1819.

Title page of Table-Talk, volume 1 of 1st edition
For some years, Hazlitt's work had been routinely attacked by Tory critics, particularly those associated with Blackwood's Magazine and the Quarterly Review. The reception of the first volume of Table-Talk by the Tory journals was, unsurprisingly, negative. Leigh Hunt, an erstwhile friend of Hazlitt, was also extremely offended by the fact that he had been included in Hazlitt's essay entitled "On People with One Idea". The reception of the second volume was similar, with Blackwood's describing it as a "gaping sore of wounded and festering vanity".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

see also: William Hazlitt
  Western Literature

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Heine Heinrich: "Poems"
Heinrich Heine

"Poems and Ballads"
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Keats John d. (b. 1795)

Life mask of Keats by Benjamin Haydon, 1816
John Keats 

"The Eve of St. Agnes"
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Joseph de Maistre (Maistre Joseph), Fr. author, d. (b. 1754)

Portrait of de Maistre by von Vogelstein, c.1810.
see also: Joseph de Maistre
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
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Manzoni Alessandro: "Il Cinque Maggio"
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Thomas de Quincey: "Confessions of an English Opium Eater"
Quincey Thomas

Thomas De Quincey, (born Aug. 15, 1785, Manchester, Lancashire, Eng.—died Dec. 8, 1859, Edinburgh, Scot.), English essayist and critic, best known for his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. De Quincey’s biography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge appeared in the eighth edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (see the Britannica Classic: Samuel Taylor Coleridge).


Thomas De Quincey
  As a child De Quincey was alienated from his solid, prosperous mercantile family by his sensitivity and precocity. At the age of 17 he ran away to Wales and then lived incognito in London (1802–03). There he formed a friendship with a young prostitute named Ann, who made a lasting impression on him. Reconciled to his family in 1803, he entered Worcester College, Oxford, where he conceived the ambition of becoming “the intellectual benefactor of mankind.” He became widely read in many subjects and eventually would write essays on such subjects as history, biography, economics, psychology, and German metaphysics. While still at college in 1804, he took his first opium to relieve the pain of facial neuralgia. By 1813 he had become “a regular and confirmed opium-eater” (i.e., an opium addict), keeping a decanter of laudanum (tincture of opium) by his elbow and steadily increasing the dose; he remained an addict for the rest of his life.

De Quincey was an early admirer of Lyrical Ballads, and in 1807 he became a close associate of its authors, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He rented Wordsworth’s former home, Dove Cottage at Grasmere, on and off from 1809 to 1833. In 1817 De Quincey married Margaret Simpson, who had already borne him a son. Though he wrote voluminously, he published almost nothing. His financial position as head of a large family went from bad to worse until the appearance of Confessions (1821) in London Magazine made him famous. It was reprinted as a book in 1822.

The avowed purpose of the first version of the Confessions is to warn the reader of the dangers of opium, and it combines the interest of a journalistic exposé of a social evil, told from an insider’s point of view, with a somewhat contradictory picture of the subjective pleasures of drug addiction. The book begins with an autobiographical account of the author’s addiction, describes in detail the euphoric and highly symbolic reveries that he experienced under the drug’s influence, and recounts the horrible nightmares that continued use of the drug eventually produced. The highly poetic and imaginative prose of the Confessions makes it one of the enduring stylistic masterpieces of English literature.

Thomas De Quincey
  In 1856 he seized the opportunity provided by the publication of his collected works to rewrite the book that had made him famous. He added some descriptions of opium-inspired dreams that had appeared about 1845 in Blackwood’s Magazine under the title Suspiria de Profundis (“Sighs from the Depths”).

But by this time he had lost most of the accounts he had kept of his early opium visions, so he expanded the rather short original version of the Confessions in other ways, adding much autobiographical material on his childhood and his experiences as a youth in London. His literary style in the revised version of the Confessions, however, tends to be difficult, involved, and even verbose.

Among De Quincey’s other autobiographical writings, the so-called Lake Reminiscences (first printed in Tait’s Magazine, 1834–40), which deeply offended Wordsworth and the other Lake poets, remains of great interest, although it is highly subjective, not without malice, and unreliable in matters of detail. As a literary critic De Quincey is best known for his essay “On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth” (first printed in the London Magazine, October 1823), a brilliant piece of psychological insight and a classic of Shakespearean criticism.

De Quincey became increasingly solitary and eccentric, especially after his wife’s death in 1837, and he often retreated for long periods into opium dreams. Of the more than 14 volumes of his work, only the original Confessions is a definitive literary expression.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Thomas de Quincey: "Confessions of an English Opium Eater"

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821) is an autobiographical account written by Thomas De Quincey, about his laudanum (opium and alcohol) addiction and its effect on his life. The Confessions was "the first major work De Quincey published and the one which won him fame almost overnight..."

First published anonymously in September and October 1821 in the London Magazine, the Confessions was released in book form in 1822, and again in 1856, in an edition revised by De Quincey.

As originally published, De Quincey's account was organized into two parts:

Part I begins with a notice "To the Reader," to establish the narrative frame: "I here present you, courteous reader, with the record of a remarkable period in my life...." It is followed by the substance of Part I,

-Preliminary Confessions, devoted to the author's childhood and youth, and concentrated upon the emotional and psychological factors that underlay the later opium experiences — especially the period in his late teens that de Quincey spent as a homeless runaway in Oxford Street in London in 1802 and 1803.

Part II is split into several sections:

-A relatively brief introduction and connecting passage, followed by

-The Pleasures of Opium, which discusses the early and largely positive phase of the author's experience with the drug, from 1804 until 1812;

-Introduction to the Pains of Opium, which delivers a second installment of autobiography, taking De Quincey from youth to maturity; and

-The Pains of Opium, which recounts the extreme of the author's opium experience (up to that time), with insomnia, nightmares, frightening visions, and difficult physical symptoms.

-Another "Notice to the Reader" attempts to clarify the chronology of the whole.

Front cover of the second edition of the "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater"
(London, 1823)
Though De Quincey was later criticized for giving too much attention to the pleasure of opium and not enough to the harsh negatives of addiction, The Pains of Opium is in fact significantly longer than The Pleasures.
However, even when trying to convey darker truths, De Quincey's language can seem seduced by the compelling nature of the opium experience:

"The sense of space, and in the end, the sense of time, were both powerfully affected. Buildings, landscapes, &c. were exhibited in proportions so vast as the bodily eye is not fitted to conceive. Space swelled, and was amplified to an extent of unutterable infinity. This, however, did not disturb me so much as the vast expansion of time; I sometimes seemed to have lived for 70 or 100 years in one night; nay, sometimes had feelings representative of a millennium passed in that time, or, however, of a duration far beyond the limits of any human experience."

From its first appearance, the literary style of the Confessions attracted attention and comment. De Quincey was well-read in the English literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and assimilated influences and models from Sir Thomas Browne and other writers. Arguably the most famous and often-quoted passage in the Confessions is the apostrophe to opium in the final paragraph of The Pleasures:

"Oh! just, subtle, and mighty opium! that to the hearts of poor and rich alike, for the wounds that will never heal, and for 'the pangs that tempt the spirit to rebel,' bringest an assuaging balm; eloquent opium! that with thy potent rhetoric stealest away the purposes of wrath; and to the guilty man, for one night givest back the hopes of his youth, and hands washed pure of blood...."

