Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 
 

TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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1800 - 1899
 
 
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK-1860 Part I NEXT-1860 Part III    
 
 
     
1860 - 1869
YEAR BY YEAR:
1860-1869
History at a Glance
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1860 Part I
Treaty of Turin
First Taranaki War
Convention of Peking
Secession of South Carolina
Poincare Raymond
The Church Union
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1860 Part II
Barrie James Matthew
Boucicault Dion
Dion Boucicault: "The Colleen Bawn"
Collins Wilkie
Wilkie Collins: "The Woman in White"
Wilkie Collins 
"The Moonstone"
"The Woman in White"
George Eliot: "The Mill on the Floss"
Di Giacoma Salvatore
Labiche Eugene-Marin
Multatuli
Multatuli: "Max Havelaar"
Alexander Ostrovski: "The Storm"
Chekhov Anton
Anton Chekhov
"Uncle Vanya"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1860 Part III
Degas: "Spartan Boys and Girls Exercising"
Hunt: "Finding of the Saviour in the Temple"
Manet: "Spanish Guitar Player"
Ensor James
James Ensor
Mucha Alfons
Alfons Mucha
Levitan Isaak
Isaac Levitan
Steer Philip Wilson
Philip Wilson Steer
Mahler Gustav
Mahler - Das Lied von der Erde
Gustav Mahler
Paderewski Ignace
Paderewski - Minuet
Ignace Paderewski
Suppe Franz
Franz von Suppe - Das Pensionat
Franz von Suppe
Wolf Hugo
Hugo Wolf - "Kennst du das Land"
Hugo Wolf
MacDowell Edward
MacDowell - Piano Sonata No. 1 "Tragica"
Edward MacDowell
Albeniz Isaac
Albeniz - Espana
Isaac Albeniz
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1860 Part IV
Cesium
Rubidium
Fechner Gustav Theodor
Lenoir Etienne
Walton Frederick
Linoleum
Across the Continent
Burke Robert O'Hara
Wills William John
Stuart John McDouall
Grant James Augustus
"The Cornhill Magazine"
"The Catholic Times"
Heenan John Camel
Sayers Tom
The Open Championship
Park William
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1861 Part I
Kansas
Confederate States of America
Davis Jefferson
First inauguration of Abraham Lincoln
American Civil War
First Battle of Bull Run
Battle of Hatteras
The American Civil War, 1861
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1861 Part II
Siege of Gaeta
Emancipation Manifesto
Abduaziz
Louis I
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1861 Part III
Dal Vladimir
Steiner Rudolf
Whitehead Alfred North
Charles Dickens: "Great Expectations"
Dostoevsky: "The House of the Dead"
George Eliot: "Silas Marner"
Oliver Wendell Holmes: "Elsie Venner"
Tagore Rabindranath
Charles Reade: "The Cloister and the Hearth"
Wood Ellen
Mrs. Henry Wood: "East Lynne"
Spielhagen Friedrich
Friedrich Spielhagen: "Problematische Naturen"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1861 Part IV
Garnier Charles
Anquetin Louis
Louis Anquetin
Godward John William
John William Godward
Bourdelle Antoine
Antoine Bourdelle
Korovin Konstantin
Konstantin Korovin
Maillol Aristide
Aristide Maillol
Melba Nellie
Royal Academy of Music, London
The Paris version "Tannhauser"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1861 Part V
Archaeopteryx
Thallium (Tl)
Hopkins Frederick Gowland
Mort Thomas Sutcliffe
Nansen Fridtjof
Fermentation theory
Baker Samuel
Baker Florence
The Bakers and the Nile
Beeton Isabella
Harden Maximilian
First horse-drawn trams in London
Order of the Star of India
Otis Elisha Graves
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1862 Part I
Battle of Fort Henry
Second Battle of Bull Run
BATTLE OF ANTIETAM
Battle of Fredericksburg
Grey Edward
Briand Aristide
The American Civil War, 1862
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1862 Part II
Rawlinson George
Ogai Mori
Ivan Turgenev: "Fathers and Sons"
Flaubert: "Salammbo"
Victor Hugo: "Les Miserables"
Barres Maurice
Maeterlinck Maurice
Hauptmann Gerhart
Wharton Edith
Schnitzler Arthur
Uhland Ludwig
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1862 Part III
Albert Memorial, London
Manet: "Lola de Valence"
Manet: "La Musique aux Tuileries"
Nesterov Mikhail
Mikhail Nesterov
Klimt Gustav
Gustav Klimt
Rysselberghe Theo
Theo van Rysselberghe
Berlioz: "Beatrice et Benedict"
Debussy Claude
Debussy - Preludes
Claude Debussy
Delius Frederick
Frederick Delius - On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring
Frederick Delius
German Edward
Edward German - Melody in D flat major
Edward German
Kochel Ludwig
Kochel catalogue
Verdi: "La Forza del Destino"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1862 Part IV
Bragg William
Foucault Leon
Gatling Richard Jordan
Lamont Johann
Lenard Pnilipp
Sachs Julius
Palgrave William Gifford
The Arabian Desert
International Exhibition, London
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1863 Part I
Arizona
Idaho
West Virginia
Emancipation Proclamation
Battle of Chancellorsville
BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG
Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address"
The American Civil War, 1863
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1863 Part II
Isma'il Pasha
January Uprising
George I of Greece
Dost Mohammad Khan
Christian IX  of Denmark
Chamberlain Austen
Lloyd George David
Second Taranaki War
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1863 Part III
Huxley: "Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature"
Charles Lyell: "The Antiquity of Man"
Massachusetts Agricultural College
D'Annunzio Gabriele
Bahr Hermann
Dehmel Richard
Hale Edward Everett
Edward Everett Hale: "Man without a Country"
Hope Anthony
Charles Kingsley: "The Water Babies"
Longfellow: "Tales of a Wayside Inn"
Quiller-Couch Arthur
Stanislavsky Constantin
Stanislavsky system
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1863 Part IV
Stuck Franz
Manet: "Dejeuner sur l'herbe"
Manet: "Olympia"
Meurent Victorine-Louise
The "Salon des Refuses" in Paris
Art in Revolt
Impressionism Timeline
(1863-1899)
Signac Paul
Paul Signac
Munch Edvard
Edvard Munch
Berlioz: "Les Troyens"
Bizet: "Les Pecheurs de perles"
Mascagni Pietro
Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana
Pietro Mascagni
Weingartner Felix
Felix von Weingartner: Symphony No 6
Felix Weingartner
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1863 Part V
Billroth Theodor
Butterick Ebenezer
Ford Henry
Graham Thomas
National Academy of Sciences
Sorby Henry Clifton
The Football Association, London
Grand Prix de Paris
Hearst William Randolph
Yellow journalism
Pulitzer Joseph
Nadar
History of photography
Alexandra of Denmark
Royce Henry
Cuthbert Ned
Coburn Joe
Mike McCoole
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1864 Part I
Schleswig-Holstein Question
First Schleswig War
Second Schleswig War
Halleck Henry
Sherman William
BATTLE OF ATLANTA
Sand Creek massacre
Venizelos Eleutherios
Maximilian II of Bavaria
Louis II
First International Workingmen's Association
Confederate Army of Manhattan
The American Civil War, 1864
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1864 Part II
Lombroso Cesare
Newman: "Apologia pro Vita Sua"
Syllabus of Errors
Dickens: "Our Mutual Friend"
Karlfeldt Erik Axel
Trollope: "The Small House at Allington"
Wedekind Frank
Zangwill Israel
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1864 Part III
Stieglitz Alfred
History of photography
ALFRED STIEGLITZ
Dyce William
William Dyce
Jawlensky Alexey
Alexei von Jawlensky
Ranson Paul
Paul Ranson
Serusier Paul
Paul Serusier
Toulouse-Lautrec Henri
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
A More Tolerant Salon
Impressionism Timeline
(1863-1899)
Whistler: "Symphony in White, No. 2"
Roberts David
David Roberts "A Journey in the Holy Land"
D'Albert Eugen
Eugen d'Albert - Piano Concerto No.2
Eugen d’Albert
Foster Stephen
Stephen Foster - Beautiful Dreamer
Offenbach: "La Belle Helene"
Strauss Richard
Richard Strauss - Metamorphosen
Richard Strauss
Fry William Henry
William Henry Fry - Santa Claus Symphony
William Henry Fry - Niagara Symphony
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1864 Part IV
Lake Albert
Bertrand Joseph
Calculus
Nernst Walther
Pasteurization
Wien Wilhelm
Rawat Nain Singh
The Surveyors
Kinthup
First Geneva Convention
Knights of Pythias
"Neue Freie Presse""
De Rossi Giovanni Battista
"In God We Trust"
Travers Stakes
Farragut David
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1865 Part I
Union blockade in the American Civil War
Charleston, South Carolina in the American Civil War
Lee Robert Edward
Conclusion of the American Civil War
Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Johnson Andrew
Causes of the Franco-Prussian War
Leopold II of Belgium
Harding Warren
George V of Great Britain
Ludendorff Erich
Free State–Basotho Wars
The American Civil War, 1865
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1865 Part II
Baudrillart Henri
William Stanley Jevons: "The Coal Question"
Billings Josh
Belasco David
Campbell Patrick
Lewis Carroll: "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"
Dodge Mary Mapes
Mary Mapes Dodge: "Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates"
Kipling Rudyard
Rudyard Kipling
Merezhkovsky Dmitry
John Henry Newman: "Dream of Gerontius"
Mark Twain: "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"
Walt Whitman: "Drum-Taps"
Yeats William Butler
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1865 Part III
Serov Valentin
Valentin Serov
Wiertz Antoine
Antoine Wiertz
Vallotton Felix
Felix Vallotton
"Olympia" - a Sensation
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Nielsen Carl
Carl Nielsen - Aladdin Suite
Carl Nielsen
Glazunov Alexander
Glazunov - The Seasons
Alexander Glazunov
Dukas Paul
Paul Dukas "L'Apprenti Sorcier"
Paul Dukas
Meyerbeer: "L'Africaine"
Sibelius Jean
Jean Sibelius - Finlandia
Jean Sibelius
Wagner: "Tristan und Isolde"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1865 Part IV
Plucker Julius
Hyatt John Wesley
Kekule: structure of benzene
Antiseptic
Lowe Thaddeus
Mendelian inheritance
Sechenov Ivan
Whymper Edward
The High Andes
 Bingham Hiram
Rohlfs Friedrich Gerhard
Open hearth furnace
Martin Pierre-Emile
Ku Klux Klan
"The Nation"
Marquess of Queensberry Rules
"San Francisco Examiner"
"San Francisco Chronicle"
Mitchell Maria
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1866 Part I
Cuza Alexandru
"Monstrous coalition"
Carol I
Austro-Prussian War
Battle of Custoza
Battle of Trautenau
Battle of Koniggratz
Battle of Lissa
Cretan Revolt of 1866–1869
MacDonald Ramsay
Sun Yat-sen
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1866 Part II
Croce Benedetto
Soderblom Nathan
Larousse Pierre
Larousse: Great Universal Dictionary of the 19th Century
Friedrich Lange: "History of Materialism"
Benavente Jacinto
Dostoevsky: "Crime and Punishment"
Hamerling Robert
Ibsen: "Brand"
Kingsley: "Hereward the Wake"
Rolland Romain
Wells Herbert
H.G. Wells
"The War of the Worlds"

