Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY



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

Alfred de Musset, (1810-1810)
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1857 Part II
Henry T. Buckle: "History of Civilization in England" (1857-1861)
Buckle Henry Thomas
Henry Thomas Buckle (24 November 1821 – 29 May 1862) was an English historian, author of an unfinished History of Civilization and a very strong amateur chess player.

Henry Thomas Buckle
  Early life and education
Buckle, the son of Thomas Henry Buckle, a wealthy London merchant and shipowner, was born at Lee in Kent. His delicate health prevented him obtaining much formal education; he never attended university. However, he received a high degree of education privately, and the love of reading he felt as a child was given many outlets. He first gained distinction as a chess player, being known, before he was twenty, as one of the best in the world. In matchplay he defeated Kieseritsky and Loewenthal. After his father's death in January 1840, he inherited an ample fortune and a large library, and travelled with his mother on the continent (1840–1844). He had by then resolved to direct all his reading and to devote all his energies to the preparation of some great historical work. Over the next seventeen years, he is said to have spent ten hours a day on it.

At first, Buckle planned a history of the Middle Ages, but by 1851 he had decided in favour of a history of civilization. The next six years were occupied in writing, altering and revising the first volume, which appeared in June 1857. It made its author a literary and social celebrity. On 19 March 1858 he delivered a public lecture at the Royal Institution (the only one he ever gave) on the Influence of Women on the Progress of Knowledge, which was published in Fraser's Magazine for April 1858, and reprinted in the first volume of his Miscellaneous and Posthumous Works.

On 1 April 1859, his mother died. It was under the immediate impression of his loss that he concluded a review he was writing of John Stuart Mill's Essay on Liberty with an argument for immortality, based on the yearning of the affections to regain communion with the beloved dead—on the impossibility of standing up and living, if we believed the separation were final. The review appeared in Fraser's Magazine, and is to be found also in the Miscellaneous and Posthumous Works (1872).

The second volume of Buckle's history was published in May 1861. In October,[3] he left England to travel for the sake of his health. He spent the winter of 1861-62 in Egypt, from which he went over the deserts of Sinai and of Edom to Syria, reaching Jerusalem on 19 April 1862. After eleven days he set out for Europe by way of Beirut, but at Nazareth he developed typhoid fever, and later died at Damascus.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Buckle: "History of Civilization in England"

Buckle's fame rests mainly on his History of Civilization in England. It is a gigantic unfinished introduction, of which the plan was, first to state the general principles of the author's method and the general laws that govern the course of human progress—and secondly, to exemplify these principles and laws through the histories of certain nations characterized by prominent and peculiar features—Spain and Scotland, the United States and Germany.

The completed work was to have extended to 14 volumes; its chief ideas are:

1. That, owing partly to the want of ability in historians, and partly to the complexity of social phenomena, extremely little had as yet been done towards discovering the principles that govern the character and destiny of nations, or, in other words, towards establishing a science of history

2. That, while the theological dogma of predestination is a barren hypothesis beyond the province of knowledge, and the metaphysical dogma of free will rests on an erroneous belief in the infallibility of consciousness, it is proved by science, and especially by statistics, that human actions are governed by laws as fixed and regular as those that rule in the physical world

3. That climate, soil, food, and the aspects of nature are the primary causes of intellectual progress,--the first three indirectly, through determining the accumulation and distribution of wealth, and the last by directly influencing the accumulation and distribution of thought, the imagination being stimulated and the understanding subdued when the phenomena of the external world are sublime and terrible, the understanding being emboldened and the imagination curbed when they are small and feeble

4. That the great division between European and non-European civilization turns on the fact that in Europe man is stronger than nature, and that elsewhere nature is stronger than man, the consequence of which is that in Europe alone has man subdued nature to his service

5. That the advance of European civilization is characterized by a continually diminishing influence of physical laws, and a continually increasing influence of mental laws

6. That the mental laws that regulate the progress of society cannot be discovered by the metaphysical method, that is, by the introspective study of the individual mind, but only by such a comprehensive survey of facts as enable us to eliminate disturbances, that is, by the method of averages

7. That human progress has been due, not to moral agencies, which are stationary, and which balance one another in such a manner that their influence is unfelt over any long period, but to intellectual activity, which has been constantly varying and advancing: "The actions of individuals are greatly affected by their moral feelings and passions; but these being antagonistic to the passions and feelings of other individuals, are balanced by them, so that their effect is, in the great average of human affairs, nowhere to be seen, and the total actions of mankind, considered as a whole, are left to be regulated by the total knowledge of which mankind is possessed"

8. That individual efforts are insignificant in the great mass of human affairs, and that great men, although they exist, and must "at present" be looked upon as disturbing forces, are merely the creatures of the age to which they belong

9. That religion, literature and government are, at the best, the products and not the causes of civilization

10. That the progress of civilization varies directly as "scepticism," the disposition to doubt and to investigate, and inversely as "credulity" or "the protective spirit," a disposition to maintain, without examination, established beliefs and practices.

Buckle is remembered for treating history as an exact science, which is why many of his ideas have passed into the common literary stock, and have been more precisely elaborated by later writers on sociology and history because of his careful scientific analyses. Nevertheless, his work is not free from one-sided views and generalisations resting on insufficient data.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Comte Auguste , French philosopher, d. (b. 1798)

Auguste Comte
see also: Auguste Comte
Renan Ernest: "Etudes d'histoire religieuse"

Ernest Renan: "Etudes d'histoire religieuse"
  Ernest Renan

"The Life of Jesus"
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Borrow George: "Romany Rye"

George Borrow "Romany Rye"
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Charles Baudelaire: "Les Fleurs du mal"
Les Fleurs du mal (English: The Flowers of Evil) is a volume of French poetry by Baudelaire Charles. First published in 1857, it was important in the symbolist and modernist movements. The poems deal with themes relating to decadence and eroticism.
The initial publication of the book was arranged in six thematically segregated sections:

- Spleen et Idéal (Spleen and Ideal)
- Tableaux parisiens (Parisian Scenes)
- Le Vin (Wine)
- Fleurs du mal (Flowers of Evil)
- Révolte (Revolt)
- La Mort (Death)

Baudelaire dedicated the book to the poet Théophile Gautier, describing him as a parfait magicien des lettres françaises ("a perfect magician of French letters").

The foreword to the volume, identifying Satan with the pseudonymous alchemist Hermes Trismegistus and calling boredom the worst of miseries, sets the general tone of
what is to follow:

Si le viol, le poison, le poignard, l'incendie,
N'ont pas encore brodé de leurs plaisants dessins
Le canevas banal de nos piteux destins,
C'est que notre âme, hélas! n'est pas assez hardie.

If rape and poison, dagger and burning,
Have still not embroidered their pleasant designs
On the banal canvas of our pitiable destinies,
It's because our souls, alas, are not bold enough!

The preface concludes with the following malediction:

C'est l'Ennui! —l'œil chargé d'un pleur involontaire,
Il rêve d'échafauds en fumant son houka.
Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monstre délicat,
—Hypocrite lecteur,—mon semblable,—mon frère!

It's Ennui!—his eye brimming with spontaneous tear
He dreams of the gallows in the haze of his hookah.
You know him, reader, this delicate monster,
Hypocritical reader, my likeness, my brother!

The first edition of Les Fleurs du mal with author's notes.
Tableaux Parisiens (Parisian Scenes)
Baudelaire's section Tableaux Parisiens, added in the second edition (1861), is considered one of the most formidable criticisms of 19th-century French modernity. This section contains 18 poems, most of which were written during Haussmann's renovation of Paris. Together, the poems in Tableaux Parisiens act as 24-hour cycle of Paris, starting with the second poem Le Soleil (The Sun) and ending with the second to last poem Le Crépuscule du Matin (Morning Twilight). The poems featured in this cycle of Paris all deal with the feelings of anonymity and estrangement from a newly modernized city.

Baudelaire is critical of the clean and geometrically laid out streets of Paris which alienate the unsung anti-heroes of Paris who serve as inspiration for the poet: the beggars, the blind, the industrial worker, the gambler, the prostitute, the old and the victim of imperialism. These characters whom Baudelaire once praised as the backbone of Paris are now eulogized in his nostalgic poems. For Baudelaire, the city has been transformed into an anthill of identical bourgeois that reflect the new identical structures that litter a Paris he once called home but can now no longer recognize.
Literary significance and criticism
The author and the publisher were prosecuted under the regime of the Second Empire as an outrage aux bonnes mœurs ("an insult to public decency").
As a consequence of this prosecution, Baudelaire was fined 300 francs. Six poems from the work were suppressed and the ban on their publication was not lifted in France until 1949.

These poems were "Lesbos"; "Femmes damnées (À la pâle clarté)" (or "Women Doomed (In the pale glimmer...)"); "Le Léthé" (or "Lethe"); "À celle qui est trop gaie" (or "To Her Who Is Too Gay"); "Les Bijoux" (or "The Jewels"); and " Les "Métamorphoses du Vampire" (or "The Vampire's Metamorphoses"). These were later published in Brussels in a small volume entitled Les Épaves (Scraps or Jetsam).

On the other hand, upon reading "The Swan" (or "Le Cygne") from Les Fleurs du mal, Victor Hugo announced that Baudelaire had created "un nouveau frisson" (a new shudder, a new thrill) in literature.

In the wake of the prosecution, a second edition was issued in 1861 which added 35 new poems, removed the six suppressed poems, and added a new section entitled Tableaux Parisiens.

