Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 
 

TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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

Thoreau: "Walden, or Life in the Woods." Memorial with a replica of Thoreau's cabin near Walden.
 
 
 
 
 HISTORY, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, ART, LITERATURE, MUSIC, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, DAILY LIFE
 
 
 
 
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
 
 
 
1854 Part II
 
 
 
1854
 
 
Johann Herzog: "Encyclopedia of Protestant Theology" (-1868)
 
 
Herzog Johann
 
Johann Jakob Herzog (12 September 1805, Basel – 30 September 1882, Erlangen), was a Swiss-German Protestant theologian.
 


Johann Jakob Herzog

  Johann Jakob Herzog, (born Aug. 12, 1805, Basel, Switz.—died Sept. 30, 1882, Erlangen, Ger.), German Protestant theologian, professor of church history (University of Halle, 1847–54) and New Testament exegesis (University of Erlangen, 1854–77), and authority on the Hussite-Waldensian church.

He compiled and edited the standard theological reference work Real-Encyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche (22 vols., 1854–68), which was published in an abridged English version as The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (13 vol., 1951–54).

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 
1854
 
 
Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau
 
Das Jüdisch-Theologische Seminar (Fränckelscher Stiftung), The Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau was an institution in Breslau for the training of rabbis, founded under the will of Jonas Fränckel, and opened in 1854.
 
Commercial Councilor ("Kommerzienrath") Jonas Fränckel, a descendant of a rabbinic family, and a very wealthy bachelor, who devoted his entire fortune to philanthropic and educational purposes, left a bequest for the establishment of a training-school for rabbis and Jewish teachers. Fränckel was president of the Breslau congregation, and an enthusiastic supporter of Abraham Geiger, who had no doubt inspired the bequest; and it was probably the founder's intention that Geiger should be the president of the institution (Abraham Geiger, "Leben in Briefen", p. 129, Berlin, 1878). The executors of the Fränckel legacy felt, however, that an institution which should be presided over by a man of Geiger's extreme views would not gain the confidence of the congregations; they therefore called Zacharias Frankel to the presidency (February 7, 1853).

Owing to some legal complications, the seminary could not be opened until August 10, 1854, although its constitution had been confirmed by royal order of August 31, 1847. Frankel selected as teachers Heinrich Graetz and Jacob Bernays, to whom Manuel Joël and Benedict Zuckermann were added as assistants, both being soon afterward promoted to the rank of regular teachers.

 
 
Original departments
The institution had at the beginning three divisions, namely: the regular rabbinical department, which admitted only such students as were entitled to enter the university; the preparatory department, receiving students who possessed the knowledge required for entrance to the "Secunda" of a Prussian gymnasium; and a training-school for religious teachers.

For a teacher's diploma a three-year course of study was required, while the rabbinical course required seven years.

The teachers' seminary, which in the beginning was very well attended, soon declined, and in 1867 was closed on account of lack of students.

The preparatory department, originally necessary because the students of the seminary came largely from yeshivot and had no secular training, became superfluous with the increase of students having regular gymnasium education, and was closed in 1887; from then on the seminary had only one department, and provided for theological training only.

The administrators of the Fränckel estate inaugurated the seminary with a capital of 100,000 thalers ($72,000) apart from the building and the library; for a teachers' pension fund the sum of 3,000 thalers was set aside; and a stipendiary fund for students was started with 5,000 thalers.

The last-named fund received many additions in later years, and special foundations were created for graduates who had not obtained positions, e.g., the Director Frankel Stiftung, founded on the occasion of Zacharias Frankel's seventieth birthday (1861), and a similar foundation on the occasion of Graetz's seventieth birthday (1887); two prizes, one founded by Joseph Lehmann (1855) with a capital of 1,800 marks, and one by David Kaufmann (1895), in memory of David Rosin, with a capital of 4,000 kronen.

  Curriculum and staff
The subjects taught at the rabbinical seminary were: Talmudic literature, by the president ("Director"); history and exegesis, by Heinrich Graetz; philosophy of religion, by Jakob Bernays; homiletics and Midrash, by Manuel Joël; and the calendar by Zuckermann, who was also librarian. This division was changed in details when the teaching staff underwent changes, but remained the same in its general principles. In 1863 Joël became rabbi of Breslau and was succeeded by Jacob Freudenthal, who retained his position at the seminary until 1888, when he was appointed professor of philosophy at Breslau University. In 1866 Bernays was called as professor of philosophy and chief librarian to the University of Bonn, and he was succeeded at the seminary by David Rosin, who held the post until his death (December 31, 1894). After Zacharias Frankel's death (February 13, 1875), Leyser Lazarus was elected president and served as such from September 23, 1875, until his death (April 16, 1879).

After Lazarus' death the administration changed. David Joël, brother of Manuel Joël, was called to the institution as professor of the Talmudic branches, with the title of "Seminarrabbiner", and the presidency was to alternate between him and Professor Graetz as the senior of the faculty. Joël, who entered upon the duties of his office January 1, 1880, died September 9, 1882; and since his death the presidency of the seminary was held in turn by the members of the faculty. Joël was succeeded as "Seminarrabbiner" by Israel Lewy, who took the chair of Talmudic literature on May 1, 1883. Since the death of Graetz (September 7, 1891) Marcus Brann occupied the chair of history, teaching at the same time exegesis and Talmudic codes. After the death of Zuckermann (December 17, 1891) his position as teacher was not filled, Brann assuming the duties of librarian. Upon Rosin's death (December 31, 1894), Saul Horovitz was called (January 1896). He taught philosophy of religion, homiletics, and some of the Talmudic branches; so that by 1904 the staff of professors comprised only three teachers (Lewy, Brann, and Horovitz).

 
 
Students
The institution remained faithful to the spirit of its first president, Zacharias Frankel, the principal exponent of "positive-historical Judaism". It proclaimed freedom in theoretical research, but demanded of its disciples a faithful adherence to the practices of traditional Judaism. It claimed to be the earliest seminary of the modern type, in view of the fact that the Séminaire Rabbinique of Paris was hardly more than a yeshiva before its removal from Metz. At all events the Jüdisch-Theologisches Seminar was the first scientific institution for the training of German rabbis; and as such it was the type for those since founded, like Rabbinical Seminary of Budapest and a seminary in Vienna.

Later history
The school was destroyed by the Nazis in 1938.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
1854
 
 
Youthful Offenders Act 1854
 

Mary Carpenter's (Carpenter Mary) research and lobbying contributed to the Youthful Offenders Act 1854 and the Reformatory Schools (Scotland) Act 1854. These enabled voluntary schools to be certified as efficient by the Inspector of Prisons, and allowed courts to send them convicted juvenile offenders under 16 for a period of 2 to 5 years, instead of prison. Parents were required to contribute to the cost. Carpenter's 1851 publication Reformatory Schools for the Children of the Perishing and Dangerous Classes and for Juvenile Offenders was the first to coin the term 'Dangerous Classes' with respect to the lower classes, and the perceived propensity to criminality, of poor people.

 
Reformatories
This was followed in 1851 by the publication of Reformatory Schools for the Children of the Perishing and Dangerous Classes, and for Juvenile Offenders.
Carpenter Mary sketched out three classes of schools as urgently needed; good free day schools (for the children in the general population), feeding industrial schools (for children in need) and reformatory schools (for young offenders).
This book drew public attention to her work, and she began to communicate with leading educational and reformist thinkers and reformers. Carpenter was consulted by those drafting educational bills, and she was invited to give evidence before House of Commons committees and in 1852 she published Juvenile Delinquents, their Condition and Treatment, which contributed to the passing of the Juvenile Offenders Act in 1854.

In 1852 she put her ideas into practice, establishing a reformatory school at Bristol in 1852, in Kingswood in the premises of a school which had originally been set by John Wesley. Originally this was for boys and girls, but she soon decided to separate the sexes and set up a girls' reformatory in what is now the Red Lodge Museum in 1854, initially funded by Lady Byron. Her strong religious beliefs drove her reforms.

 
The Red Lodge, Bristol, where Mary Carpenter established a reformatory school in 1854.
 
 
"Love must be the ruling sentiment of all who attempt to influence and guide these children", she wrote in Reformatory Schools for the Children of the Perishing and Dangerous Classes, and for Juvenile Offenders. Now that the principle of reformatory schools was established, Carpenter agitated for free day schools, arguing the ragged schools were entitled to financial aid from the government. At the Oxford meeting of the British Association (1860) she read a paper on this subject, and, mainly owing to her instigation, a conference on ragged schools in relation to government grants for education was held at Birmingham in 1861.

In the same year, Carpenter was invited to give evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on the Education of Destitute Children. Amongst other evidence she criticised Catholic priests who warned young children of Irish immigrants from attending her ragged school. She condemned the "low Anglo Irish" as combining "the vices of the English in a large commercial town with their ... natural character in a very undesirable way."

She further said, "I can only say that the children told us that the priests had in one case flogged a child for coming to our school, and had used very strong influence to prevent them from coming, and that I have myself been absolutely insulted in the street by Catholic children ... who feel erroneously that they were showing their zeal for their own religion by insulting Protestants."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
1854
 
 
Pope Pius IX declared the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be an
article of faith
 
 
Immaculate Conception
 

The Immaculate Conception, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, was the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her mother's womb free from original sin by virtue of the foreseen merits of her son Jesus Christ.

The Immaculate Conception is commonly confused with the doctrine of the Incarnation and the virgin birth of Jesus, though the two deal with separate subjects. The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was conceived by normal biological means, but her soul was acted upon by God (kept "immaculate") at the time of her conception.

Although the belief that Mary was sinless and conceived immaculate has been widely held since Late Antiquity, the doctrine was not dogmatically defined until 1854, by Pope Pius IX in his papal bull Ineffabilis Deus. The Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8; in many Catholic countries, it is a holy day of obligation or patronal feast, and in some a national public holiday.

Protestants generally reject the doctrine because they do not consider the development of dogmatic theology to be authoritative apart from Biblical exegesis. It is accepted by some Anglo-Catholics, but is rejected by most in the Anglican Communion.

 
Distinctions
Original sin and actual (personal) sin

The defined dogma of the Immaculate Conception regards original sin only, saying that Mary was preserved from any stain (in Latin, macula or labes, the second of these two synonymous words being the one used in the formal definition). The proclaimed Roman Catholic dogma states "that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin." Therefore, being always free from original sin, the doctrine teaches that from her conception Mary received the sanctifying grace that would normally come with baptism after birth.

The definition makes no declaration about the Church's belief that the Blessed Virgin was sinless in the sense of freedom from actual or personal sin. However, the Church holds that Mary was also sinless personally, "free from all sin, original or personal". The Council of Trent decreed: "If anyone shall say that a man once justified can sin no more, nor lose grace, and that therefore he who falls and sins was never truly justified; or, on the contrary, that throughout his whole life he can avoid all sins even venial sins, except by a special privilege of God, as the Church holds in regard to the Blessed Virgin: let him be anathema."

Virginal conception
The doctrine of the immaculate conception (Mary being conceived free from original sin) is not to be confused with her virginal conception of her son Jesus.