"The Invisible Man"
 
"A Short History of the World"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1866 Part III
Bakst Leon
Leon Bakst
Fry Roger
Kandinsky Vassili
Vassili Kandinsky
A Defender Appears
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Busoni Ferruccio
Ferruccio Busoni - Berceuse Elegiaque
Ferruccio Busoni
Offenbach: "La Vie Parisienne"
Smetana: "The Bartered Bride"
Satie Eric
Erik Satie: Nocturnes
Eric Satie
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1866 Part IV
Aeronautical Society of Great Britain
Morgan Thomas Hunt
Nicolle Charles
Werner Alfred
Whitehead Robert
Whitehead torpedo
Doudart de Lagree Ernest
Panic of 1866
Thomas Morris
MacGregor John
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1867 Part I
Manchester Martyrs
Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867
Nebraska
Constitution Act, 1867
Alaska Purchase
North German Confederation
Reform Act of 1867
Battle of Mentana
Mary of Teck
Baldwin Stanley
Rathenau Walther
Pilsudski Joseph
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1867 Part II
Bagehot Walter
Walter Bagehot: "The English Constitution"
Freeman Edward Augustus
Freeman: The History of the Norman Conquest of England
Marx: "Das Kapital"
Thoma Ludwig
Soseki Natsume
Russell George William
Reymont Wladislau
Bennett Arnold
Balmont Konstantin
Pirandello Luigi
Galsworthy John
Charles de Coster: "The Legend of Thyl Ulenspiegel"
Ouida: "Under Two Flags"
Trollope: "The Last Chronicle of Barset"
Turgenev: "Smoke"
Zola: "Therese Raquin"
Ibsen: "Peer Gynt"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1867 Part III
Delville Jean
Jean Delville
Kollwitz Kathe
Kathe Kollwitz
Nolde Emil
Emil Nolde
Bonnard Pierre
Pierre Bonnard
Manet's Personal Exhibition
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Bizet: "La Jolie Fille de Perth"
Gounod: "Romeo et Juliette"
Offenbach: "La Grande-Duchesse de Gerolstein"
Johann Strauss II: The "Blue Danube"
Toscanini Arturo
Verdi: "Don Carlos"
Granados Enrique
Enrique Granados - Spanish Dances
Enrique Granados
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1867 Part IV
Curie Marie
Michaux Pierre
Monier Joseph
Brenner Railway
Mining industry of South Africa
Dynamite
Thurn and Taxis
Chambers John Graham
London Athletic Club
Barnardo Thomas John
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1868 Part I
British Expedition to Abyssinia
Battle of Magdala
Tokugawa Yoshinobu
Tenure of Office Act
Province of Hanover
Russian Turkestan
Mihailo Obrenovic III
Milan I of Serbia
Glorious Revolution
Horthy Nicholas
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1868 Part II
International Alliance of Socialist Democracy
Charles Darwin: "The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication"
Louisa May Alcott: "Little Women"
Robert Browning: "The Ring and the Book"
Wilkie Collins: "The Moonstone"
Dostoevsky: "The Idiot"
George Stefan
Gorki Maxim
Rostand Edmond
Edmond Rostand
"Cyrano De Bergerac"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1868 Part III
Bernard Emile
Emile Bernard
Vollard Ambroise
Slevogt Max
Max Slevogt
Vuillard Edouard
Edouard Vuillard
The Realist Impulse
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Bantock Granville
Bantock "Overture The Frogs"
Granville Bantock
Brahms: "Ein deutsches Requiem"
Schillings Max
Max von Schillings: Mona Lisa
Max von Schillings
Wagner: "Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg"
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1868 Part IV
Lartet Louis
Cro-Magnon
Haber Fritz
Millikan Robert Andrews
Richards Theodore William
Scott Robert Falcon
Armour Philip Danforth
Badminton House
Garvin James Louis
Harmsworth Harold
Trades Union Congress
"Whitaker's Almanack"
Sholes Christopher Latham
Typewriter
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1869 Part I
Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant
French legislative election, 1869
Prohibition Party
Red River Rebellion
Chamberlain Neville
Gandhi Mahatma
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1869 Part II
Matthew Arnold: "Culture and Anarchy"
Eduard Hartmann: "The Philosophy of the Unconscious"
Mill: "On The Subjection of Women"
First Vatican Council
Blackmore Richard Doddridge
Blackmore: "Lorna Doone"
Flaubert: "Sentimental Education"
Gide Andre
Gilbert: "Bab Ballads"
Halevy Ludovic
Bret Harte: "The Outcasts of Poker Flat"
Victor Hugo: "The Man Who Laughs"
Leacock Stephen
Mark Twain: "The Innocents Abroad"
Tolstoy: "War and Peace"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1869 Part III
Lutyens Edwin
Poelzig Hans
Carus Carl Gustav
Carl Gustav Carus
Somov Konstantin
Konstantin Somov
Matisse Henri
Henri Matisse
Manet Falls Foul of the Censor
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Bruckner: Symphony No. 0
Pfitzner Hans
Pfitzner - Nachts
Hans Pfitzner
Wagner Siegfried
Siegfried Wagner "Prelude to Sonnenflammen"
Richard Wagner: "Das Rheingold"
Roussel Albert
Albert Roussel - Bacchus et Ariane
Albert Roussel
Wood Henry
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1869 Part IV
Francis Galton: "Hereditary Genius"
Celluloid
Periodic law
Nachtigal Gustav
Cincinnati Red Stockings
Girton College, Cambridge
Nihilism
1869 New Jersey vs. Rutgers football game
Co-operative Congress
Lesseps Ferdinand
Suez Canal
 
 
 

Wilkie Collins: "The Woman in White"
 
 
 
 
 HISTORY, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, ART, LITERATURE, MUSIC, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, DAILY LIFE
 
 
 
 
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
 
 
 
1860 Part II
 
 
 
1860
 
 
Barrie James Matthew
 

J. M. Barrie, in full Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet (born May 9, 1860, Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland—died June 19, 1937, London, England), Scottish dramatist and novelist who is best known as the creator of Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up.

 

James Matthew Barrie
  The son of a weaver, Barrie never recovered from the shock he received at six from a brother’s death and its grievous effect on his mother, who dominated his childhood and retained that dominance thereafter. Throughout his life Barrie wished to recapture the happy years before his mother was stricken, and he retained a strong childlike quality in his adult personality.

Barrie studied at the University of Edinburgh and spent two years on the Nottingham Journal before settling in London as a freelance writer in 1885. His first successful book, Auld Licht Idylls (1888), contained sketches of life in Kirriemuir, and the stories in A Window in Thurms (1889) continued to explore that setting. The Little Minister (1891), a highly sentimental novel in the same style, was a best seller, and, after its dramatization in 1897, Barrie wrote mostly for the theatre. His autobiographical novels When a Man’s Single (1888) and Sentimental Tommy (1896) both feature a little boy in Kirriemuir (“Thrums”) who weaves a cloak of romantic fiction between himself and reality and becomes a successful writer. Most of those early works are marked by quaint Scottish dialect, whimsical humour and comic clowning, pathos, and sentimentality.

Barrie’s marriage in 1894 to the actress Mary Ansell was childless and apparently unconsummated. At an 1897 New Year’s Eve dinner, he met Sylvia Llewellyn Davies, the daughter of writer and caricaturist George du Maurier, a favourite author of his. Conversing with Davies, Barrie sussed out her connection to du Maurier, and she in turn recognized him as the man who sometimes entertained her sons by telling them fairy stories in Kensington Gardens while they strolled with their nanny.

