Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY



1800 - 1899
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
  BACK-1852 Part I NEXT-1852 Part III    
1850 - 1859
History at a Glance
1850 Part I
Compromise of 1850
Constitution of Prussia
The eight Kaffir War, 1850-1853
Masaryk Tomas
Kitchener Horatio Herbert
Erfurt Union
Fillmore Millard
Taiping Rebellion
Hong Xiuquan
Feng Yunshan
Yang Xiuqing
Shi Dakai
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
Stevenson Robert Louis
Robert Louis Stevenson  
"Treasure Island
Turgenev: "A Month in the Country"
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"
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
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"
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
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"
1852 Part I
Joffre Joseph
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
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
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
1853 Part I
Eugenie de Montijo
Crimean War
Battle of Sinop
Rhodes Cecil
Peter V
Nagpur Province
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"
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
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
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"
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"
1854 Part IV
Poincare Henri
Eastman George
Ehrenberg Christian Gottfried
Paul Ehrlich
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
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
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
1855 Part III
Hughes David Edward
Lowell Percival
Cunard Line
"The Daily Telegraph"
Niagara Falls suspension bridge
Paris World Fair
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
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
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
1856 Part IV
Bessemer Henry
Bessemer process
Freud Sigmund
Sigmund Freud
Peary Robert Edwin
Pringsheim Nathanael
Siemens Charles William
Hardie James Keir
Taylor Frederick Winslow
"Big Ben"
1857 Part I
Treaty of Paris
Indian Rebellion of 1857
Italian National Society
Manin Daniele
Taft William Howard
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"
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"
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
1858 Part I
Orsini Felice
Stanley Edward
Treaty of Tientsin
Government of India Act 1858
Law Bonar
William I
Karageorgevich Alexander
Roosevelt Theodore
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
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
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
1859 Part I
Second Italian War of Independence
Battle of Varese
Battle of Palestro
Battle of Magenta
Battle of Solferino
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
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
1859 Part III
Dickens: "A Tale of Two Cities"
Doyle Arthur Conan
Arthur Conan Doyle  
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"
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"
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"

Harriet Beecher Stowe: "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1852 Part II
Bourget Paul
Paul Bourget, in full Paul-Charles-Joseph Bourget (born Sept. 2, 1852, Amiens, France—died Dec. 25, 1935, Paris), French novelist and critic who was a master of the psychological novel and a molder of opinion among French conservative intellectuals in the pre-World War I period.

Paul Bourget
  After completing his studies in philosophy, Bourget began his career as a poet, and several of his poems were set to music by Claude Debussy.

Encouraged and deeply influenced by the critic Hippolyte Taine, he published a series of essays tracing the sources of contemporary pessimism to the works of Stendhal, Gustave Flaubert, Charles Baudelaire, Taine, and Ernest Renan.

Fashionable in their day because of their high-society setting, his early novels, such as Cruelle Énigme (1885), Un Crime d’amour (1886), and André Cornélis (1887), were careful psychological studies.

Bourget’s most important novel, Le Disciple (1889), heralded a marked change in his intellectual position. Prefaced by an appeal to youth to abide by traditional morality rather than modern scientific theory, the novel portrays the pernicious influence of a highly respected positivist philosopher and teacher (who strongly resembles Taine) on a young man.

Applying the philosopher’s teachings to life, the young man plays dangerous games with human emotions that end in a tragic crime. Bourget was converted to Roman Catholicism in 1901.

His later novels, such as L’Étape (1902) and Un Divorce (1904), are increasingly didactic theses in support of the church, traditionalism, nationalism, and monarchy.

Encyclopædia Britannica
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Sir Edward Creasy: "Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World"
Creasy Edward

Sir Edward Shepherd Creasy (12 September 1812 – 17 January 1878) was an English historian and jurist.


Sir Edward Shepherd Creasy
He was born in Bexley, England. He was educated at Eton College (where he won the Newcastle Scholarship in 1831) and King's College, Cambridge and called to the Bar in 1837. In 1840, he began teaching history at the University of London. Creasy was knighted in 1860, and assumed the position of Chief Justice of Ceylon through 1875. He returned to England and died in London on 17 January 1878.

Creasy's best known contribution to literature is his Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World (1851). It is typical of 19th century European sentiment, with references to the barbarism and immorality of non-Europeans. The reason Creasy gives for the significance of many of the fifteen battles, is that they denied Eastern peoples access to European soil. Other battles are seen as "decisive" because they shaped the development of Britain, which was the world's leading power at the time of writing.

Other works included:

Biographies of Eminent Etonians (1850, several editions)
Historical and Critical Account of the Several Invasions of England (1852);
History of the Ottoman Turks;
History of England, 1869–70, in 2 vols.
The Rise and Progress of the English Constitution; and
Imperial and Colonial Institutions of the British Empire (1872).

Old Love and the New (1870) was a novel. With John Sheehan and Robert Gordon Latham, Creasy took part in contributing to Bentley's Miscellany the political squibs in verse known as the Tipperary Papers.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Creasy: "The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World: from Marathon to Waterloo"

The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World: from Marathon to Waterloo is a book written by Sir Edward Shepherd Creasy and published in 1851. This book tells the story of the fifteen military engagements (from Marathon to Waterloo) which, according to the author, had a significant impact on world history. The selection reflects the worldview of a 19th-century European with a classical education: fourteen of the battles took place in the arc of historically interconnected military theatres which stretched from Persia through the Mediterranean Basin to Europe, and one was fought by European powers and former colonies in North America.


Each chapter of the book describes a different battle. The fifteen chapters are:

1. The Battle of Marathon, 490 BC
Excerpt: Two thousand three hundred and forty years ago, a council of Athenian Officers was summoned on the slope of one of the mountains that look over the plain of Marathon, on the eastern coast of Attica. The immediate subject of their meeting was to consider whether they should give battle to an enemy that lay encamped on the shore beneath them; but on the result of their deliberations depended, not merely the fate of two armies, but the whole future progress of human civilization.

2. Defeat of the Athenians at Syracuse, 413 BC
Known as the Battle of Syracuse.
Excerpt: Few cities have undergone more memorable sieges during ancient and mediaeval times than has the city of Syracuse.

The Battle of Gaugamela

3. The Battle of Gaugamela, 331 BC
Also called the Battle of Arbela.
Excerpt: ... the ancient Persian empire, which once subjugated all the nations of the earth, was defeated when Alexander had won his victory at Arbela.

4. The Battle of the Metaurus, 207 BC
Excerpt: That battle was the determining crisis of the contest, not merely between Rome and Carthage, but between the two great families of the world...

5. Victory of Arminius over the Roman Legions under Varus, AD 9
Known as the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.
Excerpt: ..that victory secured at once and forever the independence of the Teutonic race.

6. The Battle of Châlons, AD 451
Also called the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields or the Battle of the Catalun.
Excerpt: The victory which the Roman general, Aëtius, with his Gothic allies, had then gained over the Huns, was the last victory of imperial Rome.

The Battle of Tours

7. The Battle of Tours, AD 732
Also called the Battle of Poitiers.
Excerpt: the great victory won by Charles Martel ... gave a decisive check to the career of Arab conquest in Western Europe.

8. The Battle of Hastings, AD 1066
Excerpt: ..no one who appreciates the influence of England and her empire upon the destinies of the world will ever rank that victory as one of secondary importance.

The Siege of Orléans

9. Joan of Arc's Victory over the English at Orléans, AD 1429
Known as the Siege of Orléans.
Excerpt: ..the struggle by which the unconscious heroine of France, in the beginning of the fifteenth century, rescued her country from becoming a second Ireland under the yoke of the triumphant English.

The Spanish Armada

10. Defeat of the Spanish Armada, AD 1588
Excerpt: The England of our own days is so strong, and the Spain of our own days is so feeble, that it is not easy, without some reflection and care, to comprehend the full extent of the peril which England then ran from the power and the ambition of Spain, or to appreciate the importance of that crisis in the history of the world.

11. The Battle of Blenheim, AD 1704
Excerpt: Had it not been for Blenheim, all Europe might at this day suffer under the effect of French conquests resembling those of Alexander in extent and those of the Romans in durability.

The Battle of Poltava

12. The Battle of Pultowa, AD 1709
Also called the Battle of Poltava.
Excerpt: The decisive triumph of Russia over Sweden at Pultowa was therefore all-important to the world, on account of what it overthrew as well as for what it established

13. Victory of the Americans over Burgoyne at Saratoga, AD 1777
Excerpt: The ancient Roman boasted, with reason, of the growth of Rome from humble beginnings to the greatest magnitude which the world had then ever witnessed. But the citizen of the United States is still more justly entitled to claim this praise.

The Battle of Valmy

14. The Battle of Valmy, AD 1792
Excerpt: ..the kings of Europe, after the lapse of eighteen centuries, trembled once more before a conquering military republic.

The Battle of Waterloo

15. The Battle of Waterloo, AD 1815
Excerpt: The exertions which the allied powers made at this crisis to grapple promptly with the French emperor have truly been termed gigantic, and never were Napoleon's genius and activity more signally displayed than in the celerity and skill by which he brought forward all the military resources of France...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Charles Dickens: "Bleak House"

Bleak House, a novel by Dickens Charles, was first published as a serial between March 1852 and September 1853, and is considered to be one of Dickens' finest novels, containing vast, complex and engaging arrays of characters and sub-plots. The story is told partly by the novel's heroine, Esther Summerson, and partly by an omniscient narrator. Memorable characters include haughty Lady Honoria Dedlock, the menacing lawyer Tulkinghorn, the realistic John Jarndyce, and the childish and disingenuous Harold Skimpole, as well as the imprudent Richard Carstone.

At the novel's centre is long-running litigation Jarndyce v Jarndyce, which has far-reaching consequences for all involved. This case revolves around a testator who apparently made several wills. Dickens' satirization of the English judicial system is based in part on his own experiences as a law clerk, and in part on his experiences as a litigant seeking to enforce copyright on his earlier books.

Though lawyers and judges criticised Dickens's portrait of the English legal system as exaggerated, his novel helped to spur an ongoing movement that culminated in the enactment of legal reform in the 1870s. In fact, Dickens was writing just as the legal system was reforming itself, and the need for further reform was being widely debated. There has been some debate as to when Bleak House is set. The English legal historian Sir William Holdsworth set the action in 1827; however, reference to preparation for the building of a railroad in chapter LV suggests a later date in the 1830s at least.