De Quincey modelled this passage on the apostrophe "O eloquent, just and mightie Death!" in Sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World.
Earlier in The Pleasures of Opium, De Quincey describes the long walks he took through the London streets under the drug's influence:

"Some of these rambles led me to great distances; for an opium-eater is too happy to observe the motions of time. And sometimes in my attempts to steer homewards, upon nautical principles, by fixing my eye on the pole-star, and seeking ambitiously for a north-west passage, instead of circumnavigating all the capes and headlands I had doubled in my outward voyage, I came suddenly upon such knotty problems of alleys, such enigmatical entries, and such sphinx's riddles of streets without thoroughfares, as must, I conceive, baffle the audacity of porters, and confound the intellects of hackney-coachmen."

Thomas de Quincey "Confessions of an English Opium Eater"
The Confessions represents De Quincey's initial effort to write what he called "impassioned prose," an effort that he would later resume in Suspiria de Profundis (1845) and The English Mail-Coach (1849).
The 1856 revision
In the early 1850s, De Quincey prepared the first collected edition of his works for publisher James Hogg. For that edition, he undertook a large-scale revision of the Confessions, more than doubling the work's length. Most notably, he expanded the opening section on his personal background, until it consumed more than two-thirds of the whole. Yet he gave the book "a much weaker beginning" and detracted from the impact of the original with digressions and inconsistencies; "the verdict of most critics is that the earlier version is artistically superior."

"De Quincey undoubtedly spoiled his masterpiece by revising it...anyone who compares the two will prefer the unflagging vigour and tension of the original version to the tired prosiness of much of the revised one."

The Confessions maintained a place of primacy in De Quincey's literary output, and his literary reputation, from its first publication; "it went through countless editions, with only occasional intervals of a few years, and was often translated.

Since there was little systematic study of narcotics until long after his death, De Quincey's account assumed an authoritative status and actually dominated the scientific and public views of the effects of opium for several generations."

Yet from the time of its publication, De Quincey's Confessions was criticized for presenting a picture of the opium experience that was too positive and too enticing to readers. As early as 1823, an anonymous response, Advice to Opium Eaters, was published "to warn others from copying De Quincey." The fear of reckless imitation was not groundless: several English writers — Francis Thompson, James Thomson, William Blair, and perhaps Branwell Brontë — were led to opium use and addiction by De Quincey's literary example.

Charles Baudelaire's 1860 translation and adaptation, Les paradis artificiels, spread the work's influence further. One of the characters of the Sherlock Holmes story, The Man with the Twisted Lip (1891), is an opium addict who began experimenting with the drug as a student after reading the Confessions. De Quincey attempted to address this type of criticism. When the 1821 original was printed in book form the following year, he added an Appendix on the withdrawal process; and he inserted significant material on the medical aspects of opium into his 1856 revision.

More generally, De Quincey's Confessions influenced psychology and abnormal psychology, and attitudes towards dreams and imaginative literature.

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater also served as inspiration to one of Hector Berlioz's most famous pieces, Symphonie Fantastique.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thomas De Quincey 

"Confessions of an English Opium-Eater"
  Western Literature

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Shelley: "Adonais"

Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats, Author of Endymion, Hyperion, etc., also spelled Adonaies, is a pastoral elegy written by Shelley Percy Bysshe  for John Keats in 1821, and widely regarded as one of Shelley's best and most well-known works. The poem, which is in 495 lines in 55 Spenserian stanzas, was composed in the spring of 1821 immediately after 11 April, when Shelley heard of Keats' death (seven weeks earlier). It is a pastoral elegy, in the English tradition of John Milton's Lycidas. Shelley had studied and translated classical elegies. The title of the poem is likely a merging of the Greek "Adonis", the god of fertility, and the Hebrew "Adonai" (meaning "Lord"). Most critics suggest that Shelley used Virgil's tenth Eclogue, in praise of Cornelius Gallus, as a model.

It was published by Charles Ollier in July 1821 with a preface in which Shelley made the mistaken assertion that Keats had died from a rupture of the lung induced by rage at the unfairly harsh reviews of his verse in the Quarterly Review and other journals. He also thanked Joseph Severn for caring for Keats in Rome. This praise increased literary interest in Severn's works. Shelley was introduced to Keats in Hampstead towards the end of 1816 by their mutual friend, Leigh Hunt, who was to transfer his enthusiasm from Keats to Shelley. Shelley's huge admiration of Keats was not entirely reciprocated. Keats had reservations about Shelley's dissolute behaviour, and found some of Shelley's advice patronising (the suggestion, for example, that Keats should not publish his early work). It is also possible that Keats resented Hunt's transferred allegiance.
Despite this, the two poets exchanged letters when Shelley and his wife moved to Italy. When Keats fell ill, the Shelleys invited him to stay with them in Pisa but Keats elected to travel with Severn. Despite this rebuff, Shelley's affection for Keats remained undimmed until his death in 1822 when a copy of Keats' works was found in a pocket on his drowned body.
1821 title page, Pisa, Italy.
Shelley said of Keats, after inviting him to stay with him in Pisa after Keats fell ill: "I am aware indeed that I am nourishing a rival who will far surpass me and this is an additional motive & will be an added pleasure."

Shelley regarded Adonais as the "least imperfect" of his works. In a 5 June 1821 letter to John and Maria Gisborne, Shelley wrote about the work: "It is a highly wrought piece of art, perhaps better in point of composition than anything I have written."

The poet weeps for John Keats who is dead and who will be long mourned. He calls on Urania to mourn for Keats who died in Rome (sts. 1-VII). The poet summons the subject matter of Keats' poetry to weep for him. It comes and mourns at his bidding (sts. VIII-XV). Nature, celebrated by Keats in his poetry, mourns him. Spring, which brings nature to new life, cannot restore him (sts. XVI-XXI). Urania rises, goes to Keats' death chamber and laments that she cannot join him in death (sts. XXII-XXIX). Fellow poets mourn the death of Keats: Byron, Thomas Moore, Shelley, and Leigh Hunt (sts. XXX-XXXV). The anonymous Quarterly Review critic is blamed for Keats' death and chastised (sts. XXXVI-XXXVII).

The poet urges the mourners not to weep any longer. Keats has become a portion of the eternal and is free from the attacks of reviewers. He is not dead; it is the living who are dead. He has gone where "envy and calumny and hate and pain" cannot reach him. He is "made one with Nature." His being has been withdrawn into the one Spirit which is responsible for all beauty. In eternity, other poets, among them Thomas Chatterton, Sir Philip Sidney, and the Roman poet Lucan, come to greet him (sts. XXXVIII-XLVI). Let anyone who still mourns Keats send his "spirit's light" beyond space and be filled with hope, or let him go to Rome where Keats is buried. Let him "Seek shelter in the shadow of the tomb. / What Adonais is, why fear we to become?" He is with the unchanging Spirit, Intellectual Beauty, or Love in heaven. By comparison with the clear light of eternity, life is a stain (sts. XLVII-LII).

The poet tells himself he should now depart from life, which has nothing left to offer. The One, which is Light, Beauty, Benediction, and Love, now shines on him. He feels carried "darkly, fearfully, afar" to where the soul of Keats glows like a star, in the dwelling where those who will live forever are (sts. LIII-LV).

Stanzas 1–35

Adonais begins with the announcement of his death and the mourning that followed: "I weep for Adonais—he is dead!" In Stanzas 2 through 35 a series of mourners lament the death of Adonais. The mother of Adonais, Urania, is invoked to arise to conduct the ceremony at his bier. The allusion is to Urania, the goddess of astronomy, and to the goddess Venus, who is also known as Venus Urania.

The over-riding theme is one of despair. Mourners are implored to "weep for Adonais—he is dead!" In Stanza 9 the "flocks" of the deceased appear, representing his dreams and inspirations. In Stanza 13, the personifications of the thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and skills of the deceased appear. In Stanza 22, Urania is awakened by the grief of Misery and the poet. The lament is invoked: "He will awake no more, oh, never more!" Urania pleads in vain for Adonais to awake and to arise.

