Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 
 

TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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1800 - 1899
 
 
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK-1850 Part I NEXT-1850 Part III    
 
 
     
1850 - 1859
YEAR BY YEAR:
1850-1859
History at a Glance
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1850 Part I
Compromise of 1850
Constitution of Prussia
The eight Kaffir War, 1850-1853
Masaryk Tomas
Kitchener Horatio Herbert
Erfurt Union
Fillmore Millard
California
Taiping Rebellion
Hong Xiuquan
Feng Yunshan
Yang Xiuqing
Shi Dakai
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1850 Part II
Protestant churches in Prussia
Public Libraries Act 1850
Schopenhauer: "Parerga und Paralipomena"
Herbert Spencer: "Social Statics"
E. B. Browning: "Sonnets from the Portuguese"
Emerson: "Representative Men"
Hawthorne: "The Scarlet Letter"
Herzen Aleksandr
Ibsen: "Catiline"
Loti Pierre
Maupassant Guy
Guy de Maupassant
"Bel-Ami"
Stevenson Robert Louis
Robert Louis Stevenson  
"Treasure Island
"
Turgenev: "A Month in the Country"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1850 Part III
Corot: "Une Matinee"
Courbet: "The Stone Breakers"
Menzel: "Round Table at Sansouci"
Millais: "Christ in the House of His Parents"
Millet: "The Sower"
Bristow George Frederick
George Frederick Bristow - Dream Land
George Frederick Bristow
Schumann: "Genoveva"
Wagner: "Lohengrin"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1850 Part IV
Bernard Claude
Clausius Rudolf
Stephenson Robert
Chebyshev Pafnuty Lvovich
Barth Heinrich
Galton Francis
Anderson Karl John
McClure Robert
McClure Arctic Expedition
Royal Meteorological Society
University of Sydney
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1851 Part I
Victoria, state of Australia
Murdock Joseph Ballard
Machado Bernardino
Bourgeois Leon Victor Auguste
Foch Ferdinand
Bombardment of Sale
French coup d'état
Danilo II
Hawthorne: "The House of Seven Gables"
Gottfried Keller: "Der grune Heinrich"
Ward Humphry
Ruskin: "The Stones of Venice"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1851 Part II
Herman Melville: "Moby Dick"
Corot: "La Danse des Nymphes"
Walter Thomas Ustick
Ward Leslie
Crystal Palace
Falero Luis Ricardo
Luis Ricardo Falero
Kroyer Peder
Peder Kroyer
Hughes Edward Robert
Edward Robert Hughes
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1851 Part III
Gounod: "Sappho"
D’Indy Vincent
Vincent D'Indy - Medee
Vincent d'Indy
Verdi: "Rigoletto"
Bogardus James
Cast-iron architecture
Kapteyn Jacobus Cornelius
Helmholtz's ophthalmoscope
Neumann Franz Ernst
Ruhmkorff Heinrich Daniel
Singer Isaac Merrit
Cubitt William
Thomson William
Royal School of Mines
Carpenter Mary
"The New York Times"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1852 Part I
Joffre Joseph
Transvaal
Second French Empire
Second Anglo-Burmese War
New Zealand Constitution Act
Asquith Herbert Henry
Pierce Franklin
Delisle Leopold Victor
Fischer Kuno
First Plenary Council of Baltimore
Vaihinger Hans
Gioberti Vincenzo
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1852 Part II
Bourget Paul
Creasy Edward
Creasy: "The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World: from Marathon to Waterloo"
Charles Dickens: "Bleak House"
Theophile Gautier: "Emaux et Camees"
Moore George
Reade Charles
Harriet Beecher Stowe: "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
Thackeray: "History of Henry Esmond"
Turgenev: "A Sportsman's Sketches"
Zhukovsky Vasily
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1852 Part III
Fopd Madox Brown: "Christ Washing Peter's Feet"
William Holman Hunt: "The Light of the World"
John Everett Millais: "Ophelia"
Bryullov Karl
Karl Bryullov
Stanford Charles
Charles Villiers Stanford - Piano Concerto No.2
Charles Stanford
Becquerel Henri
Gerhardt Charles Frederic
Van’t Hoff Jacobus Henricus
Mathijsen Antonius
Michelson Albert
Ramsay William
Sylvester James Joseph
United All-England Eleven
Wells Fargo & Company
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1853 Part I
Eugenie de Montijo
Crimean War
Battle of Sinop
Rhodes Cecil
Peter V
Nagpur Province
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1853 Part II
Mommsen: "History of Rome"
Matthew Arnold: "The Scholar-Gipsy"
Charlotte Bronte: "Villette"
Caine Hall
Elizabeth Gaskell: "Ruth"
Nathaniel Hawthorne: "Tanglewood Tales"
Charles Kingsley: "Hypatia"
Tree Herbert Beerbohm
Charlotte M. Yonge: "The Heir of Redclyffe"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1853 Part III
Haussmann Georges-Eugene
Larsson Carl
Carl Larsson
Hodler Ferdinand
Ferdinand Hodler
Van Gogh Vincent
Vincent van Gogh
Steinway Henry Engelhard
Verdi: "Il Trovatore"
Verdi: "La Traviata"
Wood Alexander
"Die Gartenlaube"
International Statistical Congress
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1854 Part I
Bloemfontein Convention
Orange Free State
Battle of the Alma
Menshikov Alexander Sergeyevich
Siege of Sevastopol (1854-1855)
Kornilov Vladimir Alexeyevich
Battle of Balaclava
Battle of Inkerman
Perry Matthew Calbraith
Gadsden Purchase
Bleeding Kansas (1854–59)
Kansas-Nebraska Act
Elgin-Marcy Treaty
Republican Party
Said of Egypt
Ostend Manifesto
Zollverein
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1854 Part II
Herzog Johann
Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau
Youthful Offenders Act 1854
Immaculate Conception
Patmore Coventry
Patmore: "The Angel in the House"
Sandeau Leonard
Guerrazzi Francesco Domenico
Rimbaud Arthur
Arthur Rimbaud "Poems"
Tennyson: "The Charge of the Light Brigade"
Thackeray: "The Rose and the Ring"
Thoreau: "Walden, or Life in the Woods"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1854 Part III
Courbet: "Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet"
Frith William Powell
William Frith
Millet: "The Reaper"
Angrand Charles
Charles Angrand
Gotch Thomas Cooper
Thomas Cooper Gotch
Berlioz: "The Infant Christ"
Humperdinck Engelbert
Humperdinck - Hansel und Gretel
Liszt: "Les Preludes"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1854 Part IV
Poincare Henri
Eastman George
Ehrenberg Christian Gottfried
Paul Ehrlich
Laryngoscopy
Goebel Henry
George Boole: "The Laws of Thought"
Riemann Bernhard
Wallace Alfred Russel
Southeast Asia
"Le Figaro"
Litfass Ernst
Northcote–Trevelyan Report
Maurice Frederick Denison
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1855 Part I
Alexander II
Istomin Vladimir Ivanovich
Somerset FitzRoy
Nakhimov Pavel Stepanovich
Treaty of Peshawar
Bain Alexander
Droysen Johann
Gratry Auguste
Milman Henry
Le Play Pierre
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1855 Part II
Charles Kingsley: "Westward Ho!"
Nerval Gerard
Charles Dickens "Little Dorrit"
Ganghofer Ludwig
Longfellow: "The Song of Hiawatha"
Corelli Marie
Pinero Arthur Wing
Tennyson: "Maud"
Anthony Trollope: "The Warden"
Turgenev: "Rudin"
Walt Whitman: "Leaves of Grass"
Berlioz: "Те Deum"
Verdi: "Les Vepres Siciliennes"
Chansson Ernest
Chausson - Poeme
Ernest Chausson
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1855 Part III
Rayon
Hughes David Edward
Lowell Percival
Cunard Line
"The Daily Telegraph"
Niagara Falls suspension bridge
Paris World Fair
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1856 Part I
Victoria Cross
Doctrine of Lapse
Oudh State
Ottoman Reform Edict of 1856
Congress of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1856)
Napoleon, Prince Imperial
Sacking of Lawrence
Pottawatomie massacre
Second Opium War (1856-1860)
Anglo–Persian War (1856-1857)
Buchanan James
Tasmania
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1856 Part II
Froude: "History of England"
Goldstucker Theodor
Lotze Rudolf Hermann
Motley: "Rise of the Dutch Republic"
Flaubert: "Madame Bovary"
Haggard Henry Rider
Victor Hugo: "Les Contemplations"
Charles Reade: "It Is Never Too Late to Mend"
Shaw George Bernard
Wilde Oscar
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1856 Part III
Berlage Hendrik Petrus
Ferstel Heinrich
Sargent John
John Singer Sargent
Vrubel Mikhail
Mikhail Vrubel
Cross Henri Edmond
Henri-Edmond Cross
Bechstein Carl
Dargomyzhsky Alexander
Alexander Dargomyzhsky: "Rusalka"
Alexander Dargomyzhsky
Maillart Aime
Aime Maillart - Les Dragons de Villars
Sinding Christian
Sinding - Suite in A minor
Christian Sinding
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1856 Part IV
Bessemer Henry
Bessemer process
Freud Sigmund
Sigmund Freud
Peary Robert Edwin
Mauveine
Pringsheim Nathanael
Siemens Charles William
Hardie James Keir
Taylor Frederick Winslow
"Big Ben"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1857 Part I
Treaty of Paris
Indian Rebellion of 1857
Italian National Society
Manin Daniele
Taft William Howard
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1857 Part II
Buckle Henry Thomas
Buckle: "History of Civilization in England"
Charles Baudelaire: "Les Fleurs du mal"
Conrad Joseph
Joseph Conrad 
"Lord Jim"
George Eliot: "Scenes from Clerical Life"
Hughes Thomas
Thomas Hughes: "Tom Brown's Schooldays"
Mulock Dinah
 Pontoppidan Henrik
Adalbert Stifter: "Nachsommer"
Sudermann Hermann
Thackeray: "The Virginians"
Anthony Trollope: "Barchester Towers"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1857 Part III
Klinger Max
Max Klinger
Millet: "The Gleaners"
Dahl Johan Christian
Johan Christian Dahl
Leoncavallo Ruggero
Ruggero Leoncavallo - Pagliacci
Ruggero Leoncavallo 
Elgar Edward
Edward Elgar - The Light of Life
Edward Elgar
Kienzl Wilhelm
Wilhelm Kienzl - Symphonic Variations
Wilhelm Kienzl
Liszt: "Eine Faust-Symphonie"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1857 Part IV
Coue Emile
Hertz Heinrich
Wagner-Jauregg Julius
Ross Ronald
Newton Charles Thomas
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
Burton Richard
Speke John Hanning
The Nile Quest
McClintock Francis
Alpine Club
"The Atlantic Monthly"
Baden-Powell Robert
Matrimonial Causes Act
North German Lloyd
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1858 Part I
Orsini Felice
Stanley Edward
Minnesota
Treaty of Tientsin
Government of India Act 1858
Law Bonar
William I
Karageorgevich Alexander
Roosevelt Theodore
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1858 Part II
Bernadette Soubirous
Carey Henry Charles
Thomas Carlyle: "History of Friedrich II of Prussia"
Hecker Isaac
Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle
Rothschild Lionel Nathan
Schaff Philip
Benson Frank
Feuillet Octave
Oliver Wendell Holmes: "The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table"
Kainz Joseph
Lagerlof Selma
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1858 Part III
Corinth Lovis
Lovis Corinth
William Powell Frith: "The Derby Day"
Menzel: "Bon soir, Messieurs"
Segantini Giovanni
Giovanni Segantini
Khnopff Fernand
Fernand Khnopff
Toorop Jan
Cornelius Peter
Cornelius: "Der Barbier von Bagdad"
Jaques Offenbach: "Orpheus in der Unterwelt"
Puccini Giacomo
Giacomo Puccini: Donna non vidi mai
Giacomo Puccini
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1858 Part IV
Diesel Rudolf
Huxley Thomas Henry
Planck Max
Mirror galvanometer
General Medical Council
Suez Canal Company
S.S. "Great Eastern"
Webb Beatrice
Webb Sidney
Transatlantic telegraph cable
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1859 Part I
Second Italian War of Independence
Battle of Varese
Battle of Palestro
Battle of Magenta
Battle of Solferino
Oregon
Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies
Francis II of the Two Sicilies
Charles XV of Sweden
German National Association
Jaures Jean
Roon Albrecht
William II
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1859 Part II
Bergson Henri
Henri Bergson
Bergson Henri "Creative Evolution"
Charles Darwin: "On the Origin of Species"
Dewey John
Husserl Edmund
Karl Marx: "Critique of Political Economy"
John Stuart Mill: "Essay on Liberty"
Tischendorf Konstantin
Codex Sinaiticus
Villari Pasquale
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1859 Part III
Dickens: "A Tale of Two Cities"
Doyle Arthur Conan
Arthur Conan Doyle  
"SHERLOCK HOLMES"
Duse Eleonora
George Eliot: "Adam Bede"
Edward Fitzgerald: "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam"
Ivan Goncharov: "Oblomov"
Hamsun Knut
Heidenstam Verner
Housman Alfred Edward
A.E. Housman 
"A Shropshire Lad", "Last Poems"
Victor Hugo: "La Legende des siecles"
Jerome K. Jerome
Tennyson: "Idylls of the King"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1859 Part IV
Corot: "Macbeth"
Gilbert Cass
Millet: "The Angelus"
Hassam Childe
Childe Hassam 
Seurat Georges
Georges Seurat
Whistler: "At the Piano"
Daniel Decatur Emmett: "Dixie"
Gounod: "Faust"
Verdi: "Un Ballo in Maschera"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1859 Part V
Arrhenius Svante
Kirchhoff Gustav
Curie Pierre
Drake Edwin
Drake Well
Plante Gaston
Lead–acid battery
Smith Henry John Stephen
Brunel Isambard Kingdom
Blondin Charles
Lansbury George
Samuel Smiles: "Self-Help"
 