Sir Leicester Dedlock and Honoria, Lady Dedlock (his junior by more than 20 years) live at his estate of Chesney Wold. Lady Dedlock is a beautiful, haughty woman who is very admired in the social world because of her good looks, fine clothes and regal bearing. Her comings and goings are considered the choicest gossip among the "fashionable intelligence." Unknown to Sir Leicester, Lady Dedlock had a lover, Captain Hawdon, before she married Sir Leicester – and had a child by him, Esther Summerson. Lady Dedlock, believing her daughter is dead, has chosen to live out her days 'bored to death' as a fashionable lady of the world.

Esther is raised by Miss Barbary, Lady Dedlock's spartan sister, who instils a sense of worthlessness in her that Esther will battle throughout the novel. She holds a sort of depressed vigil on Esther's birthday each year, explaining that Esther's birth is no cause for celebration and that she was "her mother's shame." Esther doesn't know that Miss Barbary is her aunt, thinking of her only as her godmother. When Miss Barbary dies, the Chancery lawyer Conversation Kenge takes charge of Esther's future on the instruction of his client, John Jarndyce. Jarndyce becomes Esther's guardian, and after attending school in Reading for six years, Esther moves in with him at Bleak House, along with his wards, Richard Carstone and Ada Clare. Esther is to be Ada's companion.

Esther soon befriends both Ada and Richard, who are cousins. They are beneficiaries in one of the wills at issue in Jarndyce and Jarndyce; their guardian is a beneficiary under another will, and in some undefined way the two wills conflict.

Charles Dickens. "Bleak House"
Cover of first serial,
March 1852
No one realizes that Esther (as Lady Dedlock's biological daughter) is also connected to Jarndyce and Jarndyce.
Richard and Ada soon fall in love, but though Mr. Jarndyce doesn't oppose the match, he stipulates that Richard (who is inconstant) must first choose a profession. Richard first tries the medical profession, and Esther first meets the newly qualified Dr. Allan Woodcourt at the house of Richard's prospective tutor, Mr. Baynham Badger. When Richard mentions the prospect of gaining from the resolution of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Jarndyce beseeches him never to put faith in what he calls "the family curse".

Meanwhile, Lady Dedlock is also a beneficiary under one of the wills in Jarndyce and Jarndyce. Early in the book, while listening to her solicitor, the close-mouthed but shrewd Mr. Tulkinghorn, read an affidavit aloud, she recognises the handwriting on the copy. The sight affects her so much that she almost faints, which Tulkinghorn notes and thinks should be investigated. He traces the copyist who turns out to be a pauper known only as "Nemo" who has recently died. The only person to identify him is a street-sweeper, a poor homeless boy named Jo.

Lady Dedlock also investigates the matter disguised as her French maid, Mademoiselle Hortense. She pays Jo to take her to Nemo's grave. Meanwhile, Tulkinghorn is convinced that Lady Dedlock's secret might threaten the interests of his client, Sir Leicester Dedlock, and watches her constantly, even enlisting the help of the maid, who detests her. He also enlists Inspector Bucket to run Jo out of town, so that there are no loose-ends that might connect Nemo to the Dedlocks.

Esther meets her mother at church and talks with her later at Chesney Wold – though, at first, neither woman recognizes the tie that binds them. Later, Lady Dedlock realises that her abandoned child is not dead and is, in fact, Esther. She waits to confront Esther with this knowledge until Esther survives an unidentified disease (possibly smallpox, as it permanently disfigures her), which she got from the homeless boy Jo after Esther and her maid Charley attempted to nurse him back to health. Though they are happy to be reunited, Lady Dedlock tells Esther that they must never acknowledge their connection again.

Esther recovers, but her beauty is supposedly ruined. She finds that Richard, having failed at several professions, has ignored his guardian and is wasting his resources in pushing Jarndyce and Jarndyce to conclusion (in his and Ada's favour). Further, he has broken with his guardian, under the influence of his lawyer, the odious and crafty Mr. Vholes. In the process of becoming an active litigant, Richard has lost all his money and is breaking his health.

Hablot Knight Browne."Bleak House".
Bleak House
In further defiance of John Jarndyce, he and Ada have secretly married, and Ada is carrying Richard's child. Esther experiences her own romance when Dr. Woodcourt returns to England, having survived a shipwreck, and continues to seek her company despite her disfigurement. Unfortunately, Esther has already agreed to marry her guardian, John Jarndyce.

Hortense and Tulkinghorn discover Lady Dedlock's past. After a quiet but desperate confrontation with the lawyer, Lady Dedlock flees her home, leaving a note apologising for her conduct. Tulkinghorn dismisses Hortense, no longer any use to him. Feeling abandoned and betrayed by Lady Dedlock and Tulkinghorn, Hortense kills Tulkinghorn and seeks to frame Lady Dedlock for his murder. Sir Leicester discovers his lawyer's death and his wife's flight, and he suffers a catastrophic stroke but manages to communicate that he forgives his wife and wants her to return to him.

Inspector Bucket, who up to now has investigated several matters on the periphery of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, accepts the commission of the stricken Sir Leicester to find Lady Dedlock. He suspects Lady Dedlock, even after he arrests George Rouncewell (the only other person known to be with Tulkinghorn on the night of the murder and to have quarrelled with him repeatedly). Bucket asks Esther to help search for Lady Dedlock. By this point, Bucket has cleared Lady Dedlock by discovering Hortense's guilt, but Lady Dedlock has no way to know this and wanders the country in cold weather before dying at the cemetery of her former lover Captain Hawdon (Nemo). Esther and Bucket find her there.

Developments in Jarndyce and Jarndyce seem to take a turn for the better when a later will is found which revokes all previous wills and leaves the bulk of the estate to Richard and Ada. Meanwhile, John Jarndyce cancels his engagement to Esther, who becomes engaged to Dr. Woodcourt. They go to Chancery to find Richard and to discover what news there might be of the lawsuit's resolution. To their horror, they learn that the new will has no chance to resolve Jarndyce and Jarndyce, for the costs of litigation have consumed the estate. Richard collapses, and Dr Woodcourt determines that he is in the last stages of tuberculosis.

Hablot Knight Browne."Bleak House".
Consecrated ground
Richard apologises to John Jarndyce and dies, leaving Ada alone with their child, a boy she names Richard. Jarndyce takes in Ada and the child. Esther and Woodcourt marry and live in a Yorkshire house which Jarndyce gives to them. In time, they have two daughters.

Many of this intricate novel's subplots deal with the minor characters and their diverse ties to the main plot. One of these subplots is the hard life and happy though difficult marriage of Caddy Jellyby and Prince Turveydrop. Another focuses on George Rouncewell's rediscovery of his family at Chesney Wold and his reunion with his mother and brother.

Characters in Bleak House
As usual, Dickens drew upon many real people and places but imaginatively transformed them in his novel. Hortense is based on the Swiss maid and murderess Maria Manning. The "telescopic philanthropist" Mrs Jellyby, who pursues distant projects at the expense of her duty to her own family, is a criticism of women activists like Caroline Chisholm. The "childlike" but ultimately amoral character Harold Skimpole is commonly regarded as a portrait of Leigh Hunt.

"Dickens wrote in a letter of 25 September 1853, 'I suppose he is the most exact portrait that was ever painted in words! ... It is an absolute reproduction of a real man'; and a contemporary critic commented, 'I recognized Skimpole instantaneously; ... and so did every person whom I talked with about it who had ever had Leigh Hunt's acquaintance.'" G. K. Chesterton suggested that Dickens "may never once have had the unfriendly thought, 'Suppose Hunt behaved like a rascal!'; he may have only had the fanciful thought, 'Suppose a rascal behaved like Hunt!'".
Hablot Knight Browne."Bleak House".
Attorney and Client
Mr Jarndyce's friend Mr Boythorn is based on the writer Walter Savage Landor.

The novel also includes one of the first detectives in English fiction, Inspector Bucket. This character is probably based on Inspector Charles Frederick Field of the then recently formed Detective Department at Scotland Yard. Dickens wrote several journalistic pieces about the Inspector and the work of the detectives in Household Words, his weekly periodical in which he also published articles attacking the Chancery system. The Jarndyce and Jarndyce case itself is believed to have been inspired by a number of protracted Chancery cases involving real-life wills, including those of Charles Day and William Jennens, and of Charlotte Smith's father-in-law Richard Smith.


Major characters
Esther Summerson – the heroine of the story, and one of its two narrators (Dickens's only female narrator), raised as an orphan because the identity of her parents is unknown. At first, it seems probable that her guardian, John Jarndyce, is her father because he provides for her. This, however, he disavows shortly after she comes to live under his roof. The discovery of her true identity provides much of the drama in the book: it is discovered that she is the illegitimate daughter of Lady Dedlock and Nemo (Captain Hawdon).
Honoria, Lady Dedlock – the haughty mistress of Chesney Wold. Her past drives much of the plot as it turns out that, before her marriage, she had an affair with another man and bore his child. She discovers the child's identity (Esther Summerson) and, because she has made this discovery and revealed that she had a secret predating her marriage, she has attracted the noxious curiosity of Mr. Tulkinghorn, who feels himself bound by his ties to his client, Sir Leicester, to pry out her secret and use it to control her. At the end, she dies, disgraced in her own mind and convinced that her aristocratic husband can never forgive her moral failings, even though he has already done so.
John Jarndyce – an unwilling party in Jarndyce and Jarndyce, guardian of Richard, Ada, and Esther, and owner of Bleak House. Vladimir Nabokov called him "one of the best and kindest human beings ever described in a novel". A wealthy man, he helps most of the other characters out of a mix of disinterested goodness and guilt at the mischief and human misery caused by Jarndyce and Jarndyce, which he calls "the family curse". He falls in love with Esther and wishes to marry her, but gives her up because she is in love with Dr. Woodcourt.
Richard Carstone – a ward of Chancery in Jarndyce and Jarndyce. A straightforward and likeable but irresponsible and inconstant character who falls under the spell of Jarndyce and Jarndyce. At the end of the book, just after Jarndyce and Jarndyce is finally settled, he dies, tormented by his imprudence in trusting to the outcome of a Chancery suit.