A posthumous third edition, with a preface by Théophile Gautier and including 14 previously unpublished poems, was issued in 1868.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Illustration of Les Fleurs du Mal by Carlos Schwabe, 1900
Charles Baudelaire

"The Flowers of Evil"
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Bjornson Bjornstjerne Martinius: "Synnove Solbakken"

Bjornstjerne Bjornson:
"Synnove Solbakken"
  Western Literature

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

Joseph Conrad, original name Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski (born Dec. 3, 1857, Berdichev, Ukraine, Russian Empire [now Berdychiv, Ukraine]—died Aug. 3, 1924, Canterbury, Kent, Eng.), English novelist and short-story writer of Polish descent, whose works include the novels Lord Jim (1900), Nostromo (1904), and The Secret Agent (1907) and the short story “Heart of Darkness” (1902).

During his lifetime Conrad was admired for the richness of his prose and his renderings of dangerous life at sea and in exotic places. But his initial reputation as a masterful teller of colourful adventures of the sea masked his fascination with the individual when faced with nature’s invariable unconcern, man’s frequent malevolence, and his inner battles with good and evil. To Conrad, the sea meant above all the tragedy of loneliness. A writer of complex skill and striking insight, but above all of an intensely personal vision, he has been increasingly regarded as one of the greatest English novelists.

Joseph Conrad, 1904
  Conrad’s father, Apollo Nalęcz Korzeniowski, a poet and an ardent Polish patriot, was one of the organizers of the committee that went on in 1863 to direct the Polish insurrection against Russian rule. He was arrested in late 1861 and was sent into exile at Vologda in northern Russia. His wife and four-year-old son followed him there, and the harsh climate hastened his wife’s death from tuberculosis in 1865. In A Personal Record Conrad relates that his first introduction to the English language was at the age of eight, when his father was translating the works of Shakespeare and Victor Hugo in order to support the household. In those solitary years with his father he read the works of Sir Walter Scott, James Fenimore Cooper, Charles Dickens, and William Makepeace Thackeray in Polish and French. Apollo was ill with tuberculosis and died in Cracow in 1869. Responsibility for the boy was assumed by his maternal uncle, Tadeusz Bobrowski, a lawyer, who provided his nephew with advice, admonition, financial help, and love. He sent Conrad to school at Cracow and then to Switzerland, but the boy was bored by school and yearned to go to sea. In 1874 Conrad left for Marseille with the intention of going to sea.

Bobrowski made him an allowance of 2,000 francs a year and put him in touch with a merchant named Delestang, in whose ships Conrad sailed in the French merchant service. His first voyage, on the Mont-Blanc to Martinique, was as a passenger; on her next voyage he sailed as an apprentice. In July 1876 he again sailed to the West Indies, as a steward on the Saint-Antoine. On this voyage Conrad seems to have taken part in some unlawful enterprise, probably gunrunning, and to have sailed along the coast of Venezuela, memories of which were to find a place in Nostromo.

The first mate of the vessel, a Corsican named Dominic Cervoni, was the model for the hero of that novel and was to play a picturesque role in Conrad’s life and work.

Conrad became heavily enmeshed in debt upon returning to Marseille and apparently unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide. As a sailor in the French merchant navy he was liable to conscription when he came of age, so after his recovery he signed on in April 1878 as a deckhand on a British freighter bound for Constantinople with a cargo of coal. After the return journey his ship landed him at Lowestoft, Eng., in June 1878. It was Conrad’s first English landfall, and he spoke only a few words of the language of which he was to become a recognized master. Conrad remained in England, and in the following October he shipped as an ordinary seaman aboard a wool clipper on the London–Sydney run.

Conrad was to serve 16 years in the British merchant navy. In June 1880 he passed his examination as second mate, and in April 1881 he joined the Palestine, a bark of 425 tons. This move proved to be an important event in his life; it took him to the Far East for the first time, and it was also a continuously troubled voyage, which provided him with literary material that he would use later. Beset by gales, accidentally rammed by a steamer, and deserted by a sizable portion of her crew, the Palestine nevertheless had made it as far as the East Indies when her cargo of coal caught fire and the crew had to take to the lifeboats; Conrad’s initial landing in the East, on an island off Sumatra, took place only after a 13 1/2-hour voyage in an open boat. In 1898 Conrad published his account of his experiences on the Palestine, with only slight alterations, as the short story “Youth,” a remarkable tale of a young officer’s first command.


Joseph Conrad, 1912
  He returned to London by passenger steamer, and in September 1883 he shipped as mate on the Riversdale, leaving her at Madras to join the Narcissus at Bombay. This voyage gave him material for his novel The Nigger of the “Narcissus,” the story of an egocentric black sailor’s deterioration and death aboard ship. At about this time Conrad began writing his earliest known letters in the English language. In between subsequent voyages Conrad studied for his first mate’s certificate, and in 1886 two notable events occurred: he became a British subject in August, and three months later he obtained his master mariner’s certificate.

In February 1887 he sailed as first mate on the Highland Forest, bound for Semarang, Java. Her captain was John McWhirr, whom he later immortalized under the same name as the heroic, unimaginative captain of the steamer Nan Shan in Typhoon. He then joined the Vidar, a locally owned steamship trading among the islands of the southeast Asian archipelago. During the five or six voyages he made in four and a half months, Conrad was discovering and exploring the world he was to re-create in his first novels, Almayer’s Folly, An Outcast of the Islands, and Lord Jim, as well as several short stories.

After leaving the Vidar Conrad unexpectedly obtained his first command, on the Otago, sailing from Bangkok, an experience out of which he was to make his stories “The Shadow-Line” and “Falk.” He took over the Otago in unpropitious circumstances.

The captain Conrad replaced had died at sea, and by the time the ship reached Singapore, a voyage of 800 miles (1,300 km) that took three weeks because of lack of wind, the whole ship’s company, except Conrad and the cook, was down with fever. Conrad then discovered to his dismay that his predecessor had sold almost all the ship’s supply of quinine.

Back in London in the summer of 1889, Conrad took rooms near the Thames and, while waiting for a command, began to write Almayer’s Folly. The task was interrupted by the strangest and probably the most important of his adventures. As a child in Poland, he had stuck his finger on the centre of the map of Africa and said, “When I grow up I shall go there.” In 1889 the Congo Free State was four years old as a political entity and already notorious as a sphere of imperialistic exploitation. Conrad’s childhood dream took positive shape in the ambition to command a Congo River steamboat. Using what influence he could, he went to Brussels and secured an appointment. What he saw, did, and felt in the Congo are largely recorded in “Heart of Darkness,” his most famous, finest, and most enigmatic story, the title of which signifies not only the heart of Africa, the dark continent, but also the heart of evil—everything that is corrupt, nihilistic, malign—and perhaps the heart of man. The story is central to Conrad’s work and vision, and it is difficult not to think of his Congo experiences as traumatic. He may have exaggerated when he said, “Before the Congo I was a mere animal,” but in a real sense the dying Kurtz’s cry, “The horror! The horror!” was Conrad’s. He suffered psychological, spiritual, even metaphysical shock in the Congo, and his physical health was also damaged; for the rest of his life, he was racked by recurrent fever and gout.

Conrad was in the Congo for four months, returning to England in January 1891. He made several more voyages as a first mate, but by 1894, when his guardian Tadeusz Bobrowski died, his sea life was over. In the spring of 1894 Conrad sent Almayer’s Folly to the London publisher Fisher Unwin, and the book was published in April 1895. It was as the author of this novel that Conrad adopted the name by which he is known: he had learned from long experience that the name Korzeniowski was impossible on British lips.


Joseph Conrad
  Unwin’s manuscript reader, the critic Edward Garnett, urged Conrad to begin a second novel, and so Almayer’s Folly was followed in 1896 by An Outcast of the Islands, which repeats the theme of a foolish and blindly superficial character meeting the tragic consequences of his own failings in a tropical region far from the company of his fellow Europeans. These two novels provoked a misunderstanding of Conrad’s talents and purpose which dogged him the rest of his life.

Set in the Malayan archipelago, they caused him to be labeled a writer of exotic tales, a reputation which a series of novels and short stories about the sea—The Nigger of the “Narcissus” (1897), Lord Jim (1900), Youth (1902), Typhoon (1902), and others—seemed only to confirm. But words of his own about the “Narcissus” give the real reason for his choice of settings: “the problem . . . is not a problem of the sea, it is merely a problem that has risen on board a ship where the conditions of complete isolation from all land entanglements make it stand out with a particular force and colouring.”

This is equally true of his other works; the latter part of Lord Jim takes place in a jungle village not because the emotional and moral problems that interest Conrad are those peculiar to jungle villages, but because there Jim’s feelings of guilt, responsibility, and insecurity—feelings common to mankind—work themselves out with a logic and inevitability that are enforced by his isolation.

It is this purpose, rather than a taste for the outlandish, that distinguishes Conrad’s work from that of many novelists of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
They, for the most part, were concerned to widen the scope of the novel, to act, in Balzac’s phrase, as the natural historians of society; Conrad instead aimed at the isolation and concentration of tragedy.

In 1895 Conrad married the 22-year-old Jessie George, by whom he had two sons. He thereafter resided mainly in the southeast corner of England, where his life as an author was plagued by poor health, near poverty, and difficulties of temperament. It was not until 1910, after he had written what are now considered his finest novels—Lord Jim (1900), Nostromo (1904), The Secret Agent (1907), and Under Western Eyes (1911), the last being three novels of political intrigue and romance—that his financial situation became relatively secure. He was awarded a Civil List pension of £100, and the American collector John Quinn began to buy his manuscripts—for what now seem ludicrously low prices. His novel Chance was successfully serialized in the New York Herald in 1912, and his novel Victory, published in 1915, was no less successful. Though hampered by rheumatism, Conrad continued to write for the remaining years of his life. In April 1924 he refused an offer of knighthood from Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, and he died shortly thereafter.

