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-1861 Part II NEXT-1861 Part IV    
1860 - 1869
History at a Glance
1860 Part I
Treaty of Turin
First Taranaki War
Convention of Peking
Secession of South Carolina
Poincare Raymond
The Church Union
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: "Max Havelaar"
Alexander Ostrovski: "The Storm"
Chekhov Anton
Anton Chekhov
"Uncle Vanya"
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
1860 Part IV
Fechner Gustav Theodor
Lenoir Etienne
Walton Frederick
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
1861 Part I
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
1861 Part II
Siege of Gaeta
Emancipation Manifesto
Louis I
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"
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"
1861 Part V
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
1862 Part I
Battle of Fort Henry
Second Battle of Bull Run
Battle of Fredericksburg
Grey Edward
Briand Aristide
The American Civil War, 1862
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
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"
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
1863 Part I
West Virginia
Emancipation Proclamation
Battle of Chancellorsville
Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address"
The American Civil War, 1863
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
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
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
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
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
History of photography
Alexandra of Denmark
Royce Henry
Cuthbert Ned
Coburn Joe
Mike McCoole
1864 Part I
Schleswig-Holstein Question
First Schleswig War
Second Schleswig War
Halleck Henry
Sherman William
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
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
1864 Part III
Stieglitz Alfred
History of photography
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
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
1864 Part IV
Lake Albert
Bertrand Joseph
Nernst Walther
Wien Wilhelm
Rawat Nain Singh
The Surveyors
First Geneva Convention
Knights of Pythias
"Neue Freie Presse""
De Rossi Giovanni Battista
"In God We Trust"
Travers Stakes
Farragut David
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
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
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"
1865 Part IV
Plucker Julius
Hyatt John Wesley
Kekule: structure of benzene
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
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
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"
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
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
1867 Part I
Manchester Martyrs
Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867
Constitution Act, 1867
Alaska Purchase
North German Confederation
Reform Act of 1867
Battle of Mentana
Mary of Teck
Baldwin Stanley
Rathenau Walther
Pilsudski Joseph
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"
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
1867 Part IV
Curie Marie
Michaux Pierre
Monier Joseph
Brenner Railway
Mining industry of South Africa
Thurn and Taxis
Chambers John Graham
London Athletic Club
Barnardo Thomas John
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
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"
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
1868 Part IV
Lartet Louis
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
1869 Part I
Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant
French legislative election, 1869
Prohibition Party
Red River Rebellion
Chamberlain Neville
Gandhi Mahatma
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"
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
1869 Part IV
Francis Galton: "Hereditary Genius"
Periodic law
Nachtigal Gustav
Cincinnati Red Stockings
Girton College, Cambridge
1869 New Jersey vs. Rutgers football game
Co-operative Congress
Lesseps Ferdinand
Suez Canal

The House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Wood Engravings by Fritz Eichenberg
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1861 Part III
Vladimir Dahl: "Dictionary of the Living Russian Tongue" (-1866)
Dal Vladimir

Vladimir Ivanovich Dal (alternatively transliterated as Dahl; Russian: Влади́мир Ива́нович Даль; November 10, 1801 – September 22, 1872) was one of the greatest Russian language lexicographers. He was a founding member of the Russian Geographical Society. He knew at least six languages including Turkic and is considered to be one of the early Turkologists. During his lifetime he compiled and documented the oral history of the region that was later published in Russian and became part of modern folklore.


Vladimir Ivanovich Dal by Vasily Perov
  Early life
His father was a Danish physician named Johan Christian von Dahl (1764 – October 21, 1821). He was a linguist versed in German, English, French, Russian, Yiddish, Latin, Greek and Hebrew languages. His mother, Maria Freitag, was of German and French descent (Huguenots). She spoke at least five languages and came from a family of scholars.

The future lexicographer was born in the town of Lugansky Zavod, in Novorossiya under the jurisdiction of Yekaterinoslav Governorate, part of Russian Empire, which is now Luhansk, Ukraine.

Novorossiya was part of Russian colonization, where Russian was imposed as a common language in cities, but Ukrainian remained prevalent in smaller towns, villages, and rural areas outside the immediate control of colonization. On the outskirts, the ethnic composition varied and included such nationalities as Ukrainians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Armenians, Tatars, and many others. Dal grew up under the influence of this various ethnic mixture of people and cultures.

Dal served in the Russian Navy from 1814 to 1826, graduating from the St Petersburg Naval Cadet School in 1819.

In 1826, he began studying medicine at Dorpat University and took part as a military doctor in the Russo-Turkish War (1828–1829) and the campaign against Poland in 1831–1832. Following disagreement with his superiors, he resigned from the Military Hospital in St. Petersburg and took an administrative position with the Ministry of the Interior in Orenburg Governorate, serving in similar positions in St. Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod before his retirement in 1859.

Dal was interested in language and folklore from his early years. He started traveling by foot through the countryside, collecting sayings and fairy tales in various Slavic languages from the region. He published his first collection of fairy-tales in 1832 in Russian language. Some others, yet unpublished, were put in verse by his friend Alexander Pushkin and have become some of the most familiar texts in the Russian language. After Pushkin's fatal duel, Dal was summoned to his deathbed and looked after the great poet during the last hours of his life. In 1838, Dal was elected to the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Lexicographic studies
In the following decade, Dal adopted the pen name Kazak Lugansky ("Cossack from Luhansk") and published several realistic essays in the manner of Nikolai Gogol. He continued his lexicographic studies and extensive travels throughout the 1850s and 1860s. Having no time to edit his collection of fairy tales, he asked Alexander Afanasyev to prepare them for publication, which followed in the late 1850s. Joachim T. Baer wrote:

While Dal was a skilled observer, he lacked talent in developing a story and creating psychological depth for his characters. He was interested in the wealth of the Russian language, and he began collecting words while still a student in the Naval Cadet School. Later he collected and recorded fairy tales, folk songs, birch bark woodcuts, and accounts of superstitions, beliefs, and prejudices of the Russian people. His industry in the sphere of collecting was prodigious.

His magnum opus, Explanatory Dictionary of the Live Great Russian language, was published in four huge volumes in 1863–1866. The Sayings and Bywords of the Russian people, featuring more than 30,000 entries, followed several years later. Both books have been reprinted innumerable number of times. Baer says: "While an excellent collector, Dal had some difficulty ordering his material, and his so-called alphabet-nest system was not completely satisfactory until Baudouin de Courtenay revised it thoroughly in the third (1903–1910) and fourth (1912–1914) editions of the Dictionary.

  Dal was a strong proponent of the native rather than adopted vocabulary. His dictionary began to have a strong influence on literature at the beginning of the 20th century; in his 1911 article "Poety russkogo sklada" (Poets of the Russian Mold), Maximilian Voloshin wrote:

Just about the first of the contemporary poets who began to read Dal was Vyacheslav Ivanovich Ivanov. In any case, contemporary poets of the younger generation, under his influence, subscribed to the new edition of Dal. The discovery of the verbal riches of the Russian language was for the reading public like studying a completely new foreign language. Both old and popular Russian words seemed gems for which there was absolutely no place in the usual ideological practice of the intelligentsia, in that habitual verbal comfort in simplified speech, composed of international elements.