Ada Clare – another ward of Chancery in Jarndyce and Jarndyce. She falls in love with Richard Carstone, who is a distant cousin. She does not share his fervent hopes for a quick settlement in the Jarndyce case. They later marry in secret.
Harold Skimpole – a friend of Jarndyce "in the habit of sponging his friends" (Nuttall); supposedly based on Leigh Hunt (but see above). He is irresponsible, selfish, amoral, and without remorse. He often refers to himself as "a child" and claims not to understand the complexities of human relationships, circumstances, and society – but understands them all too well, as when, early in the book, he enlists Richard and Esther to pay off the bailiff who has arrested him on a writ of debt. He believes that in the future Richard and Ada will be able to acquire credit based on their expectations in Jarndyce and Jarndyce and declares his intention to start 'honoring' them by letting them pay some of his debts.
Lawrence Boythorn – an old friend of John Jarndyce's; a former soldier, who always speaks in superlatives; very loud and harsh, but goodhearted. Esther learns from Mr. Jarndynce that Boythorn was once engaged to (and very much in love with) a woman who later left him without giving him any reason. Esther feels guilty when she learns that the woman to whom he was engaged was, in fact, Esther's aunt. She abandoned her former life (including Boythorn) when she took Esther from her sister to raise her as an orphan.
Hablot Knight Browne."Bleak House".
The little old lady

Boythorn is also a neighbour of Sir Leicester Dedlock's, with whom he is engaged in an epic tangle of lawsuits over a right-of-way across Boythorn's property that Sir Leicester asserts the legal right to close; based on Walter Savage Landor.
Sir Leicester Dedlock – a crusty baronet, very much older than his wife. Dedlock is an unthinking conservative who regards the Jarndyce and Jarndyce lawsuit in which his wife is entangled as a mark of distinction worthy of a man of his family lineage.
Mr. Tulkinghorn – Sir Leicester's lawyer. Scheming and manipulative, he seems to defer to his clients but relishes the power his control of their secrets gives him over them. He learns of Lady Dedlock's past and tries to control her conduct, to preserve the reputation and good name of Sir Leicester. He is murdered, and his murder gives Dickens the chance to weave a detective's investigation of the murder into the plot of the closing chapters of the book.
Mr. Snagsby – the timid and hen-pecked proprietor of a law-stationery business who gets involved with Tulkinghorn's and Bucket's secrets. He is Jo's only friend. He tends to give half-crowns to those whom he feels sorry for. He is married to Mrs. Snagsby, who has a 'vinegary' personality and incorrectly suspects Mr. Snagsby of having many secrets against her, such as his being Jo's father.
Miss Flite – an elderly eccentric obsessed with Chancery. Her family has been destroyed by a long-running Chancery case similar to Jarndyce and Jarndyce, and her obsessive fascination with Chancery veers between comedy and tragedy. She owns a large number of little birds which she says will be released "on the day of judgement".
Mr. William Guppy – a law clerk at the Chancery firm of Kenge and Carboy's. He becomes smitten with Esther and plays a role in unearthing her true past. He at first proposes marriage to Esther, but withdraws the offer after discovering her much-altered appearance due to her illness. Esther politely refused his proposal in the first place, prior to his withdrawal. Later, after Esther learns that Lady Dedlock is her mother, she meets with Mr. Guppy to ask him to cease his investigation of her true lineage. He feared that she had asked to meet him in order to belatedly accept his offer of marriage (since she has become disfigured and has, as he sees it, no other prospects). He is so over-come with relief when she explains her true purpose that he agrees to do everything in his power to protect her privacy in the future.
Inspector Bucket – a detective who undertakes several investigations in the course of the novel, most notably the investigation of Mr. Tulkinghorn's murder, which he brings to a successful conclusion.
Mr. George – a former soldier, serving under Nemo, who owns a London shooting-gallery. He is a trainer in sword and pistol use, briefly training Richard Carstone. The prime suspect in the death of Mr. Tulkinghorn, he is exonerated and his true identity is revealed, against his wishes. He is found to be George Rouncewell, son of the Dedlocks' housekeeper, Mrs. Rouncewell, who welcomes him back to Chesney Wold. He ends the book as the body-servant to the stricken Sir Leicester Dedlock.
Caddy Jellyby – a friend of Esther's, secretary to her mother, the "telescopic philanthropist" Mrs. Jellyby. Caddy feels ashamed of her "lack of manners", but Esther's friendship revives her, and she falls in love with young Prince Turveydrop, marries him, and has a baby.
Krook – a rag and bottle merchant and collector of papers. He is the landlord of the house where Nemo and Miss Flite live and where Nemo dies. He seems to subsist on a diet consisting of nothing but cheap gin. Krook dies from a case of spontaneous human combustion, something that Dickens believed could happen, but which some critics of the novel such as the English essayist George Henry Lewes denounced as outlandish and implausible. Ironically, amongst the stacks of papers obsessively hoarded by the illiterate Krook is the key to resolving the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce.
Jo – a young and homeless boy who lives on the streets and tries without much luck to make a living as a crossing sweeper. Jo was the only person with whom the deceased Nemo had any real connection. Jo remembers that Nemo expressed a kind, paternal sort of interest in Jo's welfare (something that no human had ever done before). Nemo would share his meagre money with Jo when he could, and would sometimes remark, "Well, Jo, today I am as poor as you," when he had nothing to share. Jo was called to testify at the inquiry into Nemo's death, but it is decided that Jo knows nothing of value to the investigators. Despite this, Mr. Tulkinghorn pays Mr. Bucket to harry Jo and force him to keep "moving along" [leave town] because Tulkinghorn fears that Jo might have some knowledge of the connection between Nemo and the Dedlocks. Jo ultimately dies from a disease (pneumonia, a complication from an earlier bout with smallpox which Esther also catches and from which she almost dies).
Allan Woodcourt – a surgeon. A kind, caring man who loves Esther deeply. She in turn cares strongly for him but feels unable to respond to his overtures not only because of her prior commitment to John Jarndyce, but also because she fears that her status as an orphan will cause his slightly arrogant mother to object to their connection.
Grandfather Smallweed – a moneylender. A mean, bad-tempered man who shows no mercy to people who owe him money and enjoys inflicting emotional pain on others. He lays claim to the deceased Krook's possessions because Smallweed's wife is Krook's sister and only living relation, and also drives Mr. George into bankruptcy by calling in debts. Mr. Tulkinghorn is his attorney in both these cases. It has been suggested that his description (together with his grandchildren) fit that of a person with progeria.
Mr. Vholes – a Chancery lawyer who takes on Richard Carstone as a client, squeezes out of him all the litigation fees he can manage to pay, and then abandons him when Jarndyce and Jarndyce comes to an end.
Conversation Kenge – a Chancery lawyer who represents John Jarndyce. His chief foible is his love of grand, portentous, and empty rhetoric.

Minor characters
Mr. Gridley – an involuntary party to a suit in Chancery (based on a real case, according to Dickens's preface), who repeatedly seeks to gain the attention of the Lord Chancellor but in vain. He threatens Mr. Tulkinghorn and then is put under arrest by Inspector Bucket, but dies, his health broken by his Chancery ordeal.
Nemo (Latin for "nobody") – is the alias of Captain James Hawdon, a former officer in the British Army under whom Mr. George once served. Nemo copies legal documents for Snagsby and lodges at Krook's rag and bottle shop, eventually dying of an opium overdose. He is later found to be the former lover of Lady Dedlock and the father of Esther Summerson. The novel makes a point of never putting Nemo in the reader's view; he is only presented at a remove, as described or referred to by others.
Mrs. Snagsby – Mr. Snagsby's highly suspicious and curious wife, who suspects her husband of being Jo's father.
Guster – the Snagsbys' maidservant; she is prone to fits.
Neckett – a debt collector – called "Coavinses" by debtor Harold Skimpole because he works for that business firm
Charley – Coavinses' daughter; hired by John Jarndyce to be a maid to Esther
Tom – Coavinses' young son
Emma – Coavinses' baby daughter
Mrs. Jellyby – Caddy's mother, a "telescopic philanthropist" obsessed with an obscure African tribe but having little regard to the notion of charity beginning at home
Mr. Jellyby – Mrs. Jellyby's long-suffering husband
Peepy Jellyby – the Jellybys' young son
Prince Turveydrop – a dancing master and proprietor of a dancing studio
Old Mr. Turveydrop – a master of Deportment who lives off his son's industry
Jenny – a brickmaker's wife. She's mistreated by her husband and her baby dies. She helps her friend look after her own child.
Rosa – a favourite lady's maid of Lady Dedlock whom Watt Rouncewell wishes to marry. The proposal ends in nothing when Mr. Rouncewell's father asks that Rosa be sent to school to become a lady worthy of his son's station. Lady Dedlock questions the girl closely regarding her wish to leave, and promises to look after her instead. In some way, Rosa is a stand-in for Esther in Lady Dedlock's life.
Hortense – lady's maid to Lady Dedlock (based on murderess Maria Manning)
Mrs. Rouncewell – housekeeper to the Dedlocks at Chesney Wold
Mr. Robert Rouncewell – son of Mrs. Rouncewell and a prosperous ironmaster
Watt Rouncewell – his son
Volumnia – a Dedlock cousin
Miss Barbary – Esther's godmother and severe guardian in childhood
Mrs. Rachael Chadband – a former servant of Miss Barbary's
Mr. Chadband – an oleaginous preacher, husband of Mrs. Chadband
Mrs. Smallweed – wife of Mr. Smallweed senior and sister to Krook. She is in her second childhood.
Young Mr. (Bartholemew) Smallweed – grandson of the senior Smallweeds and friend of Mr. Guppy
Judy Smallweed – granddaughter of the senior Smallweeds
Tony Jobling – aka Mr. Weevle – a friend of Mr. Guppy's
Mrs. Guppy – Mr. Guppy's aged mother
Phil Squod – Mr. George's assistant
Matthew Bagnet – military friend of Mr. George's and dealer in musical instruments
Mrs. Bagnet – wife of Matthew Bagnet
Woolwich – the Bagnets' son
Quebec – the Bagnets' daughter
Malta – the Bagnets' daughter
Mrs. Woodcourt – Allan Woodcourt's widowed mother
Mrs. Pardiggle – a woman who does "good works" for the poor, but cannot see that her efforts are rude and arrogant and do nothing at all to help. She inflicts her activities on her five small sons, who are clearly rebellious.
Arethusa Skimpole – Mr. Skimpole's "Beauty" daughter
Laura Skimpole – Mr. Skimpole's "Sentiment" daughter
Kitty Skimpole – Mr. Skimpole's "Comedy" daughter
Mrs. Skimpole – Mr. Skimpole's ailing wife who is weary of her husband and lifestyle

Analysis and criticism
Much criticism of Bleak House focuses on its unique narrative structure: it is told both by an unidentified, third-person narrator and a first-person narrator, Esther Summerson. The third-person narrator speaks in the present tense, ranging widely across geographic and social space (from the aristocratic Dedlock estate to the desperately poor Tom-All-Alone's in London), and gives full rein to Dickens's desire to satirise the English chancery system – though this narrator's perceptiveness has limits, stopping at the outside to describe characters' appearances and behaviour without any pretence of grasping or revealing their inner lives.