 
 

Rodin. Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)
 
 
 
 
 HISTORY, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, ART, LITERATURE, MUSIC, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, DAILY LIFE
 
 
 
 
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
 
 
 
1850 Part II
 
 
 
1850
 
 
Protestant churches in Prussia
 

In 1850 the prevailingly Catholic principalities of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, ruled by Catholic princely branches of the Hohenzollern family, joined the Kingdom of Prussia and became the Province of Hohenzollern.

 
There had hardly been any Protestants in the tiny area, but with the support from Berlin congregational structures were built up. Until 1874 three (later altogether five) congregations were founded and in 1889 organised as a deanery of its own. The congregations were stewarded by the Evangelical Supreme Church Council like congregations of expatriates abroad. Only on 1 January 1899 the congregations became an integral part of the Prussian state church.

No separate ecclesiastical province was established, but the deanery was supervised by that of the Rhineland. In 1866 Prussia annexed the Kingdom of Hanover (then converted into the Province of Hanover), the Free City of Frankfurt upon Main, the Electorate of Hesse, and the Duchy of Nassau (combined as Province of Hesse-Nassau) as well as the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein (becoming the Province of Schleswig-Holstein), all prevailingly Lutheran territories, where Lutherans and the minority of Calvinists had not united.

After the trouble with the Old Lutherans in pre-1866 Prussia, the Prussian government refrained from imposing the Prussian Union onto the church bodies in these territories. Also the reconciliation of the Lutheran majority of the citizens in the annexed states with their new Prussian citizenship was not to be further complicated by religious quarrels. Thus the Protestant organisations in the annexed territories maintained their prior constitutions or developed new, independent Lutheran or Calvinist structures.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
1850
 
 
Public Libraries Act 1850
 

The Public Libraries Act 1850 (13 & 14 Vict c.65) was an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament which first gave local boroughs the power to establish free public libraries. The Act was the first legislative step in the creation of an enduring national institution that provides universal free access to information and literature, and was indicative of the moral, social and educative concerns of the time. The legacy of the Act can be followed through subsequent legislation that built on and expanded the powers granted in 1850 and the 4,540 public libraries that exist in the United Kingdom in the 21st century can trace their origins back to this Act.

 
Historical background
In the 1830s, at the height of the Chartist movement, there was a general tendency towards reformism in the United Kingdom. This prompted much new legislation to be passed, such as the Parliamentary Reform Act 1832, the Factory Act 1833, the first instance of a Government grant for education in the same year and the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834.

The Capitalist economic model had created shift patterns which left workers with free time, in contrast to the agrarian model, and the middle classes were concerned that the workers’ free time was not being well-spent. This was prompted more by Victorian middle class paternalism rather than by demand from the lower social orders.

Campaigners felt that encouraging the lower classes to spend their free time on morally uplifting activities, such as reading, would promote greater social good.

In 1835, and against government opposition, James Silk Buckingham, MP for Sheffield and a supporter of the temperance movement, was able to secure the Chair of the Select Committee which would examine "the extent, causes, and consequences of the prevailing vice of intoxication among the labouring classes of the United Kingdom" and propose solutions.

Francis Place, a campaigner for the working class, agreed that "the establishment of parish libraries and district reading rooms, and popular lectures on subjects both entertaining and instructive to the community might draw off a number of those who now frequent public houses for the sole enjoyment they afford". Buckingham introduced to Parliament a Public Institution Bill allowing boroughs to charge a tax to set up libraries and museums, the first of its kind.

Although this did not become law, it had a major influence on William Ewart MP and Joseph Brotherton MP, who introduced a bill which would “[empower] boroughs with a population of 10,000 or more to raise a ½d for the establishment of museums”. This became the Museums Act 1845.

  1849 Select Committee
The advocacy of Ewart and Brotherton then succeeded in having a select committee set up to consider public library provision. A paper entitled “A statistical view of the principal public libraries in Europe and the United States” by Edward Edwards, an assistant at the British Museum Library, came to Ewart’s attention and Edwards became a key witness to the select committee. Edwards was "a self taught former bricklayer ... passionately convinced of the value and significance of libraries". The select committee of 1849 produced a report in which Edwards and Ewart ensured that “no stone was left unturned”  in proving their case that existing public library provision was inadequate and that provision in other countries was far superior. The Select Committee reported that “while we learn that, more than half a century ago, the first step taken by a foreign writer was to consult a public library on the subject of his studies or composition; we find that no such auxiliary was at the service of the British intellect”. The Report also argued that the provision of public libraries would steer people towards temperate and moderate habits, the same argument as was made by James Silk Buckingham fifteen years earlier. With a view to maximising the potential of current facilities, the Committee made certain proposals, including:

-public use of university libraries
-improved public access to the British Museum Library
-duplicate books from the British Museum Library collection to be redistributed to local libraries

In order to achieve such ends, the committee made two significant recommendations. They suggested that the government should issue grants to aid the foundation of libraries and that the Museums Act 1845 should be amended and extended to allow for a tax to be levied for the establishment of public libraries. However, it was not thought necessary to subsidise stock provision for the libraries so the levy was to be used to provide buildings, furnishings and staff salaries. The authors of the report believed that donations from members of the public would be more than adequate to stock the new libraries.

 
 

Public Libraries Act 1850
The 1850 Act was much more contentious than the Museums Act 1845. The major arguments against the Bill included:

-Although the boroughs were represented by elected bodies, many people argued that the Act enforced taxation without consent.
-There was opposition to the Act simply on the grounds that founding and maintaining the new libraries would mean an increase in taxation at all, consensual or otherwise.
-Concerns were expressed that it would infringe on private enterprise and the existing library provision such as mechanics’ institutes.
-Access to certain publications would neither promote civil society nor act as a form of social control, and libraries would instead become sites of social agitation. This issue was linked to the common concern that extending education to the lower orders of society would lead to libraries becoming working class "lecture halls" "which would give rise to an unhealthy agitation".
-Others felt that there were more pressing concerns, and wondered about the necessity for a library when literacy levels were so low.