In his own time Conrad was praised for his power to depict life at sea and in the tropics and for his works’ qualities of “romance”—a word used basically to denote his power of using an elaborate prose style to cast a film of illusory splendour over somewhat sordid events. His reputation diminished after his death, and a revival of interest in his work later directed attention to different qualities and to different books than his contemporaries had emphasized.


Joseph Conrad
  An account of the themes of some of these books should indicate where modern critics lay emphasis. Nostromo (1904), a story of revolution, politics, and financial manipulation in a South American republic, centres, for all its close-packed incidents, upon one idea—the corruption of the characters by the ambitions that they set before themselves, ambitions concerned with silver, which forms the republic’s wealth and which is the central symbol around which the novel is organized.
The ambitions range from simple greed to idealistic desires for reform and justice. All lead to moral disaster, and the nobler the ambition the greater its possessor’s self-disgust as he realizes his plight.

“Heart of Darkness,” which follows closely the actual events of Conrad’s Congo journey, tells of the narrator’s fascination by a mysterious white man, Kurtz, who, by his eloquence and hypnotic personality, dominates the brutal tribesmen around him.

Full of contempt for the greedy traders who exploit the natives, the narrator cannot deny the power of this figure of evil who calls forth from him something approaching reluctant loyalty. The Secret Agent (1907), a sustained essay in the ironic and one of Conrad’s finest works, deals with the equivocal world of anarchists, police, politicians, and agents provocateurs in London. Victory (1915) describes the unsuccessful attempts of a detached, nihilistic observer of life to protect himself and his hapless female companion from the murderous machinations of a trio of rogues on an isolated island.

Conrad’s view of life is indeed deeply pessimistic. In every idealism are the seeds of corruption, and the most honourable men find their unquestioned standards totally inadequate to defend themselves against the assaults of evil. It is significant that Conrad repeats again and again situations in which such men are obliged to admit emotional kinship with those whom they have expected only to despise. This well-nigh despairing vision gains much of its force from the feeling that Conrad accepted it reluctantly, rather than with morbid enjoyment.

Conrad’s influence on later novelists has been profound both because of his masterly technical innovations and because of the vision of humanity expressed through them. He is the novelist of man in extreme situations. “Those who read me,” he wrote in his preface to A Personal Record, “know my conviction that the world, the temporal world, rests on a few very simple ideas; so simple that they must be as old as the hills. It rests, notably, among others, on the idea of Fidelity.” For Conrad fidelity is the barrier man erects against nothingness, against corruption, against the evil that is all about him, insidious, waiting to engulf him, and that in some sense is within him unacknowledged. But what happens when fidelity is submerged, the barrier broken down, and the evil without is acknowledged by the evil within? At his greatest, that is Conrad’s theme. Feminist and postcolonialist readings of Modernist works have focused on Conrad and have confirmed his centrality to Modernism and to the general understanding of it.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Joseph Conrad 

"Lord Jim"
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Joseph von Eichendorff (Eichendorff Joseph), German poet, d. (b. 1788)

Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff
see also: Joseph Eichendorff
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
George Eliot: "Scenes from Clerical Life"

Scenes of Clerical Life is the title under which George Eliot's (Eliot George) first published fictional work, a collection of three short stories, was released in book form, and the first of her works to be released under her famous pseudonym. The stories were first published in Blackwood's Magazine over the course of the year 1857, initially anonymously, before being released as a two-volume set by Blackwood and Sons in January 1858.

The three stories are set during the last twenty years of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century over a fifty year period. The stories take place in and around the fictional town of Milby in the English Midlands. Each of the Scenes concerns a different Anglican clergyman, but is not necessarily centred upon him. Eliot examines, among other things, the effects of religious reform and the tension between the Established and the Dissenting Churches on the clergymen and their congregations, and draws attention to various social issues, such as poverty, alcoholism, and domestic violence.
At the age of 36, Marian (or Mary Ann) Evans was a renowned figure in Victorian intellectual circles, having contributed numerous articles to The Westminster Review and translated into English influential theological works by Ludwig Feuerbach and Baruch Spinoza. For her first foray into fiction she chose to adopt a nom de plume, 'George Eliot'. Her reasons for so doing are complex. While it was common for women to publish fiction under their own names, 'lady novelists' had a reputation with which Evans did not care to be associated. In 1856 she had published an essay in the Westminster Review entitled Silly Novels by Lady Novelists, which expounded her feelings on the subject. Moreover, the choice of a religious topic for "one of the most famous agnostics in the country" would have seemed ill-advised. The adoption of a pen name also served to obscure Evans' somewhat dubious marital status (she was openly living with the married George Henry Lewes). It was largely due to the persuasion and influence of Lewes that the three Scenes first appeared in John Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine.
He submitted the first story, The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton, on 6 November 1856. At first it appeared anonymously, at Lewes' insistence. "I am not at liberty to reveal the veil of anonymity – even as regards social position. Be pleased, therefore, to keep the whole secret." Public and professional curiosity was not to be suppressed, however, and on 5 February 1857 the author's 'identity' was revealed to Blackwood's: "Whatever may be the success of my stories, I shall be resolute in preserving my incognito ... and accordingly I subscribe myself, best and most sympathising of editors, Yours very truly George Eliot."

For the settings of the stories, Eliot drew on her Warwickshire childhood. Chilvers Coton became Shepperton; Arbury Hall became Cheverel Manor, and its owner, Sir Roger Newdigate, Sir Christopher Cheverel. Nuneaton became Milby. Shepperton Church, described in detail in The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton, is recognisably that at Chilvers Coton. Further, the scandal attached to the curate of Chilvers Coton, whose wife was an intimate friend of the young Mary Ann Evans' mother, became the story of Amos Barton. Likewise, "Janet's Repentance" was largely based on events that took place in Nuneaton when the young Mary Anne Evans was at school, and which were recounted to her by her friend and mentor Maria Lewis. Mr Tryan is an idealised version of the evangelical curate John Edmund Jones, who died when Evans was aged twelve; the Dempsters seem to have been based on the lawyer J. W. Buchanan and his wife Nancy. Tryan's main area of concern, Paddiford Common, "hardly recognisable as a common at all", is similarly based on a real-life location, Stockingford.

Religious Context
George Eliot's intellectual journey to agnosticism had been circuitous, taking in "the easygoing Anglicanism of her family in the 1820s... the severe Calvinistic evangelicalism of her youth in the 1830s and her crisis of faith and search for a secular alternative to Christianity in the 1840s". (It should be noted that, during her evangelical phase, she was an evangelical Anglican; Maria Lewis, her mentor during this period, was anti-Nonconformist and refused to take a position as governess in a Nonconformist household. This distinction is important; during the nineteenth century it had significant implications for class and status. The Church of England enjoyed a unique position as the established church, and all the clergymen in Scenes of Clerical Life, including Tryan, are portrayed as being members of it.) By 1842 she had become agnostic, refusing to attend church with her father. Her friendship with Charles and Cara Bray, Unitarians of Coventry, and her theological studies, were probably responsible for her renunciation of Christianity. Scenes of Clerical Life is sympathetic to the Church and its ministers, however; Eliot "was too secure in her own naturalistic ethics to need to become crudely anti-religious. What she demanded was a freedom from fanaticism, dogma, intolerance and inhumanity in the preachers of the Gospel".

During the period that George Eliot depicts in Scenes of Clerical Life religion in England was undergoing significant changes.

Frontispiece of 1906 MacMillan edition of Scenes of Clerical Life drawn by Hugh Thomson
While Dissenting (Nonconformist) Churches had been established as early as the Church of England itself, the emergence of Methodism in 1739 presented particular challenges to the Established Church. Evangelicalism, at first confined to the Dissenting Churches, soon found adherents within the Church of England itself. Meanwhile, at the other end of the religious spectrum, the Oxford Movement was seeking to emphasise the Church of England's identity as a catholic and apostolic Church, reassessing its relationship to Roman Catholicism. Thus in the early 19th century Midlands that George Eliot would later depict various religious ideas can be identified: the tension between the Established and the Dissenting Churches, and the differing strands within Anglicanism itself, between the Low church, the High church and the Broad church.
Plot summary
"The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton"

The titular character is the new curate of the parish church of Shepperton, a village near Milby. A pious man, but "sadly unsuited to the practice of his profession", Barton attempts to ensure that his congregation remains firmly within the care of the Church of England. His stipend is inadequate, and he relies on the hard work of Milly, his wife, to help keep the family. Barton is new to the village and subscribes to unpopular religious ideas; not all of the congregation accept him, but he feels that it is especially important to imbue them with what he sees as orthodox Christian views.

Barton and Milly become acquainted with Countess Caroline Czerlaski. When the Countess' brother, with whom she lives, gets engaged to be married to her maid, she leaves home in protest. Barton and his wife accept the Countess into their home, much to the disapproval of the congregation, who assume her to be his mistress.

The Countess becomes a burden on the already stretched family, accepting their hospitality and contributing little herself. With Milly pregnant and ill, the children's nurse convinces the Countess to leave.