Esther Summerson tells her own story in the past tense (like David in David Copperfield or Pip in Great Expectations), and her narrative voice is characterised by modesty, consciousness of her own limits, and willingness to disclose to us her own thoughts and feelings. These two narrative strands never quite intersect, though they do run in parallel.

Nabokov, after describing the ways Esther's voice changes as the novel progresses, concluded that letting Esther tell part of the story was Dickens's "main mistake" in planning the novel Alex Zwerdling, a scholar from Berkeley, after observing that "critics have not been kind to Esther," nevertheless thought Dickens's use of Esther's narrative "one of the triumphs of his art".

Esther's portion of the narrative is an interesting case study of the Victorian ideal of feminine modesty. She introduces herself thus: "I have a great deal of difficulty in beginning to write my portion of these pages, for I know I am not clever" (chap. 3).
Hablot Knight Browne."Bleak House".
Tom All Alones
This claim is almost immediately belied by the astute moral judgement and satiric observation that characterise her pages, and it remains unclear how much knowledge she withholds from her narration, or why someone who has chosen to relate the story of her life should be so coy about her own central place in it. In the same introductory chapter, she writes: "It seems so curious to me to be obliged to write all this about myself! As if this narrative were the narrative of MY life! But my little body will soon fall into the background now" (chap. 3). This does not turn out to be true.

For most readers and scholars, the central concern of Bleak House is its riveting and insistent indictment of the English Chancery court system. Chancery or equity courts were one half of the English civil justice system, existing side-by-side with law courts. Unlike law courts, which heard actions for legal injuries compensable by monetary damages, Chancery courts heard actions having to do with wills and estates, or with the uses of private property.
By the mid-nineteenth century, English law reformers had long criticised and mocked the delays of Chancery litigation, and Dickens found the subject a tempting target. (He already had taken a shot at law-courts and that side of the legal profession in his 1837 novel The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club or The Pickwick Papers).

The fame and critical success of Bleak House have led many readers and scholars to apply its indictment of Chancery to the entire legal system, and indeed it is the greatest indictment of law, lawyers, and the legal system in the English language.

Scholars – such as the English legal historian Sir William Searle Holdsworth, in his 1928 series of lectures Charles Dickens as a Legal Historian published by Yale University Press – have made a plausible case for treating Dickens's novels, and Bleak House in particular, as primary sources illuminating the history of English law.

Dickens claimed in the preface to the book edition of Bleak House (it was initially released in parts) that he had "purposely dwelt upon the romantic side of familiar things". And some remarkable things do happen: One character, Krook, smells of brimstone and eventually dies of spontaneous human combustion, attributed to his alcoholism and his evil nature. Using spontaneous human combustion to dispose of Krook in the story was controversial. The nineteenth century saw the increasing triumph of the scientific world-view and of technology rooted in scientific advances.

  Scientific and technological research and discovery were regarded as among the highest forms of human endeavour. Scientifically inclined writers, as well as medical doctors and scientists, rejected spontaneous human combustion as legend or superstition. When the instalment of Bleak House containing Krook's demise appeared, the literary critic George Henry Lewes criticised Dickens, accusing him of "giving currency to a vulgar error". Dickens vigorously defended the reality of spontaneous human combustion and cited many documented cases, such as those of Mme. Millet of Rheims and of the Countess di Bandi, as well as his own memories of coroners' inquests that he had attended when he had been a reporter. In the preface of the book edition of Bleak House, Dickens wrote: "I shall not abandon the facts until there shall have been a considerable Spontaneous Combustion of the testimony on which human occurrences are usually received."

George Gissing and G. K. Chesterton are among those literary critics and writers who consider Bleak House to be the best novel that Charles Dickens wrote. As Chesterton put it: "Bleak House is not certainly Dickens' best book; but perhaps it is his best novel". Harold Bloom, in his book The Western Canon, considers Bleak House to be Dickens's greatest novel. Daniel Burt, in his book The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time, ranks Bleak House number 12.

Bleak House has been cited as "the first novel in which a detective plays a significant role".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  Charles Dickens

"Great Expectations"
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Dumas Alexandre, fils: "La Dame aux Camelias," play
The Lady of the Camellias (French: La Dame aux camélias) is a novel by Dumas Alexandre, fils, first published in 1848, and subsequently adapted for the stage.

The Lady of the Camellias premiered at the Théâtre du Vaudeville in Paris, France on February 2, 1852.

The play was an instant success, and Giuseppe Verdi immediately set about putting the story to music.

His work became the 1853 opera La Traviata, with the female protagonist, Marguerite Gautier, renamed Violetta Valéry.
see also: Dumas fils: "La Dame aux Camelias"
Dumas Alexandre, fils

"The Lady of the Camellias"
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Theophile Gautier: "Emaux et Camees"

Émaux et Camées is a collection of poetry by French poet Gautier Theophile . Originally published in 1852 with 18 poems, Émaux et camées grew to include 37 poems in later editions. Whereas Gautier's earlier work was more concerned with romantic aestheticism, the formalism of this last collection is a point of reference for the arrival of Parnassianism.

Affinités secrètes
Le Poème de la Femme
Études de mains
Variations sur le Carnaval de Venise
Symphonie en Blanc Majeur
Coquetterie posthume
Diamant du cœur
Premier Sourire du Printemps
Caerulei oculi
Fantaisies d'hiver
La Source
Bûchers et tombeaux
Le Souper des armures
La Montre
Les Nereides
Les Accroche-cœurs
La Rose-thé
Ce que disent les hirondelles. Chanson d'automne
Les Joujoux de la morte
Après le feuilleton
Le Château du Souvenir
Camélia et Paquerette
La Fellah
La Mansarde
La Nue
Le Merle
La Fleur qui fait le printemps
Dernier Vœu
Plaintive Tourterelle
La Bonne Soirée

On an ancient temple gleaming,
Two great blocks of marble high
Thrice a thousand years lay dreaming
Dreams against an Attic sky.

Set within one silver whiteness,
Two wave-tears for Venus shed,
Two fair pearls of orient brightness,
Through the waste of water sped.

In the Generalife's fresh closes,
By a Moorish light illumed,
Two delicious, tender roses
By a fountain met and bloomed.

In the balm of May's bright weather,
Where the domes of Venice rise,
Lighted on Love's nest together
Two pale doves from azure skies.

All things vanish into wonder,
Marble, pearl, dove, rose on tree,
Pearl shall melt and marble sunder,
Flower shall fade and bird shall flee!

Not a smallest part but lowly
Through the crucible must pass,
Where all shapes are molten slowly
In the universal mass.

Then as gradual Time discloses
Marbles melt to whitest skin,
Roses red to lips of roses,
And anew the lives begin.

And again the doves are plighted
In the hearts of lovers, while
Ocean pearls are reunited,
Set within a coral smile.


Thus affinity comes welling;
By its beauty everywhere
Soul a sister-soul foretelling,
All awakened and aware.

Quickened by a zephyr sunny,
Or a perfume, subtlewise,
As the bee unto the honey,
Atom unto atom flies.

And remembered are the hours
In the temple, down the blue,
And the talks amid the flowers,
Near the fount of crystal dew,

Kisses warm, and on the royal
Golden domes the wings that beat;
For the atoms all are loyal,
And again must love and greet.

Love forgotten wakes imperious,
For the past is never dead,
And the rose with joy delirious
Breathes again from lips of red.

Marble on the flesh of maiden
Feels its own white bloom, and faint
Knows the dove a murmur laden
With the echo of its plaint,

Till resistance giveth over,
And the barriers fall undone,
And the stranger is the lover,
And affinity hath won!

You before whose face I tremble,
Say—what past we know not of
Called our fates to reassemble,—
Pearl or marble, rose or dove?


Unto the dreamer once whose heart she had,
As she was showing forth her treasures rare,
Minded she was to read a poem fair,
The poem of her form with beauty glad.

First stately and superb she swept before
His gazing eyes, with high, Infanta mien,
Trailing behind her all the splendid sheen
Of nacarat floods of velvet that she wore.

Thus at the opera had he watched her bend
From out her box, her body one bright flame,
When all the air was ringing with her name,
And every song made her fair praise ascend.

Then had her art another way, for look!
The weighty velvet dropped, and in its place
A pale and cloudy fabric proved the grace
Of every line her glowing body took;

Till softly from her shoulder marble-sweet
The veil diaphanous fell, the folds whereof
Came fluttering downward like a snowy dove,
To nestle in the wonder of her feet.

She posed as for Apelles pridefully,
A lovely flesh and marble womanhood:—
Anadyomene, she upright stood
Naked upon the margent of the sea.

Fairer than any foam-drops crystalline,
Great pearls of Venice lay upon her breast,
Jewels of milky wonder lightly pressed
Upon the cool, fresh satin of her skin.

Exhaustless as the waves that kiss the brim,
Under the gleaming moon of many moods,
Were all the strophes of her attitudes.
What fascination sang her beauty's hymn!

But soon, grown weary of an art antique,
Of Phidias and of Venus, lo! again
Within another new and plastic strain
She grouped her charms unveiled and unique.


Upon a cashmere opulently spread,
Sultana of Seraglio then she lay,
Laughing unto her little mirror gay,
That laughed again with lips of coral red;

The indolent, soft Georgian, posturing
With her long, supple narghile at lip,
Showing the glorious fashion of her hip,
One foot upon the other languishing.

And, like to Ingres' Odalisque, supine,
Defying prurient modesty turned she,
Displaying in her beauty candidly
Wonder of curve and purity of line.

But hence, thou idle Odalisque! for life
Hath now its own fair picture to display—
The diamond in its rare effulgent ray,—
Beauty in Love hath reached its blossom rife.

She sways her body, bendeth back her head.
Her breathing comes more subtle and more fast.
Rocked in her dream's alluring arms, at last
Down hath she fallen upon her costly bed.

Her eyelids beat like fluttering pinions lit
Upon the darkened silver of her eyes.
Her bright, voluptuous glances upward rise
Into the vague and nacreous infinite.

Deck her with sweet, lush violets, instead
Of death-flowers with their every pearl a tear;
Scatter their purple clusters on her bier,
Who of her being's ecstasy lies dead.

And bear her very gently to her tomb—
Her bed of white. There let the poet stay,
Long hours upon his bended knees to pray,
When night shall close around the funeral room.

see also: Theophile Gautier
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Gogol Nikolai d. (b. 1809)

Nikolay Gogol
Gogol's grave at the Novodevichy Cemetery
see also: Nikolay Gogol
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Hebbel Friedrich: "Agnes Bernauer"

Ankündigung des Trauerspiels „Agnes Bernauer“.
  Western Literature

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

George Augustus Moore (24 February 1852 – 21 January 1933) was an Irish novelist, short-story writer, poet, art critic, memoirist and dramatist. Moore came from a Roman Catholic landed family who lived at Moore Hall in Carra, County Mayo. He originally wanted to be a painter, and studied art in Paris during the 1870s. There, he befriended many of the leading French artists and writers of the day.