While studying at Cambridge, Vladimir Nabokov bought a copy of Dal's dictionary and read at least ten pages every evening, "jotting down such words and expressions as might especially please me"; Alexander Solzhenitsyn took a volume of Dal with him as his only book when he was sent to the prison camp at Ekibastuz.

The encompassing nature of Dal's dictionary gives it critical linguistic importance even today, especially because a large proportion of the dialectal vocabulary he collected has since passed out of use. The dictionary served as a base for Vasmer's Etymological dictionary of the Russian language, the most comprehensive Slavic etymological lexicon.

For his great dictionary Dal was honoured by the Lomonosov Medal, the Constantine Medal  (1863) and an honorary fellowship in the Russian Academy of Sciences.

He is interred at the Vagankovskoye Cemetery in Moscow. To mark the 200th anniversary of Vladimir Dal's birthday, UNESCO declared the year 2000 The International Year of Vladimir Dal.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lasalle Ferdinand: "System of Assigned Rights"
Friedrich Karl von Savigny (Savigny Friedrich Karl), German jurist, d. (b. 1779)

Friedrich Karl von Savigny
Spencer Herbert : "Education: Moral, Intellectual, Physical"
Stanley Arthur Penrhyn: "Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church"

Arthur P. Stanley : "Lectures on the
History of the Eastern Church"
Steiner Rudolf
Rudolf Steiner, (born February 27, 1861, Kraljević, Austria—died March 30, 1925, Dornach, Switzerland), Austrian-born spiritualist, lecturer, and founder of anthroposophy, a movement based on the notion that there is a spiritual world comprehensible to pure thought but accessible only to the highest faculties of mental knowledge.

Rudolf Steiner
  Attracted in his youth to the works of Goethe, Steiner edited that poet’s scientific works and from 1889 to 1896 worked on the standard edition of his complete works at Weimar. During this period he wrote his Die Philosophie der Freiheit (1894; “The Philosophy of Freedom”), then moved to Berlin to edit the literary journal Magazin für Literatur and to lecture. Coming gradually to believe in spiritual perception independent of the senses, he called the result of his research “anthroposophy,” centring on “knowledge produced by the higher self in man.” In 1912 he founded the Anthroposophical Society.

Steiner believed that humans once participated more fully in spiritual processes of the world through a dreamlike consciousness but had since become restricted by their attachment to material things. The renewed perception of spiritual things required training the human consciousness to rise above attention to matter. The ability to achieve this goal by an exercise of the intellect is theoretically innate in everyone.

In 1913 at Dornach, near Basel, Switzerland, Steiner built his first Goetheanum, which he characterized as a “school of spiritual science.” After a fire in 1922, it was replaced by another building. The Waldorf School movement, derived from his experiments with the Goetheanum, by the early 21st century had more than 1,000 schools around the world. Other projects that grew out of Steiner’s work include communities for persons with disabilities; a therapeutic clinical centre at Arlesheim, Switzerland; scientific and mathematical research centres; and schools of drama, speech, painting, and sculpture. Among Steiner’s varied writings are The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (1894), Occult Science: An Outline (1913), and Story of My Life (1924).

Encyclopædia Britannica
Whitehead Alfred North

Alfred North Whitehead, (born Feb. 15, 1861, Ramsgate, Isle of Thanet, Kent, Eng.—died Dec. 30, 1947, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.), English mathematician and philosopher who collaborated with Bertrand Russell on Principia Mathematica (1910–13) and, from the mid-1920s, taught at Harvard University and developed a comprehensive metaphysical theory.


Alfred North Whitehead,
c. 1925.
  Background and schooling
Whitehead’s grandfather Thomas Whitehead was a self-made man who started a successful boys’ school known as Chatham House Academy. His father, Alfred Whitehead, an Anglican clergyman, in turn headed the school and later became vicar of St. Peter’s in Thanet. His mother, born Maria Sarah Buckmaster, was the daughter of a prosperous military tailor. Alfred North Whitehead was their youngest child. Because they considered him too frail for school or active sports, his father taught him at home until he was 14, when he was sent to Sherborne School, Dorset, which was then one of the best schools in England. Whitehead received a classical education, showing a special gift for mathematics. Despite his over-protected childhood, he showed himself a natural leader. In his last year at school, he was head prefect, responsible for all discipline outside the classroom, and was a highly successful captain of games.

In 1880 Whitehead entered Trinity College, Cambridge, on a scholarship. He attended only mathematical lectures, and his interests in literature, religion, philosophy, and politics were nourished solely by conversation. It was not until May 1884, however, that he was elected to an elite discussion society known as the Apostles. Whitehead did well in the Mathematical Tripos (honours examination) of 1883–84, won a Trinity fellowship, and was appointed to the mathematical staff of the college.

His interest in James Clerk Maxwell’s theory of electricity and magnetism (the subject of his fellowship dissertation) expanded toward a scrutiny of mathematical symbolism and ideas. Stimulated by pioneering works in modern algebra, he envisaged a detailed comparative study of systems of symbolic reasoning allied to ordinary algebra. He did not begin to write his Treatise on Universal Algebra (1898), however, until January 1891, one month after his marriage to Evelyn Willoughby Wade. She had been born in France, a child of impoverished Irish landed gentry, and educated in a convent. She was a woman with a great sense of drama and a real and unusual aesthetic sensibility, and she enriched Whitehead’s life immensely.

Shortly before his marriage, his long-standing interest in religion had taken a new turn. His background had been solidly tied into the Church of England; his father and uncles had been ordained; so had his brother Henry, who would become bishop of Madras (now Chennai), India. But Whitehead, under the influence of John Cardinal Newman, began to consider the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church. For about eight years he read a great deal of theology. Then he sold his theological library and gave up religion. This agnosticism did not survive World War I, but Whitehead was never again a member of any church.

Whitehead was at work on a second volume of his Universal Algebra from 1898 to 1903, when he abandoned it because he was busy on a related, large investigation with Bertrand Russell. He had spotted young Russell’s brilliance when he examined him for entrance scholarships at Trinity College. In 1890 Russell was a freshman studying mathematics there, and Whitehead was one of his teachers. Gradually the two men became close friends. In July 1900 they attended the First International Congress of Philosophy in Paris, where they were impressed by the precision with which the mathematician Giuseppe Peano used symbolic logic (formal logic) to clarify the foundations of arithmetic (see also Peano axioms; foundations of mathematics). Russell at once mastered Peano’s notation and extended his methods. By the end of 1900 he had written the first draft of his brilliant Principles of Mathematics (1903). Whitehead agreed with its main thesis—that all pure mathematics follows from a reformed formal logic so that, of the two, logic is the fundamental discipline. By 1901 Russell had secured Whitehead’s collaboration on the second volume of the Principles, in which this thesis was to be established by strict symbolic reasoning. The task turned out to be enormous. Their work had to be made independent of Russell’s book; they called it Principia Mathematica. The project occupied them until 1910, when the first of its three volumes was published. The “official” text was written in a notation, most of which was either taken from Peano or invented by Whitehead. Broadly speaking, Whitehead left the philosophical problems—notably the devising of a theory of logical types—to Russell; and Russell, who had no teaching duties, actually wrote out most of the book. But the collaboration was thorough, and Russell gave Whitehead an equal share of the credit. Whitehead’s only large published piece employing the symbolism of the Principia is a masterly speculative memoir, “On Mathematical Concepts of the Material World” (1905).