In Stanzas 30 through 34, a series of human mourners appears. The "Pilgrim of Eternity" is Lord Byron, George Gordon, who had met and was a friend of Shelley's but who had never met Keats. The Irish poet Thomas Moore then appears who laments the sadness and loss that time causes. Shelley himself and Leigh Hunt are also part of the "procession of mourners". In Stanzas 31 through 34 the mourner is described as "one frail Form" who has "fled astray," "his branded and ensanguined brow," a brow "like Cain’s or Christ’s."

Stanzas 36–55
The sense of despair and hopelessness continues. In Stanza 37 the poet muses over a just punishment for the "nameless worm" and "noteless blot" who is the anonymous (now known to be John Wilson Croker, not the editor, William Gifford) and highly critical reviewer of Keats's Endymion (1818), who, in Shelley's opinion, traumatised John Keats, worsening his condition.

The worst punishment that Shelley can contrive is that such a scoundrel should live: "Live thou, whose infamy is not thy fame!/ Live!" Faced with the contradiction that he would wish a long life upon the miscreant who took his hero’s life, in stanza 38 the poet bursts open the gates of consolation that are required of the pastoral elegy: "Nor let us weep that our delight is fled/ Far from these carrion kites." In stanzas 45 and 46, Shelley laments that—like Thomas Chatterton, Sir Philip Sidney, and Lucan—Keats died young and did not live to develop as a poet . Keats transcends human life and has been unified with the immortal: "He has outsoared the shadow of our night;/Envy and calumny and hate and pain,/ ... Can touch him not and torture not again.... He is made one with Nature." Keats is as one with Nature, the Power, the One, and the one Spirit.
Adonais "is not dead .../ He hath awakened from the dream of life." "Who mourns for Adonais?" he asks in stanza 47. Shelley turns his grief from Adonais to "we" who must live on and "decay/ Like corpses in a charnel," and after a series of stanzas (39–49) in which he celebrates the richer and fuller life that Adonais must now be experiencing, the poet becomes mindful that he is in Rome, itself a city rife with visible records of loss and decay. Moreover, he is in the Protestant cemetery there, where Shelley’s three-year-old son is buried as well; and yet, as if mocking all despair, a "light of laughing flowers along the grass is spread." Nature does not abhor death and decay, he sees; it is humans, who fear and hate in the midst of life, who do. "What Adonais is, why fear we to become?" he asks in stanza 51.

It is life’s worldly cares—that obscuring and distracting "dome of many-coloured glass"—not Death that is the enemy and the source of human despair. "Follow where all is fled," he urges, and he goads his own heart into having the courage to face not extinction but "that Light whose smile kindles the Universe." The poem concludes by imagining Adonais to be a part of "the white radiance of Eternity." At the end of the elegy, "like a star," the soul of the dead poet "Beacons from the abode where the Eternal are."

The section on Rome (stanzas 48-52) is significant in the poem not only because Keats and Shelley's son are buried in the Protestant cemetery there but also because the section offers an alternative way of understanding themes already expressed in the poem.

   Beginning with a statement of alternativeness ("Or go to Rome"), the section provides an alternative way for the continuing mourner to imagine Adonais as part of the World Soul and so cease mourning. To imagine this by means of the conceptual exercise prescribed in stanza 47 may be too difficult for the mourner, who may not be able to imagine omnipresence—presence at the same time throughout the whole of space as well as at each individual point in space—but who would be able to imagine eternality—presence in the same place throughout the whole of time or of history.

This latter concept is embodied in the idea of Rome as the "Eternal" city. Since both Rome and the particular cemetery symbolize (through the imagery used) the dominance of eternity, the mourner can doubly conceive of Keats as part of eternity—as absorbed into it and diffused throughout it—and thus conceive of him as part of the World Soul, among whose aspects is eternity as well as omnipresence.

In addition, the description of Keats's spirit as part of "Eternal" Rome shows parallels with the earlier description, in stanzas 44-46, of his spirit becoming part of the "firmament" of eternal stars which are the immortal spirits of great poets.
And in stanza 52, as "The One" is to the "many" and "heaven's light is to "Earth's shadows" and the "white radiance of Eternity" is to multicolored Life, so "The glory" of the World Soul is to aspects of Rome that represent death but symbolize eternity. By means of these parallels, the Rome section becomes fully integated into the poem.

Notable performances
Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones read a part of Adonais at the Brian Jones memorial concert at London's Hyde Park on 5 July 1969. Jones, founder and guitarist of the Stones, had drowned 3 July 1969 in his swimming pool. Before an audience estimated at 250,000 to 300,000, Jagger read the following verses from Adonais:

Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep
He hath awakened from the dream of life
'Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep
With phantoms an unprofitable strife,
And in mad trance, strike with our spirit's knife
Invulnerable nothings. — We decay
Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief
Convulse us and consume us day by day,
And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay.

The One remains, the many change and pass;
Heaven's light forever shines, Earth's shadows fly;
Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of Eternity,
Until Death tramples it to fragments. — Die,
If thou wouldst be with that which thou dost seek!
Follow where all is fled!

Actor Vincent Price read Adonais on a Caedmon Records recording which was released, originally in 1956, as an LP record and a cassette recording, Caedmon CPN 1059 and TC 1059. The recording was re-released in 1996.[7]

The English rock band The Cure has recorded a song entitled "Adonais" based on the Shelley elegy as a B-side single and on the collection Join The Dots: B Sides and Rarities, 1978–2001 (2004). "Adonais" was originally the B-side to "The 13th", released in 1996.

Star Trek episode
The title of the Star Trek: The Original Series episode Who Mourns for Adonais? is an allusion to the Shelley elegy, Stanza 47, line 415. The episode, no. 31, first aired on 22 September 1967 on NBC. It was written by Gilbert Ralston and Gene L. Coon, and directed by Marc Daniels. A 2013 fan produced sequel, "Pilgrim of Eternity", continued the allusion, by using the title given to Byron in the poem.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Percy Bysshe Shelley 

Prometheus Unbound"
  Western Literature

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

Nekolay Alekseyevich Nekrasov, (born December 10 [November 28, Old Style], 1821, Nemirov, Ukraine, Russian Empire—died January 8, 1878 [December 27, 1877], St. Petersburg, Russia), Russian poet and journalist whose work centred on the theme of compassion for the sufferings of the peasantry. Nekrasov also sought to express the racy charm and vitality of peasant life in his adaptations of folk songs and poems for children.


Nekolay Alekseyevich Nekrasov
  Nekrasov studied at St. Petersburg University, but his father’s refusal to help him forced him into literary and theatrical hack work at an early age. His first book of poetry was published in 1840. An able businessman, he published and edited literary miscellanies and in 1846 bought from Pyotr Pletnev the magazine Sovremennik (“The Contemporary”), which had declined after the death of its founder, Aleksandr Pushkin. Nekrasov managed to transform it into a major literary journal and a paying concern, despite constant harassment by the censors.

Both Ivan Turgenev and Leo Tolstoy published their early works in Sovremennik, but after 1856, influenced by its subeditor, Nikolay Chernyshevski, it began to develop into an organ of militant radicalism. It was suppressed in 1866, after the first attempt to assassinate Alexander II. In 1868 Nekrasov, with Mikhail Saltykov (Shchedrin), took over Otechestvenniye zapiski (“Notes of the Fatherland”), remaining its editor and publisher until his death.