In contrast many people favoured it, provided there was a cap on the level of taxation, on the grounds that:

-Public libraries would provide facilities for self-improvement through books and reading for all classes, not just those who were wealthy enough to afford their own private libraries and collections.
-The greater levels of education attained by providing public libraries would result in lower crime rates.

In order to get the Bill passed through Parliament, a number of concessions had to be made to its original content. The compromises made included limiting the Act to boroughs with populations of more than 10,000 where at least two-thirds of local ratepayers had to vote in favour of provision in a local referendum. The Bill would repeal the Museums Act 1845 and so, in order to continue funding museums of arts and science as well as the new free libraries, local rates could be increased, but by no more than ½d per £1. As stated in the Bill however, it was only permitted to spend this levy on library and museum buildings and staff but not on books and other stock.

 
Scottish provision
The Public Libraries Act 1850 initially only applied in England and Wales, but it was extended to Scotland in 1853 and there was a further Act, the Public Libraries (Scotland) Act, the following year when library authorities were granted the right to raise the rate by 1d. and to spend money on books, maps and specimens as well as on library and museum buildings. In addition to this, it was no longer necessary for there to be a poll of ratepayers for the Act to be adopted and uptake was instead authorised by a two-thirds majority at a public meeting of those who possessed or occupied a house of £10 annual value.

This referred to homes that might reasonably be expected to have a net annual rental value of £10 a year or more. However, a poll could still be requested by any five voters present. In 1855, similar amendments were introduced in England and Wales in a more wide-ranging Act. This included provision for the 1d rate and the authority to buy books, newspapers, maps and specimens. It also contained the amendment that had already been made in Scotland, that of the two-thirds majority at a public meeting of ratepayers.
  Further legislation
The 1850 Act was noteworthy because it established the principle of free public libraries, but in practice it was unsatisfactory. It placed many limitations on the type of councils that could adopt it, the amount of money that the boroughs were permitted to spend and the ways in which this money could be spent. Efforts were later made to develop the Act further and remove many of these restrictions. In 1855, the maximum rate that boroughs could charge to fund libraries was increased to 1d. Like the 1850 Act, this Bill had to be guided through the House of Commons by William Ewart. It met with a great deal of opposition and Ewart was obliged to abandon a proposal to enable municipal boroughs to adopt it by simple resolution of the town council. There was some confusion regarding the provision of public libraries outside corporate towns, that is those towns incorporated by legal enactment and entitled to pass by-laws and use a common seal. This resulted in difficulties in extending public library provision to rural areas. The 1855 Act tried to resolve these difficulties by stating that a library authority could be a borough council, an improvement board or commission, a parish vestry or group of vestries, provided they covered a minimum population of 5,000.
 
 
Since the 18th century, improvement boards had been established in many urban areas to take responsibility for paving, lighting and cleaning of streets, but over time their functions became wider in scope. From 1835 onwards, their responsibilities were assumed by elected town councils in the reformed boroughs but they continued in the urban areas outside the boroughs. Becoming a public library authority was another extension of their authority. In 1866, an amending Act was passed  which eliminated entirely the population limit and replaced the two-thirds majority previously required for adoption with a simple majority. It also allowed neighbouring parishes to combine with an existing or potential library authority. This Act covered Scotland, England and Wales and in 1867 another Act was passed in Scotland to amend and consolidate it, which established a form of library committee composed of a maximum of twenty members, of which half were to be members of the council and the other half to be selected by the council from householders.
 
 
Legacy of the Act
The Public Library Acts of 1855 and 1866 were the last to be advanced by William Ewart, who retired in 1868. He had made great efforts to promote the public library system in Great Britain and perhaps his greatest achievement was the complete elimination of the population limits, as this allowed even very small towns or parishes to set up a public library. It was later found that this could present a problem, however, as many public libraries were established by library authorities that did not in fact have enough money to run a library satisfactorily. Despite the rise in the level of tax public libraries could levy, it was still very difficult for boroughs to raise enough capital to fund new libraries. The growth of the public library movement in the wake of the 1850 Act relied heavily on the donations of philanthropists such as Andrew Carnegie, John Passmore Edwards and Henry Tate.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
1850
 
 
Schopenhauer: "Parerga und Paralipomena"
 

Parerga and Paralipomena (Greek for "Appendices and Omissions"; German: Parerga und Paralipomena) is a collection of philosophical reflections by Schopenhauer Arthur published in 1851.

 
The selection was compiled not as a summation of or introduction to Schopenhauer's philosophy, but as augmentary readings for those who had already embraced it, although the author maintained it would be comprehensible and of interest to the uninitiated nevertheless. The collection is divided into two volumes, covering first the parerga and thereafter the paralipomena to that philosophy. The parerga are six extended essays intended as supplementary to the author's thought. The paralipomena, short ruminations divided by topic into thirty-one subheadings, cover material hitherto unaddressed by the philosopher but deemed by him to be complementary to the parerga.
 
 
Contents

Volume One (parerga)

Sketch of a History of the Doctrine of the Ideal and the Real

Fragments for the History of Philosophy

On Philosophy at the Universities

Transcendent Speculation on the Apparent

Deliberateness in the Fate of the Individual

Essay on Spirit Seeing and everything connected therewith

Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life

Volume Two (paralipomena)

Short ruminations divided by topic into thirty-one subheadings. Chapter II, "On Logic and Dialectic", includes an introduction to The Art of Being Right, Schopenhauer's posthumously published discourse on rhetoric. Chapter XXXI, "Similes, Parables, and Fables", describes the hedgehog's dilemma, an analogy about the challenges of human intimacy.

  Publication
In light of the unenthusiastic reception of the philosopher's earlier publications, publishers were reluctant to commit to this, his last major work. It was only after significant difficulty and through the persuasion of the philosopher's disciple Julius Frauenstädt that Hayn of Berlin consented to publish the two volumes in a print run of 750 copies—with an honorarium of only ten copies for its author.

Parerga and Paralipomena drew the attention of John Oxenford, a noted observer and translator of German literary culture, who contributed a favourable, albeit anonymous, review of the work for the English quarterly journal Westminster Review in 1852.

The following year, Oxenford would write for the journal an article on Schopenhauer's philosophy entitled "Iconoclasm in German Philosophy", which, translated into German and printed in the Vossische Zeitung would spark immediate interest of Schopenhauer's work in Germany and propel the obscure figure to lasting philosophical prominence. In the following years, Schopenhauer succeeded on having published new editions of all his previous work on the strength of the revived interest, although his plans for a revised edition of Parerga and Paraplipomena were stymied by the deterioration of his health in the months preceding his death in 1860.

 
 
Style and influence
The subject matter and stylistic arrangement of the paralipomena were significant influences on the work of philosopher and psychologist Paul Ree, and through him most notably the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, whose later work explores—following Schopenhauer—the relation of man to himself, the universe, the state, and women through the art of aphorism.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
     
  Arthur Schopenhauer

Schopenhauer Arthur

"Essays"
     
 
 
     
  IDEAS that Changed the World

Myths and Legends
History of Religion
History of Philosophy
     
 
 
 
1850
 
 
Herbert Spencer: "Social Statics"
 

Social Statics, or The Conditions essential to Happiness specified, and the First of them Developed is an 1851 book by the British polymath Spencer Herbert.

 
In it, he uses the term "fitness" in applying his ideas of Lamarckian evolution to society, saying for example that "It is clear that any being whose constitution is to be moulded into fitness for new conditions of existence must be placed under those conditions. Or, putting the proposition specifically — it is clear that man can become adapted to the social state, only by being retained in the social state.
 
 
This granted, it follows that as man has been, and is still, deficient in those feelings which, by dictating just conduct, prevent the perpetual antagonism of individuals and their consequent disunion, some artificial agency is required by which their union may be maintained. Only by the process of adaptation itself can be produced that character which makes social equilibrium spontaneous."

Despite its commonly being attributed to this book, it was not until his Principles of Biology of 1864 that Spencer coined the phrase "survival of the fittest", which he would later apply to economics and biology. This was a key tenet of so-called Social Darwinism.

The book was published by John Chapman of London.

  Reaction
Economist Murray Rothbard called Social Statics "the greatest single work of libertarian political philosophy ever written."

In Lochner v. New York, justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., dissenting from the Supreme Court's holding that state legislation forbidding bakers from working more than ten hours a day or sixty hours a week violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by infringing on the individual's liberty of contract, famously wrote: "The Fourteenth Amendment does not enact Mr. Herbert Spencer's Social Statics."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
1850
 
 
Honore de Balzac d. (b. 1799)
 
 

Honoré de Balzac on an 1842 daguerreotype by Louis-Auguste Bisson
 
 
 
     
 
Honore de Balzac

"Father Goriot"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
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1850
 
 
E. B. Browning: "Sonnets from the Portuguese"
 

Sonnets from the Portuguese, written ca. 1845–1846 and first published in 1850, is a collection of 44 love sonnets written by Browning Elizabeth Barrett. The collection was acclaimed and popular in the poet's lifetime and it remains so today.

 
Title
Barrett Browning was initially hesitant to publish the poems, believing they were too personal. However, her husband insisted they were the best sequence of English-language sonnets since Shakespeare's time and urged her to publish them. To offer the couple some privacy, she decided to publish them as if they were translations of foreign sonnets. Therefore, planned to title the collection Sonnets from the Bosnian, but Robert counter-proposed she claim their source was Portuguese, probably because of her admiration for Camões and Robert's nickname for her: "my little Portuguese". The title is also a reference to Les Lettres Portugaises (1669).
 
 

Phoebe Anna Traquair’s
illuminated copy of
Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s
Sonnets from the Portuguese -
Sonnet 30
 
The Sonnets from the Portuguese,
published by Adelaide Hanscom Leeson.
 