Career in London
By 1903 Trinity College had given Whitehead a 10-year appointment as a senior lecturer, made him the head of the mathematics staff, and permitted his teaching career to run beyond the maximum of 25 years set by the college statutes. Yet Whitehead’s future was uncertain: he had not made the sort of discoveries that cause a mathematician to be counted as outstanding. (His interest was always philosophical, in that it was directed more toward grasping the nature of mathematics in its widest aspects and organizing its ideas than toward discovering new theorems.) There was, thus, little prospect of a Cambridge professorship in mathematics for him at the expiration of his Trinity lectureship. He did not wait for it to expire but moved to London in 1910, even though he had no position waiting for him there. His years of service at Trinity, however, had made him a fellow for life, entitled to twice the regular quarterly dividend paid to fellows. This was scarcely enough to support his family, but Evelyn Whitehead encouraged the venture.

In that first London year, Whitehead wrote the first of his books for a wide audience, An Introduction to Mathematics (1911), still one of the best books of its kind. In 1911 he was appointed to the staff of University College (London), and in 1914 he became professor of applied mathematics at the Imperial College of Science and Technology.

In London Whitehead observed the education then being offered to the English masses. His own teaching had always elicited his pupils’ latent abilities to the fullest. Perceiving that mathematics was being taught as a disconnected set of largely unfathomed exercises, Whitehead made occasional addresses on the teaching of mathematics. He stressed getting a living understanding of a few interrelated abstract ideas by using them in a variety of ways so as to develop an intimate sense of their power. Whitehead also perceived that literature was so taught as to preclude its enjoyment, that curricula were fragmented, and that teachers were handcuffed by the system of uniform examinations set by outside examiners. In 1916, as president of the Mathematical Association, he delivered the notable address “The Aims of Education: A Plea for Reform.” Whitehead reminded youth’s keepers that the purpose of education was not to pack knowledge into the pupils but to stimulate and guide their self-development.

“Culture,” he said, “is activity of thought, and receptiveness to beauty and humane feeling. Scraps of information have nothing to do with it.” Whitehead’s address became a classic in virtue of its unequalled clarity, vigour, and realism and its reconciliation of general with special education. It was followed by penetrating essays on such topics as the rhythm of freedom and discipline.

  Though Whitehead’s essays on education had little effect on British practice, they inspired many teachers in Great Britain, the United States, and elsewhere.
From 1919 to 1924 Whitehead was chairman of the governing body of Goldsmiths’ College, London, one of England’s major institutes for training teachers. He also served as a governor of several polytechnic schools in London. In the University of London he became a member of the Senate, chairman of the Academic Council, and dean of the Faculty of Science. His shrewdness, common sense, and goodwill put him in great demand as a committee member.

Whitehead was a pacific man but not a pacifist; he felt that the war was hideous but that England’s part in it was necessary. His elder son, North, fought throughout the war, and his daughter, Jessie, worked in the Foreign Office. In 1918 his younger son, Eric, was killed in action, and after that it was only by immense effort that Whitehead could go on working. To Whitehead, Russell’s pacifism was simplistic. Yet after Russell was imprisoned for campaigning against the war, Whitehead visited him and remained his friend, and, as Russell later said, showed him greater tolerance than he could return.

During those years, Whitehead was also constructing philosophical foundations for physics. He was led to this by the way in which he wanted to present geometry—not as deduced from hypothetical premises about assumed though imperceptible entities (e.g., points) but as the science of actual space, which is a complex of relations between extended things. From perceivable elements and relations, he logically constructed entities that are related to each other just as points are in geometry. That was only the beginning of his task, for Albert Einstein had revised the ideas of space, time, and motion. Whitehead was convinced that these three concepts should be based upon the general character of human perception of the external world. In 1919 he published his Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge; it was both searching and constructive but too philosophical and too complicated to influence physicists.

Whitehead had begun to have discussions of the perceptual basis of scientific knowledge with philosophers in 1915, and he followed up his Enquiry with a nonmathematical book, The Concept of Nature (1920). Though he rejected idealistic views of the relation of nature to perceiving minds, neither was he a realist of the school led by Russell and G.E. Moore. In maintaining that events are the basic components of nature and that passage, or creative advance, is its most fundamental feature—doctrines that foreshadowed his later metaphysics—Whitehead was somewhat influenced by Henri Bergson’s antimechanistic philosophy of change. Yet he was also something of a Platonist; he saw the definite character of events as due to the “ingression” of timeless entities (see Plato: The theory of forms).


Alfred North Whitehead
  Career in the United States
In the early 1920s Whitehead was clearly the most distinguished figure in the philosophy of science who was writing in English. When a friend of Harvard University, the historical scholar Henry Osborn Taylor, pledged the money for his salary, Harvard early in 1924 offered Whitehead a five-year appointment as professor of philosophy. He was 63 years old, with at most two more years to go in the Imperial College. The idea of teaching philosophy appealed to him, and his wife wholeheartedly concurred in the move. Harvard soon found that it had hired more than a philosopher of science; it had acquired a metaphysician, one comparable in stature to Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and G.W.F. Hegel.

Early in 1925 he gave a course of eight lectures in Boston, published the same year (with additions—among them his earliest writing about God) as Science and the Modern World. In it he dramatically described what had long engaged his meditation; namely, the rise, triumph, and impact of “scientific materialism”—i.e., the view that nature consists of nothing else but matter in motion, or a flux of purely physical energy. He criticized this materialism as mistaking an abstract system of mathematical physics for the concrete reality of nature.

Whitehead’s mind was at home with such abstractions, and he saw them as real discoveries, not intellectual inventions; but his sense for the fullness of existence led him to urge upon philosophy the task of making good their omissions by reverting to the variety of concrete experience and then framing broader ideas. The importance of this book was immediately recognized. What perhaps impressed most readers was Whitehead’s appeal to his favourite poets, William Wordsworth and Percy Bysshe Shelley, against the exclusion of values from nature.
In 1926, the compact book Religion in the Making appeared. In it, Whitehead interpreted religion as reaching its deepest level in humanity’s solitude, that is, as an attitude of the individual toward the universe rather than as a social phenomenon.

In January 1927 the University of Edinburgh invited him to give a set of 10 Gifford Lectures in the ensuing academic year. For this, Whitehead drew up the complex technical structure of “the philosophy of organism” (as he called his metaphysics) and thought through his agreements and disagreements with some of the great European philosophers.

It was characteristic of him to insist, against David Hume, that an adequate philosophical theory must build on “practice” and not be supplemented by it. The lectures reflected Whitehead’s speculative hypothesis that the universe consists entirely of becomings, each of them a process of appropriating and integrating the infinity of items (“reality”) provided by the antecedent universe and by God (the abiding source of novel possibilities). When, in June 1928, the time for delivering the lectures arrived and Whitehead presented this system in its new and difficult terminology, his audience rapidly vanished, but the publication of the lectures, expanded to 25 chapters, gave Western metaphysics one of its greatest books, Process and Reality (1929).