 
An 11th-century Eastern Orthodox icon of the
Theotokos Panachranta, i.e. the "all immaculate" Mary
 
 
This misunderstanding of the term immaculate conception is frequently met in the mass media. Catholics believe that Mary was not the product of a virginal conception herself but was the daughter of a human father and mother, traditionally known by the names of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne. In 1677, the Holy See condemned the belief that Mary was virginally conceived, which had been a belief surfacing occasionally since the 4th century. The Church celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (when Mary was conceived free from original sin) on 8 December, exactly nine months before celebrating the Nativity of Mary. The feast of the Annunciation (which commemorates the virginal conception and the Incarnation of Jesus) is celebrated on 25 March, nine months before Christmas Day.
 
 
Redemption
Another misunderstanding is that, by her immaculate conception, Mary did not need a saviour. When defining the dogma in Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX explicitly affirmed that Mary was redeemed in a manner more sublime. He stated that Mary, rather than being cleansed after sin, was completely prevented from contracting Original Sin in view of the foreseen merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race. In Luke 1:47, Mary proclaims: "My spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour." This is referred to as Mary's pre-redemption by Christ. Since the Council of Orange II against semi-pelagianism, the Catholic Church has taught that even had man never sinned in the Garden of Eden and was sinless, he would still require God's grace to remain sinless.

History
A feast of the Conception of the Most Holy and All Pure Mother of God was celebrated in Syria on 8 December perhaps as early as the 5th century. Note that the title of achrantos (spotless, immaculate, all-pure) refers to the holiness of Mary, not specifically to the holiness of her conception.

Mary's complete sinlessness and concomitant exemption from any taint from the first moment of her existence was a doctrine familiar to Greek theologians of Byzantium.

 
Di Cosimo Immaculate Conception, 1505
 
 
Beginning with St. Gregory Nazianzen, his explanation of the "purification" of Jesus and Mary at the circumcision (Luke 2:22) prompted him to consider the primary meaning of "purification" in Christology (and by extension in Mariology) to refer to a perfectly sinless nature that manifested itself in glory in a moment of grace (e.g., Jesus at his Baptism). St. Gregory Nazianzen designated Mary as “prokathartheisa (prepurified).” Gregory likely attempted to solve the riddle of the Purification of Jesus and Mary in the Temple through considering the human natures of Jesus and Mary as equally holy and therefore both purified in this manner of grace and glory. Gregory's doctrines surrounding Mary's purification were likely related to the burgeoning commemoration of the Mother of God in and around Constantinople very close to the date of Christmas. Nazianzen's title of Mary at the Annunciation as "prepurified" was subsequently adopted by all theologians interested in his Mariology to justify the Byzantine equivalent of the Immaculate Conception. This is especially apparent in the Fathers St. Sophronios of Jerusalem and St. John Damascene, who will be treated below in this article at the section on Church Fathers. About the time of Damascene, the public celebration of the "Conception of St. Ann [i.e., of the Theotokos in her womb]" was becoming popular. After this period, the "purification" of the perfect natures of Jesus and Mary would not only mean moments of grace and glory at the Incarnation and Baptism and other public Byzantine liturgical feasts, but purification was eventually associated with the feast of Mary's very conception (along with her Presentation in the Temple as a toddler) by Orthodox authors of the 2nd millennium (e.g., St. Nicholas Cabasilas and Joseph Bryennius).
 
 
Church Fathers
It is admitted that the doctrine as defined by Pius IX was not explicitly mooted before the 12th century. It is also agreed that "no direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma can be brought forward from Scripture". But it is claimed that the doctrine is implicitly contained in the teaching of the Fathers. Their expressions on the subject of the sinlessness of Mary are, it is pointed out, so ample and so absolute that they must be taken to include original sin as well as actual. Thus in the first five centuries such epithets as "in every respect holy", "in all things unstained", "super-innocent", and "singularly holy" are applied to her; she is compared to Eve before the fall, as ancestress of a redeemed people; she is "the earth before it was accursed". The well-known words of St. Augustine (d. 430) may be cited: "As regards the mother of God," he says, "I will not allow any question whatever of sin." It is true that he is here speaking directly of actual or personal sin. But his argument is that all men are sinners; that they are so through original depravity; that this original depravity may be overcome by the grace of God, and he adds that he does not know but that Mary may have had sufficient grace to overcome sin "of every sort" (omni ex parte).
Although the doctrine of Mary's Immaculate Conception appears only later among Latin (and particularly Frankish) theologians, It became ever more manifest among Byzantine theologians reliant on Gregory Nazianzen's Mariology in the Medieval or Byzantine East. Although hymnographers and scholars, like the Emperor Justinian I, were accustomed to call Mary "prepurified" in their poetic and credal statements, the first point of departure for more fully commenting on Nazianzen's meaning occurs in Sophronius of Jerusalem.
 
Rubens Immaculate Conception 1628-1629
 
 
In other places Sophronius explains that the Theotokos was already immaculate, when she was "purified" at the Annunciation and goes so far as to note that John the Baptist is literally "holier than all 'Men' born of woman" since Mary's surpassing holiness signifies that she was holier than even John after his sanctification in utero. Sophronius' teaching is augmented and incorporated by St. John Damascene (d. 749/750). John, besides many passages wherein he extolls the Theotokos for her purification at the Annunciation, grants her the unique honor of "purifying the waters of baptism by touching them." This honor was most famously and firstly attributed to Christ, especially in the legacy of Nazianzen. As such, Nazianzen's assertion of parallel holiness between the prepurified Mary and purified Jesus of the New Testament is made even more explicit in Damascene in his discourse on Mary's holiness to also imitate Christ's baptism at the Jordan. The Damascene's hymnongraphy and De fide Orthodoxa explicitly use Mary's "pre purification" as a key to understanding her absolute holiness and unsullied human nature. In fact, Damascene (along with Nazianzen) serves as the source for nearly all subsequent promotion of Mary's complete holiness from her Conception by the "all pure seed" of Joachim and the womb "wider than heaven" of St. Ann.
 
 
Feast day
By 750 the feast of her conception was widely celebrated in the Byzantine East, under the name of the Conception (active) of Saint Anne. In the West it was known as the feast of the Conception (passive) of Mary, and was associated particularly with the Normans, whether these introduced it directly from the East or took it from English usage. The spread of the feast, by now with the adjective "Immaculate" attached to its title, met opposition on the part of some, on the grounds that sanctification was possible only after conception. Critics included Saints Bernard of Clairvaux, Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas. Other theologians defended the expression "Immaculate Conception", pointing out that sanctification could be conferred at the first moment of conception in view of the foreseen merits of Christ, a view held especially by Franciscans.
William of Ware and Blessed John Duns Scotus pointed out that Mary’s Immaculate Conception enhances Jesus’ redemptive work. One of the chief proponents of the doctrine was the Hungarian Franciscan Pelbartus Ladislaus of Temesvár.

On 28 February 1476, Pope Sixtus IV, authorized those dioceses that wished to introduce the feast to do so, and introduced it to his own diocese of Rome in 1477, with a specially composed Mass and Office of the feast. With his bull Cum praeexcelsa of 28 February 1477, in which he referred to the feast as that of the Conception of Mary, without using the word "Immaculate", he granted indulgences to those who would participate in the specially composed Mass or Office on the feast itself or during its octave, and he used the word "immaculate" of Mary, but applied instead the adjective "miraculous" to her conception.

 
Zurbarán Immaculate Conception, 1630
 
 
On 4 September 1483, referring to the feast as that of "the Conception of Immaculate Mary ever Virgin", he condemned both those who called it mortally sinful and heretical to hold that the "glorious and immaculate mother of God was conceived without the stain of original sin" and those who called it mortally sinful and heretical to hold that "the glorious Virgin Mary was conceived with original sin", since, he said, "up to this time there has been no decision made by the Roman Church and the Apostolic See." This decree was reaffirmed by the Council of Trent.

Pope Pius V, while including the feast in the Tridentine Calendar, removed the adjective "Immaculate" and suppressed the existing special Mass for the feast, directing that the Mass for the Nativity of Mary (with the word "Nativity" replaced by "Conception") be used instead. Part of that earlier Mass was revived in the Mass that Pope Pius IX ordered to be used on the feast and that is still in use.

On 6 December 1708, Pope Clement XI made the feast of the Conception of Mary, at that time still with the Nativity of Mary formula for the Mass, a Holy Day of Obligation. Until Pope Pius X reduced in 1911 the number of Holy Days of Obligation to 8, there were in the course of the year 36 such days, apart from Sundays. Writers such as Sarah Jane Boss interpret the existence of the feast as a strong indication of the Church's traditional belief in the Immaculate Conception.

 
 
Definition of the dogma
During the reign of Pope Gregory XVI the bishops in various countries began to press for a definition as dogma of the teaching of Mary's immaculate conception.

In 1839 Mariano Spada (1796 - 1872), professor of theology at the Roman College of Saint Thomas, published Esame Critico sulla dottrina dell’ Angelico Dottore S. Tommaso di Aquino circa il Peccato originale, relativamente alla Beatissima Vergine Maria [A critical examination of the doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, regarding original sin with respect to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary], in which Aquinas is interpreted not as treating the question of the Immaculate Conception later formulated in the papal bull Ineffabilis Deus but rather the sanctification of the fetus within Mary's womb. Spada furnished an interpretation whereby Pius IX was relieved of the problem of seeming to foster a doctrine not in agreement with the Aquinas' teaching. Pope Pius IX would later appoint Spada Master of the Sacred Palace in 1867. Pius IX, at the beginning of his pontificate, and again after 1851, appointed commissions to investigate the whole subject, and he was advised that the doctrine was one which could be defined and that the time for a definition was opportune.

It was not until 1854 that Pope Pius IX, with the support of the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic bishops, whom he had consulted between 1851–1853, promulgated the papal bull Ineffabilis Deus (Latin for "Ineffable God"), which defined ex cathedra the dogma of the Immaculate Conception:
 
Murillo Immaculate Conception, 1650
 
 

We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful.

—Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, December 8, 1854

 
The dogma was defined in accordance with the conditions of papal infallibility, which would be defined in 1870 by the First Vatican Council.

The papal definition of the dogma declares with absolute certainty and authority that Mary possessed sanctifying grace from the first instant of her existence and was free from the lack of grace caused by the original sin at the beginning of human history. Mary's salvation was won by her son Jesus Christ through his passion, death, and resurrection and was not due to her own merits.

 
 
Later developments
For the Roman Catholic Church the dogma of the Immaculate Conception gained additional significance from the reputed apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes in 1858. At Lourdes a 14-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubirous, claimed that a beautiful woman appeared to her and said, "I am the Immaculate Conception". Many believe the woman to have been the Blessed Virgin Mary and pray to her as such.

Pope Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception "not so much because of proofs in Scripture or ancient tradition, but due to a profound sensus fidelium and the Magisterium".

Speaking of the witness of the Church Fathers in claiming for Mary titles such as "Free from all contagion of sin", Pope Pius XII wrote:

If the popular praises of the Blessed Virgin Mary be given the careful consideration they deserve, who will dare to doubt that she, who was purer than the angels and at all times pure, was at any moment, even for the briefest instant, not free from every stain of sin?

The Roman Catholic tradition has a well-established philosophy for the study of the Immaculate Conception and the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the field of Mariology, with Pontifical schools such as the Marianum specifically devoted to this.