As a naturalistic writer, he was amongst the first English-language authors to absorb the lessons of the French realists, and was particularly influenced by the works of Émile Zola. His writings influenced James Joyce, according to the literary critic and biographer Richard Ellmann, and, although Moore's work is sometimes seen as outside the mainstream of both Irish and British literature, he is as often regarded as the first great modern Irish novelist.


Portrait by Edouard Manet, 1879
  George Moore, in full George Augustus Moore (born February 24, 1852, Ballyglass, County Mayo, Ireland—died January 21, 1933, London, England), Irish novelist and man of letters. Considered an innovator in fiction in his day, he no longer seems as important as he once did.

Moore came from a distinguished Catholic family of Irish landholders. When he was 21, he left Ireland for Paris to become a painter. Moore’s Reminiscences of the Impressionist Painters (1906) vividly described the Café Nouvelle-Athènes and the circle of Impressionist painters who frequented it.

Moore was particularly friendly with Édouard Manet, who sketched three portraits of him. Another account of the years in Paris, in which he introduced the younger generation in England to his version of fin de siècle decadence, was his first autobiography, Confessions of a Young Man (1888).

Deciding that he had no talent for painting, he returned to London in 1882 to write. His first novels, A Modern Lover (1883) and A Mummer’s Wife (1885), introduced a new note of French Naturalism into the English scene, and he later adopted the realistic techniques of Gustave Flaubert and Honoré de Balzac.

Esther Waters (1894), his best novel, deals with the plight of a servant girl who has a baby out of wedlock; it is a story of hardship and humiliation illumined by the novelist’s compassion.

It was an immediate success, and he followed it with works in a similar vein: Evelyn Innes (1898) and Sister Teresa (1901).

In 1901 Moore moved to Dublin, partly because of his loathing for the South African War, partly because of the Irish literary renaissance spearheaded by his friend, the poet William Butler Yeats. In Dublin he contributed notably to the planning of the Abbey Theatre.

George Moore ca. 1888
  He also produced The Untilled Field (1903), a volume of fine short stories reminiscent of Ivan Turgenev’s writing that focuses on the drudgery of Irish rural life, and a short poetic novel, The Lake (1905). The real fruits of his life in Ireland, however, came with the trilogy Hail and Farewell (Ave, 1911; Salve, 1912; Vale, 1914). Discursive, affectionate, and satirical by turns, it reads like a sustained monologue that is both a carefully studied piece of self-revelation and an acute (though not always reliable) portrait gallery of his Irish acquaintance, which included Yeats, Æ, and Lady Gregory. Above all it is a perfectly modulated display of the comic spirit.

The increasing narrowness of the Irish mind, politics, and clericalism had sent Moore back to England in 1911. After Hail and Farewell he made another literary departure: aiming at epic effect he produced The Brook Kerith (1916), an elaborate and stylish retelling of the Gospel story that is surprisingly effective despite some dull patches. He continued his attempts to find a prose style worthy of epic theme in Héloïse and Abélard (1921). His other works included A Story-Teller’s Holiday (1918), a blend of autobiography, anecdote, Irish legend, and satire; Conversations in Ebury Street (1924), autobiography; The Pastoral Loves of Daphnis and Chloe (1924); and Ulick and Soracha (1926), an Irish legendary romance.

Encyclopædia Britannica
see also: George Moore
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Charles Reade: "Masks and Faces"
Reade Charles

Charles Reade, (born June 8, 1814, near Ipsden, Oxfordshire, Eng.—died April 11, 1884, London), English author whose novels attack, with passionate indignation and laborious research, the social injustices of his times.


Charles Reade
  He is also remembered for his historical novel The Cloister and the Hearth (1861), which relates the adventures of the father of Desiderius Erasmus as he wavers between religious celibacy and human love.

Reade became a fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1835 but treated the position as a sinecure. In 1843 he was called to the bar but never practiced law, and several years later he became a dealer in violins. Finally, in 1849 he embarked on a long career as a dramatist, theatre manager, and novelist. Laura Seymour, an actress, lived with him from 1856 until her death in 1879.

Reade’s novels reveal his concern with social issues. It Is Never Too Late to Mend (1856) attacked conditions in prisons, and Hard Cash (1863) exposed the ill-treatment of mental patients, especially in private asylums; Put Yourself in His Place (1870) dealt with the coercive activities of trade unionists.

Foul Play (1868), written with Dion Boucicault, revealed the frauds of “coffin ships” (unseaworthy and overloaded ships, often heavily insured by unscrupulous owners) and helped to sway public opinion in favour of the safety measures proposed later by Samuel Plimsoll; like many of Reade’s fictions, it had a dual identity as novel and play.
The historical novel Griffith Gaunt (1866) was widely attacked for its sexual frankness. In an effort to increase the realism in his novels, Reade loaded—or, as his critics complained, overloaded—them with carefully researched detail.

Encyclopædia Britannica

  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Harriet Beecher Stowe: "Uncle Tom's Cabin"

Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, is an anti-slavery novel by American author Stowe Harriet Beecher. Published in 1852, the novel "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War", according to Will Kaufman.

Stowe, a Connecticut-born teacher at the Hartford Female Seminary and an active abolitionist, featured the character of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering black slave around whom the stories of other characters revolve.
The sentimental novel depicts the reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love can overcome something as destructive as enslavement of fellow human beings.

Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible. It is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s.

In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States; one million copies in Great Britain. In 1855, three years after it was published, it was called "the most popular novel of our day." The impact attributed to the book is great, reinforced by a story that when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe at the start of the Civil War, Lincoln declared, "So this is the little lady who started this great war."

The quote is apocryphal; it did not appear in print until 1896, and it has been argued that "The long-term durability of Lincoln's greeting as an anecdote in literary studies and Stowe scholarship can perhaps be explained in part by the desire among many contemporary intellectuals ... to affirm the role of literature as an agent of social change."

Harriet Beecher Stowe circa 1852
The book and the plays it inspired helped popularize a number of stereotypes about black people. These include the affectionate, dark-skinned "mammy"; the "pickaninny" stereotype of black children; and the "Uncle Tom", or dutiful, long-suffering servant faithful to his white master or mistress. In recent years, the negative associations with Uncle Tom's Cabin have, to an extent, overshadowed the historical impact of the book as a "vital antislavery tool."
Stowe, a Connecticut-born teacher at the Hartford Female Seminary and an active abolitionist, wrote the novel as a response to the passage, in 1850, of the second Fugitive Slave Act. Much of the book was composed in Brunswick, Maine, where her husband, Calvin Ellis Stowe, taught at his alma mater, Bowdoin College.

Stowe was partly inspired to create Uncle Tom's Cabin by the slave narrative The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada, as Narrated by Himself (1849). Henson, a formerly enslaved black man, had lived and worked on a 3,700 acres (15 km2) tobacco plantation in North Bethesda, Maryland, owned by Isaac Riley. Henson escaped slavery in 1830 by fleeing to the Province of Upper Canada (now Ontario), where he helped other fugitive slaves settle and become self-sufficient, and where he wrote his memoirs. Stowe acknowledged in 1853 that Henson's writings inspired Uncle Tom's Cabin.

When Stowe's work became a best-seller, Henson republished his memoirs as The Memoirs of Uncle Tom and traveled on lecture tours extensively in the United States and Europe. Stowe's novel lent its name to Henson's home—Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site, near Dresden, Canada—which since the 1940s has been a museum.
The cabin where Henson lived while he was enslaved no longer exists, but a cabin on the Riley farm erroneously thought to be the Henson Cabin was purchased by the Montgomery County, Maryland, government in 2006. It is now a part of the National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program, and plans are underway to build a museum and interpretive center on the site.
Illustration by Hammatt Billings for Uncle Tom's Cabin, First Edition.
American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses, a volume co-authored by Theodore Dwight Weld and the Grimké sisters, is also a source of some of the novel's content. Stowe said she based the novel on a number of interviews with people who escaped slavery during the time when she was living in Cincinnati, Ohio, across the Ohio River from Kentucky, a slave state. In Cincinnati the Underground Railroad had local abolitionist sympathizers and was active in efforts to help runaway slaves on their escape route from the South.

Stowe mentioned a number of the inspirations and sources for her novel in A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin (1853). This non-fiction book was intended to verify Stowe's claims about slavery. However, later research indicated that Stowe did not read many of the book's cited works until after she had published her novel.


Illustration by Hammatt Billings for Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin first appeared as a 40-week serial in The National Era, an abolitionist periodical, starting with the June 5, 1851, issue. Because of the story's popularity, the publisher John P. Jewett contacted Stowe about turning the serial into a book. While Stowe questioned if anyone would read Uncle Tom's Cabin in book form, she eventually consented to the request.

Convinced the book would be popular, Jewett made the unusual decision (for that time) to have six full-page illustrations by Hammatt Billings engraved for the first printing. Published in book form on March 20, 1852, the novel soon sold out its complete print run. A number of other editions were soon printed (including a deluxe edition in 1853, featuring 117 illustrations by Billings).

In the first year of publication, 300,000 copies of Uncle Tom's Cabin were sold. At that point, however, "demand came to an unexpected halt... No more copies were produced for many years, and if, as is claimed, Abraham Lincoln greeted Stowe in 1862 as 'the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war,' the work had effectively been out of print for many years." Jewett went out of business, and it was not until Ticknor and Fields put the work back in print in November 1862 that demand began again to increase.

The book was translated into all major languages, and in the United States it became the second best-selling book after the Bible. A number of the early editions carried an introduction by Rev James Sherman, a Congregational minister in London noted for his abolitionist views. Uncle Tom's Cabin sold equally well in Britain, with the first London edition appearing in May 1852 and selling 200,000 copies. In a few years over 1.5 million copies of the book were in circulation in Britain, although most of these were pirated copies (a similar situation occurred in the United States).


Illustration by Hammatt Billings for Uncle Tom's Cabin
Eliza escapes with her son, Tom sold "down the river"
Full-page illustration by Hammatt Billings for Uncle Tom's Cabin depicts Eliza telling Uncle Tom that he has been sold and she is running away to save her child. (First Edition: Boston: John P. Jewett and Company, 1852).
The book opens with a Kentucky farmer named Arthur Shelby facing the loss of his farm because of debts. Even though he and his wife Emily Shelby believe that they have a benevolent relationship with their slaves, Shelby decides to raise the needed funds by selling two of them—Uncle Tom, a middle-aged man with a wife and children, and Harry, the son of Emily Shelby's maid Eliza—to a slave trader. Emily Shelby is averse to this idea because she had promised her maid that her child would never be sold; Emily's son, George Shelby, hates to see Tom go because he sees the man as his friend and mentor.