Nekrasov’s work is uneven through its lack of craftsmanship and polish and a tendency to sentimentalize his subjects, but his major poems have lasting power and originality of expression. Moroz krasny-nos (1863; “Red-Nosed Frost,” in Poems, 1929) gives a vivid picture of a brave and sympathetic peasant woman, and his large-scale narrative poem, Komu na Rusi zhit khorosho? (1879; Who Can Be Happy and Free in Russia?, 1917), shows to the full his gift for vigorous realistic satire.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Nekrasov in late 1877. Portrait by Kramskoy
see also: Nikolay Nekrasov
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Brown Ford Madox
Ford Madox Brown (16 April 1821 – 6 October 1893) was an English painter of moral and historical subjects, notable for his distinctively graphic and often Hogarthian version of the Pre-Raphaelite style. Arguably, his most notable painting was Work (1852–1865). Brown spent the latter years of his life painting the Manchester Murals, depicting Mancunian history, for Manchester Town Hall.

Self-portrait 1850
  Early life
Brown was the grandson of the medical theorist John Brown, founder of the Brunonian system of medicine. His great grandfather was a Scottish labourer. His father Ford Brown served as a purser in the Royal Navy, including a period serving under Sir Isaac Coffin and a period on HMS Arethusa. He left the Navy after the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1818, Ford Brown married Caroline Madox, of an old Kentish family, from which his middle name was taken.[1] Brown's parents had limited financial resources, and they moved to Calais to seek cheaper lodgings, where their daughter Elizabeth Coffin was born in 1819 and their son Ford Madox Brown in 1821.
Brown's education was limited, as the family frequently moved between lodgings in the Pas de Calais and relatives in Kent, but he showed artistic talent in copying of old master prints.

His father initially sought a naval career for his son, writing to his former captain Sir Isaac Coffin. The family moved to Bruges in 1835 so Brown could study at the academy under Albert Gregorius.

Brown moved to Ghent in 1836 to continue his studies under Pierre Van Hanselaer. He moved to Antwerp in 1837 to study under Egide Charles Gustave Wappers. He continued to study in Antwerp after his mother's death in 1839. His sister died in 1840, and then his father in 1842.

Ford Madox Brown. Self-Portrait. 1877
The Tate Gallery holds an early example of Brown's work, a portrait of his father. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1840, a work inspired by Lord Byron's poem The Giaour (now lost) and then completed a version of The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, with his cousin and future wife Elisabeth Bromley as one of his models. He lived in Montmartre with his new wife and aging father in 1841. He painted Manfred on the Jungfrau, inspired by Lord Byron's poem Manfred while he was in Paris.
In 1843 he submitted work to the Westminster Cartoon Competition, for compositions to decorate the new Palace of Westminster. His entry, The Body of Harold Brought before William, was not successful. His early works were, however, greatly admired by the young Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who asked him to become his tutor. Through Rossetti, Brown came into contact with the artists who went on to form the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Though closely linked to them, he was never actually a member of the brotherhood itself, but adopted the bright colours and realistic style of William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. He was also influenced by the works of Holbein that he saw in Basel in 1845, and by Friedrich Overbeck and Peter Cornelius, whom he met in Rome in 1845-46.
Brown struggled to make his mark in the 1850s, with his paintings failing to find buyers, and he considered emigrating to India. In 1852 he started work on two of his most significant works.

One of his most famous images is The Last of England, painted from 1852 to 1855, which was sold in March 1859 for 325 Guineas (2010: £26,700). It depicts a pair of stricken emigrants as they sail away on the ship that will take them from England forever. It was inspired by the departure of the Pre-Raphaelite sculptor Thomas Woolner, who had left for Australia. In an unusual tondo format, the painting is structured with Brown's characteristic linear energy, and emphasis on apparently grotesque and banal details, such as the cabbages hanging from the ship's side. The husband and wife are portraits of Brown and his second wife Emma.


Ford Madox Brown
  Brown's most important painting was Work (1852–1865), begun in Hampstead in 1852. Its completion was commissioned by Thomas Plint, but he died in 1861 before Brown completed the work. and which he showed at his retrospective exhibition in 1865. It attempted to depict the totality of the mid-Victorian social experience in a single image, depicting 'navvies' digging up a road, Heath Street in Hampstead, London, and disrupting the old social hierarchies as they did so. The image erupts into proliferating details from the dynamic centre of the action, as the workers tear a hole in the road – and, symbolically, in the social fabric. Each character represents a particular social class and role in the modern urban environment.

Brown wrote a catalogue to accompany the special exhibition of Work. This publication included an extensive explanation of Work that nevertheless leaves many questions unanswered. Brown's concern with the social issues addressed in Work prompted him to open a soup kitchen for Manchester's hungry, and to attempt to aid the city's unemployed to find work by founding a labour exchange.

Brown found patrons in the north of England, including Plint, George Rae from Birkenhead, John Miller from Liverpool, and James Leathart from Newcastle.

He lost patience with his poor reception at the Royal Academy, by the late 1850s, and cease to show his works there, rejecting an offer from Millais to support him becoming and associate member.

He founded the Hogarth Club in 1858, with William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and his former pupil Rossetti. After a successful periods of a few years, the club reach over 80 members, including several prominent members of the Royal Academy, but Brown resigned in 1860 and the club collapsed in 1861.

From the 1860s, Brown also designed furniture and stained glass. He was a founder partner of William Morris's design company, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., in 1861, which dissolved in 1874 with Morris continuing on his own. He was a close friend of the landscape artist Henry Mark Anthony.

Brown's major achievement after Work was "The Manchester Murals", a cycle of twelve paintings in the Great Hall of Manchester Town Hall depicting the history of the city. Brown would be 72 by the time he finished the murals. In total, he took six years perfecting the murals, which were his last major work.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Ford Madox Brown. Don Juan Discovered by Haydee

Ford Madox Brown
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Weber: "Der Freischutz"

Der Freischutz, Op. 77, J. 277, (usually translated as The Marksman or The Freeshooter) is a German opera with spoken dialogue in three acts by Carl Maria von Weber (Weber Carl Maria) with a libretto by Friedrich Kind. It premiered on 18 June 1821 at the Schauspielhaus Berlin.

It is considered the first important German Romantic opera, especially in its national identity and stark emotionality. The plot is based on the German folk legend of the Freischütz and many of its tunes were thought to inspired by German folk music, but this is a common misconception. Its unearthly portrayal of the supernatural in the famous Wolf's Glen scene has been described as "the most expressive rendering of the gruesome that is to be found in a musical score".

An 1822 illustration of Der Freischütz depicting the opening scene with Max and Kilian
Performance history
The reception of Der Freischütz surpassed Weber's own hopes and it quickly became an international success, with productions in Vienna the same year followed by Leipzig, Karlsruhe, Prague, other German centres, and Copenhagen. 1824 saw productions in four London theatres in four different adaptations, as well as the French premiere at the Théâtre de l'Odéon as Robin des Bois. Among the many artists influenced by Der Freischütz was a young Richard Wagner. A version in French with recitatives was prepared by Hector Berlioz for a production at the Paris Opera in 1841. This was revived at the Paris Opéra-Comique in 2011.

The overture and the "Huntsmen's Chorus" from act 3 ("With princely enjoyment and manly employment") are often performed as concert pieces.

Carl Maria von Weber : Der Freischutz - Overture
Carl Maria von Weber
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
Faraday Michael discovers fundamentals of electromagnetic rotation
Helmholtz Hermann

Hermann von Helmholtz, original name Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand Helmholtz (born August 31, 1821, Potsdam, Prussia [Germany]—died September 8, 1894, Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany), German scientist and philosopher who made fundamental contributions to physiology, optics, electrodynamics, mathematics, and meteorology. He is best known for his statement of the law of the conservation of energy. He brought to his laboratory research the ability to analyze the philosophical assumptions on which much of 19th-century science was based, and he did so with clarity and precision.