 
Murillo Immaculate Conception, 1660
 
 
According to Bernard Ullathorne, a 19th-century English Roman Catholic prelate, "the expressions - The Immaculate Conception - The Immaculate Preservation - The Immunity - and Exception from original sin, are all phrases which bear the same signification, and are used equally to express one and the same mystery."
 
 
Medieval dispute about the doctrine
It seems to have been St Bernard of Clairvaux who, in the 12th century, explicitly raised the question of the Immaculate Conception. A feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin had already begun to be celebrated in some churches of the West. St Bernard blames the canons of the metropolitan church of Lyon for instituting such a festival without the permission of the Holy See. In doing so, he takes occasion to repudiate altogether the view that the conception of Mary was sinless. It is doubtful, however, whether he was using the term "conception" in the same sense in which it is used in the definition of Pope Pius IX. Bernard would seem to have been speaking of conception in the active sense of the mother's cooperation, for in his argument he says: "How can there be absence of sin where there is concupiscence (libido)?" and stronger expressions follow, showing that he is speaking of the mother and not of the child. Saint Thomas Aquinas refused to concede the Immaculate Conception, on the ground that, unless the Blessed Virgin had at one time or other been one of the sinful, she could not justly be said to have been redeemed by Christ. Saint Bonaventure (d. 1274), second only to Saint Thomas in his influence on the Christian schools of his age, hesitated to accept it for a similar reason. He believed that Mary was completely free from sin, but that she was not given this grace at the instant of her conception. The celebrated John Duns Scotus (d. 1308), a Friar Minor like Saint Bonaventure, argued, on the contrary, that from a rational point of view it was certainly as little derogatory to the merits of Christ to assert that Mary was by him preserved from all taint of sin, as to say that she first contracted it and then was delivered.
 
Murillo Immaculate Conception, 1678
 
 
Proposing a solution to the theological problem of reconciling the doctrine with that of universal redemption in Christ, he argued that Mary's immaculate conception did not remove her from redemption by Christ; rather it was the result of a more perfect redemption granted her because of her special role in salvation history.

The arguments of Scotus, combined with a better acquaintance with the language of the early Fathers, gradually prevailed in the schools of the Western Church. In 1387 the university of Paris strongly condemned the opposite view.

Scotus's arguments remained controversial, however, particularly among the Dominicans, who were willing enough to celebrate Mary's sanctificatio (being made free from sin) but, following the Dominican Thomas Aquinas' arguments, continued to insist that her sanctification could not have occurred until after her conception.

Popular opinion remained firmly behind the celebration of Mary's conception. In 1439, the Council of Basel, which is not reckoned an ecumenical council, stated that belief in the immaculate conception of Mary is in accord with the Catholic faith. By the end of the 15th century the belief was widely professed and taught in many theological faculties, but such was the influence of the Dominicans, and the weight of the arguments of Thomas Aquinas (who had been canonised in 1323 and declared "Doctor Angelicus" of the Church in 1567) that the Council of Trent (1545–63)—which might have been expected to affirm the doctrine—instead declined to take a position.

The papal bull defining the dogma, Ineffabilis Deus, mentioned in particular the patrististic interpretation of Genesis 3:15 as referring to a woman, Mary, who would be eternally at enmity with the evil serpent and completely triumphing over him. It said the Fathers saw foreshadowings of Mary's "wondrous abundance of divine gifts and original innocence" "in that ark of Noah, which was built by divine command and escaped entirely safe and sound from the common shipwreck of the whole world; in the ladder which Jacob saw reaching from the earth to heaven, by whose rungs the angels of God ascended and descended, and on whose top the Lord himself leaned; in that bush which Moses saw in the holy place burning on all sides, which was not consumed or injured in any way but grew green and blossomed beautifully; in that impregnable tower before the enemy, from which hung a thousand bucklers and all the armor of the strong; in that garden enclosed on all sides, which cannot be violated or corrupted by any deceitful plots; in that resplendent city of God, which has its foundations on the holy mountains; in that most august temple of God, which, radiant with divine splendours, is full of the glory of God; and in very many other biblical types of this kind."

The bull recounts that the Fathers interpreted the angel's address to Mary, "highly favoured one" or "full of grace", as indicating that "she was never subject to the curse and was, together with her Son, the only partaker of perpetual benediction"; they "frequently compare her to Eve while yet a virgin, while yet innocence, while yet incorrupt, while not yet deceived by the deadly snares of the most treacherous serpent".

 
 
Patronages
A number of countries are considered to be under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception by pontifical decree.

These include Argentina, Brazil, Korea, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Philippines, Spain (old kingdoms and the present state), the United States and Uruguay.

By royal decree under the House of Braganza, it is the principal Patroness of Portugal.

Other churches
For differing reasons, belief in Mary's immaculate conception in the Catholic doctrinal form is not part of the official doctrines of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant churches.

Anglicanism
Belief in Mary's immaculate conception is not a doctrine within Anglicanism, although it is shared by many Anglo-Catholics. In the Church of England's Common Worship prayer book, 8 December is designated a Lesser Festival of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (without the adjective "immaculate").

The report "Mary: Faith and Hope in Christ", by the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, concluded that the teaching about Mary in the two definitions of the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception can be said to be consonant with the teaching of the Scriptures and the ancient common traditions. But the report expressed concerns that the Roman Catholic dogmatic definitions of these concepts implies them to be "revealed by God", stating: "The question arises for Anglicans, however, as to whether these doctrines concerning Mary are revealed by God in a way which must be held by believers as a matter of faith."

Some Anglicans reject the doctrine that Mary was sinless and conceived without original sin, often citing that it is not within the Holy Scripture and is against the Redemptive role and purpose of Jesus Christ merited for all human beings.

 
 
Eastern and Oriental Orthodox
Contemporary Eastern Orthodox Christians often object to the dogmatic declaration of her immaculate conception as an "over-elaboration" of the faith and because they see it as too closely connected with a particular interpretation of the doctrine of ancestral sin. All the same, the historical and authentic tradition of Mariology in Byzantium took its historical point of departure from Sophronios, Damascene, and their imitators. The most famous Eastern Orthodox theologian to imply Mary's Immaculate Conception was St. Gregory Palamas. Though many passages from his works were long known to extol and attribute to Mary a Christlike holiness in her human nature, traditional objections to Palamas' disposition toward the Immaculate Conception typically rely on a poor understanding of his doctrine of "the purification of Mary" at the Annunciation. Not only did he explicitly cite St. Gregory Nazianzen for his understanding of Jesus' purification at His baptism and Mary's at the Annunciation, but Theophanes of Nicaea, Joseph Bryennius, and Gennadios Scholarios all explicitly placed Mary's Conception as the first moment of her all-immaculate participation in the divine energies to such a degree that she was always completely without spot and graced. In addition to Emperor Manuel II and Gennadius Scholarius, St. Mark of Ephesus also fervently defended Mary's title as "prepurified" against the Dominican, Manuel Calecas, who was perhaps promoting thomistic Mariology that denied Mary's all-holiness from the first moment of her existence.
 
Juan Antonio Escalante, 17th century
 
 
In the tradition of Ethiopian Orthodoxy, the Kebra Nagast says:

He cleansed eve's body and sanctified it and made for it a dwelling in her for adam's salvation. She [i.e., mary] was born without blemish, for He made her pure, without pollution, and she redeemed his debt without carnal union and embrace...Through the transgression of eve we died and were buried, and by the purity of mary we receive honour, and are exalted to the heights (emphasis added).

 
 
Old Catholic
While Old Catholics do not reject the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and some of their parishes venerate Mary as immaculately conceived and celebrate the feast of her Immaculate Conception, they do not accept its definition as a dogma, since they reject papal infallibility and with it the Pope's authority to define dogma.

Protestantism
Martin Luther, who initiated the Protestant Reformation, said: "Mary is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin. God's grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil."

But in 1532 he denied Mary's immaculate conception, declaring: "Mary is conceived in sin just like us."

However, some Lutherans, such as the members of the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church, support the doctrine.

Most Protestants reject the doctrine because they do not consider the development of dogmatic theology to be authoritative apart from biblical exegesis, and because the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is not taught in the Bible.

The formal pronouncement of Mary's Immaculate Conception by the Catholic Church in 1854 alienated some Protestant churches partly due to its implication that not all have sinned.

 
Altar of the Immaculata by Joseph Lusenberg, 1876.
 
 
Islam
Official Islamic teachings highly regard the Virgin Mary as both a sublime model of purity and piety. An entire Sura chapter of the Qur'an is dedicated to her nobility, holiness, and fiat obedience to God. Among Islamic circles and discussions, she is often given a prominent status being the supreme feminine model of sanctity and maternal virtue.

Some Western writers claim that the immaculate conception of Mary is a teaching of Islam. Thus, commenting in 1734 on the passage in the Qur'an, "I have called her Mary; and I commend her to thy protection, and also her issue, against Satan driven away with stones", George Sale stated: "It is not improbable that the pretended immaculate conception of the virgin Mary is intimated in this passage. For according to a tradition of Mohammed, every person that comes into the world, is touched at his birth by the devil, and therefore cries out, Mary and her son only excepted; between whom, and the evil spirit God placed a veil, so that his touch did not reach them. And for this reason they say, neither of them were guilty of any sin, like the rest of the children of Adam."

In addition, further claims were made that the Roman Catholic Church derives its doctrine from the Islamic teaching. In volume 5 of his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, published in 1788, Edward Gibbon wrote: "The Latin Church has not disdained to borrow from the Koran the immaculate conception of his virgin mother." That he was speaking of her immaculate conception by her mother, not of her own virginal conception of Jesus, is shown by his footnote: "In the xiith century the immaculate conception was condemned by St. Bernard as a presumptuous novelty." In the aftermath of the definition of the dogma in 1854, this charge was repeated: "Strange as it may appear, that the doctrine which the church of Rome has promulgated, with so much pomp and ceremony, 'for the destruction of all heresies, and the confirmation of the faith of her adherents', should have its origin in the Mohametan Bible; yet the testimony of such authorities as Gibbon, and Sale, and Forster, and Gagnier, and Maracci, leave no doubt as to the marvellous fact."

Without making Islamic belief the origin of the doctrine defined in 1854, a similarity between the two has been noted also by Roman Catholic writers such as Thomas Patrick Hughes, William Bernard Ullathorne, Giancarlo Finazzo.

Certain books that speak of the "immaculate conception" in relation to Islam confuse this term with the virgin birth of Jesus, his conception by Mary, not Mary's own conception by her mother. Among writers who do not mistake Mary's "immaculate conception" as her virginal conception of Jesus, some say that Mary "is credited in Islam with extraordinary holiness, herself immaculately conceived", while others say that, "with regard to Mary's putative immaculate conception, while classical Islam holds the Qur'an to affirm Mary virginity and virtue, it repudiates the doctrine as it is known in Christianity. There is no inherited fault in the genesis of humans that requires any further form of salvation than moral repentance and an interior act of commitment and surrender."