 
Numbers 33 and 43
By far the most famous poems from this collection, with one of the most famous opening lines in the English language, are numbers 33 and 43:
 
 
Number 33
Yes, call me by my pet-name! let me hear
The name I used to run at, when a child,
From innocent play, and leave the cow-slips piled,
To glance up in some face that proved me dear
With the look of its eyes. I miss the clear
Fond voices which, being drawn and reconciled
Into the music of Heaven's undefiled,
Call me no longer. Silence on the bier,
While I call God—call God!—So let thy mouth
Be heir to those who are now exanimate.
Gather the north flowers to complete the south,
And catch the early love up in the late.
Yes, call me by that name,—and I, in truth,
With the same heart, will answer and not wait.
  Number 43
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
 
 
 
     
 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning 

"Sonnets from the Portuguese"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
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1850
 
 
Emerson: "Representative Men"
 

Representative Men is a collection of seven lectures by Emerson Ralph Waldo, published as a book of essays in 1850.

 
The first essay discusses the role played by "great men" in society, and the remaining six each extoll the virtues of one of six men deemed by Emerson to be great:

-Plato ("the Philosopher")

-Emanuel Swedenborg ("the Mystic")

-Michel de Montaigne ("the Skeptic")

-William Shakespeare ("the Poet")

-Napoleon ("the Man of the World")

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ("the Writer")

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
Representative Men (1850)
 
 
see also: Ralph Emerson
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
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1850
 
 
Hawthorne: "The Scarlet Letter"
 

The Scarlet Letter is an 1850 romantic work of fiction in a historical setting, written by Hawthorne Nathaniel, and is considered to be his magnum opus. Set in 17th-century Puritan Boston, Massachusetts, during the years 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Throughout the book, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt.

 
Plot
In June 1642, in the Puritan town of Boston, a crowd gathers to witness the punishment of Hester Prynne, a young woman found guilty of adultery. She is required to wear a scarlet "A" ("A" standing for adulter) on her dress to shame her. She must stand on the scaffold for three hours, to be exposed to public humiliation. As Hester approaches the scaffold, many of the women in the crowd are angered by her beauty and quiet dignity. When demanded and cajoled to name the father of her child, Hester refuses.
As Hester looks out over the crowd, she notices a small, misshapen man and recognizes him as her long-lost husband, who has been presumed lost at sea. When the husband sees Hester's shame, he asks a man in the crowd about her and is told the story of his wife's adultery. He angrily exclaims that the child's father, the partner in the adulterous act, should also be punished and vows to find the man. He chooses a new name – Roger Chillingworth – to aid him in his plan.

Reverend John Wilson and the minister of Hester's church, Arthur Dimmesdale, question the woman, but she refuses to name her lover. After she returns to her prison cell, the jailer brings in Roger Chillingworth, a physician, to calm Hester and her child with his roots and herbs. He and Hester have an open conversation regarding their marriage and the fact that they were both in the wrong. Her lover, however, is another matter and he demands to know who it is; Hester refuses to divulge such information.

 
In this painting, The Scarlet Letter by Hugues Merle, Hester Prynne and Pearl are in the foreground and Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth are in the background.
 
 
He accepts this, stating that he will find out anyway, and forces her to hide that he is her husband. If she ever reveals him, he warns her, he will destroy the child's father. Hester agrees to Chillingworth's terms although she suspects she will regret it.

Following her release from prison, Hester settles in a cottage at the edge of town and earns a meager living with her needlework. She lives a quiet, somber life with her daughter, Pearl. She is troubled by her daughter's unusual fascination by Hester's scarlet "A". As she grows older, Pearl becomes capricious and unruly. Her conduct starts rumors, and, not surprisingly, the church members suggest Pearl be taken away from Hester.

Hester, hearing rumors that she may lose Pearl, goes to speak to Governor Bellingham. With him are Reverends Wilson and Dimmesdale. Hester appeals to Reverend Dimmesdale in desperation, and the minister persuades the governor to let Pearl remain in Hester's care.

Because Dimmesdale's health has begun to fail, the townspeople are happy to have Chillingworth, a newly arrived physician, take up lodgings with their beloved minister. Being in such close contact with Dimmesdale, Chillingworth begins to suspect that the minister's illness is the result of some unconfessed guilt. He applies psychological pressure to the minister because he suspects Dimmesdale to be Pearl's father. One evening, pulling the sleeping Dimmesdale's vestment aside, Chillingworth sees a symbol that represents his shame on the minister's pale chest.

Tormented by his guilty conscience, Dimmesdale goes to the square where Hester was punished years earlier. Climbing the scaffold, he admits his guilt to them but cannot find the courage to do so publicly. Hester, shocked by Dimmesdale's deterioration, decides to obtain a release from her vow of silence to her husband.

Several days later, Hester meets Dimmesdale in the forest and tells him of her husband and his desire for revenge. She convinces Dimmesdale to leave Boston in secret on a ship to Europe where they can start life anew. Renewed by this plan, the minister seems to gain new energy. On Election Day, Dimmesdale gives what is declared to be one of his most inspired sermons. But as the procession leaves the church, Dimmesdale climbs upon the scaffold and confesses his sin, dying in Hester's arms. Later, most witnesses swear that they saw a stigma in the form of a scarlet "A" upon his chest, although some deny this statement. Chillingworth, losing his will for revenge, dies shortly thereafter and leaves Pearl a substantial inheritance.

Several years later, Hester returns to her cottage, resumes wearing the scarlet letter. When she dies, she is buried near the grave of Dimmesdale, and they share a simple slate tombstone engraved with an escutcheon described as: "On a field, sable. The letter A, gules".

 
 
Major themes
Sin

The experience of Hester and Dimmesdale recalls the story of Adam and Eve because, in both cases, sin results in expulsion and suffering. But it also results in knowledge – specifically, in knowledge of what it means to be immoral. For Hester, the Scarlet Letter is a physical manifestation of her sin and reminder of her painful solitude. She contemplates casting it off to obtain her freedom from an oppressive society and a checkered past as well as the absence of God. Because the society excludes her, she considers the possibility that many of the traditions held up by the Puritan culture are untrue and are not designed to bring her happiness.

As for Dimmesdale, the "cheating minister", his sin gives him "sympathies so intimate with the sinful brotherhood of mankind, so that his chest vibrate[s] in unison with theirs." His eloquent and powerful sermons derive from this sense of empathy. The narrative of the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale is quite in keeping with the oldest and most fully authorized principles in Christian thought. His "Fall" is a descent from apparent grace to his own damnation; he appears to begin in purity but he ends in corruption. The subtlety is that the minister's belief is his own cheating, convincing himself at every stage of his spiritual pilgrimage that he is saved.
The rose bush's beauty forms a striking contrast to all that surrounds it – as later the beautifully embroidered scarlet "A" will be held out in part as an invitation to find "some sweet moral blossom" in the ensuing, tragic tale and in part as an image that "the deep heart of nature" (perhaps God) may look more kind on the errant Hester and her child than her Puritan
neighbors do.

 
Hester Prynne at the stocks, an engraved illustration from an 1878 edition
 
 
Throughout the work, the nature images contrast with the stark darkness of the Puritans and their systems.

Chillingworth's misshapen body reflects (or symbolizes) the anger in his soul, which builds as the novel progresses, similar to the way Dimmesdale's illness reveals his inner turmoil. The outward man reflects the condition of the heart; an observation thought to be inspired by the deterioration of Edgar Allan Poe, whom Hawthorne "much admired".

 
 
Puritan legalism
Another theme is the extreme legalism of the Puritans and how Hester chooses not to conform to their rules and beliefs. Hester was rejected by the villagers even though she spent her life doing what she could to help the sick and the poor. Because they rejected her, she spent her life mostly in solitude, and wouldn't go to church.

As a result, she retreats into her own mind and her own thinking. Her thoughts begin to stretch and go beyond what would be considered by the Puritans as safe or even Christian. She still sees her sin, but begins to look on it differently than the villagers ever have. She begins to believe that a person's earthly sins don't necessarily condemn them. She even goes so far as to tell Dimmesdale that their sin has been paid for by their daily penance and that their sin won't keep them from getting to heaven, however, the Puritans believed that such a sin surely condemns.

But Hester had been alienated from the Puritan society, both in her physical life and spiritual life. When Dimmesdale dies, she knows she has to move on because she can no longer conform to the Puritans' strictness. Her thinking is free from religious bounds and she has established her own different moral standards and beliefs.

 
 
Publication history
It was long thought that Hawthorne originally planned The Scarlet Letter to be a shorter novelette which was part of a collection to be named Old Time Legends and that his publisher, James Thomas Fields, convinced him to expand the work to a full-length novel. This is not true: Fields persuaded Hawthorne to publish The Scarlet Letter alone (along with the earlier-completed "Custom House" essay) but he had nothing to do with the length of the story.

Hawthorne's wife Sophia later challenged Fields' claims a little inexactly: "he has made the absurd boast that he was the sole cause of the Scarlet Letter being published!" She noted that her husband's friend Edwin Percy Whipple, a critic, approached Fields to consider its publication.

The manuscript was written at the Peter Edgerley House in Salem, Massachusetts, still standing as a private residence at 14 Mall Street. It was the last Salem home where the Hawthorne family lived.

The Scarlet Letter was first published as a novel in the spring of 1850 by Ticknor & Fields, beginning Hawthorne's most lucrative period. When he delivered the final pages to Fields in February 1850, Hawthorne said that "some portions of the book are powerfully written" but doubted it would be popular.

  In fact, the book was an instant best-seller though, over fourteen years, it brought its author only $1,500.

Its initial publication brought wide protest from natives of Salem, who did not approve of how Hawthorne had depicted them in his introduction "The Custom-House".

A 2,500-copy second edition of The Scarlet Letter included a preface by Hawthorne dated March 30, 1850, that stated he had decided to reprint his introduction "without the change of a word... The only remarkable features of the sketch are its frank and genuine good-humor... As to enmity, or ill-feeling of any kind, personal or political, he utterly disclaims such motives".

The Scarlet Letter was also one of the first mass-produced books in America. In the mid-nineteenth century, bookbinders of home-grown literature typically hand-made their books and sold them in small quantities.

The first mechanized printing of The Scarlet Letter, 2,500 volumes, sold out within ten days, and was widely read and discussed to an extent not much experienced in the young country up until that time. Copies of the first edition are often sought by collectors as rare books, and may fetch up to around $18,000 USD.