Milly dies following the premature birth of her baby (who also dies) and Barton is plunged into sadness at the loss. Barton's parishioners, who were so unsympathetic to him as their minister, support him and his family in their grief: "There were men and women standing in that churchyard who had bandied vulgar jests about their pastor, and who had lightly charged him with sin, but now, when they saw him following the coffin, pale and haggard, he was consecrated anew by his great sorrow, and they looked at him with respectful pity". Just as Barton is beginning to come to terms with Milly's death, he get more bad news: the vicar, Mr. Carpe, will be taking over at Shepperton church. Barton is given six-months notice to leave. He has no choice but to comply, but is disheartened, having at last won the sympathies of the parishioners. Barton believes that the request was unfair, knowing that the vicar's brother-in-law is in search of a new parish in which to work. However, he resigns himself to the move and at length obtains a living in a distant manufacturing town.

The story concludes twenty years later with Barton at his wife's grave with one of his daughters: Patty. In the intervening years much has changed for Barton; his children have grown up and gone their separate ways. His son Richard is particularly mentioned as having shown talent as an engineer. Patty remains with her father.

"Mr. Gilfil's Love Story"
The second work in Scenes of Clerical Life is entitled "Mr. Gilfil's Love-Story" and concerns the life of a clergyman named Maynard Gilfil. We are introduced to Mr Gilfil in his capacity as the vicar of Shepperton, 'thirty years ago' (presumably the late 1820s) but the central part of the story begins in June 1788 and concerns his youth, his experiences as chaplain at Cheverel Manor and his love for Caterina Sarti. Caterina, known to the family as 'Tina', is an Italian orphan and the ward of Sir Christopher and Lady Cheverel, who took her into their care following the death of her father. In 1788 she is companion to Lady Cheverel and a talented amateur singer.

Gilfil's love for Tina is not reciprocated; she is infatuated with Captain Anthony Wybrow, nephew and heir of Sir Christopher Cheverel. Sir Christopher intends Wybrow to marry a Miss Beatrice Assher, the daughter of a former sweetheart of his, and that Tina will marry Gilfil. Wybrow, aware of and compliant to his uncle's intentions, nonetheless continues to flirt with Tina, causing her to fall deeply in love with him. This continues until Wybrow goes to Bath to press his suit to Miss Assher. He is then invited to the Asshers' home, and afterwards returns to Cheverel Manor, bringing with him Miss Assher and her mother. Wybrow dies unexpectedly. Gilfil, finding a knife on Tina, fears that she has killed him, but the cause of death is in fact a pre-existing heart complaint. Tina runs away, and Gilfil and Sir Christopher fear that she has committed suicide. However, a former employee of Sir Christopher and Lady Cheverel returns to the manor to inform them that Tina has taken refuge with him and his wife. Gilfil seeks her out, helps her recover and marries her. It is hoped that marriage and motherhood, combined with Gilfil's love for her, which she now reciprocates, will endue her with a new zest for life. However, she dies in childbirth soon afterwards, leaving the curate to live out the rest of his life alone and die a lonely man.
  "Janet's Repentance"
Janet's Repentance is the only story in Scenes of Clerical Life set in the town of Milby itself. Following the appointment of Reverend Mr Tryan to the chapel of ease at Paddiford Common, Milby is deeply divided by religious strife. One party, headed by the lawyer Robert Dempster, vigorously supports the old curate, Mr Crewe; the other is equally biased in favour of the newcomer. Edgar Tryan is an evangelical, and his opponents consider him to be no better than a dissenter.

 Opposition is based variously in doctrinal disagreement and on a suspicion of cant and hypocrisy on the part of Mr Tryan; in Dempster's wife, Janet, however, it stems from an affection for Mr Crewe and his wife, and the feeling that it is unkind to subject them to so much stress in their declining years. She supports her husband in a malicious campaign against Mr Tryan, despite the fact that Dempster is frequently drunkenly abusive to her, which drives her to drink in turn. One night her husband turns her out of the house; she takes refuge with a neighbour, and, remembering an encounter with Mr Tryan at the sickbed of one of his flock, where she was struck by an air of suffering and compassion about him, asks he might come to see her. He encourages her in her struggle against her dependence on alcohol and her religious conversion. Shortly afterwards Robert Dempster is thrown from his gig and seriously injured.

Upon discovering what has happened, Janet, forgiving him, returns to her home and nurses him through the subsequent illness until he dies a few weeks later. Tryan continues to guide Janet toward redemption and self-sufficiency following the death of her husband. She, in turn, persuades him to move out of his inhospitable accommodation and into a house that she has inherited. It is hinted that a romantic relationship might subsequently develop between the two. His selfless devotion to his needy parishioners has taken his toll on his health, however, and he succumbs to consumption and dies young.

The theme of religion is always present in Scenes of Clerical Life, but is not always the explicit focus. "Lewes had promised Blackwood that the Scenes would show the clergy in their 'human', rather than their 'theological' aspect. In fact, Eliot found the two aspects inseparable." Both "Mr Gilfil's Love Story" and "Janet's Repentance" are more concerned with an important female character than the clergyman, notwithstanding the title of the former. "Amos Barton" focuses on a figure who singularly fails to live out the religion he professes, but becomes an image of Christ through his suffering and grief, and, through his trials rather than through his successes, at last wins the love of his flock. In "Janet's Repentance", "Tryan, dying of tuberculosis at the age of thirty-three, is even more overtly an image of Christ than Amos Barton, embodying as well as preaching the gospel of forgiveness and redemption." Mr Gilfil in his later years also practises a doctrinally indistinct but none the less generous and kindly Christian lifestyle, demonstrating his beliefs through his actions rather than through any overt exposition of faith.
Social Issues
George Eliot moves beyond religious doctrine and examines how beliefs are expressed in action, drawing attention to a number of social issues. Amos Barton, delivering incomprehensible sermons to the inhabitants of the workhouse, can hardly afford to feed his own family. In contrast, the bachelor Edgar Tryan embraces a life of poverty through choice, so that he can relate to his poorer parishioners. Janet's Repentance presents, unusually for the nineteenth century, a realist depiction of bourgeois domestic violence. "Its hallmarks are male aggression, female passivity and lack of self-esteem, and the wilful inaction of the surrounding community." (Lawson) The treatment of the heroine's alcoholism is also unusual: a "perspective on female alcoholism unmitigated by maternalism, poverty or wandering husbands [that was thought] necessary to a credibly sympathetic presentation of a "respectable" female alcoholic".
Even the quasi-Gothic melodrama of "Mr Gilfil's Love Story" raises some questions about social issues, dealing as it does with class, gender, and the aristocratic patronage of the arts. Captain Wybrow's privilege (as a male of higher status) over Caterina is exposed, as is the abuse of that privilege. Similarly, Sir Christopher's autocratic sway over his household and his estate is questioned: while his wishes for Maynard Gilfil and Caterina are ultimately fulfilled, it is at the expense of his dearer project, the inheritance.
"The Sad History of the Reverend Amos Barton"

Reverend Amos Barton – curate of the parish of Shepperton following the death of Mr Gilfil. His theology is complex; his emphasis on the authority of the Church appears to be derived from Tractarianism, while other features of his belief seem more Evangelical. Either way, he is unpopular with his parishioners, being more concerned with their spiritual lives than with their practical needs. Physically, he is of nondescript appearance: "a narrow face of no particular complexion – even the smallpox that has attacked it seems to have been of a mongrel, indefinite kind – with features of no particular shape, and an eye of no particular expression... surmounted by a slope of baldness gently rising from brow to crown."
Mrs Amelia "Milly" Barton – Amos' wife. Long-suffering, loving and patient, she represents all the virtues that Barton lacks himself. A "large, fair gentle Madonna", she works hard with mending and housework to sustain the family on their limited income.
Countess Caroline Czerlaski – a glamorous neighbour of somewhat dubious reputation. She is "a little vain, a little ambitious, a little selfish, a little shallow, and frivolous, a little given to white lies". She lives with a man who is popularly thought to be her lover, but is in fact her half-brother. Following this man's marriage (to Alice her maid) she asks the Bartons to be allowed to stay for a few weeks. This becomes months and the parishioners suspect that she is Mr Barton's mistress. She appears not to be concerned either by the damage she is inflicting on Barton's reputation, or about the increased strain she is putting on the household finances and, by extension, Milly.
Nanny – the children's nurse, fiercely protective of Milly.
Amos and Milly's children: Patty, Richard ("Dickey"), Sophy, Fred, Chubby and Walter. With the exception of the eldest two, they are not distinctively characterised.
  "Mr Gilfil's Love Story"
Maynard Gilfil – formerly the ward of Sir Christopher Cheverel, and subsequently curate of Shepperton, he is at the time the story takes place chaplain at Cheverel Manor. He is a tall, strong young man, devoted to Tina. "His healthy open face and robust limbs were after an excellent pattern for everyday wear". (By the time he appears at the beginning of "The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton" he has become "an excellent old gentleman, who smoked very long pipes and preached very short sermons".)
Caterina "Tina" Sarti – a young girl of Italian parentage, but brought up in England by the childless Sir Christopher and Lady Cheverel. Her mother and siblings died in an epidemic; her father copied music for a living until his death. Having had a commission from Lady Cheverel, he entrusted his daughter to her. She is a passionate creature, feeling joy and grief intensely. In appearance, she is small and dark, and Sir Christopher often calls her his "black-eyed monkey".

Captain Anthony Wybrow – nephew and heir of Sir Christopher, who has gone to considerable trouble and expense to ensure that the estate will pass to Wybrow, rather than his mother, Sir Christopher's sister. He is an extremely good-looking young man, compared by Eliot to Antinous, but selfish and shallow. He suffers from "palpitations". Having encouraged Tina's affections, he feels them to be a "nuisance" once he is engaged to Miss Assher, and cannot understand why the two women find it difficult to get on with each other.