Whitehead had an unwavering faith in the possibility of understanding existence and a superb power to construct a scheme of general ideas broad enough to overcome the classic dualisms. But he knew that no system can do more than make an approach, somewhat more adequate than its predecessors, to understanding the infinitude of existence.

He had seen the collapse of the long-entrenched Newtonian system of physics, and he never forgot its lesson. Henceforth dogmatic assurance, whether in philosophy, science, or theology, was his enemy.

  Adventures of Ideas (1933) was Whitehead’s last big philosophical book and the most rewarding one for the general reader. It offered penetrating, balanced reflections on the parts played by brute forces and by general ideas about humanity, God, and the universe in shaping the course of Western civilization. Whitehead emphasized the impulse of life toward newness and the absolute need for societies stable enough to nourish adventure that is fruitful rather than anarchic. In this book he also summarized his metaphysics and used it to elucidate the nature of beauty, truth, art, adventure, and peace. By “peace” he meant a religious attitude that is “primarily a trust in the efficacy of beauty.”

Except for an insufficient familiarity with Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud, Whitehead was comfortable in both the scientific and literary cultures of his time. Young people flocked to “Sunday evenings” at his home, which his wife skillfully managed. Here the spare, rosy-cheeked man, who might have been of average height if he had not been so stooped, talked to them in a high-pitched but gentle voice—talked not about his system but about whatever was on their minds, sharply illuminating it from a broad and historical perspective.

In his Harvard lectures, as in his books, Whitehead liked best to explore the scope of application of an idea and to show how intuitions that were traditionally opposed could supplement each other, which he did by dint of his own ideas. Most students found attendance at his lectures a great experience. Harvard did not retire him until 1937.

In his first years in the United States, Whitehead visited many eastern and midwestern campuses as a lecturer. Though he loved Americans, he remained always very much an Englishman. A Fellow of the Royal Society from 1903, he was elected to the British Academy in 1931. In 1945 he received the Order of Merit. After his death his body was cremated, and there was no funeral. His unpublished manuscripts and correspondence were destroyed by his widow, as he had wanted.

Whitehead’s admirers have included leaders in every field of thought. His educational and philosophical books have been translated into many languages. His metaphysics has been keenly studied, in the United States most of all. His philosophical system has exerted its greatest influence on what is now called “process theology”; this is partly due to the influence of the philosopher Charles Hartshorne and the theologians David Ray Griffin and John B. Cobb.

Whitehead’s habit of helpfulness made him universally beloved. Though his courtesy was perfect, there was nothing soft about him; never contentious, he was astute, charitable, and quietly stubborn. He had a realistic, well-poised mind and a fine irony free of malice. Whitehead combined singular gifts of intuition, intellectual power, and goodness with firmness and wisdom.

Victor Lowe

Encyclopædia Britannica

see also: Alfred North Whitehead
  IDEAS that Changed the World

Myths and Legends
History of Religion
History of Philosophy
Browning Elizabeth Barrett d. (b. 1806)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning's tomb, English Cemetery, Florence. 2007
Elizabeth Barrett Browning 

"Sonnets from the Portuguese"
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Charles Dickens: "Great Expectations"

Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's (Dickens Charles) thirteenth novel and his penultimate completed novel; a bildungsroman which depicts the personal growth and personal development of an orphan nicknamed Pip. It is Dickens's second novel, after David Copperfield, to be fully narrated in the first person. The novel was first published as a serial in Dickens's weekly periodical All the Year Round, from 1 December 1860 to August 1861.  In October 1861, Chapman and Hall published the novel in three volumes.

It is set among marshes in Kent, and in London, in the early to mid-1800s, and contains some of Dickens' most memorable scenes, including the opening, in a graveyard, where the young Pip is accosted by the escaped convict, Abel Magwitch. Great Expectations is full of extreme imagery – poverty; prison ships and chains, and fights to the death – and has a colourful cast of characters who have entered popular culture. These include the eccentric Miss Havisham, the beautiful but cold Estella, and Joe, the kind and generous blacksmith. Dickens's themes include wealth and poverty, love and rejection, and the eventual triumph of good over evil. Great Expectations is popular both with readers and literary critics, and has been translated into many languages, and adapted numerous times into various media.

Upon its release, the novel received near universal acclaim. Thomas Carlyle spoke disparagingly of "all that Pip's nonsense". Later, George Bernard Shaw praised the novel, as "All of one piece and consistently truthfull." During the serial publication, Dickens was pleased with public response to Great Expectations and its sales; when the plot first formed in his mind, he called it "a very fine, new and grotesque idea".

Development history
As Dickens began writing Great Expectations, he undertook a series of hugely popular and remunerative reading tours. His domestic life had disintegrated in the late 1850s however, and he had separated from his wife, Catherine Dickens. He was keeping secret an affair with a much younger woman, Ellen Ternan. It has been suggested that the reluctance with which Ellen Ternan became his mistress is reflected in the icy teasing of Estella in Great Expectations.

In his Book of Memoranda, begun in 1855, Dickens wrote names for possible characters: Magwitch, Provis, Clarriker, Compey, Pumblechook, Orlick, Gargery, Wopsle, Skiffins, some of which became familiar in Great Expectations. There is also a reference to a "knowing man", a possible sketch of Bentley Drummle. Another evokes a house full of "Toadies and Humbugs", foreshadowing the visitors to Satis House in chapter 11. Margaret Cardwell discovered the "premonition" of Great Expectations from a 25 September 1855 letter from Dickens to W. H. Wills, in which Dickens speaks of recycling an "odd idea" from the Christmas special "A House to Let" and "the pivot round which my next book shall revolve." The "odd idea" concerns an individual who "retires to an old lonely house…resolved to shut out the world and hold no communion with it."

In an 8 August 1860 letter to Earl Carlisle, Dickens reported his agitation whenever he prepared a new book. A month later, in a letter to Forster, Dickens announced that he just had a new idea.

  Publication in All the Year Round
Dickens was pleased with the idea, calling it "such a very fine, new and grotesque idea" in a letter to Forster. He planned to write "a little piece", a "grotesque tragi-comic conception", about a young hero who befriends an escaped convict, who then makes a fortune in Australia and anonymously bequeaths his property to the hero. In the end, the hero loses the money because it is forfeited to the Crown. In his biography of Dickens, Forster wrote that in the early idea "was the germ of Pip and Magwitch, which at first he intended to make the groundwork of a tale in the old twenty-number form."

Dickens presented the relationship between Pip and Magwitch pivotal to Great Expectations but without Miss Havisham, Estella, or other characters he later created.

As the idea and Dickens's ambition grew, he began writing. However, in September, the weekly All the Year Round saw its sales fall, and its flagship publication, A Day's Ride by Charles Lever, lost favour with the public. Dickens "called a council of war", and believed that to save the situation, "the one thing to be done was for [him] to strike in." The "very fine, new and grotesque idea" became the magazine's new support: weeklies, five hundred pages, just over one year (1860–1861), thirty-six episodes, starting 1 December.
The magazine continued to publish Lever's novel until its completion on 23 March 1861, but it became secondary to Great Expectations. Immediately, sales resumed, and critics responded positively, as exemplified by The Times's praise: "Great Expectations is not, indeed, [Dickens's] best work, but it is to be ranked among his happiest."