 
 
Barrie had first encountered the eldest two Davies children, George and Jack, earlier in 1897 while walking his Saint Bernard Porthos, who was named in honour of a character from one of du Maurier’s novels.

Having amused the boys with his playful overtures and having charmed Sylvia as well, Barrie soon inveigled his way into the Davies household. Wealthy because of the success of his plays, he provided financial support to and was ultimately treated as a member of the family, who called him “Uncle Jim.”
 
 

James Matthew Barrie
  He often initiated games of make-believe with the boys—who, with the births of Peter, Michael, and Nicholas, ultimately numbered five—and accompanied them on family holidays. It was to them, through whom he began to live again the experience of childhood, that he told his first Peter Pan stories, some of which were published in The Little White Bird (1902). Much of that volume was later republished as Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (1906).

Prurient speculation over the nature of Barrie’s relationship with the Davies children persisted into the 21st century. The suggestion of impropriety was sometimes supported by admittedly odd excerpts from The Little White Bird, including one that featured a man plotting to turn a young boy against his mother in order to gain exclusive access to his affections. However, Barrie’s personal associates and most scholars concluded that—although unconventional and perhaps somewhat unhealthy—his attachment to the boys was devoid of any sexual component. Nicholas, the youngest Davies, explicitly addressed the rumours, contending that Barrie was “an innocent” and likely asexual.

Barrie’s idyll of reexperienced boyhood was followed by tragedy. His marriage ended in divorce in April 1910. Sylvia, widowed in 1907, died four months later. Barrie, along with their nurse, Mary Hodgson, assumed guardianship over the boys. He supported them to adulthood, but George died in combat (1915) during World War I and Michael drowned (1921) while swimming with a friend.

The play Peter Pan; or, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up was first produced in December 1904, with Gerald du Maurier—Sylvia’s brother and the father of writer Daphne du Maurier—playing both Mr. Darling, the father of the children spirited away by Peter Pan, and Captain Hook, the villainous pirate whom Peter defeats.

 
 
That play added a new character to the mythology of the English-speaking world in the figure of Peter Pan, the eternal boy. Though the popular conception of the character is that of a charmingly impish figure, bent more on adventure and escaping the tedium of adulthood than anything truly sinister, the Peter of the play and books is anarchical, selfish, and murderous. For example, he kills his compatriots “the Lost Boys” when they show signs of maturing. Notes by Barrie indicate that Peter was in fact intended to be the true villain of the story. The scene in the play introducing Captain Hook was included only as a means of filling the time needed for a set change. The iconic buccaneer was retained in the 1911 novelization of the play, Peter and Wendy.
 
 

James Matthew Barrie
  Most of Barrie’s stage triumphs have been dismissed by critics as marred by ephemeral whimsicalities, but at least six of his plays—Quality Street (1901), The Admirable Crichton (1902), What Every Woman Knows (1908), The Twelve-Pound Look (1910), The Will (1913), and Dear Brutus (1917)—are of indisputably high quality. Barrie idealized childhood and desexualized femininity but took a disenchanted view of adult life, as reflected in the gentle melancholy of those works. Sometimes he expressed his disenchantment humorously, as in The Admirable Crichton, in which a butler becomes the king of a desert island, with his former employers as serfs; sometimes satirically, as in The Twelve-Pound Look; and sometimes tragically, as in Dear Brutus, in which nine men and women whose lives have come to grief are given a magical second chance, only to wreck themselves again on the reefs of their own temperaments.

The elaborate stage directions in Barrie’s plays are sometimes more rewarding than their dialogue itself. Barrie proved himself a master of stage effects and of the delineation of character, but the sentimental and whimsical elements in his work have discouraged frequent revivals.

Barrie was created a baronet in 1913 and was awarded the Order of Merit in 1922. He became president of the Society of Authors in 1928 and chancellor of the University of Edinburgh in 1930.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1860
 
 
Dion Boucicault: "The Colleen Bawn"
 
 
Boucicault Dion
 

Dion Boucicault, original name Dionysius Lardner Boursiquot (born Dec. 26, 1820/22, Dublin, Ire.—died Sept. 18, 1890, New York, N.Y., U.S.), Irish-American playwright and actor, a major influence on the form and content of American drama.

 

Dion Boucicault
  Educated in England, Boucicault began acting in 1837 and in 1840 submitted his first play to Mme Vestris at Covent Garden; it was rejected. His second play, London Assurance (1841), which foreshadowed the modern social drama, was a huge success and was frequently revived into the 20th century.

Other notable early plays were Old Heads and Young Hearts (1844) and The Corsican Brothers (1852).

In 1853 Boucicault and his second wife, Agnes Robertson, arrived in New York City, where his plays and adaptations were long popular.

He led a movement of playwrights that produced in 1856 the first copyright law for drama in the United States.

His play The Poor of New York, based on the panics of 1837 and 1857, had a long run at Wallack’s Theatre in 1857 and was presented elsewhere as, for example, The Poor of Liverpool. The Octoroon; or, Life in Louisiana (1859) caused a sensation with its implied attack on slavery.

Boucicault and his actress wife joined Laura Keene’s theatre in 1860 and began a series of his popular Irish plays—The Colleen Bawn (1860), Arrah-na-Pogue (1864), The O’Dowd (1873), and The Shaughraun (1874). Returning to London in 1862, he provided Joseph Jefferson with a successful adaptation of Rip Van Winkle (1865).

In 1872 Boucicault returned to the United States, where he remained, except for a trip to Australia that resulted in his third marriage (for which he renounced the legitimacy of his second marriage).

 
 
Among his associates in the 1870s was the young David Belasco. At the time of his death he was a poorly paid teacher of acting in New York City.

About 150 plays are credited to Boucicault, who, as both writer and actor, raised the stage Irishman from caricature to character. To the American drama he brought a careful construction and a keen observation and recording of detail. His concern with social themes prefigured the future development of drama in both Europe and America.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 

Painting by Edward Henry Corbould depicting a scene from Boucicault's The Corscian Brothers, 1852
 
 
 
Dion Boucicault: "The Colleen Bawn"
 

The Colleen Bawn, or The Brides of Garryowen is a melodramatic play written by Irish playwright Dion Boucicault. It was first performed at Miss Laura Keene's Theatre, New York, on 27 March 1860 with Laura Keene playing Anne Chute and Boucicault playing Myles na Coppaleen. It was most recently performed in Dublin at the Project Arts Centre in July and August 2010. Several film versions have also been made.

 
Origins
While in America, Dion explored the turmoil that was boiling up in the new nation and wrote about it. As a result of this, in 1859 he wrote, produced, and acted in a very famous antislavery play called “The Octoroon” (Rowell 173). He and his wife played the leads and, after the first week of runs, only earned about 1500 dollars between the two of them. Dion thought this was a bit unfair since he had done the majority of the work for the production and asked for a larger cut for both him and his wife. Consequently, they both found themselves cut from the show entirely and jobless (Morash 88).

One evening, not long after the “Octoroon” incident, in the spring of 1860, Dion was walking home when he felt the sudden urge to venture into a bookstore he had passed a hundred times before. He came out moments later with a Gerald Griffin novel, “The Collegians” which was written in 1829 (Morash 88). He was so excited that the first thing he did when he got home was write Laura Keene a letter stating that he was writing a play based on “The Collegians” and that he would have the first act to her by the end of the weekend. He told her that they should start the rehearsal/build process immediately and he would finish the play as they rehearsed, so basically, the definition of theatre on the fly (Morash 88). Thus, Dion took his play writing back to his Irish roots and “The Colleen Bawn” came to life and opened at the Laura Keene Theatre in May 1860 (Morash 89).

The novel was based on the true story of Ellen Scanlan (née Hanley), a fifteen-year-old girl who was murdered on 14 July 1819.

 
Dion Boucicault. "The Colleen Bawn"
 
 
She was recently married to John Scanlan, but when he saw that she would not be accepted into his family he persuaded his servant, Stephen Sullivan, to kill her. Sullivan took her out on the River Shannon near Kilrush, County Clare where he killed her with a musket, stripped her and dumped her body in the river, tied to a stone. Her body was washed ashore six weeks later at Moneypoint. Both men had fled but Scanlan was found first and arrested for murder. At his trial he was defended by the famous barrister Daniel O'Connell. He was found guilty and hanged at Gallows Green, the place of execution at the Clare side of the Shannon. Sullivan was apprehended shortly afterwards, confessed and was also hanged.
 
 

Characters
Hardress Cregan — Irish landowner fallen on hard times.
Myles na Coppaleen (from the Irish Myles na gcapaillín, "Myles of the ponies") — poacher and moonshine brewer.
Danny Mann — a hunchback and very loyal servant to Hardress.
Father Tom — alcoholic Roman Catholic priest.
Kyrle Daly — a servant of the Cregans, in love with Anne.
Mr Corrigan — villainous local magistrate who aims to seize the Cregan estate.
Eily O'Connor, the "Colleen Bawn" (from the Irish cailín bán, "fair girl") — A common girl, Hardress's secret wife.
Anne Chute, the "Colleen Ruaidh" (from the Irish cailín rua, "red-haired girl") — wealthy heiress.
Mrs Cregan — Mother of Hardress.

 
Plot
“The Colleen Bawn” captivated audiences with its interwoven character plots and overall story. The play starts out with Hardress Cregan planning his trip across the lake to see his wife, Eily O’Connor, with his noble follower Danny Mann. It is only known to the two of them and the two care takers of Eily that the pair is married. During this conversation Hardress’s dear friend, Kyrle Daly, and mother, Mrs.Cregan, enter. Mrs. Cregan immediately explains to Kyrle that Hardress is to marry their cousin Anne Chute, trying to convince him that his love for Anne is futile and that he should move on.
 