 
 
Prayers and hymns
The Roman Missal and the Roman Rite Liturgy of the Hours naturally includes references to Mary's immaculate conception in the feast of the Immaculate Conception. An example is the antiphon that begins: "Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te" (You are all beautiful, Mary, and the original stain [of sin] is not in you. Your clothing is white as snow, and your face is like the sun. You are all beautiful, Mary, and the original stain [of sin] is not in you. You are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel, you give honour to our people. You are all beautiful, Mary.) On the basis of the original Gregorian chant music, polyphonic settings have been composed by Anton Bruckner, Pablo Casals, Maurice Duruflé, Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki, no:Ola Gjeilo, José Maurício Nunes Garcia, and Nikolaus Schapfl,

Other prayers honouring Mary's immaculate conception are in use outside the formal liturgy. The hymn Immaculate Mary, addressed to Mary as the Immaculately Conceived One, is closely associated with Lourdes. The Immaculata prayer, composed by Saint Maximillian Kolbe, is a prayer of entrustment to Mary as the Immaculata. A novena of prayers, with a specific prayer for each of the nine days has been composed under the title of the Immaculate Conception Novena.

Artistic representations
The 1476 extension of the feast of the Immaculate Conception to the entire Latin Church reduced the likelihood of controversy for the artist or patron in depicting an image, so that emblems depicting The Immaculate Conception began to appear.

 
Statue, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 19th century
 
 
Many artists in the 15th century faced the problem of how to depict an abstract idea such as the Immaculate Conception, and the problem was not fully solved for 150 years. The Italian Renaissance artist Piero di Cosimo was among those artists who tried new solutions, but none of these became generally adopted so that the subject matter would be immediately recognisable to the faithful.

The definitive iconography for the Immaculate Conception, drawing on the emblem tradition, seems to have been finally established by the master and then father-in-law of Diego Velázquez, the painter and theorist Francisco Pacheco. Pacheco's iconography influenced other Spanish artists such as Bartolomé Murillo, Diego Velázquez, and Francisco Zurbarán, who each produced a number of artistic masterpieces based on the use of these same symbols.

The popularity of this particular representation of The Immaculate Conception spread across the rest of Europe, and has since remained the best known artistic depiction of the concept: in a heavenly realm, moments after her creation, the spirit of Mary (in the form of a young woman) looks up in awe at (or bows her head to) God. The moon is under her feet and a halo of twelve stars surround her head, possibly a reference to "a woman clothed with the sun" from Revelation 12:1-2. Additional imagery may include clouds, a golden light, and cherubs. In some paintings the cherubim are holding lilies and roses, flowers often associated with Mary.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
1854
 
 
Coventry Patmore: "Poems"
 
 
Patmore Coventry
 

Coventry Patmore, in full Coventry Kersey Dighton Patmore (born July 23, 1823, Woodford, Essex, England—died November 26, 1896, Lymington, Hampshire), English poet and critic, the eldest son of Peter George Patmore, himself an author, was born at Woodford in Essex, on the 23rd of July 1823.

 

Portrait of Coventry Patmore,
by John Singer Sargent, 1894.
  He was privately educated, being his father's intimate and constant companion, and derived from him his early literary enthusiasm. It was his first ambition to become an artist, and he showed much promise, being awarded the silver palette of the Society of Arts in 1838. In the following year he was sent to school in France, where he studied for six months, and began to write poetry. On his return his father contemplated the publication of some of these youthful poems; but in the meanwhile Coventry had evinced a passion for science and the poetry was set aside. He soon, however, returned to literary interests, moved towards them by the sudden success of Tennyson; and in 1844 he published a small volume of Poems, which was not without individuality, but marred by inequalities of workmanship. It was widely criticized, both in praise and blame; and Patmore, distressed at its reception, bought up the remainder of the edition and caused it to be destroyed. What chiefly wounded him was a cruel review in Blackwood, written in the worst style of unreasoning abuse; but the enthusiasm of private friends, together with their wiser criticism, did much to help him and to foster his talent. Indeed, the publication of this little volume bore immediate fruit in introducing its author to various men of letters, among whom was Dante Gabriel Rossetti, through whose offices Patmore became known to Holman Hunt, and was thus drawn into the eddies of the pre-Raphaelite movement, contributing his poem “The Seasons” to the Germ. At this time Patmore's father became involved in financial embarrassments; and in 1846 Monckton Milnes secured for the son an assistant-librarianship in the British Museum, a post which he occupied industriously for nineteen years, devoting his spare time to poetry. In 1847 he married Emily, daughter of Dr Andrews of Camberwell.
 
 
At the Museum he was austere and remote among his companions, but was nevertheless instrumental in 1852 in starting the Volunteer movement. He wrote an important letter to The Times upon the subject, and stirred up much martial enthusiasm among his colleagues. In the next year he republished, in Tamerton Church Tower, the more successful pieces from the Poems of 1844, adding several new poems which showed distinct advance, both in conception and treatment; and in the following year (1854) appeared the first part of his best known poem, “The Angel in the House,” which was continued in “The Espousals” (1856), “Faithful for Ever” (1860), and “The Victories of Love” (1862). In 1862 he lost his wife, after a long and lingering illness, and shortly afterwards joined the Roman Catholic Church. In 1865 he married again, his second wife being Miss Marianne Byles, second daughter of James Byles of Bowden Hall, Gloucester; and a year later purchased an estate in East Grinstead, the history of which may be read in How I managed my Estate, published in 1886. In 1877 appeared The Unknown Eros, which unquestionably contains his finest work in poetry, and in the following year Amelia, his own favourite among his poems, together with an interesting, though by no means indisputable, essay on English Metrical Law. This departure into criticism he continued further in 1879 with a volume of papers, entitled Principle in Art, and again in 1893 with Religio poetae. Meanwhile his second wife died in 1880, and in the next year he married Miss Harriet Robson. In later years he lived at Lymington, where he died on the 26th of November 1896.
 
 

Drawing of Coventry Patmore,
by John Brett, 1855.
  A collected edition of his poems appeared in two volumes in 1886, with a characteristic preface which might serve as the author's epitaph. “I have written little,” it runs; “but it is all my best; I have never spoken when I had nothing to say, nor spared time or labour to make my words true. I have respected posterity; and should there be a posterity which cares for letters, I dare to hope that it will respect me.”

The obvious sincerity which underlies this statement, combined with a certain lack of humour which peers through its naïveté, points to two of the principal characteristics of Patmore's earlier poetry; characteristics which came to be almost unconsciously merged and harmonized as his style and his intention drew together into unity. In the higher flights, to which he arose as his practice in the art grew perfected, he is always noble and often sublime. His best work is found in the volume of odes called The Unknown Eros, which is full not only of passages but of entire poems in which exalted thought is expressed in poetry of the richest and most dignified melody. The animating spirit of love, moreover, has here deepened and intensified into a crystalline harmony of earthly passion with the love that is divine and transcending; the outward manifestation is regarded as a symbol of a sentiment at once eternal and quintessential. Spirituality informs his inspiration; the poetry is of the finest elements, glowing and alive.
 
 
The magnificent piece in praise of winter, the solemn and beautiful cadences of “Departure,” and the homely but elevated pathos of “The Toys,” are in their various manners unsurpassed in English poetry for sublimity of thought and perfection of expression. Patmore is one of the few Victorian poets of whom it may confidently be predicted that the memory of his greater achievements will outlive all consideration of occasional lapses from taste and dignity. He wrote, at his best, in the grand manner, melody and thought according with perfection of expression, and his finest poems have that indefinable air of the inevitable which is after all the touchstone of the poetic quality. His son, Henry John Patmore (1860-1883), left a number of poems posthumously printed at Mr Daniell's Oxford Press, which show an unmistakable lyrical quality. (A. Wa.)

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

 
 
 
Patmore: "The Angel in the House"
 

The Angel in the House is a narrative poem by Coventry Patmore, first published in 1854 and expanded until 1862. Although largely ignored upon publication, it became enormously popular during the later 19th century and its influence continued well into the twentieth. The poem was an idealised account of Patmore's courtship of his first wife, Emily, whom he believed to be the perfect woman.

 
The poem
The poem is in two main parts, but was originally published in four instalments. The first was published with the main title in 1854. It was followed by "The Espousals" (1856), "Faithful for Ever" (1860), and "The Victories of Love" (1862). The latter two instalments are effectively a separate poem, related to the main text.
The first two instalments form a single coherent poem. It begins with a preface in which the poet, called Felix Vaughan in the book, tells his wife that he is going to write a long poem about her. The narrative then begins with an account of the poet's youth when he meets Honoria Churchill, the woman who is to become his wife. It proceeds in a series of short lyrics, representing Felix's reflections on his beloved, and on the nature of ideal femininity. There are also lyrics written from the point of view of Honoria. These reflective and lyrical sections are set into a narrative of the growing relationship between the couple, the emergence of a rival suitor, Honoria's cousin Frederick, who is rejected in favour of Felix, and the couple's eventual marriage.
 
Patmore's wife Emily, the model for
the Angel in the House,
portrait by John Everett Millais.
 
 
The final two instalments, known together by the title The Victories of Love, are written mostly from the point of view of Frederick, the rejected suitor, who marries another woman, Jane, after his rejection by Honoria. Unlike the first part, this section is in the form of an epistolary novel. Each poem is presented as a letter from one character to another. The initial letters, between Frederick and his mother, reveal that Frederick admits to feeling dissatisfied with his wife, especially whenever he meets his first love and her husband. The poem describes his struggle to overcome these feelings and to concentrate all his love on his wife, who also expresses her own doubts in letters to her mother. The other characters express their anxieties and hopes about the relationship between Frederick and Jane. Honoria helps Jane by her own example, and in the end Frederick overcomes his doubts and feels complete devotion to his wife.
 
 
The ideal
Following the publication of Patmore's poem, the term angel in the house came to be used in reference to women who embodied the Victorian feminine ideal: a wife and mother who was selflessly devoted to her children and submissive to her husband.

Adèle Ratignolle, a character in Kate Chopin's novel The Awakening, is a literary example of the angel in the house.

Another example is in the What Katy Did novels of Susan Coolidge about a pre-pubescent tomboy who becomes a paraplegic.

They are based on her own life in 19th Century America.

Katy eventually walks again, but not before she learns to become the "angel in the house", that is, the socially acceptable "ideal" of docile womanhood.

In Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native, Thomasin Yeobright is also described as 'the angel of the house'.

Thomasin is the antithesis to Hardy's main female protagonist, Eustacia Vye, who is the opposite of the Victorian female "ideal".

Images were also created with this name, including Millais' portrait of Patmore's wife Emily, and Julia Margaret Cameron's photograph of an enraptured girl.

 
Julia Margaret Cameron's photograph
The Angel in the House
 
 
Critics
Later feminist writers have had a less positive view of the Angel. Virginia Woolf satirized the ideal of femininity depicted in the poem, writing that "She [the perfect wife] was intensely sympathetic.

She was immensely charming. She was utterly unselfish. She excelled in the difficult arts of family life. She sacrificed daily.

If there was a chicken, she took the leg; if there was a draught she sat in it ... Above all, she was pure." (Woolf, 1966: 2, 285) She added that she "bothered me and wasted my time and so tormented me that at last I killed her" (Woolf, 1966: 2, 285). Nel Noddings views her as "infantile, weak and mindless" (1989: 59).

Similarly, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote a short essay entitled The Extinct Angel in which she described the angel in the house as being as dead as the dodo (Gilman, 1891: 200).