Hermann von Helmholtz, 1894

  Early life
Helmholtz was the eldest of four children and because of his delicate health was confined to home for his first seven years. His father was a teacher of philosophy and literature at the Potsdam Gymnasium, and his mother was descended from William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. From his mother came the calm and reserve that marked him all his life. From his father came a rich, but mixed, intellectual heritage. His father taught him the classical languages, as well as French, English, and Italian. He also introduced him to the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and Johann Gottlieb Fichte and to the approach to nature that flowed from their philosophical insights.
This “Nature philosophy,” in the hands of early 19th-century investigators, became a speculative science in which it was felt that scientific conclusions could be deduced from philosophical ideas, rather than from empirical data gathered from observations of the natural world. Much of Helmholtz’s later work was devoted to refuting this point of view. His empiricism, however, was always deeply influenced by the aesthetic sensitivity passed on to him by his father, and music and painting played a large part in his science.

After graduating from the gymnasium, Helmholtz in 1838 entered the Friedrich Wilhelm Medical Institute in Berlin, where he received a free medical education on the condition that he serve eight years as an army doctor.

At the institute he did research under the greatest German physiologist of the day, Johannes Müller. He attended physics lectures, worked his way through the standard textbooks of higher mathematics, and learned to play the piano with a skill that later helped him in his work on the sensation of tone.

On graduation from medical school in 1843, Helmholtz was assigned to a regiment at Potsdam. Because his army duties were few, he did experiments in a makeshift laboratory he set up in the barracks. At that time he also married Olga von Velten, daughter of a military surgeon. Before long, Helmholtz’s obvious scientific talents led to his release from military duties. In 1848 he was appointed assistant at the Anatomical Museum and lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin, moving the next year to Königsberg, in East Prussia (now Kaliningrad), to become assistant professor and director of the Physiological Institute. But Königsberg’s harsh climate was injurious to his wife’s health, and in 1855 he became professor of anatomy and physiology at the University of Bonn, moving in 1858 to Heidelberg. During these years his scientific interests progressed from physiology to physics. His growing scientific stature was further recognized in 1871 by the offer of the professorship of physics at the University of Berlin; in 1882, by his elevation to the nobility; and, in 1888, by his appointment as first director of the Physico-Technical Institute at Berlin, the post that he held for the rest of his life.

Helmholtz in 1848
  The variety of positions he held reflects his interests and competence but does not reflect the way in which his mind worked. He did not start out in medicine, move to physiology, then drift into mathematics and physics. Rather, he was able to coordinate the insights he had acquired from his experience in these disciplines and to apply them to every problem he examined.

His greatest work, Handbook of Physiological Optics (1867), was characterized—like all of his scientific works—by a keen philosophical insight, molded by exact physiological investigations, and illustrated with mathematical precision and sound physical principles.

The general theme that runs through most, if not all, of Helmholtz’s work may be traced to his rejection of Nature philosophy, and the violence of his rejection of this seductive view of the world may well indicate the early attraction it had for him. Nature philosophy derived from Kant, who in the 1780s had suggested that the concepts of time, space, and causation were not products of sense experience but mental attributes by which it was possible to perceive the world.
Therefore, the mind did not merely record order in nature, as the Empiricists insisted; rather, the mind organized the world of perceptions so that, reflecting the divine reason, it could deduce the system of the world from a few basic principles.
Helmholtz opposed this view by insisting that all knowledge came through the senses.

Furthermore, all science could and should be reduced to the laws of classical mechanics, which, in his view, encompassed matter, force, and, later, energy, as the whole of reality.

Helmholtz’s approach to nature was evident in the very first scientific researches he undertook while working for his doctorate in the laboratory of Müller. Like most biologists, Müller was a vitalist who was convinced that it would be impossible ever to reduce living processes to the ordinary mechanical laws of physics and chemistry. The organism as a whole, he insisted, was greater than the sum of its physiological parts. There must be some vital force that coordinated the physiological action of organs to produce the harmonious organic behaviour that characterized the living creature. Such a vital force was not susceptible to experimental investigation, and Müller therefore concluded that a truly experimental physiology was impossible.

In Müller’s laboratory Helmholtz met a group of young men, among whom were Emil Heinrich Du Bois-Reymond, the founder of experimental neurophysiology, and Ernst Wilhelm von Brücke, who later became an expert on the operations of the human eye. Du Bois-Reymond expressed their opposition to Müller’s views in a statement that fully expressed Helmholtz’s own position. “Brücke and I,” Du Bois-Reymond wrote, “we have sworn to each other to validate the basic truth that in an organism no other forces have any effect than the common physiochemical ones.…”

It was with this attitude that Helmholtz began his doctoral thesis in 1842 on the connection between nerve fibres and nerve cells. This soon led him to a broader field of inquiry, namely, the source of animal heat. Recent publications in France had cast doubt upon the earlier confident assertion that all the heat produced in an animal body was the result of the heats of combination of the various chemical elements involved, particularly carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. In 1842 Justus von Liebig attempted to reestablish the mechanical theory of animal heat in his book Animal Chemistry; or, Organic Chemistry in Its Application to Physiology and Pathology. Liebig tried to do this by experiments, whereas Helmholtz took a much more general path. Having mastered both physics and mathematics, Helmholtz could do what no other physiologist of the time could even attempt—subject the problem to a mathematical and physical analysis. He supposed that, if vital heat were not the sum of all the heats of the substances involved in chemical reactions within the organic body, there must be some other source of heat not subject to physical laws. This, of course, was precisely what the vitalists argued. But such a source, Helmholtz went on, would permit the creation of a perpetual motion machine if the heat could, somehow, be harnessed. Physics, however, had rejected the possibility of a perpetual motion machine as early as 1775, when the Paris Academy of Sciences had declared itself on the question. Hence, Helmholtz concluded, vital heat must be the product of mechanical forces within the organism. From there he went on to generalize his results to state that all heat was related to ordinary forces and, finally, to state that force itself could never be destroyed. His paper “On the Conservation of Force,” which appeared in 1847, marked an epoch in both the history of physiology and the history of physics. For physiology, it provided a fundamental statement about organic nature that permitted physiologists henceforth to perform the same kind of material and energy balances as their colleagues in physics and chemistry. For the physical sciences, it provided one of the first, and certainly the clearest, statements of the principle of the conservation of energy.

In 1850 Helmholtz drove another nail into the coffin of vitalism. Müller had used the nerve impulse as an example of a vital function that would never be submitted to experimental measurement. Helmholtz found that this impulse was perfectly measurable and had the remarkably slow speed of some 90 feet (27 metres) per second. (This measurement was obtained by the invention of the myograph and illustrates Helmholtz’s ability to create new instruments.)
The slowness of the nerve impulse further supported those who insisted that it must involve the rearrangement of ponderable molecules, not the mysterious passage of a vital force.

  Among Helmholtz’s most valuable inventions were the ophthalmoscope and the ophthalmometer (or keratometer), both made in 1851. (English mathematician and inventor Charles Babbage developed an instrument in 1847 that closely resembled the ophthalmoscope.) While doing work on the eye, and incidentally showing that it was a rather imperfect piece of workmanship not at all consonant with the vitalistic idea of the divine mind at work, Helmholtz discovered that he could focus the light reflected from the retina to produce a sharp image of the tissue. The ophthalmoscope remains one of the most important instruments of the physician, who can use it to examine retinal blood vessels, from which clues to high blood pressure and to arterial disease may be observed. The ophthalmometer permits the measurement of the accommodation of the eye to changing optical circumstances, allowing, among other things, the proper prescription of eyeglasses.