 
 
Critical response
On its publication, critic Evert Augustus Duyckinck, a friend of Hawthorne's, said he preferred the author's Washington Irving-like tales. Another friend, critic Edwin Percy Whipple, objected to the novel's "morbid intensity" with dense psychological details, writing that the book "is therefore apt to become, like Hawthorne, too painfully anatomical in his exhibition of them". Most literary critics praised the book but religious leaders took issue with the novel's subject matter. Orestes Brownson complained that Hawthorne did not understand Christianity, confession, and remorse. A review in The Church Review and Ecclesiastical Register concluded the author "perpetrates bad morals."

On the other hand, 20th-century writer D. H. Lawrence said that there could not be a more perfect work of the American imagination than The Scarlet Letter. Henry James once said of the novel, "It is beautiful, admirable, extraordinary; it has in the highest degree that merit which I have spoken of as the mark of Hawthorne's best things—an indefinable purity and lightness of conception...One can often return to it; it supports familiarity and has the inexhaustible charm and mystery of great works of art."

The book's immediate and lasting success are due to the way it addresses spiritual and moral issues from a uniquely American standpoint. In 1850, adultery was an extremely risqué subject, but because Hawthorne had the support of the New England literary establishment, it passed easily into the realm of appropriate reading. It has been said that this work represents the height of Hawthorne's literary genius, dense with terse descriptions. It remains relevant for its philosophical and psychological depth, and continues to be read as a classic tale on a universal theme.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
see also: Nathaniel Hawthorne
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1850
 
 
Alexander Herzen: "From Another Shore"
 
 
Herzen Aleksandr
 

Aleksandr Ivanovich Herzen, Herzen also spelled Hertzen, orGertsen (born April 6 [March 25, Old Style], 1812, Moscow, Russia—died Jan. 21 [Jan. 9], 1870, Paris, France), political thinker, activist, and writer who originated the theory of a unique Russian path to socialism known as peasant populism. Herzen chronicled his career in My Past and Thoughts (1861–67), which is considered to be one of the greatest works of Russian prose.

 

Portrait of Herzen by Nikolai Ge (1867)
  Early life.
Herzen was the illegitimate son of a wealthy nobleman, Ivan Alekseyevich Yakovlev, and a German woman of humble origins. Reared in his father’s house, he received an elite and far-ranging education from French, German, and Russian tutors. Still, the “taint” of his birth, as he regarded it, made him resentful of authority and, ultimately, of the autocratic, serf-based Russian social order. This resentment also bred in him an ardent commitment to the cause of the Decembrists, a revolutionary group that staged an unsuccessful uprising against the emperor Nicholas I in 1825. Herzen and his friend Nikolay Ogaryov, who, like Herzen, was influenced by the heroic libertarianism of the German playwright Friedrich Schiller, took a solemn oath to devote their lives to continuing the Decembrists’ struggle for freedom in Russia.

Attending the University of Moscow between 1829 and 1833, Herzen evolved from “romanticism for the heart to idealism for the head” and became an adept of the German philosopher Friedrich Schelling’s Naturphilosophie.

Eventually Herzen and Ogaryov and their circle fused the pantheistic idealism of Schelling with the utopian socialism of the French social philosopher Henri de Saint-Simon to produce a philosophy of history in which the “World Spirit” evolved ineluctably toward the realization of freedom and justice.

 
 
This metaphysical politics was sufficient, however, to lead to the arrest of the entire circle in 1834. Herzen was sent into exile for six years to work in the provincial bureaucracy in Vyatka (now Kirov) and Vladimir; then, for an indiscreet remark about the police, he spent two more years in Novgorod. The misery of this period was relieved by an extravagantly romantic courtship and an initially happy marriage with his cousin, Natalya Zakharina, in 1838.

Herzen’s eight-year experience with injustice and the acquaintance it afforded with the workings of Russian government gave firmer contours to his radicalism. He abandoned the nebulous idealism of Schelling for the thought of two other contemporary German philosophers—first the “realistic logic” of G.W.F. Hegel and then the materialism of L.A. Feuerbach. Herzen thus became a “Left-Hegelian,” holding that the dialectic (development through the reconciliation of conflicting ideas) was the “algebra of revolution” and that the disembodied truths of “science” (i.e., German idealism) must culminate in the “philosophy of the deed,” or the struggle for justice as proclaimed by French socialism. In later life Herzen explained that this metaphysical approach to politics was inevitable for his generation, since the despotism of Nicholas I made action impossible and thus left pure thought as the only free realm of expression.

Armed with these philosophical weapons, Herzen returned to Moscow in 1842 and immediately joined the camp of the Westernizers, who held that Russia must progress by assimilating European rationalism and civic freedom, in their dispute with the Slavophiles, who argued that Russian development must be founded on the Orthodox religion and a fraternal peasant commune. Herzen contributed to this polemic two able and successful popularizations of Left-Hegelianism, Diletantizm v nauke (“Dilettantism in Science”) and Pisma ob izuchenii prirody (“Letters on the Study of Nature”), and a novel of social criticism, Kto vinovat? (“Who Is to Blame?”), in the new “naturalistic” manner of Russian fiction.

Soon, however, Herzen fell out with the other Westernizers because the majority of the group were reformist liberals, whereas Herzen had by now embraced the anarchist socialism of the French social theorist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. At this point, in 1846, Herzen’s father died, leaving him a considerable fortune; and the following year Herzen left Russia for western Europe—as it turned out, for good.

 
 

Alexander Herzen
  Life in exile.
Herzen went immediately to the capital of European radicalism, Paris, hoping for the imminent triumph of social revolution. The revolutionary upheavals of 1848 that he witnessed in Paris and Italy soon disabused him: he became convinced that the Western “matadors of rhetoric” were too imbued with the values of the past to level the existing social order, that Europe’s role as a progressive historical force was finished, and that Western institutions were in fact “dead.”

He concluded further that, contrary to the teachings of the Hegelians, there was no “rational” inevitability in history and that society’s fate was decided instead by chance and human will. He developed these themes in two brilliant but rather confused works, Pisma iz Frantsii i Italii (“Letters from France and Italy”) and S togo berega (From the Other Shore). His disillusionment was vastly increased by his wife’s infidelity with the radical German poet Georg Herwegh and by her death in 1852.

Loss of faith in the West, however, provoked a spiritual return to Russia: though “old” Europe, “fettered by the richness of her past,” had proved incapable of realizing the ideal of socialism, “young” Russia, precisely because its past offered nothing worth conserving, now seemed to Herzen to possess the resources for a radical new departure.

And Herzen (borrowing an idea from his old foes, the Slavophiles) found these resources above all in a collectivist peasant commune, which he viewed as the basis for a future socialist order. This new faith in Russia’s revolutionary potential was expressed in Letters to the French historian Jules Michelet and the Italian revolutionist Giuseppe Mazzini in 1850 and 1851.

 
 
In 1852 Herzen moved to London, and the following year, with the aid of Polish exiles, he founded the “Free Russian Press in London,” the first uncensored printing enterprise in Russian history.

In 1855 Nicholas I died, and soon thereafter Alexander II proclaimed his intention of emancipating the serfs. Responding to this unprecedented “thaw,” Herzen rapidly launched a series of periodicals that were designed to be smuggled back to Russia: “The Polar Star” in 1855, “Voices from Russia” in 1856, and a newspaper, Kolokol (The Bell), created in 1857 with the aid of his old friend Ogaryov, now also an émigré. Herzen’s aim was to influence both the government and the public toward emancipation of the peasants, with generous allotments of land and the liberalization of Russian society. To this end, he moderated his political pronouncements, speaking less of socialist revolution and more of the concrete issues involved in Alexander’s reforms. For a time he even believed in enlightened autocracy, hailing Alexander II in 1856 (in words that echoed the famous dying tribute of Julian the Apostate to Christ) with: “you have conquered, oh Galilean!” Kolokol soon became a major force in public life, read by the tsar’s ministers and the radical opposition.
 
 
Soon, however, the ambiguity of Herzen’s position between reform and revolution began to cost him support. After 1858 moderate liberals, such as the writer Ivan Turgenev, attacked Herzen for his utopian recklessness; and after 1859 he quarreled with the political writer N.G. Chernyshevsky and the younger generation of radicals, whose intransigent manner appeared to him as “very dangerous” to reform. He also lost faith in the government; when the Emancipation Act was finally enacted in 1861, he denounced it as a betrayal of the peasants.

He therefore veered again to the left and called on the student youth to “go to the people” directly with the message of Russian socialism. Furthermore, on the urging of the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, he threw the support of Kolokol behind the unsuccessful Polish revolt of 1863. He immediately regretted this rashness, for it cost him the support of all moderate elements in Russia without restoring his credit among the revolutionaries. Kolokol’s influence declined sharply. In 1865 Herzen moved his headquarters to Geneva to be near the young generation of Russian exiles, but in 1867 public indifference forced Kolokol to cease publication.

Amidst these political reverses, Herzen turned his energies increasingly to his memoirs, My Past and Thoughts, which were designed to enshrine both his own legend and that of Russian radicalism.

  A loosely constructed personal narrative, interspersed with sharp vignettes of both Russian and Western political figures and with philosophical and historical digressions, it provides a masterful fresco of contemporary European radicalism. At times witty, irreverent, and playful in style, and at other times lyrical, passionate, and rhapsodical, it is one of the most original and powerful examples of Russian prose. My Past and Thoughts was published principally between 1861 and 1867, and its scope and quality have placed it alongside the great Russian novels of the 19th century in artistic stature.

In 1869 Herzen wrote letters K staromu tovarishchy (“To an Old Comrade”; Bakunin), in which he expressed new reservations about the cost of revolution. Still, he was unable to accept liberal reformism completely, and he expressed interest in the new force of the First International, Karl Marx’s federation of working-class organizations. This wavering position between socialism and liberalism, which characterized so much of his career, proved to be his political testament. The ambiguities of his position have made it possible ever since for both Russian liberals and socialists to claim his legacy with equal plausibility.