The art historian Anthea Callen adapted the poem's title for her monograph on female artists, The Angel in the Studio: Women in the Arts and Crafts Movement 1870–1914, published in 1979.

More recently, the feminist folk-rock duo The Story used the title in their album The Angel in the House.

 
 
Excerpts
 

Preface
There does, beyond desert, befall
(May my great fortune make me great!)
The first of themes, sung last of all.
In green and undiscover'd ground,
Yet near where many others sing
I have the very well-head found
Whence gushes the Pierian Spring.
Then she: 'What is it, Dear? The Life
Of Arthur, or Jerusalem's Fall?'
'Neither: your gentle self, my Wife,
And love, that grows from one to all

The Wife's Tragedy

Man must be pleased; but him to please
Is woman's pleasure; down the gulf
Of his condoled necessities
She casts her best, she flings herself.
How often flings for nought! and yokes
Her heart to an icicle or whim,
Whose each impatient word provokes
Another, not from her, but him;
While she, too gentle even to force
His penitence by kind replies,
Waits by, expecting his remorse,
With pardon in her pitying eyes;

Jane to her mother

Mother, it's such a weary strain
The way he has of treating me
As if 'twas something fine to be
A woman; and appearing not
To notice any faults I've got!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
     
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1854
 
 
Augier Emile and Sandeau: "Le Gendre de M. Poirier"
 
 
Sandeau Leonard
 

Leonard Sylvain Julien (Jules) Sandeau (French: [sɑ̃do]; February 19, 1811 – April 24, 1883) was a French novelist.

 

Leonard Sylvain Julien (Jules) Sandeau
  Sandeau was born at Aubusson (Creuse), and was sent to Paris to study law, but spent much of his time in unruly behaviour with other students. He met George Sand, then Madame Dudevant, at Le Coudray in the house of a friend, and when she came to Paris in 1831 they had a relationship. The intimacy did not last long, but it produced Rose et Blanche (1831), a novel written together under the pseudonym J. Sand, from which George Sand took her famous pseudonym. Sandeau continued to produce novels and plays for nearly fifty years. His major works are:

Marianna (1839), in which he draws a portrait of George Sand
Le Docteur Herbeau (1841)
Catherine (1845)
Mademoiselle de la Seiglière (1848), a successful picture of society under Louis Philippe, dramatized in 1851
Madeleine (1848)
La Chasse au roman (1849)
Sacs et parchemins (1851)
La Maison de Penarvan (1858)
La Roche aux mouettes (1871)

The famous play, Le Gendre de M. Poirier, is one of several which he wrote in collaboration with
Augier Emile—the novelist usually contributing the story and the dramatist the theatrical form. Sandeau's novels were less popular than his plays.

 
 
Sandeau had been made conservateur of the Mazarin library in 1853, elected to the Académie française in 1858, and appointed librarian of St Cloud in 1859. At the suppression of this latter office, after the fall of the Second French Empire, he was pensioned.

Jules Sandeau died in Paris in 1883 and was buried in the Cimetière du Montparnasse.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
     
  Western Literature

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1854
 
 
Gotthelf Jeremias, Swiss author, d. (b. 1797)
 
 

Albert Bitzius by Johann Friedrich Dietler
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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1854
 
 
F. D. Guerazzi: "Beatrice Cenci"
 
 
Guerrazzi Francesco Domenico
 

Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi (12 August 1804 – 25 September 1873) was an Italian writer and politician involved in the Italian risorgimento.

 

Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi
  Biography
Guerrazzi was born in the seaport of Livorno, then part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. He studied law at the university of Pisa, graduating in 1824. He began to practice in Livorno, but soon gave up law in favour of politics and literature, being particularly influenced by Byron, to whom he dedicated his "Stanze" (1825). His first novel, La Battaglia di Benevento was published in 1827.

Giuseppe Mazzini made his acquaintance, and in 1829, together with Carlo Bini, they started a newspaper, L'Indicatore Livornese, at Livorno. The authorities of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany suppressed the periodical in February 1830 after 48 issues.

In the same year Guerrazzi was banished to Montepulciano for six months after writing an oration to the memory of Cosimo Del Fante — a native of Livorno who had embraced the ideals of the French Revolution and whom Guerrazzi held up as an example for the idealists of the risorgimento. While confined to Montepulciano he began work on his most famous novel, L'Assedio di Firenze - based on and greatly glorifying the life of the 16th Century Florentine soldier Francesco Ferruccio.

 
 
Guerrazzi was to be imprisoned several times for his activity in the cause of "Young Italy"; in 1833 he was locked up for three months in the Forte Stella at Portoferraio.

Subsequently he become the most powerful Liberal leader at Livorno. In 1848 Guerrazzi was appointed a minister, with some idea of mediating between the reformers and the grand duke of Tuscany, Leopold II. On 8 February 1849, following Leopold’s flight, Guerrazzi formed a governing triumvirate with Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Montanelli and a republic was proclaimed; on 27 March Guerrazzi was nominated dictator.

On Leopold’s restoration, Guerrazzi refused to flee and he was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment. In these years he worked on his Apologia, which was published in 1852. After three years in prison his sentence was commuted to exile in Corsica; in 1857 he escaped from the island and lived for some time in Genoa. From 1862 to 1870, he served as a deputy in the Italian parliament at Turin.

Guerrazzi died of a stroke in Cecina some 30 km from his birthplace, Livorno.

His other major works include Isabella Orsini (1845) and Beatrice Cenci (1854). Moreover, two historic novels placed in Corsica during the 18th century: La torre di Nonza (1857) and Pasquale Paoli ossia la Rotta di Pontenuovo. Racconto Corso del Secolo XVIII (1860). His collected Opere appeared in 1868.

When in 1854 Beatrice Cenci was lambasted by Francesco de Sanctis (who now favored the House of Savoy leadership for Italy), he wrote to a friend: "Honoured Alessandro Manzoni, I am put down... to think that as far back as '40 Britons and Germans saw us as leaders of two different schools, and his they labelled sleep-inducing".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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1854
 
 
Rimbaud Arthur
 
Arthur Rimbaud, in full Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud (born October 20, 1854, Charleville, France—died November 10, 1891, Marseille), French poet and adventurer who won renown in the Symbolist movement and markedly influenced modern poetry.
 

Rimbaud, aged 17, by Étienne Carjat
  Childhood
Rimbaud grew up at Charleville in the Ardennes region of northeastern France. He was the second son of an army captain and a local farmer’s daughter. The father spent little time with the family and eventually abandoned the children to the sole care of their mother, a strong-willed, bigoted woman who pinned all her ambitions on her younger son, Arthur. Outwardly pious and obedient, he was a child prodigy and a model pupil who astonished the teachers at the Collège de Charleville by his brilliance in all subjects, especially literature. Rimbaud was a voracious reader who soon familiarized himself with the major French writers of both the past and present. He had a particular talent for Latin verse, and in August 1870 he won the first prize for a Latin poem at the Concours Académique. (His first published poem had appeared in January 1870 in La Revue pour Tous.) Rimbaud seemed obsessed with poetry, spending hours juggling with rhyme. This firm grounding in the craft of versification gave him a complete, even arrogant confidence and an ambition to be acknowledged by the currently fashionable Parnassian poets, of whom he was soon producing virtuoso pastiches.

In his 16th year Rimbaud found his own distinctive voice in poems whose sentiments swing between two extremes: revolt against a repressive hometown environment, and a passionate desire for freedom and adventure. All of the unhappy adolescent’s loathing and longing are in these poems, which are already remarkable works.

 
 
They express his disgust with the constraints of small-town life, its hypocrisies, its self-satisfaction and apathy. The cliches of sentimentality, and, increasingly, religion itself become the targets of fierce cynicism. Equally ringing is the lyrical language that voices Rimbaud’s yearning for freedom and transcendence. Based on exquisitely perceived sense impressions, the imagery in these poems expresses a longing for sensual union with the natural world. These early poems are characteristically Rimbaldian in their directness and power.

Rimbaud had begun taking a keen interest in politics by the time the Franco-German War began in July 1870. Upon the war’s outbreak the school in Charleville closed, an event that marked the end of his formal education. The war served to intensify Rimbaud’s rebelliousness; the elements of blasphemy and scatology in his poetry grew more intense, the tone more strident, and the images more grotesque and even hallucinatory. Reading widely in the town library, Rimbaud soon became involved with revolutionary socialist theory. In an impulsive attempt to put his hopes for revolution into practice, he ran away to Paris that August but was arrested at the station for traveling without a ticket. After a brief spell in prison, he wandered through northern France and Belgium for several months. His mother had him brought back to Charleville by the police, but in February 1871 he again ran off to Paris as a volunteer in the forces of the Paris Commune, which was then under siege by regular French troops. After a frustrating three weeks there, he returned home just before the Paris Commune was mercilessly suppressed.

The collapse of his passionately felt political ideals seems to have been a turning point for Rimbaud. From now on, he declares in two important letters (May 13 and 15, 1871), he has given up the idea of “work” (i.e., action) and, having acknowledged his true vocation, will devote himself with all his energy to his role as a poet.

 
 

Rimbaud alité après le « drame de Bruxelles », juillet 1873
(tableau peint par Jef Rosman, musée Arthur-Rimbaud).
 
 
Poetic vision
Rimbaud wanted to serve as a prophet, a visionary, or, as he put it, a voyant (“seer”). He had come to believe in a universal life force that informs or underlies all matter. This spiritual force, which Rimbaud referred to simply as “l’inconnu” (“the unknown”), can be sensed only by a chosen few. Rimbaud set himself the task of striving to “see” this spiritual unknown and allowing his individual consciousness to be taken over and used by it as a mere instrument.

He should then be able to transmit (by means of poetry) this music of the universe to his fellow men, awakening them spiritually and leading them forward to social progress. Rimbaud had not given up his social ideals, but now intended to realize them through poetry. First, though, he had to qualify himself for the task, and he coined a now-famous phrase to describe his method: “le dérèglement de tous les sens” (“the derangement of all the senses”).
Rimbaud intended to systematically undermine the normal functioning of his senses so that he could attain visions of the “unknown.” In a voluntary martyrdom he would subject himself to fasting and pain, imbibe alcohol and drugs, and even cultivate hallucination and madness in order to expand his consciousness.

In his attempts to communicate his visions to the reader, Rimbaud became one of the first modern poets to shatter the constraints of traditional metric forms and those rules of versification that he had already mastered so brilliantly. He decided to let his visions determine the form of his poems, and if the visions were formless, then the poems would be too. He began allowing images and their associations to determine the structure of his new poems, such as the mysterious sonnet “Voyelles” (“Vowels”).