Helmholtz’s researches on the eye were incorporated in his Handbook of Physiological Optics, the first volume of which appeared in 1856. In the second volume (1867), Helmholtz further investigated optical appearances and, more importantly, came to grips with a philosophical problem that was to occupy him for some years—Kant’s insistence that such basic concepts as time and space were not learned by experience but were provided by the mind to make sense of what the mind perceived. The problem had been greatly complicated by Müller’s statement of what he called the law of specific nerve energies. Müller discovered that sensory organs always “report” their own sense no matter how they are stimulated. Thus, for example, a blow to the eye, which has nothing whatsoever to do with optical phenomena, causes the recipient to “see stars.” Obviously, the eye is not reporting accurately on the external world, for the reality is the blow, not the stars. How, then, is it possible to have confidence in what the senses report about the external world? Helmholtz examined this question exhaustively in both his work on optics and in his masterly On the Sensation of Tone As a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music (1863). What he tried to do, without complete success, was to trace sensations through the sensory nerves and anatomical structures (such as the inner ear) to the brain in the hope of laying bare the complete mechanism of sensation. This task, it might be noted, has not been completed, and physiologists are still engaged in solving the mystery of how the mind knows anything about the outside world.

Helmholtz’s detailed investigation of vision permitted him to refute Kant’s theory of space by showing exactly how the sense of vision created the idea of space. Space, according to Helmholtz, was a learned, not an inherent, concept. Moreover, Helmholtz also attacked Kant’s insistence that space was necessarily three-dimensional because that was how the mind had to conceive it. Using his considerable mathematical talents, he investigated the properties of non-Euclidean space and showed that these could be conceived and worked with as easily as the geometry of three dimensions.

Helmholtz’s mathematical talents were not restricted to such theoretical planes as non-Euclidean geometry. He attacked and solved equations that had long frustrated physicists and mathematicians. In 1858 he published the paper “On the Integrals of Hydrodynamic Equations to Which Vortex Motions Conform.”
This was not only a mathematical tour de force, but, for a brief time, it also seemed to provide a key to the fundamental structure of matter.

One of the consequences that flowed from Helmholtz’s mathematical analysis was that vortices of an ideal fluid were amazingly stable; they could collide elastically with one another, intertwine to form complex knotlike structures, and undergo tensions and compressions, all without losing their identities. In 1866 William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) proposed that these vortices, if composed of the ether that was presumed to be the basis for optical, electrical, and magnetic phenomena, could act exactly like primeval atoms of solid matter. Thus the ether would become the only substance in the cosmos, and all physical phenomena could be accounted for in terms of its static and dynamic properties.

Hermann von Helmholtz

  Later life
Helmholtz’s work in electricity and magnetism revealed his conviction that classical mechanics was probably the best mode of scientific reasoning. He was one of the first German scientists to appreciate the work in electrodynamics of the British scientists Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell. Faraday had appeared to strike at the foundation of Newtonian physics by his unorthodox rejection of action at a distance, that is, action between two bodies in space without alteration of the medium between them.

Maxwell, however, by interpreting the mathematics of Faraday’s laws, showed there was no contradiction between Newtonian physics and classical mechanics. Helmholtz further developed the mathematics of electrodynamics. He spent his last years unsuccessfully trying to reduce all of electrodynamics to a minimum set of mathematical principles, an attempt in which he had to rely increasingly on the mechanical properties of the ether thought to pervade all space.

Helmholtz was not in complete accord with Maxwell on the nature of electricity. Unlike Maxwell, Helmholtz was interested in and had studied electrochemistry, particularly the nature of the galvanic cell. Maxwell would have made the electric current solely the result of the polarization of the ether, or of whatever medium the current flowed through.

Helmholtz, on the other hand, was fully conversant with Faraday’s laws of electrolysis, which related the amount of current that passed through an electrochemical cell to the equivalent weights of the elements deposited at the poles. In 1881, in a lecture delivered in Faraday’s honour in London, Helmholtz argued that if scientists accepted the existence of chemical atoms, as most chemists of the time did, then Faraday’s laws necessarily implied the particulate nature of electricity. This hypothetical particle was soon christened the electron and, ironically, the physics of its existence helped to falsify Helmholtz’s theories of electrodynamics.

Though he was unsuccessful in his goal to formulate electrodynamics, Helmholtz was almost able to deduce all electromagnetic effects from the ether’s supposed properties. The discovery of radio waves by his pupil Heinrich Hertz in 1888 was viewed as the experimental confirmation of the theories of Faraday, Maxwell, and Helmholtz. The special and general theories of relativity, proposed by Albert Einstein, destroyed Helmholtz’s theories by eliminating the ether.

Helmholtz’s early work on sound and music had led him to the study of wave motion. His work on the conservation of energy familiarized him with the problems of energy transfer. These two areas coalesced in his later years in his studies of meteorology, but the phenomena were so complex that he could do little more than point the way to future areas of research.

Helmholtz’s work was the end product of the development of classical mechanics. He pushed it as far as it could go. When Helmholtz died, the world of physics was poised on the brink of revolution. The discovery of X-rays, radioactivity, and relativity led to a new kind of physics in which Helmholtz’s achievements, although impressive, had little to offer the new generation.

L. Pearce Williams

Encyclopædia Britannica

Thomas Johann Seebeck discovers thermoelectricity
Seebeck Thomas Johann

Thomas Johann Seebeck, (born Apr. 9, 1770, Tallinn, Estonia, Russian Empire—died Dec. 10, 1831, Berlin, Prussia [Germany]), German physicist who discovered (1821) that an electric current flows between different conductive materials that are kept at different temperatures, known as the Seebeck effect.


Thomas Johann Seebeck
  Seebeck studied medicine at Berlin and at the University of Gottingen, where he acquired an M.D. in 1802.

However, he abandoned medical practice for scientific research. He was chosen (1814) as a member of the Berlin Academy and was awarded (1816) the academy’s annual prize for his investigation of polarization in stressed glass.

In numerous experiments on the magnetizability of various metals, he observed the anomalous reaction of magnetized red-hot iron, which eventually resulted in the phenomenon now known as hysteresis.

Continued experiments with different metal pairs and a variety of conductors revealed that it was possible to place the many conducting materials in a thermoelectric series.

His most important contribution, however, was the Seebeck effect. He discovered that if a copper strip was joined to a strip of bismuth to form a closed circuit, heating one junction induced a current of electricity to flow around the circuit as long as the difference in temperature existed.

This remained true of any pair of metals, and his original experiment revealed that merely holding one junction by hand was adequate to produce a measurable current.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Seebeck effect
In 1821 Thomas Johann Seebeck found that a circuit made from two dissimilar metals, with junctions at different temperatures would deflect a compass magnet. Seebeck initially believed this was due tomagnetism induced by the temperature difference. However, it was quickly realized that it was an electrical current that is induced, which by Ampere's law deflects the magnet. More specifically, the temperature difference, produces an electric potential (voltage) which can drive an electric current in a closed circuit. Today, this effect is known as the Peltier–Seebeck effect.
The voltage produced is proportional to the temperature difference between the two junctions. The proportionality constant (a) is known as the Seebeck coefficient, and often referred to as the thermoelectric power or thermopower. The Seebeck voltage does not depend on the distribution of temperature along the metals between the junctions. This effect is the physical basis for a thermocouple, which is used often for temperature measurement.

V = a(T_h - T_c)\,\!

The voltage difference, V, produced across the terminals of an open circuit made from a pair of dissimilar metals, A and B, whose two junctions are held at different temperatures, is directly proportional to the difference between the hot and cold junction temperatures, Th  Tc. The voltage or current produced across the junctions of two different metals is caused due to the diffusion of electrons from high electron density region to low electron density region as the density of electrons is different in different metals. Due to this the current flows in opposite direction. If both the junctions are kept at same temperature,equal amount of electron diffuses at both the junctions. Therefore the current at both the junctions are equal and opposite and the net current is zero, and if both the junctions are kept at different temperature then diffusion at both the junctions are different and hence different amount of current is produced. Therefore the net current is not zero. This is known as the phenomena of thermoelectricity.