When Eliza overhears Mr. and Mrs. Shelby discussing plans to sell Tom and Harry, Eliza determines to run away with her son. The novel states that Eliza made this decision because she fears losing her only surviving child (she had already miscarried two children). Eliza departs that night, leaving a note of apology to her mistress.

Tom is sold and placed on a riverboat which sets sail down the Mississippi River. While on board, Tom meets and befriends a young white girl named Eva. Eva's father Augustine St. Clare buys Tom from the slave trader and takes him with the family to their home in New Orleans. Tom and Eva begin to relate to one another because of the deep Christian faith they both share.

Eliza's family hunted, Tom's life with St. Clare
During Eliza's escape, she meets up with her husband George Harris, who had run away previously.

They decide to attempt to reach Canada. However, they are tracked by a slave hunter named Tom Loker.

Eventually Loker and his men trap Eliza and her family, causing George to push Loker down a cliff. Worried that Loker may die, Eliza convinces George to bring the slave hunter to a nearby Quaker settlement for medical treatment.

Back in New Orleans, St. Clare debates slavery with his Northern cousin Ophelia who, while opposing slavery, is prejudiced against black people.

St. Clare, however, believes he is not biased, even though he is a slave owner. In an attempt to show Ophelia that her views on blacks are wrong, St. Clare purchases Topsy, a young black slave. St. Clare then asks Ophelia to educate her.

Illustration by Hammatt Billings for Uncle Tom's Cabin
After Tom has lived with the St. Clares for two years, Eva grows very ill. Before she dies she experiences a vision of heaven, which she shares with the people around her. As a result of her death and vision, the other characters resolve to change their lives, with Ophelia promising to throw off her personal prejudices against blacks, Topsy saying she will better herself, and St. Clare pledging to free Tom.

Illustration by Hammatt Billings for Uncle Tom's Cabin
Tom sold to Simon Legree
Before St. Clare can follow through on his pledge, however, he dies after being stabbed outside of a tavern. His wife reneges on her late husband's vow and sells Tom at auction to a vicious plantation owner named Simon Legree. Legree (a transplanted northerner) takes Tom and Emmeline (whom Legree purchased at the same time) to rural Louisiana, where they meet Legree's other slaves.

Legree begins to hate Tom when Tom refuses Legree's order to whip his fellow slave. Legree beats Tom viciously and resolves to crush his new slave's faith in God. Despite Legree's cruelty, however, Tom refuses to stop reading his Bible and comforting the other slaves as best he can. While at the plantation, Tom meets Cassy, another of Legree's slaves. Cassy was previously separated from her son and daughter when they were sold; unable to endure the pain of seeing another child sold, she killed her third child.

At this point Tom Loker returns to the story. Loker has changed as the result of being healed by the Quakers. George, Eliza, and Harry have also obtained their freedom after crossing into Canada. In Louisiana, Uncle Tom almost succumbs to hopelessness as his faith in God is tested by the hardships of the plantation. However, he has two visions, one of Jesus and one of Eva, which renew his resolve to remain a faithful Christian, even unto death. He encourages Cassy to escape, which she does, taking Emmeline with her. When Tom refuses to tell Legree where Cassy and Emmeline have gone, Legree orders his overseers to kill Tom. As Tom is dying, he forgives the overseers who savagely beat him. Humbled by the character of the man they have killed, both men become Christians. Very shortly before Tom's death, George Shelby (Arthur Shelby's son) arrives to buy Tom's freedom but finds he is too late.


Illustration by Hammatt Billings for Uncle Tom's Cabin
Final section
On their boat ride to freedom, Cassy and Emmeline meet George Harris's sister and accompany her to Canada. Cassy discovers that Eliza is her long-lost daughter who was sold as a child. Now that their family is together again, they travel to France and eventually Liberia, the African nation created for former American slaves. George Shelby returns to the Kentucky farm and frees all his slaves. George tells them to remember Tom's sacrifice and his belief in the true meaning of Christianity.

Illustration by Hammatt Billings for Uncle Tom's Cabin
Major characters
Uncle Tom

Uncle Tom, the title character, was initially seen as a noble, long-suffering Christian slave. In more recent years, however, his name has become an epithet directed towards African-Americans who are accused of selling out to whites. Stowe intended Tom to be a "noble hero" and praiseworthy person. Throughout the book, far from allowing himself to be exploited, Tom stands up for his beliefs and is grudgingly admired even by his enemies.

Illustration by Hammatt Billings for Uncle Tom's Cabin
Eliza is a slave and personal maid to Mrs. Shelby who escapes to the North with her five-year-old son Harry after he is sold to Mr. Haley. Her husband, George, eventually finds Eliza and Harry in Ohio and emigrates with them to Canada, then France and finally Liberia.

The character Eliza was inspired by an account given at Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati by John Rankin to Stowe's husband Calvin, a professor at the school. According to Rankin, in February 1838 a young slave woman had escaped across the frozen Ohio River to the town of Ripley with her child in her arms and stayed at his house on her way further north.


Little Eva and Uncle Tom by Edwin Longsden Long
Evangeline St. Clare is the daughter of Augustine St. Clare. Eva enters the narrative when Uncle Tom is traveling via steamship to New Orleans to be sold, and he rescues the 5 or 6-year-old girl from drowning. Eva begs her father to buy Tom, and he becomes the head coachman at the St. Clare house. He spends most of his time with the angelic Eva. Eva often talks about love and forgiveness, even convincing the dour slave girl Topsy that she deserves love. She even touches the heart of her Aunt Ophelia.

Eventually Eva falls terminally ill. Before dying, she gives a lock of her hair to each of the slaves, telling them that they must become Christians so that they may see each other in Heaven. On her deathbed, she convinces her father to free Tom, but because of circumstances the promise never materializes.

A similar character, also named Little Eva, later appeared in the children's novel Little Eva: The Flower of the South by Philip J. Cozans (although this ironically was an anti-Tom novel).

Simon Legree
Simon Legree is a cruel slave owner—a Northerner by birth—whose name has become synonymous with greed. He is arguably the novel's main antagonist. His goal is to demoralize Tom and break him of his religious faith; he eventually orders Tom whipped to death out of frustration for his slave's unbreakable belief in God.

The novel reveals that, as a young man, he had abandoned his sickly mother for a life at sea and ignored her letter to see her one last time at her deathbed. He sexually exploits Cassy, who despises him, and later sets his designs on Emmeline.

It is unclear if Legree is based on any actual individuals. Reports surfaced after the 1870s that Stowe had in mind a wealthy cotton and sugar plantation owner named Meredith Calhoun, who settled on the Red River north of Alexandria, Louisiana.

Generally, however, the personal characteristics of Calhoun ("highly educated and refined") do not match the uncouthness and brutality of Legree.

Calhoun even edited his own newspaper, published in Colfax, originally "Calhoun's Landing", renamed the National Democrat after Calhoun's death. However, Calhoun's overseers may have been in line with the hated Legree's methods and motivations.

Simon Legree on the cover of the comic book adaptation of Uncle Tom's Cabin (Classic Comics No. 15, November 1943 issue).
Other characters
There are a number of secondary and minor characters in Uncle Tom's Cabin. Among the more notable are:

Arthur Shelby – Tom's master in Kentucky. Shelby is characterized as a "kind" slaveowner and a stereotypical Southern gentleman.
Emily Shelby – Arthur Shelby's wife. She is a deeply religious woman who strives to be a kind and moral influence upon her slaves and is appalled when her husband sells his slaves with a slave trader. As a woman, she has no legal way to stop this, as all property belongs to her husband.
George Shelby – Arthur and Emily's son, who sees Tom as a friend and as the perfect Christian.
Chloe – Tom's wife and mother of his children.
Augustine St. Clare – Tom's third owner and father of Eva. St. Clare is complex, often sarcastic, with a ready wit. After a rocky courtship he marries a woman he grows to hold in contempt, though he is too polite to let it show. St. Clare recognizes the evil in chattel slavery but is not willing to relinquish the wealth it brings him. After his daughter's death he becomes more sincere in his religious thoughts and starts to read the Bible to Tom. He plans on finally taking action against slavery by freeing his slaves, but his good intentions ultimately come to nothing.
Marie St. Clare – Wife of Augustine, she is a self-absorbed woman without a hint of compassion for those around her, including her own family. Given to an unending list of (apparently imaginary) physical maladies, she continually complains about the lack of sympathy she is receiving. She has separated her personal maid, Mammy, from her own two children because they would interfere with her duties. As Marie drives Mammy to exhaustion, she criticizes her for selfishly seeking to attend her own family.

Upon the unexpected death of Augustine, Marie countermands the legal process that would have given Tom his freedom.
George Harris – Eliza's husband. An intelligent and clever half-white slave who is fiercely loyal to his family.
Topsy – A ragamuffin young slave girl. When asked if she knows who made her, she professes ignorance of both God and a mother, saying "I s'pect I growed. Don't think nobody never made me." She is transformed by Eva's love. During the early-to-mid 20th century, several doll manufacturers created Topsy and Topsy-type dolls. The phrase "growed like Topsy" (later "grew like Topsy") passed into the English language, originally with the specific meaning of unplanned growth, later sometimes just meaning enormous growth.
Miss Ophelia – Augustine St. Clare's pious, hard-working, abolitionist cousin from Vermont. She displays the ambiguities towards African-Americans felt by many Northerners at the time. She argues against the institution of slavery yet, at least initially, feels repulsed by the slaves as individuals.
Quimbo and Sambo – slaves of Simon Legree who act as overseers of the plantation. On orders from Legree, they savagely whip Tom but afterward tearfully repent of their deeds to Tom, who forgives them as he lies dying.
Little Eva and Topsy by John R. Neill, 1908
Major themes
Uncle Tom's Cabin is dominated by a single theme: the evil and immorality of slavery.
While Stowe weaves other subthemes throughout her text, such as the moral authority of motherhood and the redeeming possibilities offered by Christianity, she emphasizes the connections between these and the horrors of slavery. Stowe sometimes changed the story's voice so she could give a "homily" on the destructive nature of slavery (such as when a white woman on the steamboat carrying Tom further south states, "The most dreadful part of slavery, to my mind, is its outrages of feelings and affections—the separating of families, for example."). One way Stowe showed the evil of slavery was how this "peculiar institution" forcibly separated families from each other.