  Major works
At the end of August 1871, on the advice of a literary friend in Charleville, Rimbaud sent to the poet Paul Verlaine samples of his new poetry. Verlaine, impressed by their brilliance, summoned Rimbaud to Paris and sent the money for his fare. In a burst of self-confidence, Rimbaud composed “Le Bateau ivre” (“The Drunken Boat”). This is perhaps his finest poem, and one that clearly demonstrates what his method could achieve. Ostensibly, “Le Bateau ivre” describes the journey of the voyant in a tipsy boat that has been freed from all constraints and launched headlong into a world of sea and sky that is heaving with the erotic rhythms of a universal dynamic force. The voyant himself is on an ecstatic search for some unnamed ideal that he seems to glimpse through the aquatic tumult. But monsters threaten, the dream breaks up in universal cataclysm, weariness and self pity take over, and both boat and voyant capitulate. Here Rimbaud succeeded in his aim of matching form to vision. A pounding rhythm drives the poem forward through enjambment across the verses, with internal rhymes and excited repetitions mounting on alliteration as with the swell of the envisioned sea. Images of startling vividness flash by and melt unexpectedly into each other with the fleeting clarity of hallucinations, and the poetic evocation of colours, movement, and the feel of the waters pull directly at the reader’s senses.

Rimbaud was already a marvelous poet, but his behaviour in Paris was atrocious. He arrived there in September 1871, stayed for three months with Verlaine and his wife, and met most of the well-known poets of the day, but he antagonized them all—except Verlaine himself—by his rudeness, arrogance, and obscenity. Embarking upon a life of drink and debauchery, he became involved in a homosexual relationship with Verlaine that gave rise to scandal.

 
 
The two men were soon being seen in public as lovers, and Rimbaud was blamed for breaking up Verlaine’s marriage. In March 1872, while tormented by violent passion, jealousy, and guilt and in a state of physical dissolution, Rimbaud returned to Charleville so that Verlaine could attempt a reconciliation with his wife.

Rimbaud would later suggest that he was near death at this time, and the group of delicate, tenuous poems he then wrote—now known as Derniers Vers (“Last Verses”)—express his yearning for purification through all this suffering. Still trying to match form to vision, he expresses his longing for spiritual regeneration in pared-down verse forms that are almost abstract patterns of musical and symbolic allusiveness. These poems clearly show the influence of Verlaine. About this time Rimbaud also composed the work that Verlaine called his masterpiece, “La Chasse spirituelle” (“The Spiritual Hunt”), the manuscript of which disappeared when the two poets went to England. Rimbaud now virtually abandoned verse composition; henceforth most of his literary production would consist of prose poems.

In May 1872 Rimbaud was recalled to Paris by Verlaine, who said that he could not live without him. That July Verlaine abandoned his wife and child and fled with Rimbaud to London, where they spent the following winter. During this winter Rimbaud composed a series of 40 prose poems to which he gave the title Illuminations. These are his most ambitious attempt to develop new poetic forms from the content of his visions. The Illuminations consist of a series of theatrical tableaux in which Rimbaud creates a primitive fantasy world, an imaginary universe complete with its own mythology, its own quasi-divine beings, its own cities, all depicted in kaleidoscopic images that have the vividness of hallucinations. Within this framework the drama of the different stages of Rimbaud’s own life is played out. He sees himself formulating his dreams; his discovery of hashish as a method of inducing visions is hailed; his ensuing nightmare anguish is relived in swirling images and convoluted syntax; and his love affair with Verlaine is recalled in cryptic images and symbols.

 
 

Rimbaud à la mi-décembre 1875,
par Ernest Delahaye.
  In the Illuminations Rimbaud reached the height of his originality and found the form best suited to his elliptical and esoteric style. He stripped the prose poem of its anecdotal, narrative, and descriptive content and used words for their evocative and associative power, divesting them of their logical or dictionary meaning. The hypnotic rhythms, the dense musical patterns, and the visual pyrotechnics of the poems work in counterpoint with Rimbaud’s playful mastery of juggled syntax, ambiguity, etymological and literary references, and bilingual puns. A unique achievement, the Illuminations’ innovative use of language greatly influenced the subsequent development of French poetry.
In real life the two poets’ relationship was growing so tense and violent that Verlaine became physically ill and mentally disturbed. In April 1873 Rimbaud left him to return to his family, and it was at their farm at Roche, near Charleville, that he began to apply himself to another major work, Une Saison en enfer (1873; A Season in Hell).
 
 
A month later Verlaine persuaded Rimbaud to accompany him to London. Rimbaud treated Verlaine with sadistic cruelty, and after more wanderings and quarrels, he rejoined Verlaine in Brussels only to make a last farewell. As he was leaving Verlaine shot him, wounding him in the wrist. Rimbaud was hospitalized, and Verlaine was arrested and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. Rimbaud soon returned to Roche, where he finished Une Saison en enfer.

Une Saison en enfer, which consists of nine fragments of prose and verse, is a remarkable work of self-confession and psychological examination. It is quite different from the Illuminations and in fact repudiates the aesthetic they represent. Rimbaud was going through a spiritual and moral crisis, and in Une Saison en enfer he retrospectively examines the hells he had entered in search of experience, his guilt-ridden and unhappy passion for Verlaine, and the failure of his own overambitious aesthetic. The poem consists of a series of scenes in which the narrator acts out various roles, seemingly a necessary therapy for a young man still searching for some authentic, unified identity. Within these scenes a switching of moods follows a dialectical pattern, pushing forward through opposite tendencies toward a third term that marks another step toward liberation. Each step is presented in highly dramatic form and is treated with detachment and a characteristic, cutting irony. The irony culminates in Rimbaud’s account of his excessively idealistic literary efforts. Once these follies have been relived, the remaining sections explore different possible routes toward moral salvation. The cultivation of the mind, religious conversion, and other routes are each tried but then dismissed. In the book’s final section, “Adieu” (“Goodbye”), Rimbaud takes a nostalgic backward look at his past life and then moves on, declaring that his spiritual battle has been won. He contemplates a future in which he can “possess the truth in a soul and a body.” The enigmatic ambiguity of this concluding statement is characteristic of Rimbaud. Perhaps it implies both a saner, more realistic stance towards life and a healing of the split between body and soul that had so plagued him.

“Adieu” has sometimes been read as Rimbaud’s farewell to creative writing. It was certainly a farewell to the visionary, apocalyptic writing of the voyant. In February 1874 Rimbaud returned to London in the company of Germain Nouveau, a fellow poet. There they copied out some of the Illuminations. Rimbaud returned home for Christmas and spent his time there studying mathematics and languages. His last encounter with Verlaine, early in 1875, ended in a violent quarrel, but it was at this time that he gave Verlaine the manuscript of the Illuminations.

 
 

Rimbaud (self-portrait) in Harar in 1883.
  Later life
The rest of Rimbaud’s life, from the literary point of view, was silence. In 1875 he set out to see the world, and by 1879 he had crossed the Alps on foot, joined and deserted the Dutch colonial army in the East Indies, visited Egypt, and worked as a labourer in Cyprus, in every instance suffering illness or other hardships.

In 1880 he found employment in the service of a coffee trader at Aden (now in Yemen), who sent him to Hārer (now in Ethiopia). He became the first white man to journey into the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, and his report of this expedition was published by France’s National Society of Geography in 1884.

In time Rimbaud set up as an explorer and trader in Ethiopia, traveling in the interior and at one point selling arms to Menilek II, king of Shewa (Shoa), who became that country’s emperor in 1889.
Rimbaud’s gift for languages and his humane treatment of the Ethiopians made him popular with them. He kept in touch with his family by frequent letters in which he constantly complained about the hard conditions of his daily life. All trace of his amazing literary gift had disappeared; his ambition now was simply to amass as much money as possible and then return home to live at leisure.

During this period of expatriation, Rimbaud had become known as a poet in France. Verlaine had written about him in Les Poètes maudits (1884) and had published a selection of his poems.

 
 
These had been enthusiastically received, and in 1886, unable to discover where Rimbaud was or to get an answer from him, Verlaine published the prose poems, under the title Illuminations, and further verse poems, in the Symbolist periodical La Vogue, as the work of “the late Arthur Rimbaud.” It is not known whether Rimbaud ever saw these publications. But he certainly knew of his rising fame after the appearance of Les Poètes maudits, for in 1885 he received a letter from an old schoolmate, Paul Bourde, who told him of the vogue of his poems among avant-garde poets.

Rimbaud did make a considerable fortune in Ethiopia, but in February 1891 he developed a tumour on his knee. He was sent back to France, and shortly after he arrived at Marseille his right leg had to be amputated. In July he returned to the family farm at Roche, where his health grew steadily worse. In August 1891 he set out on a nightmarish journey to Marseille, where his disease was diagnosed as cancer. He endured agonizing treatment at the hospital there and died, according to his sister Isabelle, after having made his confession to a priest.

 
 

Verlaine (far left) and Rimbaud (second to left) in an 1872 painting by Henri Fantin-Latour
 
 
Assessment
Rimbaud’s extraordinary life, with its precocious triumphs, its reckless scandals, its unexplained break with literature, and its mercenary adventures in exotic African locales, continues to excite the popular imagination. Critics have variously endowed his character with the qualities of a martyr-saint, an archetypal rebel, and a disreputable hooligan. What is incontrovertible is the extent of Rimbaud’s contribution to modern French literature. Many 20th-century poets were influenced by the Dionysian power of his verse and his liberation of language from the constraints of form. Rimbaud’s visionary ideals also proved attractive; his “unknown,” somewhat domesticated in the form of the individual unconscious, became the hunting ground of the Surrealists, and his techniques of free association and language play, which they exploited so freely, became widely used. Rimbaud, the child prodigy who was so prodigal of his genius, turned out to be one of the founding fathers of modernism.

Margaret C. Davies-Mitchell

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 
     
 
Arthur Rimbaud

"Poems"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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1854
 
 
Josef Viktor von Scheffel (Scheffel Josef Viktor): "Der Trompeter von Sackingen"
 
 

Josef Viktor von Scheffel.
"Der Trompeter von Sackingen"
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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1854
 
 
Tennyson: "The Charge of the Light Brigade"
 

"The Charge of the Light Brigade" is an 1854 narrative poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson (Tennyson Alfred) about the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War. He was the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom at the time of the writing of the poem.

 
Overview
Tennyson's poem, published December 9, 1854 in The Examiner, praises the Brigade, "When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made!", while mourning the appalling futility of the charge: "Not tho' the soldier knew / Some one had blunder'd." According to his grandson Sir Charles Tennyson, Tennyson wrote the poem in only a few minutes after reading an account of the battle in The Times. As poet laureate he often wrote verses about public events. It immediately became hugely popular, even reaching the troops in the Crimea, where it was distributed in pamphlet form at the behest of Jane, Lady Franklin. Each stanza tells a different part of the story, and there is a delicate balance between nobility and brutality throughout.

Although Tennyson's subject is the nobleness of supporting one's country, and the poem's tone and hoofbeat cadences are rousing, it pulls no punches about the horror of war: "Cannon to right of them, /Cannon to left of them, / Cannon behind them / Volley'd & thunder'd".

With "into the valley of Death" Tennyson works in resonance with "the valley of the shadow of Death" from Psalm 23, then and now a Psalm often read at funerals. Tennyson's Crimea does not offer the abstract tranquil death of the psalm but is instead predatory and menacing: "into the jaws of Death" and "into the mouth of Hell". The alliterative "Storm'd at with shot and shell" echoes the whistling of ball as the cavalry charge through it. After the fury of the charge, the final notes are gentle, reflective and laden with sorrow: "Then they rode back, but not / Not the six hundred".

Tennyson recited this poem onto a wax cylinder in 1890.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 

Battle of Balaclava. Charge of the Light Brigade by Richard Caton Woodville, Jr.
 