 
After this exchange, the mortgage holder of the Cregan land, Mr. Corrigan enters and converses with Mrs Cregan about her payment options. She is left with the ultimatum of ether having her son marry Anne, whom he obviously does not love, or marrying herself off to Mr. Corrigan all just to save their estate. At this point in the play, we see how Dion is implementing social status and its importance into the piece as was necessary for the time this play was written.

Now, the play switches over to the love that is beginning to appear between Anne and Kyrle despite Mrs. Cregan’s warnings. Then, after Kyrle exits, Danny appears and convinces Anne of the lie that Kyrle’s love for her is a false and that he is, in fact, wed to another woman, placing Hardress’s reality as Kyrle's. This pushes Anne to make the rash decision of going around the lake to try and catch Kyrle in the act, when it is really Hardress that is going across the lake to see his wife.

The play then switches back to Hardress as he enters the house that he has placed his wife in, well away from anyone who would notice his regular comings and goings. Hardress is angered upon entering the home by Eily’s peasant ways and speech, then infuriated further when he finds out that a man, Myles-Na-Coppaleen, who has loved Eily for as long as he can remember, is visiting her along with her other two care takers. Myles was played by Boucicault himself in the first two original productions. His wife played opposite of him as Eily (Adams). This is where we see the conflict of social status become a main conflict in the story. Hardress then leaves in a fit of rage, leaving Eily to morn and wonder if she will ever see him again. As Eily is doing so, Anne arrives, witnesses and talks to Eily about what she believes is the work of Kyrle and she leaves none the wiser, giving up on Kyrle, convinced that the best thing for her is to marry Hardress.

  We then go back to Hardress, who is boating back home with Danny. Danny, who is willing to do anything for Hardress, offers to kill Eily to rid Hardress of his plight, so that he may marry Anne and use her families money to keep his estate. He offers by asking Hardress to give him one of his gloves if he wishes Danny to commit the act. Hardress sternly refuses because he still loves Eily and he knows that it would be an unspeakable crime if committed, which would be historically accurate as well.

After arriving home Hardress immediately retires to his room leaving Danny and Mrs. Cregan to converse about the offer that Danny had made Hardress. Mrs. Cregan follows after Hardress finding his gloves and takes one back to Danny. Danny believes that Hardress agreed to give him the glove, which he clearly had not, and seeks only to obey his master, so he took off in his boat to fetch Eily for the slaughter.

Danny arrives at Eily’s home and convinces her that Hardress wants to meet her on a secluded cliff far from the homes of people that could witness his crime. She obeys, only to find that it is only her and Danny. After a failed attempt to retrieve her marriage license, Danny pushes her off the cliff. Immediately after, a shot is heard and we see Danny crumple to the earth as Myles leaps into the lake to save Eily, the women he loves.

This is where the truth begins to unravel. After Eily had been pronounced dead, Hardress agrees to marry Anne, but during the wedding Mr. Corrigan, who believes Hardress was behind the murder from things he had heard, brings soldiers to the Cregan’s estate demanding that they turn over Hardress. During this confrontation, Myles and Eily show up just in time and disprove all the charges against Hardress. Eily and Hardress stay together, Anne gives the Cregan's the money they need to save their land, and she runs off with Kyrle happily in love.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
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1860
 
 
Wilkie Collins: "The Woman in White"
 
 
Collins Wilkie
 

Wilkie Collins, in full William Wilkie Collins (born Jan. 8, 1824, London, Eng.—died Sept. 23, 1889, London), English sensation novelist, early master of the mystery story, and pioneer of detective fiction.

 

Wilkie Collins. Portrait by Rudolph Lehmann, 1880
  The son of William Collins (1788–1847), the landscape painter, he developed a gift for inventing tales while still a schoolboy at a private boarding school. His first published work was a memoir to his father, who died in 1847, Memoirs of the Life of William Collins, Esq., R.A. (1848). His fiction followed shortly after: Antonina; or, the Fall of Rome (1850) and Basil (1852), a highly coloured tale of seduction and vengeance with a contemporary middle-class setting and passages of uncompromising realism. In 1851 he began an association with Dickens that exerted a formative influence on his career. Their admiration was mutual. Under Dickens’ influence, Collins developed a talent for characterization, humour, and popular success, while the older writer’s debt to Collins is evident in the more skillful and suspenseful plot structures of such novels as A Tale of Two Cities (1859) and Great Expectations (1860–61). Collins began contributing serials to Dickens’ periodical Household Words, and his first major work, The Woman in White (1860), appeared in Dickens’ All the Year Round. Among his most successful subsequent books were No Name (1862), Armadale (1866), and The Moonstone (1868). A master of intricate plot construction and ingenious narrative technique, Collins turned in his later career from sensation fiction to fiction with a purpose, attacking the marriage laws in Man and Wife (1870) and vivisection in Heart and Science (1883).

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
Wilkie Collins: "The Woman in White"
 

The Woman in White is Wilkie Collins' fifth published novel, written in 1859. It is considered to be among the first mystery novels and is widely regarded as one of the first (and finest) in the genre of "sensation novels".

 
The story is sometimes considered an early example of detective fiction with the hero, Walter Hartright, employing many of the sleuthing techniques of later private detectives. The use of multiple narrators draws on Collins's legal training, and as he points out in his Preamble: "the story here presented will be told by more than one pen, as the story of an offence against the laws is told in Court by more than one witness". In 2003, Robert McCrum writing for The Observer listed The Woman in White number 23 in "the top 100 greatest novels of all time", and the novel was listed at number 77 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.
 
 
Plot
Walter Hartright, a young art teacher, meets a mysterious and distressed woman dressed in white. He helps her on her way, but later learns that she has escaped from an asylum. Next day, he travels to Limmeridge House in Cumberland, having been hired as a drawing master on the recommendation of his friend, Pesca, an Italian language master. The Limmeridge household comprises the invalid Frederick Fairlie, and Walter's students: Laura Fairlie, Mr Fairlie's niece, and Marian Halcombe, her devoted half-sister. Walter realises that Laura bears an astonishing resemblance to the woman in white, who is known to the household and whose name is Anne Catherick. The mentally disabled Anne had lived near Limmeridge as a child and was devoted to Laura's mother, who first dressed her in white.

Walter and Laura fall in love. Laura, however, has promised her father that she will marry Sir Percival Glyde. Marian – knowing that Laura loves Walter in return – advises Walter to forget his love, and leave Limmeridge. Anne, after sending a letter to Laura warning her against Glyde, meets Walter who becomes convinced (wrongly) that Glyde was Anne's lover, or was responsible for putting Anne into the asylum. Despite the misgivings of the family lawyer over the financial terms of the marriage settlement, Laura and Glyde marry in December 1849 and travel to Italy for six months. Walter also leaves England, joining an expedition to Honduras. After their honeymoon, Sir Percival and Lady Glyde return to his house, Blackwater Park in Hampshire; they are accompanied by Glyde's friend, Count Fosco (who is married to Laura's aunt). Marian is also living at Blackwater and learns that Glyde is in financial difficulties. Glyde unsuccessfully attempts to bully Laura into signing a document which would allow him to use her marriage settlement of £20,000.

 
Cover of first US edition
 
 
Glyde reveals to Fosco the resemblance between Laura and Anne, and Fosco and Glyde plot to switch the identities of Laura and the terminally-ill Anne, so that Anne's death can be passed off as Laura's and Glyde can inherit. Marian crawls out onto a roof and eavesdrops on Glyde and Fosco, and it begins to rain. Marian becomes soaked, and later falls into a fever which turns into typhus.

While Marian is ill, Laura is tricked into travelling to London. Her identity and Anne's are then switched. Anne Catherick dies naturally and is buried as Laura; Laura is drugged and "returned" to the asylum as Anne. When Marian visits the asylum, hoping to learn something from Anne, she finds Laura, supposedly suffering from the "delusion" that she is Lady Glyde. Marian bribes the nurse and Laura escapes. Walter has meanwhile returned from Honduras, and the three live together in obscure poverty, determined to restore Laura's identity. During his researches, Walter discovers that Glyde was illegitimate, and therefore not entitled to inherit his title or property. He has attempted to cover this up by forging an entry in the marriage register, a serious criminal offence. Believing Walter either has discovered or will discover his secret, Glyde attempts to destroy the register entry, but in the process sets the church vestry on fire and perishes in the flames. Confronting Anne's mother, Walter discovers that Anne was the illegitimate child of Laura's father, which accounts for their resemblance. Walter suspects that Anne died before Laura's trip to London (in which case the plot would fail) but is unable to prove the date of Laura's journey. However on a visit to the Opera with Pesca, it becomes clear that Fosco belongs to (and has betrayed) an Italian secret society of which Pesca is a high-ranking member who could order his assassination for the betrayal. Fosco seeks to flee the country, but Walter confronts him – having first taken precautions against Fosco's killing him – and forces a written confession from Fosco, in exchange for letting him leave England unhindered. Laura's identity can thus be legally restored. Fosco escapes, only to be killed by another agent of the secret society in Paris. Walter and Laura have married earlier, and on the death of Frederick Fairlie, their son becomes the Heir of Limmeridge.