Sir Christopher Cheverel – "as fine a specimen of the old English gentleman as could well have been found in those days of cocked hats and pigtails", the Baronet. He is somewhat autocratic, but good-natured and affectionate towards his family and household.
Lady Cheverel – wife of Sir Christopher, a "rather cold" woman. She has decided views about the propriety of a wife's submitting to her husband, and is somewhat disapproving of the headstrong Miss Assher as a result.
"She is nearly fifty, but her complexion is still fresh and beautiful... her proud pouting lips, and her head thrown a little backward as she walks, give an expression of hauteur which is not contradicted by the cold grey eyes."
Miss Beatrice Assher – daughter of an old flame of Sir Christopher's, she is intended by him to be Captain Wybrow's bride. A proud, beautiful woman, she feels it beneath her dignity to contend with Tina, who is considerably lower than her in terms of social status, for Captain Wybrow's affections.
"Janet's Repentance"
Reverend Edgar Tryan – the recently appointed minister at the chapel of ease at Paddiford Common. He is young, but in poor health. Theologically, he is an evangelical. He explains to Janet Dempster that he entered the Church as a result of deep grief and remorse following the death of Lucy, a young woman whom he enticed to leave her home and then abandoned.
Janet Dempster – wife of Robert Dempster. Described as a tall woman with dark hair and eyes, she has been married for fifteen years. She has turned to alcohol as an escape from her domestic problems. Initially she is strongly "anti-Tryanite", but reassesses her judgement of the clergyman after she meets him at a parishioner's sickbed.
Robert Dempster – a lawyer of Milby. He is widely acknowledged as a skilled attorney, albeit not necessarily completely honest in his dealings. He drinks to excess and, when drunk, is given to abusing his wife, both verbally and physically.
Mrs Raynor – Janet's mother. She subscribes to no particular religious doctrine, believing that she can find all the spiritual support that she needs through her own study of the Bible.
Mr and Mrs Crewe – Mr Crewe is the long-established curate of Milby. Initially somewhat ridiculed by his parishioners, who laugh amongst themselves at his brown wig and his odd speaking voice, he gains support as the anti-Tryanite campaign mobilises. Mrs Crewe is old and deaf, and a great friend of Janet Dempster's. She pretends not to notice Janet's drinking problem.
Reception and criticism
The publication of Amos Barton caused some alarm among those who – rightly or wrongly – suspected that they had been the models for the characters, few of whom are described in a flattering manner. Eliot was forced to apologise to John Gwyther, who had been the local curate in her childhood, and to whom the character of Barton himself bore more than a passing resemblance.
Initial criticism of Amos Barton was mixed, with Blackwood's close friend W. G. Hamley "dead against Amos" and Thackeray diplomatically noncomittal. However, the complete Scenes of Clerical Life was met with 'just and discerning applause', and considerable speculation as to the identity of its author. Sales were no better than satisfactory, following a first printing of 1,500 copies, but Blackwood was none the less confident of Eliot's talent. Early reviewers deemed the writer "religious, without cant or intolerance" and "strong in his [sic] knowledge of the human heart". It was praised for its realism: one contemporary review noted approvingly that "the fictitious element is securely based upon a broad groundwork of actual truth, truth as well in detail as in general". Due to its subject matter, it was widely assumed to be the work of a real-life country parson; one such even attempted to take the credit. Popular opinion in Eliot's home town attributed the work to a Mr Joseph Liggins, who attempted ineffectually to deny the rumours, and eventually accepted the undeserved celebrity.
George Eliot's "identity" was revealed in a letter to The Times, but this claim was immediately refuted in a letter from Eliot herself. In 1858 Charles Dickens wrote to Eliot to express his approval of the book, and was among the first to suggest that Scenes of Clerical Life might have been written by a woman.

I have been so strongly affected by the two first tales in the book you have had the kindness to send me, through Messrs. Blackwood, that I hope you will excuse my writing to you to express my admiration of their extraordinary merit. The exquisite truth and delicacy both of the humour and the pathos of these stories, I have never seen the like of; and they have impressed me in a manner that I should find it very difficult to describe to you. if I had the impertinence to try. In addressing these few words of thankfulness to the creator of the Sad Fortunes of the Rev. Amos Barton, and the sad love-story of Mr. Gilfil, I am (I presume) bound to adopt the name that it pleases that excellent writer to assume. I can suggest no better one: but I should have been strongly disposed, if I had been left to my own devices, to address the said writer as a woman. I have observed what seemed to me such womanly touches in those moving fictions, that the assurance on the title-page is insufficient to satisfy me even now. If they originated with no woman, I believe that no man ever before had the art of making himself mentally so like a woman since the world began.

More recently, Scenes of Clerical Life has been interpreted mainly in relation to Eliot's later works. It has been claimed that "in Scenes of Clerical Life, her style and manner as a novelist were still in the making". Ewen detects "an obvious awkwardness in the handling of the materials of the Scenes and a tendency... to moralize", but affirms that "these stories are germinal for the George Eliot to come". "The emergent novelist is glimpsed in the way in which the three scenes interpenetrate to establish a densely textured, cumulative study of a particular provincial location, its beliefs and customs and way of life."
Subsequent releases and interpretations
Scenes of Clerical Life has been reprinted in book form several times since 1858, including five editions within Eliot's lifetime. The three stories were released separately by Hesperus Press over the years 2003 to 2007. A silent film based on "Mr. Gilfil's Love Story" was released in 1920, starring R. Henderson Bland as Maynard Gilfil and Mary Odette as Caterina.

In 1898 the work Newdigate-Newdegate Cheverels was issued by Lady Newdigate-Newdegate. In this book, the letters written by lady Hester Margaretta Mundy Newdigate to her husband Sir Roger Newdigate are compiled and commented that had inspired Eliot's Scenes of Clerical Life.

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Thomas Hughes: "Tom Brown's Schooldays"
Hughes Thomas

Thomas Hughes, (born Oct. 20, 1822, Uffington, Berkshire, Eng.—died March 22, 1896, Brighton, Sussex), British jurist, reformer, and novelist best known for Tom Brown’s School Days.


Thomas Hughes
  Hughes attended Rugby School from 1834 to 1842. His love for the great Rugby headmaster Thomas Arnold and for games and boyish high spirits are admirably captured in the novel Tom Brown’s School Days (1857). The book’s success—it ran into nearly 50 editions by 1890—helped create an enduring image of the public-school product and popularize the doctrine of “muscular Christianity.”

From 1842 to 1845 Hughes had attended Oriel College, Oxford, and Tom Brown at Oxford (1861), a less-successful sequel, gives a picture of life there at that time. He then studied law and was called to the bar in 1848. His admiration for the religious reformer Frederick Denison Maurice led him to join the Christian Socialists and, in 1854, to become a founder member of the Working Men’s College, of which he was principal from 1872 to 1883.

His simple, earnest approach to religion and his robust patriotism show plainly in his tracts A Layman’s Faith (1868) and The Manliness of Christ (1879). A Liberal member of Parliament from 1865 to 1874, he became queen’s counsel in 1869 and a county court judge in 1882.

In 1870 he visited the United States, and in 1879 he made an unsuccessful and financially draining attempt to found a cooperative settlement in Rugby, Tenn.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Thomas Hughes: "Tom Brown's Schooldays"

Tom Brown's School Days (sometimes written Schooldays) is an 1857 novel by Thomas Hughes. The story is set at Rugby School, a public school for boys, in the 1830s; Hughes attended Rugby School from 1834 to 1842. The novel has been the source for several film and television adaptions.

The novel was originally published as being "by an Old Boy of Rugby", and much of it is based on the author's experiences. Tom Brown is largely based on the author's brother, George Hughes; and George Arthur, another of the book's main characters, is generally believed to be based on Arthur Penrhyn Stanley. The fictional Tom's life also resembles the author's in that the culminating event of his school career was a cricket match.

Tom Brown's School Days was tremendously influential on the genre of British school novels, which began in the 19th century, and led to Billy Bunter's Greyfriars School, Mr Chips' Brookfield, St. Trinian's, and Hogwarts. It is one of the few still in print from its time. A sequel, Tom Brown at Oxford, was published in 1861 but is not as well known.

Tom's principal enemy at Rugby is the bully Flashman. The 20th-century writer George MacDonald Fraser featured the grown-up Flashman in a series of successful historical novels.

The name "Flashman" is sometimes applied to people perceived to be bullies who come from privileged backgrounds.

Plot summary
Tom Brown is energetic, stubborn, kind-hearted, and athletic more than intellectual. He acts according to his feelings and the unwritten rules of the boys around him more than adults' rules. The early chapters of the novel deal with his childhood at his home in the Vale of White Horse (including a nostalgic picture of a village feast). Much of the scene setting in the first chapter is deeply revealing of Victorian England's attitudes towards society and class, and contains a comparison of so-called Saxon and Norman influences on England. This part of the book, when young Tom wanders the valleys freely on his pony, serves as a sort of Eden with which to contrast the later hellish experiences in his first years at school.

His first school year is at a local school. His second year starts at a private school, but due to an epidemic of fever in the area, all the school's boys are sent home, and Tom is transferred mid-term to Rugby School, where he makes acquaintance with the adults and boys who live at the school and in its environs.

On his arrival, the eleven-year-old Tom Brown is looked after by a more experienced classmate, Harry "Scud" East. Soon after, Tom and East become the targets of a bully named Flashman. The intensity of the bullying increases, and, after refusing to hand over a sweepstake ticket for the favourite in a horse race, Tom is deliberately burned in front of a fire. 

Tom and East eventually defeat Flashman with the help of a kind (though comical) older boy, Diggs. In their triumph they become unruly.