Martin E. Malia

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
see also: Aleksandr Herzen
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1850
 
 
Ibsen: "Catiline"
 

Catiline or Catilina was Henrik Ibsen's (Ibsen Henrik ) first play. It was written during 1849–50 and first performed under Ibsen's name on December 3, 1881 at the Nya Teatern (New Theater), Stockholm, Sweden. The first Norwegian performance under Ibsen's name was at Det Nye Teater in Oslo on August 24, 1935.

 
Forced to support himself after his father declared bankruptcy, Ibsen went to Grimstad as a pharmacist's apprentice.
There he both prepared himself for university and experimented with various forms of poetry. While studying, he found himself passionately drawn into the Catiline orations, famous speeches by Cicero against the elected questor Sallust and his conspiracy to overthrow the republic.

Ibsen chose this famous conspirator as the subject for his initial effort, finishing Catiline in 1849. Henrik Ibsen expresses in the prologue to the second edition that he was profoundly inspired by the contemporary tempestuous political situation of Europe, especially he favours the Magyar uprising against the Hagsburgian empire.

He explains in the prologue to the second edition written in February 1875, that the case of Catiline had special interest for him, because, as he writes: "there are given few examples of historical persons, whose memory has been more entirely in the possession of its conquerors, than Catiline".

Thus, Catiline can be read as one of Ibsen's heroes, alongside Brand and Gregers Werle.
  The play appeared the next year in Christiania in the following spring under Ibsen's early pseudonym, Brynjolf Bjarme.

The main character in this historical drama is the noble Roman Lucius Catilina, based on the historical figure of Catiline. He is torn between two women, his wife Aurelia and the Vestal virgin Furia. As characteristic of Ibsen's early work, the play is metrical (iambic pentameter) in blank verse.

Although Catiline is by no means regarded among Ibsen's best plays, it foreshadows many of the important themes found in his later works. Catilina, full of doubts and torn between love and duty, is quite similar to characters in Ibsen's later plays, such as John Gabriel Borkman, and Halvard Solness in The Master Builder.

Furia is also the prototype of some of the later female characters, such as Hedda Gabler.

Ibsen was not the first playwright to dramatize the story of Catiline. Ben Jonson wrote a tragedy on the subject, called Catiline, His Conspiracy, in 1611.

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  Western Literature

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1850
 
 
Lenau Nikolaus, Austrian poet, d. (b. 1802)
 
 

Lenau in 1839
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
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1850
 
 
Loti Pierre
 
Pierre Loti, pseudonym of Louis-marie-julien Viaud (born Jan. 14, 1850, Rochefort, Fr.—died June 10, 1923, Hendaye), novelist whose exoticism made him popular in his time and whose themes anticipated some of the central preoccupations of French literature between World Wars.
 

Loti on the day of his reception at the Académie française on 7 April 1892
  Loti’s career as a naval officer took him to the Middle and Far East, thus providing him with the exotic settings of his novels and reminiscences.
Following his naval schooling and training, he was promoted ship’s lieutenant in 1881 and during 1885–91 saw service in Chinese waters. His subsequent promotions led to an appointment as ship’s captain in 1906.

After the publication of his first novel, Aziyadé (1879), he rapidly developed a parallel literary career, winning the respect of critics and the devotion of a large public. With such successes as Pêcheur d’Islande (1886) and Madame Chrysanthème (1887) to his credit and with the approval of such exacting critics as Ferdinand Brunetière, Anatole France, Paul Bourget, and Jules Lemaître, the way was made smooth for his reception into the Académie Française in 1891.

Each year there was a new book, sometimes a novel—Ramuntcho (1897), Les Désenchantées (1906)—often treating objectively the love affairs with which he tried to satisfy his dreams and melancholy at every landfall, and sometimes a volume in which he himself figured—Le Roman d’un enfant (1890), Prime Jeunesse (1919), Un Jeune Officier pauvre (1923)—which reflected most fully his passionate nature.

An exceptionally gifted observer, he was able to return from his voyages with a rich store of pictorial images and embody them in simple, musical prose. But this literary impressionism served a deeper strain in his nature; death, as much as love, lies at the heart of his work, revealing a profound despair at the passing of sensuous life.

 
 
This despair was tempered by his tenderness and compassion for the human condition, and such books as Le Livre de la pitié et de la mort (1890) and Reflets sur la sombre route (1889) are perfect examples of his candid art—an art so simple that Lemaître asserted that it was impossible to discover “how it was done.”

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 


Portrait of Pierre Loti by Henri Rousseau, 1891

 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
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1850
 
 
Ludwig Otto: "Der Erbforster"
 
 
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1850
 
 
Maupassant Guy
 
Guy de Maupassant, in full Henry-René-Albert-Guy de Maupassant (born August 5, 1850, Château de Miromesnil?, near Dieppe, France—died July 6, 1893, Paris), French naturalist writer of short stories and novels who is by general agreement the greatest French short-story writer.
 
Early life
Maupassant was the elder of the two children of Gustave and Laure de Maupassant. His mother’s claim that he was born at the Château de Miromesnil has been disputed. The couple’s second son, Hervé, was born in 1856.

Both parents came of Norman families, the father’s of the minor aristocracy, but the marriage was a failure, and the couple separated permanently when Guy was 11 years old. Although the Maupassants were a free-thinking family, Guy received his first education from the church and at age 13 was sent to a small seminary at Yvetot that took both lay and clerical pupils. He felt a decided antipathy for this form of life and deliberately engineered his own expulsion for some trivial offense in 1868. He moved to the lycée at Le Havre and passed his baccalaureate the following year. In the autumn of 1869 he began law studies in Paris, which were interrupted by the outbreak of the Franco-German War. Maupassant volunteered, served first as a private in the field, and was later transferred through his father’s intervention to the quartermaster corps. His firsthand experience of war was to provide him with the material for some of his finest stories.

Maupassant was demobilized in July 1871 and resumed his law studies in Paris. His father came to his assistance again and obtained a post for him in the Ministry of Marine, which was intended to support him until he qualified as a lawyer. He did not care for the bureaucracy but was not unsuccessful and was several times promoted. His father managed to have him transferred, at his own wish, to the Ministry of Public Instruction in 1879.

 
 

Guy de Maupassant
  Apprenticeship with Flaubert
Maupassant’s mother, Laure, was the sister of Alfred Le Poittevin, who had been a close friend of Gustave Flaubert, and she herself remained on affectionate terms with the novelist for the rest of his life. Laure sent her son to make Flaubert’s acquaintance at Croisset in 1867, and when he returned to Paris after the war, she asked Flaubert to keep an eye on him. This was the beginning of the apprenticeship that was the making of Maupassant the writer. Whenever Flaubert was staying in Paris, he used to invite Maupassant to lunch on Sundays, lecture him on prose style, and correct his youthful literary exercises. He also introduced him to some of the leading writers of the time, such as Émile Zola, Ivan Turgenev, Edmond Goncourt, and Henry James. “He’s my disciple and I love him like a son,” Flaubert said of Maupassant. It was a concise description of a twofold relationship: if Flaubert was the inspiration for Maupassant the writer, he also provided the child of a broken marriage with a foster father. Flaubert’s sudden and unexpected death in 1880 was a grievous blow to Maupassant.

Zola described the young Maupassant as a “terrific oarsman able to row fifty miles on the Seine in a single day for pleasure.” Maupassant was a passionate lover of the sea and of rivers, which accounts for the setting of much of his fiction and the prevalence in it of nautical imagery. In spite of his lack of enthusiasm for the bureaucracy, his years as a civil servant were the happiest of his life. He devoted much of his spare time to swimming and to boating expeditions on the Seine.

 
 
One can see from a story like “Mouche” (1890; “Fly”) that the latter were more than merely boating expeditions and that the girls who accompanied Maupassant and his friends were usually prostitutes or prospective prostitutes. Indeed, there can be little doubt that the early years in Paris were the start of his phenomenal promiscuity.

When Maupassant was in his early 20s, he discovered that he was suffering from syphilis, one of the most frightening and widespread maladies of the age. The fact that his brother died at an early age of the same disease suggests that it might have been congenital. Maupassant was adamant in refusing to undergo treatment, with the result that the disease was to cast a deepening shadow over his mature years and was accentuated by neurasthenia, which had also afflicted his brother.

During his apprenticeship with Flaubert, Maupassant published one or two stories under a pseudonym in obscure provincial magazines. The turning point came in April 1880, the month before Flaubert’s death. Maupassant was one of six writers, led by Zola, who each contributed a short story on the Franco-German War to a volume called Les Soirées de Médan. Maupassant’s story, “Boule de suif” (“Ball of Fat”), was not only by far the best of the six, it is probably the finest story he ever wrote. In it, a prostitute traveling by coach is companionably treated by her fellow French passengers, who are anxious to share her provisions of food, but then a German officer stops the coach and refuses to let it proceed until he has possessed her; the other passengers induce her to satisfy him, and then ostracize her for the rest of the journey. “Boule de suif” epitomizes Maupassant’s style in its economy and balance.

 
 
Mature life and works
As soon as “Boule de suif” was published, Maupassant found himself in demand by newspapers. He left the ministry and spent the next two years writing articles for Le Gaulois and the Gil Blas. Many of his stories made their first appearance in the latter newspaper. The 10 years from 1880 to 1890 were remarkable for their productivity; he published some 300 short stories, six novels, three travel books, and his only volume of verse.

La Maison Tellier (1881; “The Tellier House”), a book of short stories on various subjects, is typical of Maupassant’s achievement as a whole, both in his choice of themes and in his determination to present men and women objectively in the manifold aspects of life. His concern was with l’humble vérité—words which he chose as the subtitle to his novel Une Vie (1883; A Woman’s Life).

This book, which sympathetically treats its heroine’s journey from innocent girlhood through the disillusionment of an unfortunate marriage and ends with her subsequent widowhood, records what Maupassant had observed as a child, the little dramas and daily preoccupations of ordinary people.