 
 
Characters
Walter Hartright—A poor young man who earns his living as a humble drawing teacher. When he goes to Limmeridge house to be the drawing master and restore art he falls in love with the beautiful, tempting, and virtuous Laura Fairlie. Laura being already engaged, Marian, her sister, warns Walter to stay away. In the end Walter ends up marrying Laura.
Frederick Fairlie—A fanciful, selfish invalid, owner of Limmeridge House in Cumberland; he is also Laura's uncle. His irresponsibility in handling matters concerning Laura's welfare as her guardian is one of the key factors that lead to the success of Count Fosco's plan. He dies in the end.
Laura Fairlie—Mr Fairlie's gentle, pretty niece, an heiress and an orphan. She loves Walter but is committed to marrying Sir Percival Glyde.
Marian Halcombe—Laura's half-sister and companion, not attractive but intelligent and resourceful. She is described as one "of the finest creations in all Victorian fiction" by John Sutherland.
Anne Catherick ("The Woman in White")—A young woman said to be of disordered wits. She's an illegitimate daughter of Laura's father.
Mrs Catherick—Anne's unsympathetic mother, who is in league with Sir Percival Glyde in committing her daughter to the asylum. She had a brief affair with the late Mr Fairly (Laura's father) before he got married.
Sir Percival Glyde—Laura's fiancé and then husband, he is an unpleasant baronet with a secret. He is able to appear charming and gracious when he wishes, but his true character appears soon after his marriage to Laura.
 
Wilkie Collins: "The Woman in White"
 
 
Walter later discovers that his secret is that his inheritance of his title and estate was unlawful because his parents had never married and therefore he was a bastard child, and to obtain it he forged a false marriage register entry.
Count Fosco—Sir Percival's closest friend, his full name is revealed to be Isidor Ottavio Baldassare Fosco. A grossly obese Italian with a mysterious past, he is eccentric, bombastic, urbane, but also unfathomably intelligent and menacing. He takes especial interest in little animals, and keeps many birds and mice as pets. The Count greatly admires Marian for her intellect, so much that he is willing to compromise several weak points in his plan (such as allowing Marian to retrieve Laura from the asylum) for her sake.

Countess Fosco—Laura's aunt, once a giddy girl but now humourless, cold and in thrall to her husband and his schemes. She caters to the Count's every whim.
Professor Pesca—A teacher of Italian, and a good friend of Walter. The professor finds Walter the Limmeridge job, introducing him to Laura and Marian, and proves to be Fosco's unexpected nemesis.
 
 


Wilkie Collins: "The Woman in White"

 
Themes and Influences
A major impetus of the plot is the disadvantageous position of married women in law at the time.

Laura Glyde's interests having been neglected by her uncle, her fortune (of £20,000, then an enormous sum of money) by default falls to her husband on her death.

This provides ample motive for the plot of her unscrupulous husband and his co-conspirator Fosco.

In his later Man and Wife, Collins portrays another victim of the law's partiality, who takes a terrible revenge on her husband.
  Publication
The novel was first published in serial form in 1859–60, appearing in Charles Dickens' magazine All the Year Round (UK) and Harper's Weekly (USA). It was published in book form in 1860.

Critical reception
The novel was extremely successful only commercially, but contemporary critics were generally hostile. Modern critics and readers regard it as Collins' best novel, a view with which Collins concurred, as it is the only one of his novels named in his chosen epitaph, "Author of The Woman in White and other works of fiction".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
     
  Wilkie Collins 

"The Moonstone"

"The Woman in White"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1860
 
 
George Eliot: "The Mill on the Floss"
 

The Mill on the Floss is a novel by Eliot George (Mary Ann Evans), first published in three volumes in 1860 by William Blackwood. The first American edition was published by Thomas Y. Crowell Co., New York.

 
Plot summary
The novel spans a period of 10 to 15 years and details the lives of Tom and Maggie Tulliver, siblings growing up at Dorlcote Mill on the River Floss at its junction with the more minor River Ripple near the village of St. Ogg's in Lincolnshire, England. Both the river and the village are fictional.

The novel is most probably set in the 1820s – a number of historical references place the events in the book after the Napoleonic Wars but before the Reform Act of 1832. It includes autobiographical elements, and reflects the disgrace that George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) herself experienced while in a lengthy relationship with a married man, George Henry Lewes.

Maggie Tulliver is the central character of the book. The story begins when she is 9 years old, 13 years into her parents' marriage. Her relationship with her older brother Tom, and her romantic relationships with Philip Wakem, a hunchbacked, sensitive, and intellectual friend, and with Stephen Guest, a vivacious young socialite in St. Ogg's and assumed fiancé of Maggie's cousin Lucy Deane, constitute the most significant narrative threads.

Tom and Maggie have a close yet complex bond, which continues throughout the novel. Their relationship is coloured by Maggie's desire to recapture the unconditional love her father provides before his death. Tom's pragmatic and reserved nature clashes with Maggie's idealism and fervor for intellectual gains and experience. Various family crises, including bankruptcy, Mr. Tulliver's rancorous relationship with Philip Wakem's father, which results in the loss of the mill, and Mr. Tulliver's untimely death, serve both to intensify Tom's and Maggie's differences and to highlight their love for each other. To help his father repay his debts, Tom leaves school to enter a life of business. He eventually finds a measure of success, restoring the family's former estate. Meanwhile, Maggie languishes in the impoverished Tulliver home, her intellectual aptitude wasted in her socially isolated state.

 
First edition title page.
 
 
She passes through a period of intense spirituality, during which she renounces the world, spurred by Thomas à Kempis’s The Imitation of Christ.

This renunciation is tested by a renewed friendship with Philip Wakem, with whom she had developed a friendship while he and Tom were students together. Against the wishes of Tom and her father, who both despise the Wakems, Maggie secretly meets with Philip, and together they go for long walks through the woods. The relationship they forge is founded partially in Maggie's heartfelt pity for broken and neglected human beings, but it also serves as an outlet for her intellectual romantic desires. Philip's and Maggie's attraction is, in any case, inconsequential because of the family antipathy. Philip manages to coax a pledge of love from Maggie. When Tom discovers the relationship between the two, however, he forces his sister to renounce Philip, and with him her hopes of experiencing the broader, more cultured world he represents.

 
 
Several more years pass, during which Mr. Tulliver dies. Lucy Deane invites Maggie to come and stay with her and experience the life of cultured leisure that she enjoys. This includes long hours conversing and playing music with Lucy's suitor, Stephen Guest, a prominent St. Ogg's resident. Stephen and Maggie, against their rational judgments, become attracted to each other. The complication is compounded by Philip Wakem's friendship with Lucy and Stephen; he and Maggie are reintroduced, and Philip's love for her is rekindled, while Maggie, no longer isolated, enjoys the clandestine attentions of Stephen Guest, putting her past profession of love for Philip in question. Lucy intrigues to throw Philip and Maggie together on a short rowing trip down the Floss, but Stephen unwittingly takes a sick Philip's place. When Maggie and Stephen find themselves floating down the river, negligent of the distance they have covered, he proposes they board a passing boat to the next substantial city, Mudport, and get married. Maggie is too tired to argue about it. Stephen takes advantage of her weariness and hails the boat. They are taken on board the boat, and during the trip to Mudport, Maggie struggles between her love for Stephen and her duties to Philip and Lucy, which were established when she was poor, isolated, and dependent on them for what good her life contained. Upon arrival in Mudport she rejects Stephen and makes her way back to St. Ogg's, where she lives for a brief period as an outcast, Stephen having fled to Holland. Although she immediately goes to Tom for forgiveness and shelter, he roughly sends her away, telling her that she will never again be welcome under his roof. Both Lucy and Philip forgive her, in a moving reunion and an eloquent letter, respectively.  
Tom and Maggie Tulliver
 
 
Maggie’s brief exile ends when the river floods. The flood has been criticised as a deus ex machina. Those who do not support this view cite the frequent references to flood as foreshadowing, which makes this natural occurrence less contrived.[citation needed] Having struggled through the waters in a boat to find Tom at the old mill, she sets out with him to rescue Lucy Deane and her family. In a brief tender moment, the brother and sister are reconciled from all past differences. When their boat capsizes, the two drown in an embrace, thus giving the book its Biblical epigraph, "In their death they were not divided."
 
 

Major characters
Maggie Tulliver – young female protagonist
Tom Tulliver – Maggie's brother
Mrs Bessy Tulliver – Maggie and Tom's mother
Mr Tulliver – Maggie and Tom's father, owner of the Mill
Philip Wakem – hunchbacked classmate of Tom, and friend/suitor to Maggie
Stephen Guest – affluent suitor to Maggie

Minor characters

Mr. Wakem – Philip's father and rival of Mr Tulliver
Lucy Deane – Tom and Maggie's cousin, supposed to be betrothed to Stephen Guest
Mr. Riley – auctioneer and appraiser, friend of Mr. Tulliver
Rev. Walter Stelling – teacher of Tom and Phillip
Dr. Kenn – the clergyman of St. Ogg's
Bob Jakin – childhood friend of Tom who later helps Tom in business, both Tom and Maggie stay at his house at different times
Mrs. Jane Glegg – leader of the Dodson clan, critical and dominating aunt of Maggie and Tom who stands up for Maggie after her scandal with Stephen
Mrs. Sophy Pullet – Tom and Maggie's aunt
Mrs. Susan Deane – Tom and Maggie's aunt
Gritty Moss – Mr Tulliver's sister, mother of 8 children, 6 living
Kezia – The Tulliver family maid
Luke – the head miller
Yap – the Tullivers' dog (white and brown)
Dr. Turnbull - Doctor of Dorlecote Mill

Locations
Dorlecote Mill – the Tulliver family home for a century
Basset – home of Moss Farm
Dunlow Common
Garum Firs – visited for a treat
Midsummer – home of the academy
Mudport
St. Ogg's
St. Ursula
Wakem

 
Themes
Like other novels by George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss articulates the tension between circumstances and the spiritual energies of individual characters struggling against those circumstances. A certain determinism is at play throughout the novel, from Mr Tulliver's grossly imprudent inability to keep himself from "going to law", and thereby losing his patrimony and bankrupting his family, to the series of events which sets Maggie and Stephen down the river and past the point of no return. People such as Mr Tulliver are presented as unable to determine their own course rationally, and forces, be it the drift of the river or the force of a flood, are presented as determining the courses of people for them. On the other hand, Maggie's ultimate choice not to marry Stephen, and to suffer both the privation of his love and the ignominy of their botched elopement demonstrates a final triumph of free will.