In the second half of the book, Dr. Thomas Arnold, the historical headmaster of the school at the time, gives Tom the care of George Arthur, a frail, pious, academically brilliant, gauche, and sensitive new boy. A fight that Tom gets into to protect Arthur, and Arthur's nearly dying of fever, are described in loving detail. Tom and Arthur help each other and their friends develop into young gentlemen who say their nightly prayers, do not cheat on homework, and play in a cricket match. An epilogue shows Tom's return to Rugby and its chapel when he hears of Arnold's death.


Tom Brown
Harry "Scud" East
Dr Thomas Arnold
George Arthur

Major themes
A main element of the novel is Rugby with its traditions and with the reforms instituted by Dr Arnold. Arnold is seldom on stage, but is shown as the perfect teacher and counsellor and as managing everything behind the scenes. In particular, he is the one who "chums" Arthur with Tom. This helps them both become men.

The central theme of the novel is the development of boys. The symmetrical way in which Tom and Arthur supply each other's deficiencies shows that Hughes believed in the importance of physical development, boldness, fighting spirit, and sociability (Tom's contribution) as well as Christian morality and idealism (Arthur's).

The novel is essentially didactic, and was not primarily written by its author as an entertainment. As Hughes said:

Several persons, for whose judgment I have the highest respect, while saying very kind things about this book, have added, that the great fault of it is 'too much preaching'; but they hope I shall amend in this matter should I ever write again. Now this I most distinctly decline to do. Why, my whole object in writing at all was to get the chance of preaching! When a man comes to my time of life and has his bread to make, and very little time to spare, is it likely that he will spend almost the whole of his yearly vacation in writing a story just to amuse people? I think not. At any rate, I wouldn't do so myself.

—Thomas Hughes, Preface to the sixth edition

Although there were as many as ninety stories set in British boarding schools published between Sarah Fielding's The Governess, or The Little Female Academy in 1749 and 1857, Tom Brown's School Days was responsible for bringing the school story genre to much wider attention. Subsequent works directly inspired by the novel include J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, whose first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, has many direct parallels in structure and theme to Tom Brown's School Days.

The book contains an account of a game of rugby football, the variant of football played at Rugby School (with many differences from the modern forms). The book's popularity helped to spread the popularity of this sport beyond the school.

In 1899, an abridged version of the book (omitting chapter 9 of part 1, and chapters 5 and 7 of part 2) was translated into Japanese, and quickly became a popular English language textbook. A further Japanese translation by Tsurumatsu Okamoto and Tomomasa Murayama appeared in 1903, which also omitted the scene at the cricket match, ostensibly owing to the translator's ignorance of the rules of the game.

In the preface to this version, the translators praised the English education system, citing the example of the friendship between Tom and Dr Arnold as an example of how to raise a great nation. Another partial translation, consisting only of part 1 of the book, was released in 1912 by schoolteacher Nagao Tachibana. A fourth translation, also abridged, by Sada Tokinoya arrived in 1925. Finally, a complete translation was released in 1947 that eventually ran to ten separate editions.

References in other works
Tomkinson's Schooldays, the pilot episode for the TV series Ripping Yarns, is a parody of the novel.
"The Tom Brown Question" in P. G. Wodehouse's Tales of St. Austin's (1903) has a schoolboy expressing the opinion that the second part, featuring Arthur, was written by an improving committee and not by the vigorous hand of Thomas Hughes. The argument is well developed.
Terry Pratchett has confirmed that the section of his novel Pyramids set at the Assassin's Guild School is a parody of Tom Brown's School Days.
The character of Flashman was adopted by the British writer George MacDonald Fraser as the narrator and hero (or anti-hero) of his popular series of "Flashman" historical novels. In the Flashman novel Flashman in the Great Game, the main character reads Tom Brown's School Days (achieving a remarkable degree of abstraction as Flashman, a fictional character, is portrayed reading a real book about himself). The novel's real popularity causes the fictional Flashman some fictional social troubles. The Flashman novels also include some other characters from the novel, for example: George Speedicut and Tom Brown himself (in the book Flashman's Lady). Flashman also encounters the character of "Scud" East twice, first in Flashman at the Charge, when both he and East are prisoners of war during the Crimean War, and again in Flashman in the Great Game at the Siege of Cawnpore during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. East is mortally wounded during the massacre and dies in Flashman's arms.

In a second-order reference, one of Sandy Mitchell's Warhammer 40000 novels about Commissar Ciaphas Cain, a character largely based on Flashman, includes Commissar Tomas Beije, an old schoolmate of Cain, as a secondary character. Beije displays much of Brown's piety but, unlike Brown, is also petty, jealous, bitter and distrustful.

  References to actual geography
The geography of Rugby has changed greatly since the period in which the book was set. Rugby has expanded enormously, industrialising in the late 19th century and later. For example, most of the named pools along the River Avon that the boys used for authorised swimming were obliterated when the British Thomson-Houston factory was built and the Avon through the new industrial area was straightened and deepened to prevent floods. The countryside where Tom Brown's adventures in the Avon river valley happened, is now an industrial area and terrace housing on the north slope of Rugby Hill and the flat land at its foot.

In the book, Tom's first year at the school mentions no transport to Rugby except stagecoach, but the end part of Tom's last year mentions "the train". The London and Birmingham Railway was built through Rugby while he was at the school but none of his adventures mention the railway or its working, or the large rowdy noisy navvy-camp which would have been in the area while the railway was being built.

County boundaries have been changed so that most of the Vale of White Horse is now in Oxfordshire, not Berkshire as the author says several times.

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Dinah Mulock: "John Halifax, Gentleman"
Mulock Dinah

Dinah Maria Craik (born Dinah Maria Mulock, also often credited as Miss Mulock or Mrs. Craik) (20 April 1826 – 12 October 1887) was an English novelist and poet.


Dinah Maria Craik
Mulock was born at Stoke-on-Trent to Dinah and Thomas Mulock and raised in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, where her father was then minister of a small congregation. Her childhood and early youth were much affected by his unsettled fortunes, but she obtained a good education from various quarters and felt called to be a writer.

She came to London about 1846, much at the same time as two friends whose assistance was afterwards of the greatest service to her, Alexander Macmillan and Charles Edward Mudie. Introduced by Camilla Toulmin to the acquaintance of Westland Marston, she rapidly made friends in London, and found great encouragement for the stories for the young to which she at first confined herself, of which Cola Monti (1849) was the best known. In the same year she produced her first three-volume novel, The Ogilvies, which obtained a great success. It was followed in 1850 by Olive, perhaps the most imaginative of her fictions. The Head of the Family (1851) and Agatha's Husband (1853), in which the author used with great effect her recollections of East Dorset, were perhaps better constructed and more effective as novels, but had hardly the same charm. The delightful fairy story Alice Learmont was published in 1852, and numerous short stories contributed to periodicals, some displaying great imaginative power, were published in 1853 under the title of Avillion and other Tales. A similar collection, of inferior merit, appeared in 1857 under the title of Nothing New.

Thoroughly established in public favour as a successful author, Miss Mulock took a cottage at Wildwood, North End, Hampstead, and became the ornament of a very extensive social circle. Her personal attractions were at this period of her life considerable, and her simple cordiality, staunch friendliness, and thorough goodness of heart perfected the fascination. In 1857, appeared the work by which she will be principally remembered, John Halifax, Gentleman, a very noble presentation of the highest ideal of English middle-class life, which after nearly forty years still stands boldly out from the works of the female writers of the period, George Eliot's excepted. In writing John Halifax, however, Miss Mulock had practically delivered her message, and her next important work, A Life for a Life (1859), though a very good novel more highly remunerated, and perhaps at the time more widely read, than John Halifax was far from possessing the latter's enduring charm. Mistress and Maid (1863), which originally appeared in Good Words, was inferior in every respect ; and, though the lapse was partly retrieved in Christian's Mistake (1865), her subsequent novels were of no great account.
The genuine passion which had upborne her early works of fiction had not unnaturally faded out of middle life, and had as naturally been replaced by an excess of the didactic element. This the author seemed to feel herself, for several of her later publications were undisguisedly didactic essays, of which A Woman's Thoughts about Women and Sermons out of Church obtained most notice. Another collection, titled The Unkind Word and Other Stories, included a scathing criticism of Benjamin Heath Malkin for overworking his son Thomas, a child prodigy who died at seven.
In her later period, however, she returned to the fanciful tale which had so frequently employed her youth, and achieved a great success with The Little Lame Prince (1874), a charming story for the young. She had published poems in 1852, and in 1881 brought her pieces together under the title of Poems of Thirty Years, New and Old. They are a woman's poems, tender, domestic, and sometimes enthusiastic, always genuine song, and the product of real feeling; some such as Philip my King, verses addressed to her godson, Philip Bourke Marston, and Douglas, Douglas, tender and true achieved a wide popularity.
Dinah Mulock: "John Halifax, Gentleman"

She married George Lillie Craik a partner with Alexander Macmillan in the publishing house of Macmillan & Company, and nephew of George Lillie Craik, in 1864. They adopted a foundling baby girl, Dorothy, in 1869.