He presents his characters dispassionately, foregoing any personal moral judgment on them but always noting the word, the gesture, or even the reticence that betrays each one’s essential personality, all the while enhancing the effect by describing the physical and social background against which his characters move. Concision, vigour, and the most rigorous economy are the characteristics of his art.

Collections of short stories and novels followed one another in quick succession until illness struck Maupassant down. Two years saw six new books of short stories: Mademoiselle Fifi (1883), Contes de la bécasse (1883; “Tales of the Goose”), Clair de lune, Les Soeurs Rondoli (“The Rondoli Sisters”), Yvette, and Miss Harriet (all 1884).

The stories can be divided into groups: those dealing with the Franco-German War, the Norman peasantry, the bureaucracy, life on the banks of the Seine River, the emotional problems of the different social classes, and—somewhat ominously in a late story such as “Le Horla” (1887)—hallucination.
Together, the stories present a comprehensive picture of French life from 1870 to 1890.

  Maupassant’s most important full-length novels are Une Vie, Bel-Ami (1885; “Good Friend”), and Pierre et Jean (1888). Bel-Ami is drawn from the author’s observation of the world of sharp businessmen and cynical journalists in Paris, and it is a scathing satire on a society whose members let nothing stand in the way of their ambition to get rich quick. Bel-Ami, the amiable but amoral hero of the novel, has become a standard literary personification of an ambitious opportunist. Pierre et Jean is the tale of a man’s tragic jealousy of his half-brother, who is the child of their mother’s adultery.

Maupassant prospered from his best-sellers and maintained an apartment in Paris with an annex for clandestine meetings with women, a house at Étretat, a couple of residences on the Riviera, and several yachts. He began to travel in 1881, visiting French Africa and Italy, and in 1889 he paid his only visit to England. While lunching in a restaurant there as Henry James’s guest, he shocked his host profoundly by pointing to a woman at a neighbouring table and asking James to “get” her for him.

The French critic Paul Léautaud called Maupassant a “complete erotomaniac.” His extraordinary fascination with brothels and prostitution is reflected not only in “Boule de suif” but also in stories such as “La Maison Tellier.” It is significant, however, that as the successful writer became more closely acquainted with women of the nobility there was a change of angle in his fiction: a move from the peasantry to the upper classes, from the brothel to the boudoir. Maupassant’s later books of short stories include Toine (1886), Le Horla (1887), Le Rosier de Madame Husson (1888; “The Rose-Bush of Madame Husson”), and L’Inutile Beauté (1890; “The Useless Beauty”). Four more novels also appeared: Mont-Oriol (1887), on the financing of a fashionable watering place; Pierre et Jean; Fort comme la mort (1889; “As Strong as Death”); and Notre coeur (1890; “Our Heart”).

Although Maupassant appeared outwardly a sturdy, healthy, athletic man, his letters are full of lamentations about his health, particularly eye trouble and migraine headaches. With the passing of the years he had become more and more sombre. He had begun to travel for pleasure, but what had once been carefree and enjoyable holidays gradually changed, as a result of his mental state, into compulsive, symptomatic wanderings until he felt a constant need to be on the move.

 
 
A major family crisis occurred in 1888. Maupassant’s brother was a man of minimal intelligence—today one would call it arrested development—and could work at nothing more demanding than nursery gardening. In 1888 he suddenly became violently psychotic, and he died in an asylum in 1889. Maupassant was reduced to despair by his brother’s death; but though his grief was genuine, it cannot have been unconnected with his own advanced case of syphilis. On January 2, 1892, when he was staying near his mother, he tried to commit suicide by cutting his throat. Doctors were summoned, and his mother agreed reluctantly to his commitment. Two days later he was removed, according to some accounts in a straitjacket, to Dr. Blanche’s nursing home in Paris, where he died one month before his 43rd birthday.

Maupassant’s work is thoroughly realistic. His characters inhabit a world of material desires and sensual appetites in which lust, greed, and ambition are the driving forces, and any higher feelings are either absent or doomed to cruel disappointment.
 
 

Guy de Maupassant
  The tragic power of many of the stories derives from the fact that Maupassant presents his characters, poor people or rich bourgeois, as the victims of ironic necessity, crushed by a fate that they have dared to defy yet still struggling against it hopelessly.

Because so many of his later stories deal with madness, it has been suggested that Maupassant himself was already mentally disturbed when he wrote them. Yet these stories are perfectly well balanced and are characterized by a clarity of style that betrays no sign of mental disorder. The lucid purity of Maupassant’s French and the precision of his imagery are in fact the two features of his work that most account for its success.

By the second half of the 20th century, it was generally recognized that Maupassant’s popularity as a short-story writer had declined and that he was more widely read in the English-speaking countries than in France. This does not detract from his genuine achievement—the invention of a new, high-quality, commercial short story, which has something to offer to all classes of readers.

Martin Turnell
René Dumesnil

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 
     
 
Guy de Maupassant

"Bel-Ami"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
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1850
 
 
Stevenson Robert Louis
 

Robert Louis Stevenson, in full Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (born Nov. 13, 1850, Edinburgh, Scot.—died Dec. 3, 1894, Vailima, Samoa), Scottish essayist, poet, and author of fiction and travel books, best known for his novels Treasure Island (1881), Kidnapped (1886), Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), and The Master of Ballantrae (1889).

 

Robert Louis Stevenson
  Early life
Stevenson was the only son of Thomas Stevenson, a prosperous civil engineer, and his wife, Margaret Isabella Balfour. His poor health made regular schooling difficult, but he attended Edinburgh Academy and other schools before, at age 17, entering Edinburgh University, where he was expected to prepare himself for the family profession of lighthouse engineering. But Stevenson had no desire to be an engineer, and he eventually agreed with his father, as a compromise, to prepare instead for the Scottish bar.

He had shown a desire to write early in life, and once in his teens he had deliberately set out to learn the writer’s craft by imitating a great variety of models in prose and verse. His youthful enthusiasm for the Covenanters (i.e., those Scotsmen who had banded together to defend their version of Presbyterianism in the 17th century) led to his writing The Pentland Rising, his first printed work. During his years at the university he rebelled against his parents’ religion and set himself up as a liberal bohemian who abhorred the alleged cruelties and hypocrisies of bourgeois respectability.

In 1873, in the midst of painful differences with his father, he visited a married cousin in Suffolk, Eng., where he met Sidney Colvin, the English scholar, who became a lifelong friend, and Fanny Sitwell (who later married Colvin). Sitwell, an older woman of charm and talent, drew the young man out and won his confidence. Soon Stevenson was deeply in love, and on his return to Edinburgh he wrote her a series of letters in which he played the part first of lover, then of worshipper, then of son.

 
 
One of the several names by which Stevenson addressed her in these letters was “Claire,” a fact that many years after his death was to give rise to the erroneous notion that Stevenson had had an affair with a humbly born Edinburgh girl of that name. Eventually the passion turned into a lasting friendship.

Later in 1873 Stevenson suffered severe respiratory illness and was sent to the French Riviera, where Colvin later joined him. He returned home the following spring. In July 1875 he was called to the Scottish bar, but he never practiced. Stevenson was frequently abroad, most often in France. Two of his journeys produced An Inland Voyage (1878) and Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes (1879). His career as a writer developed slowly. His essay “Roads” appeared in the Portfolio in 1873, and in 1874 “Ordered South” appeared in Macmillan’s Magazine, a review of Lord Lytton’s Fables in Song appeared in the Fortnightly, and his first contribution (on Victor Hugo) appeared in The Cornhill Magazine, then edited by Leslie Stephen, a critic and biographer. It was these early essays, carefully wrought, quizzically meditative in tone, and unusual in sensibility, that first drew attention to Stevenson as a writer.

Stephen brought Stevenson into contact with Edmund Gosse, the poet and critic, who became a good friend. Later, when in Edinburgh, Stephen introduced Stevenson to the writer W.E. Henley. The two became warm friends and were to remain so until 1888, when a letter from Henley to Stevenson containing a deliberately implied accusation of dishonesty against the latter’s wife precipitated a quarrel that Henley, jealous and embittered, perpetuated after his friend’s death in a venomous review of a biography of Stevenson.

In 1876 Stevenson met Fanny Vandegrift Osbourne, an American lady separated from her husband, and the two fell in love. Stevenson’s parents’ horror at their son’s involvement with a married woman subsided somewhat when she returned to California in 1878, but it revived with greater force when Stevenson decided to join her in August 1879. Stevenson reached California ill and penniless (the record of his arduous journey appeared later in The Amateur Emigrant, 1895, and Across the Plains, 1892). His adventures, which included coming very near death and eking out a precarious living in Monterey and San Francisco, culminated in marriage to Fanny Osbourne (who was by then divorced from her first husband) early in 1880. About the same time a telegram from his relenting father offered much-needed financial support, and, after a honeymoon by an abandoned silver mine (recorded in The Silverado Squatters, 1883), the couple sailed for Scotland to achieve reconciliation with the Thomas Stevensons.

 
 

Robert Louis Stevenson
  Romantic novels
Soon after his return, Stevenson, accompanied by his wife and his stepson, Lloyd Osbourne, went, on medical advice (he had tuberculosis), to Davos, Switz. The family left there in April 1881 and spent the summer in Pitlochry and then in Braemar, Scot. There, in spite of bouts of illness, Stevenson embarked on Treasure Island (begun as a game with Lloyd), which started as a serial in Young Folks, under the title The Sea-Cook, in October 1881.
Stevenson finished the story in Davos, to which he had returned in the autumn, and then started on Prince Otto (1885), a more complex but less successful work. Treasure Island is an adventure presented with consummate skill, with atmosphere, character, and action superbly geared to one another. The book is at once a gripping adventure tale and a wry comment on the ambiguity of human motives.
In 1881 Stevenson published Virginibus Puerisque, his first collection of essays, most of which had appeared in The Cornhill. The winter of 1881 he spent at a chalet in Davos. In April 1882 he left Davos; but a stay in the Scottish Highlands, while it resulted in two of his finest short stories, “Thrawn Janet” and “The Merry Men,” produced lung hemorrhages, and in September he went to the south of France.
 