Dickens, whose health was not the best, felt "The planning from week to week was unimaginably difficult" but persevered. He thought he had found "a good name", decided to use the first person "throughout", and thought the beginning was "excessively droll": "I have put a child and a good-natured foolish man, in relations that seem to me very funny." Four weekly episodes were "ground off the wheel" in October, and apart from one reference to the "bondage" of his heavy task, the months passed without the anguished cries that usually accompanied the writing of his novels. He did not even use the Number Plans or Mems; he only had a few notes on the characters' ages, the tide ranges for chapter 54, and the draft of an ending. In late December, Dickens wrote to Mary Boyle that "Great Expectations [is] a very great success and universally liked."
Dickens gave six readings from 14 March to 18 April 1861, and in May, Dickens took a few days' holiday in Dover. On the eve of his departure, he took some friends and family members for a trip by boat from Blackwall to Southend-on-Sea. Ostensibly for pleasure, the mini-cruise was actually a working session for Dickens to examine banks of the river in preparation for the chapter devoted to Magwitch's attempt to escape. Dickens then revised Herbert Pocket's appearance, no doubt, asserts Margaret Cardwell, to look more like his son Charley. On 11 June 1861, Dickens wrote to Macready that Great Expectations had been completed and on 15 June, asked the editor to prepare the novel for publication.
Revised ending
Following comments by Edward Bulwer-Lytton that the ending was too sad, Dickens rewrote it. The ending set aside by Dickens has Pip, still single, briefly see Estella in London; after becoming Bentley Drummle's widow, she has remarried. It appealed to Dickens due to its originality: "[the] winding up will be away from all such things as they conventionally go." Dickens revised the ending for publication so that Pip meets Estella in the ruins of Satis House, she a widow and he single. His changes at the conclusion of the novel did not quite end either with the final weekly part and the first bound edition, because Dickens further changed the last sentence in the amended 1868 version from "I could see the shadow of no parting from her." to "I saw no shadow of another parting from her". As Pip uses litotes, "no shadow of another parting", it is ambiguous whether Pip and Estella marry or Pip remains single. Angus Calder, writing for an edition in the Penguin English Library, believed the less definite phrasing of the amended 1868 version perhaps hinted at a buried meaning: '...at this happy moment, I did not see the shadow of our subsequent parting looming over us.'

In a letter to Forster, Dickens explained his decision to alter the draft ending: "You will be surprised to hear that I have changed the end of Great Expectations from and after Pip's return to Joe's...Bulwer, who has been, as I think you know, extraordinarily taken with the book, strongly urged it upon me, after reading the proofs, and supported his views with such good reasons that I have resolved to make the change. I have put in as pretty a little piece of writing as I could, and I have no doubt the story will be more acceptable through the alteration."

This discussion between Dickens, Bulwer-Lytton and Forster has provided the basis for much discussion on Dickens's underlying views for this famous novel. Earle Davis, in his 1963 study of Dickens, wrote that "it would be an inadequate moral point to deny Pip any reward after he had shown a growth of character," and that "Eleven years might change Estella too." Forster felt that the original ending was "more consistent" and "more natural" but noted the new ending's popularity. George Gissing called that revision "a strange thing, indeed, to befall Dickens" and felt that Great Expectations would have been perfect had Dickens not altered the ending in deference to Bulwer-Lytton.

In contrast, John Hillis-Miller stated that Dickens's personality was so assertive that Bulwer-Lytton had little influence, and welcomed the revision: "The mists of infatuation have cleared away, [Estella and Pip] can be joined." Earl Davis notes that G.B. Shaw published the novel in 1937 for The Limited Editions Club with the first ending and that The Rhinehart Edition of 1979 presents both endings.

George Orwell wrote, "Psychologically the latter part of Great Expectations is about the best thing Dickens ever did," but, like John Forster and several early 20th century writers, including George Bernard Shaw, felt that the original ending was more consistent with the draft, as well as the natural working out of the tale. Modern literary criticism is split over the matter.

  Publication history
In periodicals

Dickens and Wills co-owned All the Year Round, one 75%, the other 25%. Since Dickens was his own publisher, he did not require a contract for his own works. Although intended for weekly publication, Great Expectations was divided into nine monthly sections, with new pagination for each. Harper's Weekly published the novel from 24 November 1860 to 5 August 1861 in the US and All the Year Round published it from 1 December 1860 to 3 August 1861 in the UK. Harper's paid £1,000 for publication rights. Dickens welcomed a contract with Tauchnitz 4 January 1861 for publication in English for the European continent.

Robert L. Patten identifies four American editions in 1861 and sees the proliferation of publications in Europe and across the Atlantic as "extraordinary testimony" to Great Expectations's popularity. Chapman and Hall published the first edition in three volumes in 1861, five subsequent reprints between 6 July and 30 October, and a one-volume edition in 1862. The "bargain" edition was published in 1862, the Library Edition in 1864, and the Charles Dickens edition in 1868. To this list, Paul Schlicke adds "two meticulous scholarly editions", one Claredon Press published in 1993 with an introduction by Margaret Cardwell and another with an introduction by Edgar Rosenberg, published by Norton in 1999. The novel was published with one ending, visible in the four on line editions listed in the External links at the end of this article. In some 20th century editions, the novel ends as originally published in 1867, and in an afterword, the ending Dickens did not publish, along with a brief story of how a friend persuaded him to a happier ending for Pip, is presented to the reader (for example, 1987 audio edition by Recorded Books).


Publications in Harper's Weekly were accompanied by forty illustrations by John McLenan; however, this is the only Dickens work published in All the Year Round without illustrations. In 1862, Marcus Stone, son of Dickens's old friend, the painter Frank Stone, was invited to create eight woodcuts for the Library Edition. According to Paul Schlicke, these illustrations are mediocre yet were included in the Charles Dickens edition, and Stone created illustrations for Dickens's subsequent novel, Our Mutual Friend. Later, Henry Mathew Brock also illustrated Great Expectations and a 1935 edition of A Christmas Carol, along with other artists, such as John McLenan, F. A. Fraser, and Harry Furniss.

Robert L. Patten estimates that All the Year Round sold 100,000 copies of Great Expectations each week, and Mudie, the largest circulating library, which purchased about 1,400 copies, stated that at least 30 people read each copy. Aside from the dramatic plot, the Dickensian humour also appealed to readers. Dickens wrote to Forster in October 1860 that "You will not have to complain of the want of humour as in the Tale of Two Cities," an opinion Forster supports, finding that "Dickens's humour, not less than his creative power, was at its best in this book." Moreover, according to Paul Schlicke, readers found the best of Dickens's older and newer writing styles.