At Shortlands, near Bromley, Kent, while in a period of preparation for Dorothy's wedding, she died of heart failure on 12 October 1887, aged 61. Her last words were reported to have been: "Oh, if I could live four weeks longer! but no matter, no matter!" Her final book, An Unknown Country, was published by Macmillan in 1887, the year of her death. Dorothy married Alexander Pilkington in 1887 but they divorced in 1911 and she went on to marry Captain Richards of Macmine Castle. She and Alexander had just one son John Mulock Pilkington. John married Freda Roskelly and they had a son and daughter

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Alfred de Musset (Musset Alfred), French poet, d. (b. 1810)

Alfred de Musset
see also: Alfred de Musset
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Pontoppidan Henrik

Henrik Pontoppidan, (born July 24, 1857, Fredericia, Denmark—died August 21, 1943, Ordrup, near Copenhagen), Realist writer who shared with Karl Gjellerup the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1917 for “his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark.” Pontoppidan’s novels and short stories—informed with a desire for social progress but despairing, later in his life, of its realization—present an unusually comprehensive picture of his country and his epoch.


Hendrik von Pontoppidan
  The son of a clergyman, Pontoppidan partly revolted against his environment by beginning studies in engineering in Copenhagen in 1873. In 1879 he broke off his studies and became for several years a teacher. His first collection of stories, Stækkede Vinger (“Clipped Wings”), was published in 1881, and thereafter he supported himself by writing, until 1900 partly as a journalist with various Copenhagen papers.

Pontoppidan’s output—mainly novels and short stories written in an emotionally detached, epic style—stretches over half a century and covers most aspects of Danish life. It is usually characterized by a blend of social criticism and aristocratic disillusionment and is expressive of a pessimistic irony.

His first books were about country-town life. Landsbybilleder (1883; “Village Pictures”), Fra Hytterne (1887; “From the Cottages”), and Skyer (1890; “Clouds”) are all characterized by social indignation, though also by ironic appreciation of the complacency and passivity of country people.
The long novel Det Forjættede Land, 3 vol. (1891–95; The Promised Land), describes the religious controversies in country districts. In the 1890s Pontoppidan wrote short novels on psychological, aesthetic, and moral problems—for example, Nattevagt (1894; “Night Watch”), Den Gamle Adam (1895; “The Old Adam”), and Højsang (1896; “Song of Songs”). These were followed by a major work, the novel Lykke-Per (1898–1904; Lucky Per, originally published in eight volumes), in which the chief character bears some resemblance to Pontoppidan himself.

He is a clergyman’s son who rebels against the puritanical atmosphere of his home and seeks his fortune in the capital as an engineer. The novel’s theme is the power of environment, and national tendencies toward daydreaming and fear of reality are condemned.

Pontoppidan’s great novel De dødes rige, 5 vol. (1912–16; “The Realm of the Dead”), shows his dissatisfaction with political developments after the liberal victory of 1901 and with the barrenness of the new era. His final novel, Mands Himmerig (1927; “Man’s Heaven”), describes neutral Denmark during World War I and attacks carefree materialism. His last important work was the four volumes of memoirs that he published between 1933 and 1940 and that appeared in a collected and abridged version, entitled Undervejs til mig selv (1943; “On the Way to Myself”).

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Adalbert Stifter: "Nachsommer"

Der Nachsommer (English: Indian Summer; subtitled A Tale; 1857) is a novel in three volumes by Stifter Adalbert. A 19th century Bildungsroman that describes the journey of an idealistic, sheltered young man from childhood to maturity, it combines aspects of Biedermeier thought with elements of German humanism to create what is generally considered to be a great work of German bourgeois realism.

Plot summary
This first-person narrative describes the main character Heinrich's maturation in the regimented household of his father and his subsequent encounter and involvement with the owner of the Rosenhaus, the home, and part of the estate, of a wise, but mysterious older man who becomes a mentor to Heinrich.

Heinrich accepts his regimented upbringing without criticism. His father is a merchant who has planned out Heinrich's early education at home in the minutest detail. When it is time for Heinrich to head out on his own, his father allows his son to choose his own path.

We are told that his father is a man of great judgement, as is his mother a model of the matronly virtues. Heinrich's narration is understated. His retrospective examination of his personal development is presented with what seems to be humility, objectivity and emotional distance.

Heinrich becomes a gentleman natural scientist exploring Alpine mountains and foothills. He is interested in the geology, flora and fauna of the region. On one of his hiking excursions, Heinrich attempts to avoid what he believes will be a dousing by an approaching thunderstorm. Going off the main highway, he approaches the almost fairy-tale like residence of the man of mystery, Freiherr von Risach. The Rosenhaus is the center of Risach's carefully ordered world devoted to art and gardening, among other things.

His mentor's life-choices and interests, and the model of his day to day, season to season, orderly life in the Rosenhaus, expand Heinrich's understanding of the way to live his own life. Heinrich's repeated visits to the Rosenhaus influence his future life choices, including his eventual marriage.

According to the English translator of Der Nachsommer, Wendell Frye, the novel "presents an ideal world, in contrast to what Adalbert Stifter saw to be a degenerating period." He goes on to explain that in this novel "the reader finds one of the most complete statements of the 'Humanitätsideal' [ideal of humanity]: the young geologist becomes totally immersed in traditional values and culture, thereby becoming a more complete and fulfilled human being."

James Sheehan writes, "Heinrich's Bildung is a gradual, indirect process; he does not learn by confronting crises or dramatic events (of which Stifter's plot is totally devoid), nor does he gain much implicit instruction from Risach. Instead, the hero is slowly absorbed into Rosenhaus and the social and moral order it represents. Eventually, he sees that, just as Rosenhaus's beauty comes from its integration into its natural setting, so Risach's moral strength comes from his harmonious relationship to the external world. In art and in life, one must seek to avoid the dislocations that can be caused by unbridled passions and excessive spontaneity."

As Christine Oertel Sjögren notes, in her discussion of the importance of light to the novel, Der Nachsommer is not one-dimensional. In fact, "while Heinrich's attainment of full and perfect manhood is the goal of the action, death, the extreme form of solitude, is also woven into the world of Der Nachsommer, for awareness of death is essential to maturity. The malignant forces in nature and the insignificance of man in the face of the universe are problems not ignored in the novel. The threat of annihilation has here, however, no final dominion over the man with a capacity for love."

Milan Kundera discusses Der Nachsommer in his non-fiction book The Curtain. He describes it thus: "I wonder who first discovered the existential significance of bureaucracy.

Probably Adalbert Stifter." and goes on to describe the section of the novel where Risach explains his office of a civil servant that he had to leave. "His break with bureaucracy is one of the memorable breaks of mankind from the modern world. A break both radical and peaceable, as befits the idyllic atmosphere of that strange novel from the Biedermeier period."
James Sheehan also writes that "Stifter's style seems to replicate the moral lesson he wants his hero—and his readers—to learn; he writes without passion or spontaneity, self-consciously submitting to the material he describes, depicting in painstaking detail the cohesive universe of which he wishes us to be a part."

The excessive detail, for which Stifter's contemporary Christian Friedrich Hebbel famously derided the novel, is, according to Christine Oertel Sjögren, "precisely a source of fascination for modern scholars, who seize upon the number of objects as the distinguishing characteristic of this novel and accord it high esteem because of the very significance of the 'things' in it.

Far from being extraneous elements, as Hebbel regarded them, the art and nature objects provide a rich setting of beauty and a mirror-background to the human story in the foreground."

On Friedrich Nietzsche's appreciation for the book, Burkhard Meyer-Sickendiek notes that "it is only Stifter's novel that Nietzsche will mention again in one breath with Goethe: 'I have,' Nietzsche writes in October 1888, 'absorbed Adalbert Stifter's Der Nachsommer with deep affection: in fact, it is the only German book after Goethe that has any magic for me.'"

The manuscript of the work was acquired by the Bavarian State Library in 1964.

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Title page of first edition
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Sudermann Hermann

Hermann Sudermann, (born Sept. 30, 1857, Matziken, East Prussia [now in Lithuania]—died Nov. 21, 1928, Berlin, Ger.), one of the leading writers of the German naturalist movement.


Hermann Sudermann
  Though first apprenticed to a chemist, Sudermann was eventually able to attend the University of Königsberg.

After a short period as a tutor in Berlin, he worked as a journalist, then turned to writing novels. Frau Sorge (1887; Dame Care), dealing with the growing up of a sensitive youth, and Der Katzensteg (1889; Regina) are the best known of his early novels. He won renown, however, with his plays. Die Ehre (Eng. trans., What Money Cannot Buy), first performed in Berlin on Nov. 27, 1889, was a milestone in the naturalist movement, although to later critics it seemed a rather trite and slick treatment of class conflicts in Berlin. Heimat (performed 1893; Eng. trans., Magda) carried his fame throughout the world. It portrays the conflicts of Magda, a celebrated opera singer who returns to confront her past in the narrow, provincial hometown that she left in disgrace.

Sudermann’s subsequent problem plays, notably Glück im Winkel (1895; The Vale of Content), Morituri (1896), Es lebe das Leben! (1902; The Joy of Living), and Der gute Ruf (1913; A Good Reputation), were almost all successful on the stage of his time, but, because his work is often sentimental and his criticism of contemporary society—a recurrent motif—is generally considered to be superficial, his plays are seldom staged today.

Among Sudermann’s other works, the novel Das hohe Lied (1908; The Song of Songs), a sympathetic study of the downward progress of a seduced girl, and Litauische Geschichten (1917; The Excursion to Tilsit), a collection of stories dealing with the simple villagers of his native region, are notable. Das Bilderbuch meiner Jugend (1922; The Book of My Youth) is a vivid account of his early years in East Prussia.

Encyclopædia Britannica

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Thackeray: "The Virginians"

The Virginians: A Tale of the Last Century (1857-59) is a historical novel by Thackeray William Makepeace which forms a sequel to his Henry Esmond and is also loosely linked to Pendennis.