Virchow Rudolf

Rudolf Virchow, in full Rudolf Carl Virchow (born Oct. 13, 1821, Schivelbein, Pomerania, Prussia [now Świdwin, Pol.]—died Sept. 5, 1902, Berlin, Ger.), German pathologist and statesman, one of the most prominent physicians of the 19th century. He pioneered the modern concept of pathological processes by his application of the cell theory to explain the effects of disease in the organs and tissues of the body. He emphasized that diseases arose, not in organs or tissues in general, but primarily in their individual cells. Moreover, he campaigned vigorously for social reforms and contributed to the development of anthropology as a modern science.


Rudolf Virchow
  Early career
In 1839 Virchow began the study of medicine at the Friedrich Wilhelm Institute of the University of Berlin and was graduated as a doctor of medicine in 1843. As an intern at the Charité Hospital, he studied pathological histology and in 1845 published a paper in which he described one of the two earliest reported cases of leukemia. This paper became a classic. Virchow was appointed prosector at the Charité, and in 1847 he began, with his friend Benno Reinhardt, a new journal, Archiv für pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie, und für klinische Medizin (“Archives for Pathological Anatomy and Physiology, and for Clinical Medicine”). After Reinhardt’s death in 1852, Virchow continued as sole editor of the journal, now known as Virchows Archiv, until his own death 50 years later.

Early in 1848 Virchow was appointed by the Prussian government to investigate an outbreak of typhus fever in Upper Silesia; his subsequent report laid the blame for the outbreak on social conditions and on the government. The government was annoyed, but it had to deal with the revolution of 1848 in Berlin. Eight days after his return from Silesia, Virchow was fighting at the barricades. After the revolution Virchow embraced the cause of such medical reforms as abolition of the various grades of physicians and surgeons, and from July 1848 to June 1849 he published a weekly paper, Die Medizinische Reform, much of which he wrote himself.

His liberal views led the government, on March 31, 1849, to suspend him from his post at the Charité, but a fortnight later he was reinstated, with the loss of certain privileges.

In 1849 Virchow was appointed to the newly established chair of pathological anatomy at the University of Würzburg—the first chair of that subject in Germany. During his seven fruitful years in that post, the number of medical students in the university increased from 98 to 388. Many men who later attained fame in the medical field received training there from him.

In 1850 he married Rose Mayer, with whom he had three sons and three daughters. At Würzburg Virchow published many papers on pathological anatomy.

Rudolf Virchow, 1892
  He began there the publication of his six-volume Handbuch der speziellen Pathologie und Therapie (“Handbook of Special Pathology and Therapeutics”), most of the first volume of which he wrote himself. At Würzburg he also began to formulate his theories on cellular pathology and started his anthropological work with studies of the skulls of cretins (dwarfed, mentally deficient individuals) and investigations into the development of the base of the skull.

In 1856 a chair of pathological anatomy was established for Virchow at the University of Berlin; he accepted the call subject to certain conditions, one of which was the erection of a new pathological institute, which he used for the rest of his life. During much of this second Berlin period, Virchow actively engaged in politics.

In 1859 he was elected to the Berlin City Council, focusing his attention on public health matters, such as sewage disposal, the design of hospitals, meat inspection, and school hygiene. He supervised the design of two large new Berlin hospitals, the Friedrichshain and the Moabit, opened a nursing school in the Friedrichshain Hospital, and designed the new Berlin sewer system.

In 1861 Virchow was elected to the Prussian Diet. He was a founder of the Fortschrittspartei (Progressive Party) and a determined and untiring opponent of Otto von Bismarck, who in 1865 challenged him to a duel, which he wisely declined. In the wars of 1866 and 1870 Virchow confined his political activities to the erection of military hospitals and the equipping of hospital trains. In the Franco-German War he personally led the first hospital train to the front. He was a member of the Reichstag from 1880 to 1893.

Medical investigations
By 1848 Virchow had disproved a prominent view that phlebitis (inflammation of a vein) causes most diseases. He demonstrated that masses in the blood vessels resulted from “thrombosis” (his term) and that portions of a thrombus could become detached to form an “embolus” (also his term). An embolus set free in the circulation might eventually be trapped in a narrower vessel and lead to a serious lesion in the neighbouring parts.

Rudolf Virchow, 1902
  Virchow’s concept of cellular pathology was initiated while he was at Würzburg. Until the latter part of the 18th century, diseases were supposed to be due to an imbalance of the four fluid humours of the body (blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile). This was the “humoral pathology,” which dated back to the Greeks. In 1761 an Italian anatomist, Giovanni Battista Morgagni, showed that diseases were due not to an imbalance of the humours but to lesions in organs. Around 1800 a French anatomist, Xavier Bichat, demonstrated that the body was made up of 21 different kinds of tissues, and he conceived that in a diseased organ only some of its tissues might be affected.

The later events in the complex history of the cell theory were taking place while Virchow was a youth. At Würzburg he began to realize that one form of the cell theory, which postulated that every cell originated from a preexisting cell rather than from amorphous material, could give new insight into pathological processes. In this he was influenced by the work of many others, notably by the views of John Goodsir of Edinburgh on the cell as a centre of nutrition and by the investigations of Robert Remak, a German neuroanatomist and embryologist, who in 1852 was one of the first to point out that cell division accounted for the multiplication of cells to form tissues. By that year Remak had concluded that new cells arose from existing cells in diseased as well as healthy tissue. Remak’s writings, however, had little influence on pathologists and medical practitioners. Thus the idea expressed by Virchow’s omnis cellula e cellula (“every cell is derived from a [preexisting] cell”) is not completely original. Even this aphorism is not Virchow’s; it was coined by François Vincent Raspail in 1825. But Virchow made cellular pathology into a system of overwhelming importance. His main statement of the theory was given in a series of 20 lectures in 1858.
The lectures, published in 1858 as his book Die Cellularpathologie in ihrer Begründung auf physiologische und pathologische Gewebenlehre (Cellular Pathology as Based upon Physiological and Pathological Histology), at once transformed scientific thought in the whole field of biology.

Virchow shed new light on the process of inflammation, though he erroneously rejected the possibility of migration of the leukocytes (white blood cells). He distinguished between fatty infiltration and fatty degeneration, and he introduced the modern conception of amyloid (starchy) degeneration.
He devoted great attention to the pathology of tumours, but the importance of his papers on malignant tumours and of his three-volume work on that subject (Die krankhaften Geschwülste, 1863–67) was somewhat marred by his erroneous conception that malignancy results from a conversion (metaplasia) of connective tissue.
His work on the role of animal parasites, especially trichina, in causing disease in humans was fundamental and led to his own public interest in meat inspection. In 1874 he introduced a standardized technique for performing autopsies, by the use of which the whole body was examined in detail, often revealing unsuspected lesions.

Virchow’s attitude to the new science of bacteriology was complex. He was somewhat resistant to the idea that bacteria had a role in causing disease, and he rightly argued that the presence of a certain microorganism in a patient with a particular disease did not always indicate that that organism was the cause of the disease. He suggested, long before toxins were actually discovered, that some bacteria might produce these substances. Though it is sometimes said that Virchow was antagonistic to Charles Darwin’s theory of the origin of species by natural selection, the fact is that he accepted the theory as a hypothesis but maintained throughout his later years that there was insufficient scientific evidence to justify its full acceptance.