Overall, Great Expectations received near universal acclaim. Not all reviews were favourable; Margaret Oliphant's review, published May 1862 in Blackwood's Magazine, vilified the novel. Critics in the 19th and 20th centuries hailed it as one of Dickens's greatest successes although often for conflicting reasons: GK Chesterton admired the novel's optimism; Edmund Wilson its pessimism; Humphry House in 1941 emphasized its social context. In 1974, Jerome H. Buckley saw it as a bildungsroman, writing a chapter on Dickens and two of his major characters (David Copperfield and Pip) in his 1974 book on the Bildungsroman in Victorian writing. John Hillis Miller wrote in 1958 that Pip is the archetype of all Dickensian heroes. In 1970, QD Leavis suggests "How We Must Read Great Expectations." In 1984, Peter Brooks, in the wake of Jacques Derrida, offered a deconstructionist reading. The most profound analyst, according to Paul Schlicke, is probably Julian Moynahan, who, in a 1964 essay surveying the hero's guilt, made Orlick "Pip's double, alter ego and dark mirror image." Schlicke also names Anny Sadrin's extensive 1988 study as the "most distinguished."
Plot summary
On Christmas Eve, around 1812, Pip, an orphan who is about seven years old, encounters an escaped convict in the village churchyard while visiting the graves of his mother, father and siblings. The convict scares Pip into stealing food and a file to grind away his shackles, from the home he shares with his abusive older sister and her kind husband Joe Gargery, a blacksmith. The next day, soldiers recapture the convict while he is engaged in a fight with another escaped convict; the two are returned to the prison ships.

Miss Havisham, a wealthy spinster who wears an old wedding dress and lives in the dilapidated Satis House, asks Pip's Uncle Pumblechook (who is Joe's uncle) to find a boy to visit. Pip visits Miss Havisham and her adopted daughter Estella, falling in love with Estella on first sight, both quite young. Pip visits Miss Havisham regularly until it comes time for him to learn a trade; Joe accompanies Pip for the last visit when she gives the money for Pip to be bound as apprentice blacksmith. Pip settles into learning Joe's trade.

When both are away from the house, Mrs. Joe is brutally attacked, leaving her unable to speak or do her work. Biddy arrives to help with her care and becomes 'a blessing to the household'.

Four years into Pip's apprenticeship, Mr. Jaggers, a lawyer, approaches him in the village with the news that he has expectations from an anonymous benefactor, with immediate funds to train him in the gentlemanly arts. He will not know the benefactor's name until that person speaks up. Pip is to leave for London in the proper clothes.
He assumes that Miss Havisham is his benefactor. He visits her to say good-bye.

Miss Havisham with Estella and Pip.
Art by H. M. Brock
Pip sets up house with Herbert Pocket at Barnard's Inn. Herbert tells Pip the circumstances of Miss Havisham's romantic disappointment, her jilting by her fiancé. Pip goes to Hammersmith, to be educated by Mr Matthew Pocket, Herbert's father. Jaggers disburses the money Pip needs to set himself up in his new life. Joe visits Pip at Barnard's Inn, where Pip is a bit ashamed of Joe. Joe relays the message from Miss Havisham that Estella will be at Satis House for a visit. Pip and Herbert exchange their romantic secrets - Pip adores Estella and Herbert is engaged to Clara.

Pip and Herbert build up debts. Mrs Joe dies and Pip returns to his village for the funeral. Pip's income is fixed at £500 per annum when he comes of age at twenty-one. Pip takes Estella to Satis House. She and Miss Havisham quarrel. At the Assembly Ball in Richmond Estella meets Bentley Drummle, a brute of a man. A week after he turns 23 years old, Pip learns that his benefactor is the convict from so long ago, Abel Magwitch, who had been transported to New South Wales after that escape. He became wealthy after gaining his freedom there. As long as he is out of England, Magwitch can live. But he returns to see Pip. Pip was his motivation for all his success in New South Wales. Pip is shocked, ceasing to take money from him. He and Herbert Pocket devise a plan to get Magwitch out of England, by boat. Magwitch shares his past history with Pip.

Pip tells Miss Havisham that he is as unhappy as she can ever have meant him to be. He asks her to finance Herbert Pocket. Estella tells Pip she will marry Bentley Drummle.

Miss Havisham tells Pip that Estella was brought to her by Jaggers aged two or three. Before Pip leaves the property, Miss Havisham accidentally sets her dress on fire. Pip saves her, injuring himself in the process. She eventually dies from her injuries, lamenting her manipulation of Estella and Pip. Jaggers tells Pip how he brought Estella to Miss Havisham from Molly. Pip figures out that Estella is the daughter of Molly and Magwitch.

A few days before the escape, Joe's former journeyman Orlick seizes Pip, confessing past crimes as he means to kill Pip. Herbert Pocket and Startop save Pip and prepare for the escape. On the river, they are met by a police boat carrying Compeyson for identification of Magwitch. Compeyson was the other convict years earlier, and as well, the con artist who wooed and deserted Miss Havisham. Magwitch seizes Compeyson, and they fight in the river. Magwitch survives to be taken by police, seriously injured. Compeyson's body is found later.

Pip visits Magwitch in jail and tells him that his daughter Estella is alive. Magwitch responds by squeezing Pip's palm and dies soon after, sparing an execution. After Herbert goes to Cairo, Pip falls ill in his rooms. He is confronted with arrest for debt; he awakens to find Joe at his side. Joe nurses Pip back to health and pays off the debt. As Pip begins to walk about on his own, Joe slips away home. Pip returns to propose to Biddy, to find that she and Joe have just married. Pip asks Joe for forgiveness, and Joe forgives him. As Magwitch's fortune in money and land was seized by the court, Pip no longer has income. Pip promises to repay Joe. Herbert asks him to join his firm in Cairo; he shares lodgings with Herbert and Clara and works as a clerk, advancing over time.

Magwitch makes himself known to Pip
Eleven years later, Pip visits the ruins of Satis House and meets Estella, widow to the abusive Bentley Drummle. She asks Pip to forgive her, assuring him that misfortune has opened her heart and that she now empathises with Pip. As Pip takes Estella's hand and leaves the ruins of Satis House, he sees "no shadow of another parting from her."
Pip and his family
Philip Pirrip, nicknamed Pip, an orphan and the protagonist and narrator of Great Expectations. In his childhood, Pip dreamed of becoming a blacksmith like his kind brother-in-law, Joe Gargery. At Satis House, about age 8, he meets Estella, a contact which destroys his peace of mind. He tells Biddy that he wants to become a gentleman. As a result of Magwitch's anonymous patronage, Pip lives in London and becomes a gentleman. Pip assumes his benefactor is Miss Havisham; the discovery that his true benefactor is a convict shocks him.
Joe Gargery, Pip's brother-in-law, and his first father figure. He is a blacksmith who is always kind to Pip and the only person with whom Pip is always honest. Joe is disappointed when Pip decides to leave his home to live in London to become a gentleman rather than be a blacksmith in business with Joe. He is a strong man who bears the shortcomings of those closest to him.
Mrs. Joe Gargery, Pip's hot-tempered adult sister Georgiana Maria, called Mrs. Joe, 20 years older than Pip. She brings him up after their parents' death. She does the work of the household, but too often loses her temper. Orlick, her husband's journeyman, attacks her, and she is left disabled until her death.