Critics assert that Maggie's need for love and acceptance is her underlying motivation throughout The Mill on the Floss, and the conflicts that arise in the novel often stem from her frustrated attempts at gaining this acceptance. Alan Bellringer has commented, "The two main themes of the novel, growing up and falling in love, lend themselves to amusement, but it is stunted growth and frustrated love that are emphasized." Commentators have often focused on the constant rejection of Maggie's talents and mannerisms by her family and society. Even the cultural norms of her community deny her intellectual and spiritual growth, according to Elizabeth Ermarth, "They are norms according to which she is an inferior, dependent creature who will never go far in anything, and which consequently are a denial of her full humanity."

 
Maggie Tulliver, by Frederick Stuart Church
 
 
Adaptations
The Story was adapted as a film, The Mill on the Floss, in 1937, and as a TV mini-series in 1978.

A single-episode television adaptation of the novel first was aired on 1 January 1997. Maggie Tulliver is portrayed by Emily Watson and Mr Tulliver by Bernard Hill.

In 1994, Helen Edmundson adapted the play for the stage, in a production performed by Shared Experience.

A radio dramatisation in five one-hour parts was broadcast on BBC7 in 2009.

Cultural associations
A conversation between Flora Ackroyd and James Sheppard in Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: "That pen that George Eliot wrote The Mill on the Floss with—that sort of thing—well, it's only just a pen after all. If you're really keen on George Eliot, why not get The Mill on the Floss in a cheap edition and read it? ... I suppose you never read such old out-of-date stuff, Miss Flora? ... You're wrong, Dr Sheppard. I love The Mill on the Floss ."

In Robert A. Heinlein's 1952 novel The Rolling Stones, Capt. Roger Stone asks his twin sons, Castor and Pollux, "Don't you want to study the world's great literature?" and Pollux replies that "we don't want to read The Mill on the Floss."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
     
  George Eliot 

"Silas Marner"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1860
 
 
Di Giacoma Salvatore
 

Salvatore Di Giacomo (12 March 1860 – 4 April 1934) was an Italian poet, songwriter, playwright and fascist intellectual, one of the signers of the Manifesto of the Fascvist Intellectuals.

 
Di Giacomo is credited as being one of those responsible for renewing Neapolitan dialect poetry at the beginning of the 20th century. The language of Salvatore Di Giacomo is, however, not the everyday Neapolitan language of his contemporaries; it has a distinct 18th-century flavour to it, archaisms that recall the golden age of Neapolitan culture, the period between 1750-1800, when Neapolitan was the language of the best-loved form of musical entertainment in Italy, the Neapolitan comic opera, and was even the language of the Bourbon court of Naples, itself.
 
 

Salvatore Di Giacomo
  Early career
Di Giacomo was born in Naples. He studied medicine briefly, largely to satisfy his father's wishes, but gave it up for the life of a poet. He then founded a literary journal, Il Fantasio, in 1880, and, like many young writers, had a varied apprenticeship, working in a print shop, as a journalist and publishing some of his early verse in the Neapolitan daily, il Mattino. He even wrote a series of youthful stories à la E.T.A. Hoffman and Edgar Allan Poe set in an imaginary German town inhabited by sinister students and mad doctors. He had a lifelong love of libraries as well as literary and historical research, founding, in the course of his career, the Lucchese section of the National library in Naples and holding the position of assistant librarian at the library of the San Pietro a Maiella music conservatory. He was, with Benedetto Croce, one of the founders of the literary journal, Napoli Nobilissima. He received a critical boost in 1903 when Croce published a defense of dialect poetry. Di Giacomo published no anthology of his own collected poems until 1907, when he was 47 years old.

Plays and lyrics
Di Giacomo's plays, such as A San Francesco and Assunta Spina, are bitter stories about turn-of-the-century life in the Naples of the Risanamento (the massive, decades-long urban renewal of the city that displaced tens of thousands of persons), workers whose health is ruined by their labors, prostitution, betrayal, prison, crime, etc. As a song lyricist, he wrote easily and abundantly for the famous Neapolitan song festival of Piedigrotta, a fact that still leads some critics to dismiss him as a lightweight.

 
 
Use of language
Di Giacomo seemingly viewed standard language as necessary for modern commerce and politics, but almost by definition devoid of the life that people bring to the language they speak, the vernacular turn of phrase that exists only at a particular place in a particular time for a particular people. He closed his own essay on Neapolitan dialect poetry, written in 1900, with this passionate quote from Dante: "With the gifts God gives us from Heaven, we shall try to renew the language of the common people."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1860
 
 
Eugene Labiche: "Le Voyage de M. Perrichon"
 
 
Labiche Eugene-Marin
 

Eugène-Marin Labiche, (born May 5, 1815, Paris, France—died Jan. 23, 1888, Paris), comic playwright who wrote many of the most popular and amusing light comedies of the 19th-century French stage.

 

Eugène-Marin Labiche
  Born into the bourgeois class that was to provide him with the social setting for most of his works, Labiche read for the bar and then briefly worked as a journalist before turning to writing fiction. In 1838 he published a novel, La Clef des champs (“The Key to the Fields”). Of his early plays, Monsieur de Coislin (1838), written in collaboration with Marc Michel, was his first great success. A long series of hilarious full-length and one-act plays followed.

Written together with other authors, these works were presented mostly at the Palais-Royal, the home of light comedy. Typically, the plays are based on an improbable incident evolving into an imbroglio that brings out the folly and frailty of the characters.

The best of his works include Le Chapeau de paille d’Italie (1851; The Italian Straw Hat), which inspired René Clair’s classic film of the same name (1927); Le Misanthrope et l’Auvergnat (1852); Le Voyage de M. Perrichon (1860; The Journey of Mr. Perrichon); and La Poudre aux yeux (1861; “The Bluff”).

Though full of dramatic devices, Labiche’s plays nonetheless show real insight into human nature.

When his plays were first presented, the exaggerated and slapstick style of his favourite actors—such as Jean Geoffroy, for whom many of the parts were written—somewhat obscured the delightfully precise delineations of character.

 
 
With the publication of his Théâtre complet, 10 vol. (1878–83) while he was in retirement, Labiche was engulfed by renewed acclaim and success, including election to the Académie Française in 1880. Sound and entertaining, his works raised the lowly farce to a much higher level of literary accomplishment.

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1860
 
 
Multatuli (E. D. Dekker): "Max Havelaar"
 
 
Multatuli
 

Eduard Douwes Dekker (2 March 1820 – 19 February 1887), better known by his pen name Multatuli (from Latin multa tuli, "I have suffered much"), was a Dutch writer famous for his satirical novel, Max Havelaar (1860), which denounced the abuses of colonialism in the Dutch East Indies (today's Indonesia).

 

Portrait of Multatuli by Félix Valloton
  Biography
Douwes Dekker was born in Amsterdam. His father, a ship's captain, intended his son for trade, but this humdrum prospect disgusted him, and in 1838 he went out to Java and obtained a post as a civil servant. He moved from one posting to another, until, in 1851, he became assistant-resident at Ambon, in the Moluccas. In 1857 he was transferred to Lebak, in the Bantam residency of Java (now Banten province). By this time, however, all the secrets of Dutch administration were known to him, and he had begun to openly protest about the abuses of the colonial system. Consequently he was threatened with dismissal from his office for his openness of speech. Dekker resigned his appointment and returned to the Netherlands. He was determined to expose in detail the scandals he had witnessed, and he began to do so in newspaper articles and pamphlets. Little notice, however, was taken of his protestations until, in 1860, he published his novel Max Havelaar under the pseudonym of Multatuli. Douwes Dekker's new pseudonym, which is derived from Latin, means, "I have suffered much", or, more literally "I have borne much" referring to himself, as well as, it is thought, to the victims of the injustices he saw. An attempt was made to suppress the inflammatory book, but in vain; it was read all over Europe. Colonialist apologists accused Douwes Dekker's horrific depictions of being hyperbolic. Multatuli now began his literary career, and published Love Letters (1861), which, in spite of their mild title, were mordant, unsparing satires.
 
 
Although the literary merit of Multatuli's work was widely criticised, he received an unexpected and most valuable ally in Carel Vosmaer who published a book (The Sower 1874) praising him. He continued to write much, and to publish his miscellanies in uniform volumes called Ideas, of which seven appeared between 1862 and 1877 and also contain his novel Woutertje Pieterse.

Douwes Dekker left Holland, and went to live in Ingelheim am Rhein near Mainz, where he made several attempts to write for the stage. One of his pieces, The School for Princes (published in 1875 in the fourth volume of Ideas), expresses his non-conformist views on politics, society and religion. He moved his residence to Nieder Ingelheim, on the Rhine, where he died in 1887.