 
The Charge of the Light Brigade

I
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

II
“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

III
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
Rode the six hundred.

  IV
Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wondered.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

V
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell.
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

VI
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

 
 
 
     
  Alfred Tennyson

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

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1854
 
 
Thackeray: "The Rose and the Ring"
 

The Rose and The Ring is a satirical work of fantasy fiction written by Thackeray William Makepeace, originally published at Christmas 1854 (though dated 1855). It criticises, to some extent, the attitudes of the monarchy and those at the top of society and challenges their ideals of beauty and marriage.

Set in the fictional countries of Paflagonia and Crim Tartary, the story revolves around the lives and fortunes of four young royal cousins, Princesses Angelica and Rosalba, and Princes Bulbo and Giglio. Each page is headed by a line of poetry summing up the plot at that point and the storyline as a whole is laid out, as the book states, as "A Fireside Pantomime". The original edition had illustrations by Thackeray who had once intended a career as an illustrator.

 
Plot
The plot opens on the royal family of Paflagonia eating breakfast together: King Valoroso, his wife, the Queen, and their daughter, Princess Angelica. Through the course of the meal it is discovered that Prince Bulbo, heir to the neighbouring kingdom of Crim Tartary, and son of King Padella is coming to visit Paflagonia. It is also discovered, after the two females have left the table, that King Valoroso stole his crown, and all his wealth, from his nephew, Prince Giglio, when the prince was an infant.

Prince Giglio and Princess Angelica have been brought up together very closely, Princess Angelica being considered the most beautiful and wisest girl in the kingdom and Giglio being much overlooked in the household. Giglio, besotted with his cousin, has given her a ring belonging to his mother, which, unknown to them, was given to her by the Fairy Blackstick and which held the power to make the wearer beautiful to everyone who beheld them.

After an argument with Giglio, about the arrival of the long-awaited Prince Bulbo, Angelica throws the ring out of the window and can be seen for her own, less attractive self.

Prince Bulbo, in his turn, possesses a magic rose, with the same power as the ring and coming from the same source: the Fairy Blackstick. Upon his arrival, this causes Angelica to be madly in love with him.

 
 
 
Angelica's governess, Countess Gruffanuff, finds the magic ring in the garden and, whilst wearing it, convinces Giglio to sign a paper swearing to marry her. She then gives the ring to Angelica's maid, Betsinda, an orphan discovered by the family with a torn cloak in her possession. The maid, however, is actually Rosalba, the only child of the true king of Crim Tartary. When Betsinda wears the ring to take the warming pan around the bedrooms, Princes Bulbo and Giglio immediately fall in love with her, along with King Valoroso. This excites the rage of The Queen, Angelica and Gruffanuff, and causes Betsinda to be driven from the house.

In response to Giglio's rudeness, Valoroso orders him to be executed, but his Captain of the Guards, Count Kutasoff Hedzoff, takes Bulbo to the scaffold instead, where he is reprieved at the last moment by Angelica, who takes his rose, returns to her former beauty and marries him.

Giglio is forced to flee and, with some help from The Fairy Blackstick, disguises himself as a student. In the meantime Rosalba has returned to Crim Tartary and discovered her heritage by means of the torn cloak, which is reunited with its other half to make the words "Princess Rosalba". King Padella, after his offer of marriage is refused, orders Rosalba to be thrown to the lions. Giglio, upon hearing this, takes back his throne in Paflagonia and leads his army to rescue Rosalba, using the captured Bulbo as a hostage.

When Padella refuses the exchange, Giglio decides that he had better keep his word and put Bulbo to death as threatened. However, the lions set upon Rosalba happen to be exactly the same lions which she grew up with in the wild, prior to being found by Princess Angelica, and carry her on their backs to Giglio's camp, where the pair are reunited.

Giglio and Rosalba return to Paflagonia along with Bulbo, now wearing the fairy ring. When they sit down to breakfast on their wedding day, Gruffanuff produces the paper pledging Giglio to herself. Wishing to put him in his place for his earlier arrogance, the Fairy Blackstick refuses to help at first and Giglio is forced to take Gruffanuff to the church in Rosalba's place. However, when they reach the building, The Fairy Blackstick transforms the doorknocker back into Gruffanuff's real husband, long believed dead after being bewitched by the fairy herself many years before. Giglio and Rosalba are then free to marry and do so. The Fairy Blackstick then leaves, never to be heard of again.

 
 

Thackeray: "The Rose and the Ring"
 
 

Characters
Many of the names of characters are Italian:

Angelica (Princess of Paflagonia) – Italian: angelic and possibly the herb angelica
Bulbo (Prince of Crim Tartary) – Italian: bulb
Cavolfiore (former King of Crim Tartary) – Italian: cauliflower
Gambabella (First lord-in-waiting) – Italian: handsome leg
Giglio (Prince of Paflagonia) – Italian: lily (note: in Italian language Giglio is male gender)
Padella (King of Crim Tartary) – Italian: frying-pan
Rosalba – rosa alba, Latin for "white rose" (perhaps suggested by the name of Venetian painter Rosalba Carriera)
Savio (former King of Paflagonia) – Italian: wise
Tomaso Lorenzo (Painter in Ordinary to the King of Crim Tartary) – Italianization of Thomas Lawrence.
Valoroso (King of Paflagonia) – Italian: valiant, clever
Other names are pseudo-Italian, pseudo-German, or pseudo-Russian puns:

Glumboso (Prime Minister) – "glum"
Gruffanuff (Lady of Honour) – "gruff enough"
Hogginarmo – "Hog in Armour", name of a pub
Kutasoff Hedzoff (Captain of the Guard) – "cuts off heads off" (also a pun on the name of the Russian general Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov)
Pildrafto (Court Physician) – "pill" and "draught"
Sleibootz (Bulbo's chamberlain) – "sly-boots"
Squaretoso (Lord Chancellor) — "square toes"

 
Placenames
The placename Paflagonia is an Italian spelling of Paphlagonia, an ancient kingdom on the southern shore of the Black Sea. Crim Tartary is a no longer used name for the Crimean Khanate, a medieval state inhabited by the Crimean Tatars (hence "Tartary"), north of the Black Sea. These names were presumably suggested by the outbreak of the Crimean War in the same year as the writing of The Rose and the Ring.

That these locations are intended is suggested by a scene in which Angelica, mocking Giglio's ignorance, says, "You don't know whether Crim Tartary is on the Red Sea or on the Black Sea, I dare say" – to which Giglio promptly (and erroneously) replies that it is on the Red Sea. Other countries which the King of Paflagonia claims include Cappadocia and Turkey – though the latter, immediately accompanied by the "Sausage Islands", suggests another meaning of the word "turkey".

However, in no other respect of language or culture does Thackeray attempt to approximate his fictional countries to either the ancient or medieval kingdoms for which they are named.

The university that Giglio attends is called Bosforo, which is Italian for Bosporus; however, the university described is clearly Oxford University, the meaning of both "Oxford" and "Bosporus" being "place where oxen cross".

 
 
 
Other placenames are either Italian or puns:

Blombodinga – "plum pudding"
Poluphloisboio – Greek: πολύφλοισβος "loud-roaring" (as it occurs in the stereotyped Homeric epithet πολυφλοισβοιο θαλασσης "of the loud-roaring sea").
Rimbombamento – Italian: reverberation
Andrew Lang's Chronicles of Pantouflia (including Prince Prigio and Prince Ricardo) pays explicit homage to Thackeray's The Rose and the Ring.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
see also: William Makepeace Thackeray
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1854
 
 
Thoreau: "Walden, or Life in the Woods"
 

Walden ( irst published as Walden; or, Life in the Woods), by noted transcendentalist Thoreau Henry David , is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self-reliance. First published in 1854, it details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts.

 
The book compresses the time into a single calendar year and uses passages of four seasons to symbolize human development.
By immersing himself in nature, Thoreau hoped to gain a more objective understanding of society through personal introspection. Simple living and self-sufficiency were Thoreau's other goals, and the whole project was inspired by transcendentalist philosophy, a central theme of the American Romantic Period. As Thoreau made clear in his book, his cabin was not in wilderness but at the edge of town, about two miles (3 km) from his family home.

Synopsis

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.

— Henry David Thoreau

Part memoir and part spiritual quest, Walden opens with the announcement that Thoreau spent two years at Walden Pond living a simple life without support of any kind. Readers are reminded that at the time of publication, Thoreau is back to living among the civilized again.

 
Original title page of Walden featuring a picture drawn by Thoreau's sister Sophia.
 
 
The book is separated into specific chapters that each focus on specific themes:

Economy: In this first and longest chapter, Thoreau outlines his project: a two-year, two-month, and two-day stay at a cozy, "tightly shingled and plastered", English-style 10' × 15' cottage in the woods near Walden Pond. He does this, he says, to illustrate the spiritual benefits of a simplified lifestyle. He easily supplies the four necessities of life (food, shelter, clothing, and fuel) with the help of family and friends, particularly his mother, his best friend, and Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Waldo Emerson. The latter provided Thoreau with a work exchange – he could build a small house and plant a garden if he cleared some land on the woodlot and did other chores while there. Thoreau meticulously records his expenditures and earnings, demonstrating his understanding of "economy", as he builds his house and buys and grows food. For a home and freedom, he spent a mere $28.12½, in 1845 (about $863 in today's money). At the end of this chapter, Thoreau inserts a poem, "The Pretensions of Poverty", by seventeenth-century English poet Thomas Carew. The poem criticizes those who think that their poverty gives them unearned moral and intellectual superiority. The chapter is filled with figures of practical advice, facts, big ideas about individualism versus social existence...manifesto of social thought and meditations on domestic management. Much attention is devoted to the skepticism and wonderment with which townspeople greeted both him and his project as he tries to protect his views from those of the townspeople who seem to view society as the only place to live. He recounts the reasons for his move to Walden Pond along with detailed steps back to the construction of his new home (methods, support, etc.).


Where I Lived, and What I Lived For: Thoreau recollects thoughts of places he stayed at before selecting Walden Pond. Quotes Roman Philosopher Cato's advice "consider buying a farm very carefully before signing the papers". His possibilities included a nearby Hollowell farm (where the "wife" unexpectedly decided she wanted to keep the farm). Thoreau takes to the woods dreaming of an existence free of obligations and full of leisure. He announces that he resides far from social relationships that mail represents (post office) and the majority of the chapter focuses on his thoughts while constructing and living in his new home.

Reading: Thoreau discusses the benefits of classical literature, preferably in the original Greek or Latin, and bemoans the lack of sophistication in Concord evident in the popularity of unsophisticated literature. He also loved to read books by world travelers. He yearns for a time when each New England village supports "wise men" to educate and thereby ennoble the population.