Mr. Pumblechook, Joe Gargery's uncle, an officious bachelor and corn merchant. While not knowing how to deal with a growing boy, he tells "Mrs. Joe", as she is known, how noble she is to bring up Pip. As the person who first connected Pip to Miss Havisham, he claims to have been the original architect of Pip's expectations. Pip dislikes Mr. Pumblechook for his pompous, unfounded claims. When Pip stands up to him in a public place, after those expectations are dashed, Mr. Pumblechook turns those listening to the conversation against Pip.
  Miss Havisham and her family
Miss Havisham, wealthy spinster who takes Pip on as a companion for herself and her adopted daughter, Estella. Embittered after being jilted at the altar by her fiance some years before, Havisham is an eccentric woman who perpetually wears her wedding dress, and one shoe, as she was when she learned her bridegroom would not appear. She conceives a hatred for all men, and plots to wreak a twisted revenge by teaching Estella to torment and spurn all men, including Pip, who loves her. Miss Havisham is later overcome with remorse for ruining both Estella's and Pip's chances for happiness. Shortly after confessing her plotting to Pip, she dies as the result of being badly burned when her dress accidentally catches fire.
Estella, Miss Havisham's adopted daughter, whom Pip pursues throughout the novel. She is a beautiful girl, and grows more beautiful after her schooling in France. Estella represents the life of wealth and culture for which Pip strives. Since Miss Havisham ruined Estella's ability to love, Estella cannot return Pip's passion. She warns Pip of this repeatedly, but he will not or cannot believe her. Estella does not know that she is the daughter of Molly, Jaggers's housekeeper, and the convict Abel Magwitch, given up for adoption to Miss Havisham after her mother was arrested for murder.
Matthew Pocket, Miss Havisham's cousin. He is the patriarch of the Pocket family, but unlike her other relatives, he is not greedy for Havisham's wealth. Matthew Pocket tutors young gentlemen, such as Bentley Drummle, Startop, Pip and his own son Herbert.
Herbert Pocket, the son of Matthew Pocket, who was invited like Pip to visit Miss Havisham, but she did not take to him. Pip first meets Herbert as a "pale young gentleman" who challenges Pip to a fistfight at Miss Havisham's house when both are children.
He later becomes Pip's friend, tutoring him in the "gentlemanly" arts, and sharing his flat with Pip in London.
Cousin Raymond, relative of Miss Havisham who is only interested in her money. He is married to Camilla.
Georgiana, relative of Miss Havisham who is only interested in her money. She is one of the many relatives who hang around Miss Havisham "like flies" for her wealth.
Sarah Pocket, the sister of Matthew Pocket, relative of Miss Havisham. She is often at Satis House. She is described as "a dry, brown corrugated old woman, with a small face that might have been made out of walnut shells, and a large mouth like a cat's without the whiskers."
From Pip's youth
The Convict, who escapes from a prison ship, whom Pip treats kindly, and who in turn becomes Pip's benefactor. His name is Abel Magwitch, but he uses the aliases Provis and Mr. Campbell when he returns to England from exile in Australia. He is a lesser actor in crime with Compeyson, but gains a longer sentence in an apparent application of justice by social class.
Mr. and Mrs. Hubble, simple folk who think they are more important than they really are. They live in Pip's village.
Mr. Wopsle, clerk of the church in Pip's village. He later gives up the church work and moves to London to pursue his ambition to be an actor, adopting the stage name Mr. Waldengarver. He sees the other convict in the audience of one of his performances, attended also by Pip.
Biddy, Wopsle's second cousin and near Pip's age; she teaches in the evening school at her grandmother's home in Pip's village. Pip wants to learn more, so he asks her to teach him all she can. After helping Mrs. Joe after the attack, Biddy opens her own school. A kind and intelligent but poor young woman, she is, like Pip and Estella, an orphan. She acts as Estella's foil. Orlick was attracted to her, but she did not want his attentions. Pip ignores her affections for him as he pursues Estella. Recovering from his own illness after the failed attempt to get Magwitch out of England, Pip returns to claim Biddy as his bride, arriving in the village just after she marries Joe Gargery. Biddy and Joe later have two children, one named after Pip. (In the ending to the novel discarded by Dickens but revived by students of the novel's development, Estella mistakes the boy as Pip's child.)
Mr. Wemmick and "The Aged P.", illustration by Sol Eytinge Jr.
Mr. Jaggers and his circle
Mr. Jaggers, prominent London lawyer who represents the interests of diverse clients, both criminal and civil. He represents Pip's benefactor and Miss Havisham as well. By the end of the story, his law practice links many of the characters.
John Wemmick, Jaggers's clerk, called "Mr. Wemmick" and "Wemmick" except by his father, who is referred to as "The Aged Parent", "The Aged P.", or simply "The Aged." Wemmick is Pip's chief go-between with Jaggers and looks after Pip in London. Mr. Wemmick lives with his father in John's "castle," which is a small replica of a castle, complete with a drawbridge and moat, in Walworth.
Molly, Mr. Jaggers's maidservant whom Jaggers saved from the gallows for murder. She is revealed to be Magwitch's estranged wife and Estella's mother.
Compeyson (surname), a convict who escapes the prison ship after Magwitch, who beats him up ashore. He is Magwitch's enemy. In some editions of the book, he is called "Compey." A professional swindler, he was engaged to marry Miss Havisham, but he was in league with Arthur Havisham to defraud Miss Havisham of part of her fortune. Later he sets up Magwitch to take the fall for another swindle. He works with the police when he learns Abel Magwitch is in London, fearing Magwitch after their first escapes years earlier. When the police boat encounters the one carrying Magwitch, the two grapple, and Compeyson drowns in the Thames.
Arthur Havisham, younger half brother of Miss Havisham, who plots with Compeyson to swindle her.
Dolge Orlick, journeyman blacksmith at Joe Gargery's forge. Strong, rude and sullen, he is as churlish as Joe is gentle and kind. He ends up in a fistfight with Joe over Mrs. Gargery's taunting, and Joe easily defeats him. This sets in motion an escalating chain of events that leads him to secretly injure Mrs. Gargery and try to kill Pip. The police ultimately arrest him for housebreaking locally.
Bentley Drummle, a coarse, unintelligent young man from a wealthy noble family. Pip meets him at Mr. Pocket's house, as Drummle is also to be trained in gentlemanly skills. Drummle is hostile to Pip and everyone else. He is a rival for Estella's attentions and eventually marries her and is said to abuse her. He dies from an accident following his mistreatment of a horse.

Other characters

Clara Barley, a very poor girl living with her gout-ridden father. She marries Herbert Pocket near the novel's end. She dislikes Pip at first because of his spendthrift ways. After she marries Herbert, they invite Pip to live with them.
Miss Skiffins occasionally visits Wemmick's house and wears green gloves. She changes those green gloves for white ones when she marries Wemmick.
Startop, like Bentley Drummle, is Pip's fellow student, but unlike Drummle, he is kind. He assists Pip and Herbert in their efforts to help Magwitch escape.
Great Expectations's single most obvious literary predecessor is Dickens's earlier first-person narrator-protagonist David Copperfield. The two novels trace the psychological and moral development of a young boy to maturity, his transition from a rural environment to the London metropolis, the vicissitudes of his emotional development, and the exhibition of his hopes and youthful dreams and their metamorphosis, through a rich and complex first person narrative. Dickens was conscious of this similarity and, before undertaking his new manuscript, reread David Copperfield to avoid repetition.

The two books both detail homecoming. Although David Copperfield is based on much of Dickens personal experiences, Great Expectations provides, according to Paul Schlicke, "the more spiritual and intimate autobiography." Even though several elements hint at the setting — Miss Havisham, partly inspired by a Parisian duchess, whose residence was always closed and in darkness, surrounded by "a dead green vegetable sea," recalling Satis House, and the countryside bordering Chatham and Rochester — no place name is mentioned, nor a specific time period, which is indicated by, among other elements, older coaches, the title "His Majesty" in reference to George III, and the old London Bridge prior to the 1824–1831 reconstruction.