Douwes Dekker had been one of Sigmund Freud's favourite writers. He heads the list of 'ten good books' which Freud drew up in 1907.

In June 2002, the Dutch Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde (Society of Dutch Literature) proclaimed Multatuli the most important Dutch writer of all time.

Multatuli's brother, Jan Douwes Dekker, is a grandfather of Ernest Douwes Dekker (also known as Danudirja Setiabudi, a National Hero of Indonesia).

Douwes is commonly thought, wrongly, to be his middle name. Douwes Dekker is the combined form of both his of parents' last names, chosen after they couldn't decide which of their names they should give him.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
Multatuli: "Max Havelaar"
 

Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company (Dutch: Max Havelaar, of de koffi-veilingen der Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappy) is an 1860 novel by Multatuli (the pen name of Eduard Douwes Dekker), which played a key role in shaping and modifying Dutch colonial policy in the Dutch East Indies in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. In the novel, the protagonist, Max Havelaar, tries to battle against a corrupt government system in Java, which was then a Dutch colony.

 
Background
By the mid-nineteenth century, the colonial control of the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia) had passed from the Dutch East India Company (VOC) to the Dutch government due to the economic failure of the VOC. In order to increase revenue, the Dutch colonial government implemented a series of policies termed the Cultivation System (Dutch: cultuurstelsel), which mandated Indonesian farmers to grow a quota of commercially tradable crops such as sugar and coffee, instead of growing staple foods such as rice.

At the same time, the colonial government also implemented a tax collection system in which the collecting agents were paid by commission. The combination of these two strategies caused widespread abuse of colonial power, especially on the islands of Java and Sumatra, resulting in abject poverty and widespread starvation among the farmers.

Multatuli wrote Max Havelaar in protest against these colonial policies, but another goal was to seek rehabilitation for his resignation from governmental service.

 
Front cover of Max Havelaar,
5th edition (1881)
 
 
Despite its terse writing style, it raised the awareness of Europeans living in Europe at the time that the wealth that they enjoyed was the result of suffering in other parts of the world. This awareness eventually formed the motivation for the new Ethical Policy by which the Dutch colonial government attempted to "repay" their debt to their colonial subjects by providing education to some classes of natives, generally members of the elite loyal to the colonial government.
 
 
Indonesian novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer argued that by triggering these educational reforms, Max Havelaar was in turn responsible for the nationalist movement that ended Dutch colonialism in Indonesia after 1945, and which was instrumental in the call for decolonization in Africa and elsewhere in the world. Thus, according to Pramoedya, Max Havelaar is "the book that killed colonialism".

In the last chapter the author announces that he will translate the book "into the few languages I know, and into the many languages I can learn." In fact, Max Havelaar has been translated into thirty-four languages. It was first translated into English in 1868. In Indonesia, the novel was cited as an inspiration by Sukarno and other early nationalist leaders, such as the author's Indo (Eurasian) descendant Ernest Douwes Dekker, who had read it in its original Dutch. It was not translated into Indonesian until 1972.

In the novel, the story of Max Havelaar, a Dutch colonial administrator, is told by two diametrically opposed characters: the hypocritical coffee merchant Droogstoppel, who intends to use Havelaar's manuscripts to write about the coffee trade, and the romantic German apprentice Stern, who takes over when Droogstoppel loses interest in the story. The opening chapter of the book nicely sets the tone of the satirical nature of what is to follow, with Droogstoppel articulating his pompous and mercenary world-view at length. At the very end of the novel Multatuli himself takes the pen and the book culminates in a vocal denunciation of Dutch colonial policies and a plea to the king of the Netherlands to intervene on behalf of his Indonesian subjects.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
     
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1860
 
 
Alexander Ostrovski: "The Storm"
 

The Storm (Russian: Гроза, sometimes translated as The Thunderstorm) is a drama in five acts by the 19th-century Russian playwright Ostrovski Alexander. As with Ostrovsky's other plays, The Storm is a work of social criticism, which is directed particularly towards the Russian merchant class.

 
History
Ostrovsky wrote the play between July and October 1859. He read it in Lyubov Nikulina-Kositskaya's Moscow flat to the actors of the Maly Theatre to a great response. To make sure the play makes it through censorship barrier the author made a trip to the capital where he had hard time convincing censor Nordstrom that in Kabanikha he hadn't shown the late Tsar Nikolai I. It was premiered on November 16, 1859, as actor Sergei Vasiliev's benefice to a great success.

In Saint Petersburg the play was being produced, as in Moscow, under the personal supervision of its author. Katerina there was played by young and elegant Fanny Snetkova who gave lyrical overtones to the character. In both cities the play angered most of the theatre critics but appealed to audiences and was a tremendous box office success.

Reception
The Storm provoked fierce debate in the Russian press of the time concerning moral issues. While Vasily Botkin was raving about "the elemental poetic force emerging from secret depths of a human soul... for Katerina's love is a woman's nature thing exactly in the way that any of climactic cataclysm is a thing of physical nature", critic Nikolai Filippov lambasted the play as an "example of vulgar primitivism", calling Katerina "shameless" and the scene of rendezvous in Act III "scabrous". Mikhail Shchepkin was highly skeptical too, especially about "those two episodes that take place behind the bushes". Stepan Shevyryov wrote about the decline of a Russian comedy and drama, which was "sliding down the ranking stairs" to the bottom of social hierarchy.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
Alexander Ostrovski. "The Storm"
 
 
see also: Aleksandr Ostrovsky
 
 
     
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1860
 
 
Swinburne Algernon Charles: "The Queen Mother"
 
 

Swinburne. "The Queen-mother and Rosamond"
 
 
see also: Algernon Charles Swinburne
 
 
     
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1860
 
 
Chekhov Anton
 

Anton Chekhov, in full Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (born Jan. 29 [Jan. 17, Old Style], 1860, Taganrog, Russia—died July 14/15 [July 1/2], 1904, Badenweiler, Ger.), major Russian playwright and master of the modern short story. He was a literary artist of laconic precision who probed below the surface of life, laying bare the secret motives of his characters. Chekhov’s best plays and short stories lack complex plots and neat solutions. Concentrating on apparent trivialities, they create a special kind of atmosphere, sometimes termed haunting or lyrical. Chekhov described the Russian life of his time using a deceptively simple technique devoid of obtrusive literary devices, and he is regarded as the outstanding representative of the late 19th-century Russian realist school.

 

Osip Braz: "Portrait of Anton Chekhov"
  Boyhood and youth
Chekhov’s father was a struggling grocer and pious martinet who had been born a serf. He compelled his son to serve in his shop, also conscripting him into a church choir, which he himself conducted. Despite the kindness of his mother, childhood remained a painful memory to Chekhov, although it later proved to be a vivid and absorbing experience that he often invoked in his works. After briefly attending a local school for Greek boys, Chekhov entered the town gimnaziya (high school), where he remained for 10 years. There he received the best standard education then available—thorough but unimaginative and based on the Greek and Latin classics. During his last three years at school Chekhov lived alone and supported himself by coaching younger boys; his father, having gone bankrupt, had moved with the rest of his family to Moscow to make a fresh start.

In the autumn of 1879 Chekhov joined his family in Moscow, which was to be his main base until 1892. He at once enrolled in the university’s medical faculty, graduating in 1884 as a doctor. By this time he was already the economic mainstay of his family, for his father could obtain only poorly paid employment. As unofficial head of the family Anton showed great reserves of responsibility and energy, cheerfully supporting his mother and the younger children through his free-lance earnings as a journalist and writer of comic sketches—work that he combined with arduous medical studies and a busy social life.

 
 
Chekhov began his writing career as the author of anecdotes for humorous journals, signing his early work pseudonymously. By 1888 he had become widely popular with a “lowbrow” public and had already produced a body of work more voluminous than all his later writings put together. And he had, in the process, turned the short comic sketch of about 1,000 words into a minor art form. He had also experimented in serious writing, providing studies of human misery and despair strangely at variance with the frenzied facetiousness of his comic work. Gradually this serious vein absorbed him and soon predominated over the comic.
 
 

Portrait by Isaac Levitan, 1886
  Literary maturity
Chekhov’s literary progress during his early 20s may be charted by the first appearance of his work in a sequence of publications in the capital, St. Petersburg, each successive vehicle being more serious and respected than its predecessor. Finally, in 1888, Chekhov published his first work in a leading literary review, Severny vestnik (“Northern Herald”).

With the work in question—a long story entitled “Steppe”—he at last turned his back on comic fiction. “Steppe,” an autobiographical work describing a journey in the Ukraine as seen through the eyes of a child, is the first among more than 50 stories published in a variety of journals and selections between 1888 and his death in 1904. It is on this corpus of later stories, but also on his mature dramas of the same period, that Chekhov’s main reputation rests.

Although the year 1888 first saw Chekhov concentrating almost exclusively on short stories that were serious in conception, humour—now underlying—nearly always remained an important ingredient. There was also a concentration on quality at the expense of quantity, the number of publications dropping suddenly from over a hundred items a year in the peak years 1886 and 1887 to only 10 short stories in 1888.
Besides “Steppe,” Chekhov also wrote several profoundly tragic studies at this time, the most notable of which was “A Dreary Story” (1889), a penetrating study into the mind of an elderly and dying professor of medicine. The ingenuity and insight displayed in this tour de force was especially remarkable, coming from an author so young.