Sounds: Thoreau encourages the reader to be “forever on the alert” and “looking always at what is to be seen.” Although truth can be found in literature, it can equally be found in nature. In addition to self-development, an advantage of developing one’s perceptiveness is its tendency to alleviate boredom. Rather than “look abroad for amusement, to society and the theatre,” Thoreau’s own life, including supposedly dull pastimes like housework, becomes a source of amusement that “never ceases to be novel.” Likewise, he obtains pleasure in the sounds that ring around his cabin: church bells ringing, carriages rattling and rumbling, cows lowing, whip-poor-wills singing, owls hooting, frogs croaking, and cockerels crowing. “All sound heard at the greatest possible distance,” he contends “produces one and the same effect.” Likening the train’s cloud of steam to a comet tail and its commotion to “the scream of a hawk,” the train becomes homologous with nature and Thoreau praises its associated commerce for its enterprise, bravery, and cosmopolitanism, proclaiming: “I watch the passage of the morning cars with the same feeling that I do the rising of the sun.”

Solitude: Thoreau reflects on the feeling of solitude. He explains how loneliness can occur even amid companions if one's heart is not open to them. Thoreau meditates on the pleasures of escaping society and the petty things that society entails (gossip, fights, etc.). He also reflects on his new companion, an old settler who arrives nearby and an old woman with great memory ("memory runs back farther than mythology"). Thoreau repeatedly reflects on the benefits of nature and of his deep communion with it and states that the only "medicine he needs is a draught of morning air".

Visitors: Thoreau talks about how he enjoys companionship (despite his love for solitude) and always leaves three chairs ready for visitors. The entire chapter focuses on the coming and going of visitors, and how he has more comers in Walden than he did in the city. He receives visits from those living or working nearby and gives special attention to a French Canadian born woodsman named Alec Thérien. Unlike Thoreau, Thérien cannot read or write and is described as leading an "animal life". He compares Thérien to Walden Pond itself. Thoreau then reflects on the women and children who seem to enjoy the pond more than men...and how men are limited because their lives are taken up.

The Bean-Field: Reflection on Thoreau's planting and his enjoyment of this new job/hobby. He touches upon the joys of his environment, the sights and sounds of nature, but also on the military sounds nearby. The rest of the chapter focuses on his earnings and his cultivation of crops (including how he spends just under fifteen dollars on this).

The Village: The chapter focuses on Thoreau's second bath and on his reflections on the journeys he takes several times a week to Concord, where he gathers the latest gossip and meets with townsmen. On one of his journeys into Concord, Thoreau is detained and jailed for his refusal to pay a poll tax to the "state that buys and sells men, women, and children, like cattle at the door of its senate-house".

The Ponds: In autumn, Thoreau discusses the countryside and writes down his observations about the geography of Walden Pond and its neighbors: Flint's Pond (or Sandy Pond), White Pond, and Goose Pond. Although Flint's is the largest, Thoreau's favorites are Walden and White ponds, which he describes as lovelier than diamonds.

Baker Farm: While on an afternoon ramble in the woods, Thoreau gets caught in a rainstorm and takes shelter in the dirty, dismal hut of John Field, a penniless but hard-working Irish farmhand, and his wife and children. Thoreau urges Field to live a simple but independent and fulfilling life in the woods, thereby freeing himself of employers and creditors. But the Irishman won't give up his aspirations of luxury and the quest for the American dream.

Higher Laws: Thoreau discusses whether hunting wild animals and eating meat is necessary. He concludes that the primitive, carnal sensuality of humans drives them to kill and eat animals, and that a person who transcends this propensity is superior to those who cannot. (Thoreau eats fish and occasionally salt pork and woodchuck.) In addition to vegetarianism, he lauds chastity, work, and teetotalism. He also recognizes that Native Americans need to hunt and kill moose for survival in "The Maine Woods", and ate moose on a trip to Maine while he was living at Walden. Here is a list of the laws that he mentions:

-One must love that of the wild just as much as one loves that of the good.
-What men already know instinctively is true humanity.
-The hunter is the greatest friend of the animal which is hunted.
-No human older than an adolescent would wantonly murder any creature which reveres its own life as much as the killer.
-If the day and the night make one joyful, one is successful.
-The highest form of self-restraint is when one can subsist not on other animals, but of plants and crops cultivated from the earth.

Brute Neighbors: is a simplified version of one of Thoreau's conversations with William Ellery Channing, who sometimes accompanied Thoreau on fishing trips when Channing had come up from Concord. The conversation is about a hermit (himself) and a poet (Channing) and how the poet is absorbed in the clouds while the hermit is occupied with the more practical task of getting fish for dinner and how in the end, the poet regrets his failure to catch fish. The chapter also mentions Thoreau's interaction with a mouse that he lives with, the scene in which an ant battles a smaller ant, and his frequent encounters with cats.

House-Warming: After picking November berries in the woods, Thoreau adds a chimney, and finally plasters the walls of his sturdy house to stave off the cold of the oncoming winter. He also lays in a good supply of firewood, and expresses affection for wood and fire.

Former Inhabitants; and Winter Visitors: Thoreau relates the stories of people who formerly lived in the vicinity of Walden Pond. Then he talks about a few of the visitors he receives during the winter: a farmer, a woodchopper, and his best friend, the poet Ellery Channing.

Winter Animals: Thoreau amuses himself by watching wildlife during the winter. He relates his observations of owls, hares, red squirrels, mice, and various birds as they hunt, sing, and eat the scraps and corn he put out for them. He also describes a fox hunt that passes by.

The Pond in Winter: Thoreau describes Walden Pond as it appears during the winter. He claims to have sounded its depths and located an underground outlet. Then he recounts how 100 laborers came to cut great blocks of ice from the pond, the ice to be shipped to the Carolinas.

Spring: As spring arrives, Walden and the other ponds melt with powerful thundering and rumbling. Thoreau enjoys watching the thaw, and grows ecstatic as he witnesses the green rebirth of nature. He watches the geese winging their way north, and a hawk playing by itself in the sky. As nature is reborn, the narrator implies, so is he. He departs Walden on September 6, 1847.

Conclusion: This final chapter is more passionate and urgent than its predecessors. In it, he criticizes conformity: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away", By doing so, men may find happiness and self-fulfillment.

I do not say that John or Jonathan will realize all this; but such is the character of that morrow which mere lapse of time can never make to dawn. The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.

 
 

Memorial with a replica of Thoreau's cabin near Walden.
 
 

Themes

Walden is a difficult book to read for three reasons: First, it was written in an older prose, which uses surgically precise language, extended, allegorical metaphors, long and complex paragraphs and sentences, and vivid, detailed, and insightful descriptions. Thoreau does not hesitate to use metaphors, allusions, understatement, hyperbole, personification, irony, satire, metonymy, synecdoche, and oxymorons, and he can shift from a scientific to a transcendental point of view in mid-sentence. Second, its logic is based on a different understanding of life, quite contrary to what most people would call common sense. Ironically, this logic is based on what most people say they believe. Thoreau, recognizing this, fills Walden with sarcasm, paradoxes, and double entendres. He likes to tease, challenge, and even fool his readers. And third, quite often any words would be inadequate at expressing many of Thoreau's non-verbal insights into truth. Thoreau must use non-literal language to express these notions, and the reader must reach out to understand.

— Ken Kifer

Walden emphasizes the importance of solitude, contemplation, and closeness to nature in transcending the "desperate" existence that, he argues, is the lot of most people. The book is not a traditional autobiography, but combines autobiography with a social critique of contemporary Western culture's consumerist and materialist attitudes and its distance from and destruction of nature. That the book is not simply a criticism of society, but also an attempt to engage creatively with the better aspects of contemporary culture, is suggested both by Thoreau's proximity to Concord society and by his admiration for classical literature. There are signs of ambiguity, or an attempt to see an alternative side of something common. Some of the major themes that are present within the text are:

Self-reliance: Thoreau constantly refuses to be in "need" of the companionship of others. Though he realizes its significance and importance, he thinks it unnecessary to always be in search for it. Self-reliance, to him, is economic and social and is a principle that in terms of financial and interpersonal relations is more valuable than anything. To Thoreau, self-reliance can be both spiritual as well as economic. Connection to transcendentalism and to Emerson's essay.

Simplicity: Simplicity seems to be Thoreau's model for life. Throughout the book, Thoreau constantly seeks to simplify his lifestyle: he patches his clothes rather than buy new ones, he minimizes his consumer activity, and relies on leisure time and on himself for everything.

Progress: In a world where everyone and everything is eager to advance in terms of progress, Thoreau finds it stubborn and skeptical to think that any outward improvement of life can bring inner peace and contentment.
- The need for spiritual awakening
- Man as part of nature
- Nature and its reflection of human emotions
- The state as unjust and corrupt

 

Site of Thoreau's cabin, 2010.
 
 
Origins and publishing history
There has been much guessing as to why Thoreau went to the pond, E.B White stated on this note, “Henry went forth to battle when he took to the woods, and Walden is the report of a man torn by two powerful and opposing drives—the desire to enjoy the world and the urge to set the world straight.” While Leo Marx noted that Thoreau’s stay at Walden Pond was an experiment based on his teacher, Emerson's "method of nature" and that it was a “report of an experiment in transcendental pastorialism". Likewise others have assumed Thoreau's intentions during his time at Walden Pond was "to conduct an experiment: Could he survive, possibly even thrive, by stripping away all superfluous luxuries, living a plain, simple life in radically reduced conditions?" He thought of it as an experiment in "home economics". Although Thoreau went to Walden to escape what he considered, "over-civilization", and in search of the "raw" and "savage delight" of the wilderness, he also spent considerable amounts of his time reading and writing.

Thoreau spent nearly four times as long on the Walden manuscript as he actually spent at the cabin. Upon leaving Walden Pond and at Emerson’s request, Thoreau returned to Emerson’s house and spent the majority of his time paying debts. During those years Thoreau slowly edited and drafted what were originally 18 essays describing his “experiment” in basic living. After eight drafts over the course of ten years, Walden was published in 1854.

After Walden's publication, Thoreau saw his time at Walden as nothing more than an experiment. He never took seriously "the idea that he could truly isolate himself from others". Without resolution, Thoreau used "his retreat to the woods as a way of framing a reflection on both what ails men and women in their contemporary condition and what might provide relief".

  Reception
Walden enjoyed some success upon its release, but still took five years to sell 2,000 copies. Despite its slow beginnings, later critics have praised it as an American classic that explores natural simplicity, harmony, and beauty. The American poet Robert Frost wrote of Thoreau, "In one book ... he surpasses everything we have had in America".

Critics were generally split over Thoreau's Walden. Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson judged Thoreau’s endorsement of living alone in natural simplicity, apart from modern society, to be a mark of effeminacy, calling it "womanish solicitude; for there is something unmanly, something almost dastardly" about the lifestyle.

Poet John Greenleaf Whittier criticized what he perceived as the message in Walden that man should lower himself to the level of a woodchuck and walk on four legs. He said: "Thoreau's Walden is a capital reading, but very wicked and heathenish... After all, for me, I prefer walking on two legs".

Today, Walden stands as one of America's most celebrated works of literature. John Updike wrote of Walden, "A century and a half after its publication, Walden has become such a totem of the back-to-nature, preservationist, anti-business, civil-disobedience mindset, and Thoreau so vivid a protester, so perfect a crank and hermit saint, that the book risks being as revered and unread as the Bible" The American psychologist B. F. Skinner wrote that he carried a copy of Walden with him in his youth, and eventually wrote Walden Two in 1945, a fictional utopia about 1,000 members who live together in a Thoreau-inspired community

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
see also: Henry David Thoreau
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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

 
 
CONTENTS
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