Because Stowe saw motherhood as the "ethical and structural model for all of American life" and also believed that only women had the moral authority to save the United States from the demon of slavery, another major theme of Uncle Tom's Cabin is the moral power and sanctity of women. Through characters like Eliza, who escapes from slavery to save her young son (and eventually reunites her entire family), or Eva, who is seen as the "ideal Christian", Stowe shows how she believed women could save those around them from even the worst injustices. While later critics have noted that Stowe's female characters are often domestic clichés instead of realistic women, Stowe's novel "reaffirmed the importance of women's influence" and helped pave the way for the women's rights movement in the following decades.

Stowe's puritanical religious beliefs show up in the novel's final, overarching theme—the exploration of the nature of Christianity and how she feels Christian theology is fundamentally incompatible with slavery. This theme is most evident when Tom urges St. Clare to "look away to Jesus" after the death of St. Clare's beloved daughter Eva. After Tom dies, George Shelby eulogizes Tom by saying, "What a thing it is to be a Christian." Because Christian themes play such a large role in Uncle Tom's Cabin—and because of Stowe's frequent use of direct authorial interjections on religion and faith—the novel often takes the "form of a sermon."
Uncle Tom's Cabin is written in the sentimental and melodramatic style common to 19th century sentimental novels and domestic fiction (also called women's fiction). These genres were the most popular novels of Stowe's time and tended to feature female main characters and a writing style which evoked a reader's sympathy and emotion.
Even though Stowe's novel differs from other sentimental novels by focusing on a large theme like slavery and by having a man as the main character, she still set out to elicit certain strong feelings from her readers. The power in this type of writing can be seen in the reaction of contemporary readers. Georgiana May, a friend of Stowe's, wrote a letter to the author, saying, "I was up last night long after one o'clock, reading and finishing Uncle Tom's Cabin. I could not leave it any more than I could have left a dying child." Another reader is described as obsessing on the book at all hours and having considered renaming her daughter Eva. Evidently the death of Little Eva affected a lot of people at that time, because in 1852, 300 baby girls in Boston alone were given that name.

Despite this positive reaction from readers, for decades literary critics dismissed the style found in Uncle Tom's Cabin and other sentimental novels because these books were written by women and so prominently featured "women's sloppy emotions." One literary critic said that had the novel not been about slavery, "it would be just another sentimental novel," while another described the book as "primarily a derivative piece of hack work." In The Literary History of the United States, George F. Whicher called Uncle Tom's Cabin "Sunday-school fiction", full of "broadly conceived melodrama, humor, and pathos."

Eliza crosses the Ohio on the cover of Pictures and Stories from Uncle Tom's Cabin, Boston: John P. Jewett & Co., 1853
However, in 1985 Jane Tompkins expressed a different view of Uncle Tom's Cabin with her book In Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction. Tompkins praised the style so many other critics had dismissed, writing that sentimental novels showed how women's emotions had the power to change the world for the better. She also said that the popular domestic novels of the 19th century, including Uncle Tom's Cabin, were remarkable for their "intellectual complexity, ambition, and resourcefulness"; and that Uncle Tom's Cabin offers a "critique of American society far more devastating than any delivered by better-known critics such as Hawthorne and Melville."

This view remains the subject of dispute. Writing in 2001, legal scholar Richard Posner described Uncle Tom's Cabin as part of the mediocre list of canonical works that emerges when political criteria are imposed on literature.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

see also: Harriet Beecher Stowe
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Thackeray: "History of Henry Esmond"

The History of Henry Esmond is a historical novel by Thackeray William Makepeace, originally published in 1852. The book tells the story of the early life of Henry Esmond, a colonel in the service of Queen Anne of England. A typical example of Victorian historical novels, Thackeray's work of historical fiction tells its tale against the backdrop of late 17th- and early 18th-century England – specifically, major events surrounding the English Restoration — and utilises characters both real (but dramatised) and imagined.

Plot summary
Using sporadically the first and third persons, Henry Esmond relates his own history in memoir fashion. The novel opens on Henry as a boy – the supposedly illegitimate (and eventually orphaned) son of Thomas, the third Viscount Castlewood, and cousin of the Jacobite fourth viscount, Francis, and his wife, the Lady Castlewood. These successors to the Castlewood estate and peerage, following the death of Henry's father, foster the boy, and he remains with them throughout his youth and early adulthood. A quiet, sober, hard-working youth, Henry is devoted to his foster family. Gentle, sensitive Lady Castlewood is his adored mother figure. Her husband is also kind to Esmond, but the hard-drinking viscount is clearly a man of limited intellect whose crude manners and thoughtless ways cause his wife a great deal of embarrassment and pain.

Henry Esmond knows that his cousins—dull, good-natured Frank and sly, seductive Beatrix—will eventually inherit Castlewood. After the heartless Beatrix rejects his offer of marriage, he journeys to London to make his fortune. Esmond meets many of the celebrated English writers of the day, such as Joseph Addison and Richard Steele. Addison and Steele are both represented as model English gentlemen, who gladly mentor Esmond in his literary career, while the equally noted Jonathan Swift is depicted in most unflattering terms as a hateful misanthrope and bully. Particular venom is directed at Swift for the abundant leisure he had at the vicarage in Trim, County Meath for cultivating his garden, making a canal (after the Dutch fashion of Moor Park), and planting willows. When his writing career stalls, Esmond joins the British army. Here he is reunited with his cousin Frank, who is now a dashing but foolhardy young officer.

First edition title page
The two cousins later join the unsuccessful campaign to restore James Francis Edward Stuart to the English throne. After much intrigue, Esmond grows disillusioned with Jacobitism and eventually comes to accept the Protestant future of England. He falls in love with his cousin (daughter of his patron, Castlewood), Beatrix, but eventually marries his foster-mother (also his cousin, and Beatrix's mother), Rachel, Lady Castlewood. The novel closes on the couple's emigration to Virginia in 1718.
In a private critique of the work, written in a letter to a friend, novelist George Eliot labelled it "the most uncomfortable book you can imagine...the hero is in love with the daughter all through the book, and marries the mother at the end."

However, American publisher and novelist James Thomas Fields, in his autobiographical Yesterdays with Authors, said of the book, and of his friend Thackeray:

To my thinking, it is a marvel in literature, and I have read it oftener than any of the other works. Perhaps the reason of my partiality lies somewhat in this little incident. One day, in the snowy winter of 1852, I met Thackeray sturdily ploughing his way down Beacon Street with a copy of Henry Esmond (the English edition, then just issued) under his arm. Seeing me some way off, he held aloft the volumes and began to shout in great glee. When I came up to him he cried out, "Here is the very best I can do, and I am carrying it to Prescott as a reward of merit for having given me my first dinner in America. I stand by this book, and am willing to leave it, when I go, as my card."

Anthony Trollope thought Thackeray the greatest novelist of his time and Esmond his masterpiece.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

see also: William Makepeace Thackeray
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Turgenev: "A Sportsman's Sketches"

A Sportsman's Sketches (Russian: Записки охотника; also known as The Hunting Sketches and Sketches from a Hunter's Album) was an 1852 collection of short stories by Turgenev Ivan .

It was the first major writing that gained him recognition. He wrote this collection of short stories based on his own observations while hunting at his mother’s estate at Spasskoye, where he learned of the abuse of the peasants and the injustices of the Russian system that constrained them. The frequent abuse of Turgenev by his mother certainly had an effect on this work. The stories were first published in The Contemporary with each story separate before appearing in 1852 in book form. He was about to give up writing when the first story, "Khor and Kalinich," was well received. This work is part of the Russian realist tradition in that the narrator is usually an uncommitted observer of the people he meets. The work as a whole actually led to Turgenev’s house arrest (part of the reason, the other being his epitaph to Nikolai Gogol) at Spasskoye. It was also partially responsible for the abolition of serfdom in Russia.  
A Sportsman's Sketches, 1852
Short stories
Khor and Kalinych
Story of two peasants one who is extremely thrifty, and the other an idealist, both of whom work for a petty landowner named Polutykin. This introduces the role of the narrator as the uncommitted observer. Turgenev at once appears as a writer and an artist but also a social reformer and activist. The separation of the two peasants plays a big role in later works by the author, as he explained in a speech given in 1860 where he talks about the dichotomy of his “Hamlet-like” and “Quixotic” characters. The main idea here though is displaying the intelligence of the peasants and the idiocy of their master. It is also perhaps one of his strongest arguments in favor of Westernization in Russia.

The illustration for Khor and Kalinych by Elisabeth Bohm. 1883.
Yermolay and the Miller’s Wife
Story of the narrator’s hunter friend and a night they spend at a miller’s home. This is the first sketch he appears in. The man, Zverkov, gives the reader a clear idea of the injustices of serfdom, this being the main idea of this particular story. Nothing else of merit occurs.
Raspberry Water
Story of the narrator meeting and talking to two peasants at a little spring called Raspberry Water (which did exist and still exists in Russia). Here the narrator is very distant, akin to early Realist narrators, and learns of the self-deprivation peasants take upon themselves through the recollections of the old peasant named Foggy.
District Doctor
After struck with fever in a small village, the narrator is visited by a district doctor who tells him a story of how he fell in love with a dying girl. It is told from his perspective rather than the narrator’s.
My Neighbor Radilov
Yermolay is with the narrator again. The story consists of them meeting a landowner named Radilov. They have dinner at his house and learn he is not a typical landowner and shows goodwill (he’s not gloomy about his fate either). He mentions when his wife died and how he didn’t really shed a tear until he saw a fly crawl over her eye. Radilov disappears at the end and the family he lived with does not know where he went.
Farmer Ovsyanikov
Poor landowner the narrator meets, who Turgenev uses to talk about the social ills of serfdom while avoiding the censors. He does nothing more than sit and talk.
Yermolay and the narrator go hunting and meet up with Old Knot, an old peasant who’s the local fisherman and has held several ridiculous positions in the area. This story is particularly noteworthy for its vivid character descriptions. The group goes hunting in the lake with a pretentious hunter named Vladimir, sink the boat and then wade to shore filthy after great difficulty.

The illustration for Lgov by Pyotr Sokolov. 1890s.
Bezhin Lea
The narrator gets lost in the woods and comes across a clearing, where he meets up with five peasant boys near a fire who are guarding the horses. The narrator pretends to be asleep and the boys forget he is there and start talking about fairies and talking animals, stories that they believe to be true. The beauty of the story is typically found in the innocence of the young boys. Serfdom here is hidden in the background, never truly mentioned or argued against as in the other stories.
Kasyan from the Beautiful Lands
While in a carriage the narrator comes across a funeral procession and goes to Yudin village to get a new axle when theirs breaks. There he meets Kasyan, a fifty-year-old dwarf who lives in the village and who belongs to some unnamed religious sect. He takes them to get a new axle and the narrator notices how at one he seems with his environment and incredibly generous. Kasyan establishes his hatred of established society through his glorification of the world of folklore.