 
There the Stevensons finally settled at a house in Hyères, where, in spite of intermittent illness, Stevenson was happy and worked well. He revised Prince Otto, worked on A Child’s Garden of Verses (first called Penny Whistles), and began The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses (1888), a historical adventure tale deliberately written in anachronistic language.

The threat of a cholera epidemic drove the Stevensons from Hyères back to Britain. They lived at Bournemouth from September 1884 until July 1887, but his frequent bouts of dangerous illness proved conclusively that the British climate, even in the south of England, was not for him. The Bournemouth years were fruitful, however. There he got to know and love the American novelist Henry James. There he revised A Child’s Garden (first published in 1885) and wrote “Markheim,” Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The poems in A Child’s Garden represent with extraordinary fidelity an adult’s recapturing of the emotions and sensations of childhood; there is nothing else quite like them in English literature. In Kidnapped the fruit of his researches into 18th-century Scottish history and of his feeling for Scottish landscape, history, character, and local atmosphere mutually illuminate one another. But it was Dr. Jekyll—both moral allegory and thriller—that established his reputation with the ordinary reader.

In August 1887, still in search of health, Stevenson set out for America with his wife, mother, and stepson. On arriving in New York, he found himself famous, with editors and publishers offering lucrative contracts. He stayed for a while in the Adirondack Mountains, where he wrote essays for Scribner’s and began The Master of Ballantrae. This novel, another exploration of moral ambiguities, contains some of his most impressive writing, although it is marred by its contrived conclusion.

 
 

Robert Louis Stevenson
  Life in the South Seas
In June 1888 Stevenson, accompanied by his family, sailed from San Francisco in the schooner yacht Casco, which he had chartered, on what was intended to be an excursion for health and pleasure. In fact, he was to spend the rest of his life in the South Seas. They went first to the Marquesas Islands, then to Fakarava Atoll, then to Tahiti, then to Honolulu, where they stayed nearly six months, leaving in June 1889 for the Gilbert Islands, and then to Samoa, where he spent six weeks.

During his months of wandering around the South Sea islands, Stevenson made intensive efforts to understand the local scene and the inhabitants. As a result, his writings on the South Seas (In the South Seas, 1896; A Footnote to History, 1892) are admirably pungent and perceptive. He was writing first-rate journalism, deepened by the awareness of landscape and atmosphere, such as that so notably rendered in his description of the first landfall at Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas.

In October 1890 he returned to Samoa from a voyage to Sydney and established himself and his family in patriarchal status at Vailima, his house in Samoa. The climate suited him; he led an industrious and active life; and, when he died suddenly, it was of a cerebral hemorrhage, not of the long-feared tuberculosis. His work during those years was moving toward a new maturity.

 
 
While Catriona (U.S. title, David Balfour, 1893) marked no advance in technique or imaginative scope on Kidnapped, to which it is a sequel, The Ebb-Tide (1894), a grim and powerful tale written in a dispassionate style (it was a complete reworking of a first draft by Lloyd Osbourne), showed that Stevenson had reached an important transition in his literary career. The next phase was demonstrated triumphantly in Weir of Hermiston (1896), the unfinished masterpiece on which he was working on the day of his death. “The Beach of Falesá” (first published 1892; included in Island Night’s Entertainments, 1893), a story with a finely wrought tragic texture, as well as the first part of The Master of Ballantrae, pointed in this direction, but neither approaches Weir. Stevenson achieved in this work a remarkable richness of tragic texture in a style stripped of all superfluities. The dialogue contains some of the best Scots prose in modern literature. Fragment though it is, Weir of Hermiston stands as a great work and Stevenson’s masterpiece.
 
 

Portrait by John Singer Sargent, 1887
 
 
Assessment
Stevenson was an indefatigable letter writer, and his letters (edited by Sidney Colvin in 1899) provide a lively and enchanting picture of the man and his life. But Colvin omitted many of the most interesting letters and compressed and dovetailed others, with the result that many important facts about Stevenson’s emotional life remained unknown until the true text of all the letters was available. Colvin presented Stevenson’s letters to Fanny Sitwell to what is now the National Library of Scotland with the proviso that they were not to be opened until 1949; the revealing and often fascinating letters to Charles Baxter, a friend, were deposited in the Yale University Library. Stevenson’s biography suffered from his being early canonized; later writers built up a counterpicture of an immoral swaggerer restrained into reluctant respectability by a jealous wife. Access to the crucial letters yielded a picture of a Stevenson who was neither the “seraph in chocolate” against whom Henley protested nor a low-living rake nor an optimistic escapist nor a happy invalid but a sensitive and intelligent writer who had no illusions about life and wryly made the best of a world to which he did not profess to have the key.

Stevenson’s literary reputation has also fluctuated. The reaction against him set in soon after his death: he was considered a mannered and imitative essayist or only a writer of children’s books. But eventually the pendulum began to swing the other way, and by the 1950s his reputation was established among the more discerning as a writer of originality and power whose essays at their best are cogent and perceptive renderings of aspects of the human condition; whose novels are either brilliant adventure stories with subtle moral overtones or original and impressive presentations of human action in terms of history and topography as well as psychology; whose short stories produce some new and effective permutations in the relation between romance and irony or manage to combine horror and suspense with moral diagnosis; whose poems, though not showing the highest poetic genius, are often skillful, occasionally (in his use of Scots, for example) interesting and original, and sometimes (in A Child’s Garden) valuable for their exhibition of a special kind of sensibility.

David Daiches

 
 

MAJOR WORKS

Tales and novels.
New Arabian Nights, 2 vol. (1882; the stories in vol. 1 appeared as Latter-Day Arabian Nights, 1878; those in vol. 2 had appeared in The Cornhill and other magazines); Treasure Island (1883; serialized in a slightly different form in Young Folks, 1881–82); More New Arabian Nights, with Fanny Van de Grift Stevenson (1885); Prince Otto (1885); Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886); Kidnapped (1886; in Young Folks, 1886); The Merry Men and Other Tales and Fables (1887), including “Thrawn Janet” and “Olalla”; The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses (1888; in Young Folks, 1883); The Master of Ballantrae (1889; serialized in Scribner’s Magazine, 1888–89); Catriona (1893), a sequel to Kidnapped; The Ebb-Tide, with Lloyd Osbourne (1894; serialized in To-Day, 1893–94); Weir of Hermiston (unfinished 1896); St. Ives, completed by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, pseudonym “Q” (1897).

Essays and miscellaneous.
An Inland Voyage (1878); Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes (1879); Virginibus Puerisque (1881), collected essays, mainly from The Cornhill Magazine; Familiar Studies of Men and Books (1882); Memories and Portraits (1887), 16 essays; Across the Plains (1892), 12 essays; Vailima Letters, to Sidney Colvin (1895); From Scotland to Silverado, ed. by J.D. Hart (1966), brings together all Stevenson’s previously published and unpublished writings about his trip to California in 1879–80.

Poetry.
A Child’s Garden of Verses (1885); Underwoods (1887), 38 poems in English, 16 in Scots; Ballads (1890); Songs of Travel and Other Verses (1896). Collected Poems, ed. by J. Adam Smith, 2nd ed. (1971), is the standard edition of Stevenson’s poetry.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
     
 
Robert Louis Stevenson  

"Treasure Island
"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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1850
 
 
Turgenev: "A Month in the Country"
 

A Month in the Country (Russian: Месяц в деревне, Mesiats v derevne) is a comedy of manners play in five acts by Turgenev Ivan. It was written in France between 1848 and 1850 and was first published in 1855. The play was not staged until 1872, when it was given as a benefit performance for the Moscow actress Ekaterina Vasilyeva (1829–1877), who was keen to play the leading role of Natalya Petrovna.

 
Plot summary
The setting is the Islaev country estate in the 1840s. Natalya Petrovna, a headstrong 29-year-old, is married to Arkadi Islaev, a rich landowner seven years her senior. Bored with life, she welcomes the attentions of Mikhail Rakitin as her devoted but resentful admirer, without ever letting their friendship develop into a love affair.

The arrival of the handsome 21-year-old student Aleksei Belyaev as tutor to her son Kolya ends her boredom. Natalya falls in love with Aleksei, but so does her ward Vera, the Islaevs' 17-year-old foster daughter. To rid herself of her rival, Natalya proposes that Vera should marry a rich old neighbour, but the rivalry remains unresolved.

Rakitin struggles with his love for Natalya, and she wrestles with hers for Aleksei, while Vera and Aleksei draw closer. Misunderstandings arise, and when Arkadi begins to have his suspicions, both Rakitin and Aleksei are obliged to leave. As other members of the household drift off to their own worlds, Natalya's life returns to a state of boredom.

 
 
History of the play
Originally entitled The Student, the play was banned by the Saint Petersburg censor without being performed. Turgenev changed the title to Two Women. In 1854 it was passed for publication, provided alterations were made — demands made more on moral than political grounds. To play down the controversy, Turgenev finally changed the name to A Month in the Country.

Following the 1872 premiere, the play was not performed again until 1879, when it became a regular part of the Russian repertoire.

In the introduction to his 1994 English translation, Richard Freeborn wrote:

 
Konstantin Stanislavski and Olga Knipper
as Rakitin and Natalya in
the Moscow Art Theatre's production in 1909.
 
 
Turgenev's comedy has often been called Chekhovian, even though it preceded Chekhov's mature work by more than forty years. The happiest irony surrounding the play's survival is that its ultimate success was due more than anything to the popularity of Chekhov's work and the kind of ensemble playing which Stanislavsky fostered at the Moscow Art Theatre. It was his production in 1909, when he played the role of Rakitin, that finally demonstrated the true brilliance of Turgenev's long-neglected play.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
see also: Turgenev Ivan
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
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1850
 
 
Wordsworth William d. (b. 1770); succeeded as poet laureate by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Tennyson Alfred)
 
 

Portrait of William Wordsworth by Benjamin Robert Haydon
(National Portrait Gallery).
 
 
 
     
 
William Wordsworth 

"The Prelude"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
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  Alfred Tennyson

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

English Literature - German literature
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