Plot summary
It tells the story of Henry Esmond's twin grandsons, George and Henry Warrington. Henry's romantic entanglements with an older woman lead up to his taking a commission in the British army and fighting under the command of General Wolfe at the capture of Quebec. On the outbreak of the American War of Independence he takes the revolutionary side. George, who is also a British officer, thereupon resigns his commission rather than take up arms against his brother.

Critical reception
Critical reception of the book was on the whole favourable, and the novel has continued to be considered one of the standard works of 19th century fiction, though many critics have held that the novel's plotting was not of the tightest.

Anthony Trollope's opinion was typical:

There is not a page of it vacant or dull. But he who takes it up to read as a whole, will find that it is the work of a desultory writer, to whom it is not infrequently difficult to remember the incidents of his own narrative.

Publication history
The Virginians was issued by Thackeray's publishers, Bradbury and Evans, in 24 monthly parts, the first one appearing on November 1, 1857. It was illustrated by the author himself. The print-run of 20,000 for the first number proved to be too optimistic, and was progressively reduced to 13,000 for the last seven. Thackeray was originally to have been paid £300 per number, but the disappointing sales resulted in this being reduced to £250.

First edition title page
The Virginians was first published in book form in 1858-59 by Bradbury and Evans in two volumes, and almost simultaneously by the Leipzig firm of Bernhard Tauchnitz in four. Notable later reprints include its appearance as volume 15 of The Oxford Thackeray in 1908 with an introduction by George Saintsbury, and the 1911 Everyman's Library edition in two volumes.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

see also: William Makepeace Thackeray
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Anthony Trollope: "Barchester Towers"

Barchester Towers, published in 1857, is the second novel in Anthony Trollope's (Trollope Anthony) series known as the "Chronicles of Barsetshire".

Among other things it satirises the then raging antipathy in the Church of England between High Church and Evangelical adherents. Trollope began writing this book in 1855. He wrote constantly, and made himself a writing-desk so he could continue writing while travelling by train. "Pray know that when a man begins writing a book he never gives over," he wrote in a letter during this period. "The evil with which he is beset is as inveterate as drinking – as exciting as gambling." And, years later in his autobiography, he observed "In the writing of Barchester Towers I took great delight. The bishop and Mrs. Proudie were very real to me, as were also the troubles of the archdeacon and the loves of Mr. Slope." But when he submitted his finished work, his publisher, William Longman, initially turned it down, finding much of it to be full of "vulgarity and exaggeration". More recent critics offer a more sanguine opinion. "Barchester Towers is many readers' favourite Trollope", wrote The Guardian, which included it in its list of "1000 novels everyone must read".
Plot summary
Barchester Towers concerns the leading clergy of the cathedral city of Barchester. The much loved bishop having died, all expectations are that his son, Archdeacon Grantly, will succeed him. Instead, owing to the passage of the power of patronage to a new Prime Minister, a newcomer, the far more Evangelical Bishop Proudie, gains the see. His wife, Mrs Proudie, exercises an undue influence over the new bishop, making herself as well as the bishop unpopular with most of the clergy of the diocese. Her interference to veto the reappointment of the universally popular Mr Septimus Harding (protagonist of Trollope's earlier novel, The Warden) as warden of Hiram's Hospital is not well received, even though she gives the position to a needy clergyman, Mr Quiverful, with 14 children to support.

Even less popular than Mrs Proudie is the bishop's newly appointed chaplain, the hypocritical and sycophantic Mr Obadiah Slope, who decides it would be expedient to marry Harding's wealthy widowed daughter, Eleanor Bold, and hopes to win her favour by interfering in the controversy over the wardenship. The Bishop, or rather Mr Slope under the orders of Mrs Proudie, also orders the return of the prebendary Dr Vesey Stanhope from Italy. Dr Stanhope has been there, recovering from a sore throat, for 12 years and has spent his time catching butterflies. With him to the Cathedral Close come his wife and his three adult children.

The younger of Dr Stanhope's two daughters causes consternation in the Palace and threatens the plans of Mr Slope: Signora Madeline Vesey Neroni is a crippled serial flirt with a young daughter and a mysterious Italian husband whom she has left.
Mrs Proudie is appalled by her and considers her an unsafe influence on her daughters, her servants and Mr Slope. Mr Slope is drawn like a moth to a flame and cannot keep away. Dr Stanhope's son Bertie is skilled at spending money but not at making it: his two sisters think marriage to rich Eleanor Bold will provide financial security for him.

Summoned by Archdeacon Grantly to assist in the war against the Proudies and Mr Slope is the brilliant Reverend Francis Arabin. Mr Arabin is a considerable scholar, Fellow of Lazarus College at Oxford, who nearly followed his mentor John Henry Newman into the Roman Catholic Church. A massive misunderstanding occurs between Eleanor and her father, brother-in-law, sister and Mr Arabin: they all believe she intends to marry the oily chaplain Mr Slope. Mr Arabin is attracted to Eleanor but the efforts of Grantly and his wife to stop her marrying Slope also interfere with any relationship that might develop. At the Ullathorne garden party of the Thornes, matters come to a head. Mr Slope proposes to Mrs Bold and is slapped for his presumption; Bertie goes through the motions of a proposal to Eleanor and is refused with good grace, and the Signora has a chat with Mr Arabin. Mr Slope's double-dealings are now revealed and he is dismissed by Mrs Proudie and the Signora. The Signora drops a delicate word in several ears and with the removal of their misunderstanding Mr Arabin and Eleanor become engaged. The old Dean of the Cathedral having died, Mr Slope campaigns to become Dean, but Mr Harding is offered the preferment, with a beautiful house in the Close and fifteen acres of garden. However, Mr Harding considers himself unsuitable and, with the help of the archdeacon, arranges that Mr Arabin be made Dean.

With the Stanhopes' return to Italy, life in the Cathedral Close returns to its previous quiet and settled ways and Mr Harding continues his life of gentleness and music.

Characters of the novel
The High Church faction

Archdeacon Grantly, Dr Theophilus Grantly, is the son of the former Bishop of Barchester, Dr Grantly senior, who dies at the start of the novel. Married to Susan Harding, he has three sons (Charles James, Henry, and Samuel) and two daughters (Florinda and Griselda) and lives at Plumstead Episcopi. His sister-in-law is Mrs Eleanor Bold, née Harding.
Mrs Susan Grantly, Mr Harding's elder daughter and the Archdeacon's wife.
Mr Septimus Harding is the meek, elderly precentor of Barchester and Rector of the church of St. Cuthbert's near the Cathedral Close. He was formerly Warden of Hiram's Hospital, but resigned in The Warden.
Mr Francis Arabin, vicar of St Ewold, Fellow of Lazarus College and former professor of poetry at Oxford University. He is a former follower of John Henry Newman and adheres to the High Church faction of the Anglican Church. Arabin is sought out by Dr Grantly as an ally against the evangelical faction of Bishop Proudie, his wife and chaplain Obadiah Slope.
Dr Gwynne, Master of Lazarus College, another ally.

The Low Church faction

Bishop Proudie, a henpecked, weak-willed bishop who is constantly influenced by his wife Mrs Proudie and his chaplain Obadiah Slope concerning the matters of the see.
Mrs Olivia Proudie, his wife. A proud, vulgar, domineering wife, who promotes evangelical causes such as Sunday schools, and is adamant in eliminating high-church rituals.
Mr Obadiah Slope, a wheedling oily chaplain who has much influence over Bishop Proudie. Midway in the novel Slope decides that he will marry Mrs Eleanor Bold (née Harding), and sets about courting her. Formerly Mrs Proudie's ally, he comes into conflict with Mrs Proudie over the wardenship of Hiram's Hospital and she regards him as a traitor. The narrator speculates that he is a lineal descendant of Doctor Slop from the novel Tristram Shandy.
Mrs. Proudie speaking to Archdeacon Grantley at their first meeting.
Mrs Eleanor Bold, widow of John Bold with an infant son. She is Mr Septimus Harding's younger daughter. She has three potential suitors in Barchester Towers: Mr Obadiah Slope, Mr Bertie Stanhope and Mr Francis Arabin.
Dr Vesey Stanhope is the rector of Crabtree Canonicorum and of Stogpingum, both in the diocese of Barchester and a Prebendary of Barchester Cathedral. He and his family lived for twelve years in Italy before being recalled by Bishop Proudie on Obadiah Slope's advice. He has two daughters, Charlotte and Madeline, and a son, Bertie (Ethelbert).
Signora Madeline Vesey Neroni née Madeline Stanhope is the beautiful younger daughter of Dr Vesey Stanhope. Lamed by her abusive Italian husband, she is a cripple who needs to be carried around the house on a sofa, although it does not stop her constantly flirting with all men. She has a young daughter.
Ethelbert "Bertie" Stanhope is the only son of Dr Vesey Stanhope. An idling, carefree man who never settles down in anything he does, although he is a gifted artist, and who borrows and spends a great deal and earns nothing. His sister Charlotte advises him to woo the rich and beautiful widow Eleanor Bold.
Charlotte Stanhope is the elder daughter of Dr Vesey Stanhope. She is the manager of the family and a good friend of Eleanor Bold until Eleanor realises Charlotte is the primary instigator of her brother wooing her.
Mr Quiverful, a poor clergyman with 14 children who becomes the new Warden of Hiram's Hospital.
Mrs Letty Quiverful, his wife.
Wilfred Thorne, the squire of St Ewold's. A bachelor of about fifty who comes under the charms of Signora Neroni.
Miss Monica Thorne, his spinster sister of about sixty, who is an extreme traditionalist. She throws a party at their residence for the notables of Barsetshire.

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