Story about the bailiff (Sofron) of a landowner friend of the narrator who is more in control of the land than Arkady Penochkin. He uses the peasants and steals their money from loans. This story was an angreement, though not explicit, of a letter written in response to Gogol’s Slavophile tendencies. This story is one of the most vivid examples of the peasantry’s exploitation.

The Office
The narrator comes upon a small hut and travels to a village after speaking with an old man there. He comes across a run-down shack that is the main office of the local landowner. He stays there and overhears the head clerk abusing his powers and learns how he uses Losnyakova to abuse the peasants, for example sending away the lover of a young man so they cannot get married. The main idea here is the presentation of the ridiculous bureaucracy created to control the peasants.

At night in a droshky, the narrator comes across a man, Foma, in the forest who watches over his landowner’s property so peasants don’t steal wood. He learns the man’s wife left him and their children alone and finds he his home incredibly depressing.
Kasyan from the Beautiful Lands.
The drawing by Ivan Turgenev.
Between 1860 and 1880.
Foma eventually hears a peasant and they go out to confront him. The forester takes him to his home and threatens to turn him into the landowner. The narrator tries to buy the peasant’s wood so he can be set free, and though they fight at first, Foma eventually agrees and pushes the man out the door. Unlike the previous stories, this work was not featured in “The Contemporary” and was only later added to the sketches in 1852.
Two Landowners
Story of two different landowners the narrator knows, with descriptions of mistreatment of the peasants including beatings and descriptions of their miserable huts. This again, gives the reader more callous examples of the treatment of the peasantry.
Story about a village where the narrator comes across the horse fair. Of particular interest is the lieutenant Khlopakov, who uses catch phrases out of context regardless if they sound strange, which amuses his friend Zhukov. The narrator looks at horses and decides to purchase one, which ends up being lame but he gives up trying to get his money back for it when he realizes the seller’s scheme. Turgenev’s intentions here were to display the typical events at a local fair.
Tatyana Borisovna and her Nephew
Story about the modest landowner Tatyana who everyone loves because she is so generous. In spite of being illiterate she is generous to everyone and does not care for typical dealings that landowners spend their time on and does not care for other women landowners in her area. In the story her nephew Andryusha (an orphan) comes to live with her and loves to draw. He eventually gains the interest of Pyotr Benevolensky, a local collegiate counsellor who is a minor acquaintance of Tatyana, who then takes him to St. Petersburg to be trained in art. When he returns, after asking his aunt for money through the mail several times, she finds he has become Benevolensky and is corrupted. He is fat and annoying and spends his time poorly singing words to songs written by Glinka. Her friends stop visiting her because he is so annoying.
In this story the narrator opens with a hunting story concerning his neighbor. They find the trees in the area dying with many fallen onto the ground because of a terrible frost (this is an actual event from Russia in 1840). After this he and his friend come upon a peasant who they are told has been smashed by a tree and they watch him die. This reminds the narrator of several stories he remembers about dying and he uses them to explain how the Russian character presents itself when dying. Each character continues as if performing a ritual, not lamenting or even caring. One old woman, with her final breath, reaches for a ruble under her pillow to pay the priest who says her last rites. Here Turgenev appears to be commenting on the isolation of human personality in the face of nature.
The narrator comes across a “terrible village” and goes to a tavern set at the end of a ravine. In the tavern he finds that some locals are having a singing contest. The one, Yakov, has the gift of technical prowess. The other, Yasha, has natural talent. Yakov goes first and the group believes he’s won due to the skill he displays but when Yasha sings, he sings beautifully with the “collective voice of the Russian identity,” leading everyone to cry with no discussion of his skill afterword. Yakov stammers that he won and they are about to drink, but the narrator is disturbed by this since he found the scene so beautiful amongst the horrible surroundings, and he goes outside to sleep while they drink. He leaves while hearing peasant boys calling to each other in the night.

Yakov the Turk Is Singing. The illustration for Singers by Boris Kustodiev. 1908.
Pyotr Petrovich Karataev
While at a post, the narrator meets a lower, uneducated landowner named Karataev who has lost his land because of an IOU. He learns from him that he once fell in love with a peasant girl named Matroyna, owned by another landowner. He attempts to buy her from the woman, but she forbids it because she simply does not want to and sends her away to another village. Karataev, in desperation, finds her and brings her home where he hides her for a time, eluding authorities by placing her away from his home. In the end she gives herself up and Karataev goes off to Moscow, where the narrator finds him later happy amongst friends but completely broke.
While out hunting, the narrator happens to witness the meeting of a peasant girl who is in love with a pampered, pompous valet. When he comes he treats her with disinterest and leaves her to say he is going away after announcing he cannot marry her. The girl sheds tears and the narrator goes to her when she almost collapses, but she runs away when she notices him.
Hamlet of the Shchigrovsky District
In this story the narrator spends the evening at a party of a landowner named Alexander G. Here Turgenev gives excellent descriptions and parodies of the nobility. While attempting to go to sleep, the narrator finds his roommate unable to sleep as well and finds out that he is man who has realized his ununiqueness amongst the upper class, even though he is considered a wit. He is forever cursed to deep introspection and finds in himself nothing save a molded being with no true life. He leaves early in the morning without saying goodbye and the narrator never learns his name.

Hamlet of the Shchigrovsky District. The drawing by Ivan Turgenev. Circa 1850.
Chertopkhanov and Nedopyuskin
While hunting with Yermolay, the narrator comes across the landowner Chertopkhanov. He goes away on his horse and another man comes up, his friend Nedopyuskin. Chertopkhanov is the inheritor of a mortgaged little village called Unsleepy Hollow. His friend, Nedopyuskin, became close to him when the former saved him from a crowd of nobles who were tormenting him for being the inheritor of an estate despite the fact that he was so completely devoid of any bit of notoriety for anything. The two bachelors became the best of friends and live together at Unsleepy Hollow in peaceful tranquility in spite of the disrepair of the area. They embody the “loner” figure Turgenev was so interested in, able to live independently in the system.
The End of Chertopkhanov
Sequel to the previous story, though published much later in 1872. It was originally not part of the sketches. This story is more sequential than the previous, detailing the end of the landowner up to his death. He faces three misfortunes. The first is his love Masha leaving him in true “gypsy” spirit. The second is Nedopyuskin dying of a stroke. The third and final is the loss of his horse Malek Adel, the envy of local landowners who know of Chertopkhanov. One night it is stolen and he does everything in his power to find it, eventually coming across the horse at a fair. He buys it back and brings it home, but something bothers him about it. He begins to realize that the horse is not truly Malek Adel but one that looks like it and in despair he eventually shoots the animal in the head and stays in his bed afterwards. He no longer looks like himself, but when his servant comes up to him the last bit of his being comes forth and he declares that the nobleman Chertopkhanov is dying and no one can stand in his way.
Living Relic
This story as well was originally not part of the sketches and appeared in another collection of stories first in 1874. Here, the narrator comes back to his home estate to find a beautiful servant named Lukeria in a horrible state. After falling from a porch she succumbs to an unknown digestive disorder (not explicitly stated, but implied) that reduces her to an unmoving, skeletal figure. She spends her time in the shed in the summer and near the house in the winter, moved about by the house servants who remain. The narrator is shaken by her disturbing ability to accept her fate, regardless of how terrible it may be. She is completely unable to move and finds her days accented only by the occasional sounds of new birds in the shed, smells, or a rabbit that may occasionally come in to visit her. She eventually dies in peace, completely aware that the day was coming because she saw it in her dreams. This story is slightly different from the others because of the inclusion of the “unreal” found in Lukeria’s dream states. The narrator is heartbroken by her condition, but is surprised to find her happy with life in spite of her state. Suggestions have been made that she is so happy because, in her inability to move she is also unable to sin.
The Clatter of Wheels
Also added later to the sketches, but published after the original group in 1874. In this story Yermolay and the narrator find they are almost out of shot, so they decide to go to Tula to get more and fetch a peasant named Filofey. He takes the narrator there, Yermolay stays behind, but on the way hears a carriage clattering far in the distance that he is sure is a group of bandits who will surely murder them when they catch up. The carriage slowly overcomes them in spite of what they try and eventually comes in front of them. Several men are on it singing and laughing, completely drunk. Filofey tries to steer around but every time he does the head carriage moves into their way. When the come to a bridge the carriage stops and the largest of the men approaches. The narrator is sure they are to be killed but is surprised when he finds the drunk man only asking for a bit of money for drinks, stating they have just come from a wedding and want a bit more to celebrate. The narrator and Filofey are relieved and joke with each other about the event, but learn later on that on that very night a merchant was killed on the road and had his carriage stolen. Though uncertain and still joking, they wonder if the carriage that passed them was not in fact from a wedding at all.
Forest and Steppe
The traditional ending to the sketches, found in every edition. Here, Turgenev gives the readers detailed and beautiful descriptions of the hunter’s life, ending the collection.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

see also: Turgenev Ivan
  Western Literature

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Zhukovsky Vasily
Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky, (born Jan. 29 [Feb. 9, New Style], 1783, Tula province, Russia—died April 12 [April 24], 1852, Baden-Baden, Baden [Germany]), Russian poet and translator, one of Aleksandr Pushkin’s most important precursors in forming Russian verse style and language.

Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky
  Zhukovsky, the illegitimate son of a landowner and a Turkish slave girl, was educated in Moscow. He served in the Napoleonic War of 1812 and in 1815 joined the tsar’s entourage, becoming tutor to the heir to the throne in 1826. In 1841 he retired to Germany. Zhukovsky was a follower of Nikolay Karamzin, the head of a Romantic literary movement that countered the classical emphasis on reason with the belief that poetry should be an expression of feeling. Zhukovsky was a founder of the Arzamas society, a semihumorous, pro-Karamzin literary group established to oppose the classicists. Like Pushkin, Zhukovsky was interested especially in personal experience, Romantic conceptions of landscape, and folk ballads. His first publication was a translation of Thomas Gray’s An Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard (1802), and the bulk of his work consists of free translations. He introduced into Russia the works of such German and English contemporaries as Gottfried Bürger, Friedrich von Schiller, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, and Robert Southey, as well as such classic works as Homer’s Odyssey (1849).

His collected works were published in four volumes in 1959–60.

Encyclopædia Britannica
see also: Vasily Zhukovsky
  Western Literature

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