 
 
The play Ivanov (1887–89) culminates in the suicide of a young man nearer to the author’s own age. Together with “A Dreary Story,” this belongs to a group among Chekhov’s works that have been called clinical studies. They explore the experiences of the mentally or physically ill in a spirit that reminds one that the author was himself a qualified—and remained a sporadically practicing—doctor.
 
 


Portrait by Valentin Serov, 1903

  By the late 1880s many critics had begun to reprimand Chekhov, now that he was sufficiently well known to attract their attention, for holding no firm political and social views and for failing to endow his works with a sense of direction. Such expectations irked Chekhov, who was unpolitical and philosophically uncommitted. In early 1890 he suddenly sought relief from the irritations of urban intellectual life by undertaking a one-man sociological expedition to a remote island, Sakhalin. This is situated nearly 6,000 miles (9,650 km) east of Moscow, on the other side of Siberia, and was notorious as an imperial Russian penal settlement. Chekhov’s journey there was a long and hazardous ordeal by carriage and riverboat. After arriving unscathed, studying local conditions, and conducting a census of the islanders, he returned to publish his findings as a research thesis, which retains an honoured place in the annals of Russian penology: The Island of Sakhalin (1893–94).

Chekhov paid his first visit to western Europe in the company of A.S. Suvorin, a wealthy newspaper proprietor and the publisher of much of Chekhov’s own work. Their long and close friendship caused Chekhov some unpopularity, owing to the politically reactionary character of Suvorin’s newspaper, Novoye vremya (“New Time”). Eventually Chekhov broke with Suvorin over the attitude taken by the paper toward the notorious Alfred Dreyfus affair in France, with Chekhov championing Dreyfus.

During the years just before and after his Sakhalin expedition, Chekhov had continued his experiments as a dramatist. His Wood Demon (1888–89) is a long-winded and ineptly facetious four-act play, which somehow, by a miracle of art, became converted—largely by cutting—into Dyadya Vanya (Uncle Vanya), one of his greatest stage masterpieces.

 
 
The conversion—to a superb study of aimlessness in a rural manor house—took place some time between 1890 and 1896; the play was published in 1897. Other dramatic efforts of the period include several of the uproarious one-act farces known as vaudevilles: Medved (The Bear), Predlozheniye (The Proposal), Svadba (The Wedding), Yubiley (The Anniversary), and others.
 
 

Anton Chekhov
  Melikhovo period: 1892–98
After helping, both as doctor and as medical administrator, to relieve the disastrous famine of 1891–92, Chekhov bought a country estate in the village of Melikhovo, about 50 miles (80 km) south of Moscow. This was his main residence for about six years, providing a home for his aging parents, as also for his sister Mariya, who acted as his housekeeper and remained unmarried in order to look after her brother. The Melikhovo period was the most creatively effective of Chekhov’s life so far as short stories were concerned, for it was during these six years that he wrote “The Butterfly,” “Neighbours” (1892), “An Anonymous Story” (1893), “The Black Monk” (1894), “Murder,” and “Ariadne” (1895), among many other masterpieces. Village life now became a leading theme in his work, most notably in “Peasants” (1897). Undistinguished by plot, this short sequence of brilliant sketches created more stir in Russia than any other single work of Chekhov’s, partly owing to his rejection of the convention whereby writers commonly presented the Russian peasantry in sentimentalized and debrutalized form.

Continuing to provide many portraits of the intelligentsia, Chekhov also described the commercial and factory-owning world in such stories as “A Woman’s Kingdom,” (1894) and “Three Years” (1895). As has often been recognized, Chekhov’s work provides a panoramic study of the Russia of his day, and one so accurate that it could even be used as a sociological source.

 
 
In some of his stories of the Melikhovo period, Chekhov attacked by implication the teachings of Leo Tolstoy, the well-known novelist and thinker, and Chekhov’s revered elder contemporary. Himself once (in the late 1880s) a tentative disciple of the Tolstoyan simple life, and also of nonresistance to evil as advocated by Tolstoy, Chekhov had now rejected these doctrines. He illustrated his new view in one particularly outstanding story: “Ward Number Six” (1892). Here an elderly doctor shows himself nonresistant to evil by refraining from remedying the appalling conditions in the mental ward of which he has charge—only to be incarcerated as a patient himself through the intrigues of a subordinate. In “My Life” (1896) the young hero, son of a provincial architect, insists on defying middle-class convention by becoming a house painter, a cultivation of the Tolstoyan simple life that Chekhov portrays as misconceived.
 
 

Chekhov with Leo Tolstoy at Yalta, 1900
  In a later trio of linked stories, ”The Man in a Case,” “Gooseberries,” and “About Love” (1898), Chekhov further develops the same theme, showing various figures who similarly fail to realize their full potentialities. As these pleas in favour of personal freedom illustrate, Chekhov’s stories frequently contain some kind of submerged moral, though he never worked out a comprehensive ethical or philosophical doctrine.

Chayka (The Seagull) is Chekhov’s only dramatic work dating with certainty from the Melikhovo period. First performed in St. Petersburg on Oct. 17, 1896 (O.S.), this four-act drama, misnamed a comedy, was badly received; indeed, it was almost hissed off the stage. Chekhov was greatly distressed and left the auditorium during the second act, having suffered one of the most traumatic experiences of his life and vowing never to write for the stage again.

Two years later, however, the play was revived by the newly created Moscow Art Theatre, enjoying considerable success and helping to reestablish Chekhov as a dramatist. The Seagull is a study of the clash between the older and younger generations as it affects two actresses and two writers, some of the details having been suggested by episodes in the lives of Chekhov’s friends.

 
 

Anton Chekhov
  Yalta period: 1899–1904
In March 1897 Chekhov had suffered a lung hemorrhage caused by tuberculosis, symptoms of which had become apparent considerably earlier. Now forced to acknowledge himself a semi-invalid, Chekhov sold his Melikhovo estate and built a villa in Yalta, the Crimean coastal resort. From then on he spent most of his winters there or on the French Riviera, cut off from the intellectual life of Moscow and St. Petersburg. This was all the more galling since his plays were beginning to attract serious attention. Moreover, Chekhov had become attracted by a young actress, Olga Knipper, who was appearing in his plays, and whom he eventually married in 1901; the marriage probably marked the only profound love affair of his life. But since Knipper continued to pursue her acting career, husband and wife lived apart during most of the winter months, and there were no children of the marriage.

Never a successful financial manager, Chekhov attempted to regularize his literary affairs in 1899 by selling the copyright of all his existing works, excluding plays, to the publisher A.F. Marx for 75,000 rubles, an unduly low sum.

 
 
In 1899–1901 Marx issued the first comprehensive edition of Chekhov’s works, in 10 volumes, after the author had himself rejected many of his juvenilia. Even so, this publication, reprinted in 1903 with supplementary material, was unsatisfactory in many ways.

Chekhov’s Yalta period saw a decline in the production of short stories and a greater emphasis on drama. His two last plays—Tri sestry (1901; Three Sisters) and Vishnyovy sad (1904; The Cherry Orchard)—were both written for the Moscow Art Theatre. But much as Chekhov owed to the theatre’s two founders, Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko and Konstanin Stanislavsky, he remained dissatisfied with such rehearsals and performances of his plays as he was able to witness. Repeatedly insisting that his mature drama was comedy rather than tragedy, Chekhov grew distressed when producers insisted on a heavy treatment, overemphasizing the—admittedly frequent—occasions on which the characters inveigh against the boredom and futility of their lives.
 
 
Despite Stanislavsky’s reputation as an innovator who had brought a natural, nondeclamatory style to the hitherto overhistrionic Russian stage, his productions were never natural and nondeclamatory enough for Chekhov, who wished his work to be acted with the lightest possible touch. And though Chekhov’s mature plays have since become established in repertoires all over the world, it remains doubtful whether his craving for the light touch has been satisfied except on the rarest of occasions. Yet oversolemnity can be the ruin of Three Sisters, for example—the play in which Chekhov so sensitively portrays the longings of a trio of provincial young women. Insisting that his The Cherry Orchard was “a comedy, in places even a farce,” Chekhov offered in this last play a poignant picture of the Russian landowning class in decline, portraying characters who remain comic despite their very poignancy. This play was first performed in Moscow on Jan. 17, 1904 (O.S.), and less than six months later Chekhov died of tuberculosis.

Though already celebrated by the Russian literary public at the time of his death, Chekhov did not become internationally famous until the years after World War I, by which time the translations of Constance Garnett (into English) and of others had helped to publicize his work. Yet his elusive, superficially guileless style of writing—in which what is left unsaid often seems so much more important than what is said—has defied effective analysis by literary critics, as well as effective imitation by creative writers.

 
Chekhov. Three Sisters
 
 
It was not until 40 years after his death, with the issue of the 20-volume Polnoye sobraniye sochineny i pisem A.P. Chekhova (“Complete Works and Letters of A.P. Chekhov”) of 1944–51, that Chekhov was at last presented in Russian on a level of scholarship worthy—though with certain reservations—of his achievement. Eight volumes of this edition contain his correspondence, amounting to several thousand letters. Outstandingly witty and lively, they belie the legend—commonly believed during the author’s lifetime—that he was hopelessly pessimistic in outlook. As samples of the Russian epistolary art, Chekhov’s letters have been rated second only to Aleksandr Pushkin’s by the literary historian D.S. Mirsky. Although Chekhov is still chiefly known for his plays, critical opinion shows signs of establishing the stories—and particularly those that were written after 1888—as an even more significant and creative literary achievement.

Ronald Francis Hingley

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 


Grave of Anton Chekhov

 
 
 
     
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"Uncle Vanya"
     
 
 
     
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