  Work in anthropology
In 1865 Virchow discovered pile dwellings in northern Germany, and in 1870 he started to excavate hill forts. Meanwhile he had been using his enormous influence in the cause of anthropology.
In 1869 he was part founder of the German Anthropological Society, and in the same year he founded the Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology, and Prehistory, of which he was president from 1869 until his death. During the whole of that period, he edited its Zeitschrift für Ethnologie (“Journal of Ethnology”).

In 1874 Virchow met Heinrich Schliemann, the discoverer of the site of Troy, and he accompanied Schliemann to Troy in 1879 and to Egypt in 1888. It was due largely to Virchow that Schliemann gave his magnificent collection to Berlin. In 1881 and in 1894 Virchow made personal expeditions to the Caucasus. Virchow was the organizer of German anthropology.

In 1873 Virchow was elected to the Prussian Academy of Sciences. He declined to be ennobled as “von Virchow,” but in 1894 he was created Geheimrat (“privy councillor”).

E. Ashworth Underwood

Encyclopædia Britannica

Sir Charles Wheatstone demonstrates sound reproduction
Wheatstone Charles

Sir Charles Wheatstone, (born Feb. 6, 1802, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Eng.—died Oct. 19, 1875, Paris), English physicist who popularized the Wheatstone bridge, a device that accurately measured electrical resistance and became widely used in laboratories.


Sir Charles Wheatstone
  Wheatstone was appointed professor of experimental philosophy at King’s College, London, in 1834, the same year that he used a revolving mirror in an experiment to measure the speed of electricity in a conductor. The same revolving mirror, by his suggestion, was later used in measurements of the speed of light. Three years later, with Sir William Fothergill Cooke of England, he patented an early telegraph. In 1843, he brought to notice the Wheatstone bridge, a device invented by British mathematician Samuel Christie.

His own inventions include the concertina, a type of small accordion, and the stereoscope, a device for observing pictures in three dimensions still used in viewing X-rays and aerial photographs. He initiated the use of electromagnets in electric generators and invented the Playfair cipher, which is based on substituting different pairs of letters for paired letters in the message. He was knighted in 1868.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Music instruments and acoustics
In September 1821, Wheatstone brought himself into public notice by exhibiting the 'Enchanted Lyre,' or 'Aconcryptophone,' at a music-shop at Pall Mall and in the Adelaide Gallery. It consisted of a mimic lyre hung from the ceiling by a cord, and emitting the strains of several instruments – the piano, harp, and dulcimer. In reality it was a mere sounding box, and the cord was a steel rod that conveyed the vibrations of the music from the several instruments which were played out of sight and ear-shot. At this period Wheatstone made numerous experiments on sound and its transmission. Some of his results are preserved in Thomson's Annals of Philosophy for 1823. He recognised that sound is propagated by waves or oscillations of the atmosphere, as light was then believed to be by undulations of the luminiferous ether. Water, and solid bodies, such as glass, or metal, or sonorous wood, convey the modulations with high velocity, and he conceived the plan of transmitting sound-signals, music, or speech to long distances by this means. He estimated that sound would travel 200 miles per second (322 km/s) through solid rods, and proposed to telegraph from London to Edinburgh in this way. He even called his arrangement a 'telephone.' (Robert Hooke, in his Micrographia, published in 1667, writes: 'I can assure the reader that I have, by the help of a distended wire, propagated the sound to a very considerable distance in an instant, or with as seemingly quick a motion as that of light.' Nor was it essential the wire should be straight; it might be bent into angles. This property is the basis of the mechanical or lover's telephone, said to have been known to the Chinese many centuries ago. Hooke also considered the possibility of finding a way to quicken our powers of hearing.) A writer in the Repository of Arts for 1 September 1821, in referring to the 'Enchanted Lyre,' beholds the prospect of an opera being performed at the King's Theatre, and enjoyed at the Hanover Square Rooms, or even at the Horns Tavern, Kennington. The vibrations are to travel through underground conductors, like to gas in pipes.

Sir Charles Wheatstone
  And if music be capable of being thus conducted,' he observes, 'perhaps the words of speech may be susceptible of the same means of propagation. The eloquence of counsel, the debates of Parliament, instead of being read the next day only, – But we shall lose ourselves in the pursuit of this curious subject.
Besides transmitting sounds to a distance, Wheatstone devised a simple instrument for augmenting feeble sounds, to which he gave the name of 'Microphone.' It consisted of two slender rods, which conveyed the mechanical vibrations to both ears, and is quite different from the electrical microphone of Professor Hughes.

In 1823, his uncle, the musical instrument maker, died, and Wheatstone, with his elder brother, William, took over the business. Charles had no great liking for the commercial part, but his ingenuity found a vent in making improvements on the existing instruments, and in devising philosophical toys. He also invented instruments of his own. One of the most famous was the Wheatstone concertina. It was a six sided instrument with 64 keys. These keys provided for simple chromatic fingerings. The English Concertina became increasingly famous throughout his lifetime, however it didn't reach its peak of popularity until the early 20th century.

In 1827, Wheatstone introduced his 'kaleidophone', a device for rendering the vibrations of a sounding body apparent to the eye.

It consists of a metal rod, carrying at its end a silvered bead, which reflects a 'spot' of light. As the rod vibrates the spot is seen to describe complicated figures in the air, like a spark whirled about in the darkness. His photometer was probably suggested by this appliance. It enables two lights to be compared by the relative brightness of their reflections in a silvered bead, which describes a narrow ellipse, so as to draw the spots into parallel lines.

In 1828, Wheatstone improved the German wind instrument, called the Mundharmonika, until it became the popular concertina, patented on 19 December 1829 . The portable harmonium is another of his inventions, which gained a prize medal at the Great Exhibition of 1851. He also improved the speaking machine of De Kempelen, and endorsed the opinion of Sir David Brewster, that before the end of this century a singing and talking apparatus would be among the conquests of science.

In 1834, Wheatstone, who had won a name for himself, was appointed to the Chair of Experimental Physics in King's College London. His first course of lectures on sound were a complete failure, due to his abhorrence of public speaking. In the rostrum he was tongue-tied and incapable, sometimes turning his back on the audience and mumbling to the diagrams on the wall. In the laboratory he felt himself at home, and ever after confined his duties mostly to demonstration.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"The Guardian"
The Guardian, formerly (1821–1959) The Manchester Guardian, influential daily newspaper published in London, generally considered one of the United Kingdom’s leading newspapers.
The paper was founded in Manchester in 1821 as the weekly Manchester Guardian but became a daily after the British government lifted its Stamp Tax on newspapers in 1855. “Manchester” was dropped from the name in 1959 to reflect the newspaper’s standing as a national daily with a positive international reputation, and its editor and editorial staff moved to London in 1964.

The Guardian has historically been praised for its investigative journalism, its dispassionate discussion of issues, its literary and artistic coverage and criticism, and its foreign correspondence. The Guardian’s editorial stance is considered less conservative than that of The Daily Telegraph and The Times, its main London competitors, but its reporting is also marked by its independence. The paper was once called “Britain’s non-conformist conscience.”

  Its editorial approach is credited to the 57-year tenure of Charles Prestwich Scott, which began in 1871, when the paper covered both the Prussian and the French sides in the Franco-German War.

As Scott once described his paper’s publishing philosophy, “Comment is free. Facts are sacred…. The voice of opponents no less than of friends has a right to be heard.”

The paper is owned by the Scott Trust, which also owns the Guardian Media Group. Income from the group supports the newspaper and allows it to remain financially secure. The trust ownership structure has prevented a buyout of the newspaper by larger media owners.

Encyclopædia Britannica
Population of European countries (in millions) France: 30.4; Great Britain: 20.8; Italy: 18.0; Austria: 12.0; Germany: 26.0
Population of the U.S.: 9.6 million

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