The theme of homecoming reflects events in Dickens's life, several years prior to the publication of Great Expectations. In 1856, he bought Gad's Hill Place in Higham, Kent, which he had dreamed of living in as a child, and moved there from faraway London two years later. In 1858, in a painful divorce, he separated from Catherine Dickens, his wife of twenty-three years. The divorce alienated him from some of his closest friends, such as Mark Lemon. He quarrelled with Bradbury and Evans, who had published his novels for fifteen years. In early September 1860, in a field behind Gad's Hill, Dickens burned almost all of his correspondence, sparing only letters on business matters. He stopped publishing the weekly Household Words at the summit of its popularity and replaced it with All the Year Round.

The Uncommercial Traveller, short stories, and other texts Dickens began publishing in his new weekly in 1859 reflect his nostalgia, as seen in "Dullborough Town" and "Nurses' Stories." According to Paul Schlicke, "it is hardly surprising that the novel Dickens wrote at this time was a return to roots, set in the part of England in which he grew up, and in which he had recently resettled."

Margaret Cardwell draws attention to Chops the Dwarf from Dickens's 1858 Christmas story "Going into Society," who, as the future Pip does, entertains the illusion of inheriting a fortune and becomes disappointed upon achieving his social ambitions. In another vein, Harry Stone thinks that Gothic and magical aspects of Great Expectations were partly inspired by Charles Mathews's At Home, which was presented in detail in Household Words and its monthly supplement Household Narrative. Stone also asserts that The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices, written in collaboration with Wilkie Collins after their walking tour of Cumberland during September 1857 and published in Household Words from 3 to 31 October of the same year, presents certain strange locations and a passionate love, foreshadowing Great Expectations.

Beyond its biographical and literary aspects, Great Expectations appears, according to Robin Gilmour, as "a representative fable of the age." Dickens was aware that the novel "speaks" to a generation applying, at most, the principle of "self help" and believed to have increased the order of daily life. That the hero Pip aspires to improve, not through snobbery, but through the Victorian conviction of education, social refinement, and materialism, was seen as a noble and worthy goal. However, by tracing the origins of Pip's "great expectations" to crime, deceit and even banishment to the colonies, Dickens unfavourably compares the new generation to the previous one of Joe Gargery, which Dickens portrays as less sophisticated but especially rooted in sound values, presenting an oblique criticism of his time.

The format of the weekly periodical more-or-less limited Dickens, notes Paul Davis. It required short chapters, centred on a single subject, and an almost mathematical structure. Pip's story contains three stages: his childhood and early youth in Kent, dreaming to rise above his humble station; his time in London after receiving the eponymous "great expectations"; and his final disillusionment when he discovers the source of his fortune and slowly realises the vanity of his false values.

The novel further divides each stage into twelve parts of equal length. This symmetry contributes to the impression of completion, underlined by a number of commentators, including George Gissing, who, when comparing Joe Gargery and Dan'l Peggotty (from David Copperfield), preferred the former, as he was a stronger character who lives "in a world, not of melodrama, but of everyday cause and effect."

G. B. Shaw called the novel "compactly perfect"; similarly, Algernon Swinburne stated, "The defects in it are as nearly imperceptible as spots on the sun or shadow on a sunlit sea." This impression of excellence also comes from, according to Christopher Ricks, "the briskness of the narrative tone." Pip's thoughts while he is in London, preparing for a visit from Joe, his oldest friend and protector demonstrates this:

Not with pleasure, though I was bound to him by so many ties; with considerable disturbance, some mortification, and a keen sense of incongruity. If I could have kept him away by paying money, I certainly would have paid money.

Similar brevity is key to the "decantation", stated Ricks, particularly in the second sentence, showing Pip's chilling, pitiless indifference but "without making a terrific demonstration of mercilessness."

  Further, as explained by Henri Suhamy in his course on Great Expectations, beyond the chronological sequences and the weaving of several storylines into a tight plot, the sentimental setting and morality of the characters form a consistent "pattern".
He describes this pattern with two central poles, that of "foster parents" [parents adoptifs] (Miss Havisham, Magwitch, and Joe) and that of "young people" [jeunes gens] (Estella, Pip and Biddy) between two other poles called "Dangerous Lovers" [dangereux amants] (one of Compeyson, the other of Bentley Drummle and Orlick). Pip is the centre of this web of love, rejection and hatred [amour, rejet, haine]. Biddy and Joe grow from friendship [amitié] to love [amour], in their relationship over the course of the story.

This is "the general frame of the novel", as of the overwhelming crisis when Pip realises his and Estella's situations. Suhamy specifies that the term "love" is generic, applying it to both Pip's true love for Estella and the social attraction Estella harbours for Drummle, the former of which she cannot feel and the superficiality of the latter she does not conceal. Similarly, Suhamy adds, Estella's "rejection" of Magwitch becomes a matter of interpretation; the young lady does not know he is her father but still holds contempt for everything that appears below her station.

Great Expectations appears then as a tragedy, since the characters suffer physically, psychologically or both, or die, often violently, while suffering. Happy resolutions of the web of love remain elusive, while the web of hate thrives throughout the novel. The only happy ending is Biddy and Joe's friendship sealed in marriage by the birth of two children, since the final reconciliations, except that between Pip and Magwitch symbolising Pip's maturation, do not alter the general order. Though Pip extirpates the web of hatred, the first ending denies him happiness and the second leaves his future uncertain, punctuating his storyline with a question mark.

Point of view
Although the novel is written in first person, the reader knows - as an essential prerequisite – that Great Expectations is not an autobiography but a novel, a work of fiction with plot and characters, including a narrator-protagonist and pure virtual creations of Dickens's imagination that, by the mere virtuosity of his words, remains the real master of the game and alone orchestrates the subtle complexity of the different strata of speech.

In addition, as Sylvère Monod pointed out, the treatment of the autobiography differs from David Copperfield. Great Expectations does not draw from events in Dickens's life; "at most some traces of a broad psychological and moral introspection can be found".

However, according to Paul Pickrel's analysis, Pip is both narrator and protagonist; as such, he recounts with hindsight the story of the young boy he was, who did not know the world beyond a narrow geographic and familial environment. The novel's direction emerges from the confrontation between the two layers of time.

Pip before Magwitch's return, by John McLenan
At first, the novel presents a mistreated orphan, repeating situations from Oliver Twist and David Copperfield, but the trope is quickly overtaken. The theme manifests when Pip discovers the existence of a world beyond the marsh, the forge and the future Joe envisioned for him, the decisive moment when Miss Havisham and Estella enter his life. This is a red herring, as the decay of Satis House and the strange lady within signals the fragility of an impasse. At this point, the reader knows more than the protagonist, creating dramatic irony that confers a superiority that the narrator shares.

It is not until Magwitch's return, a plot twist that unites loosely-connected plot elements and sets them into motion, that the protagonist's point of view joins those of the narrator and the reader.[81] In this context of progressive revelation, the sensational events at the novel's end serve to test the protagonist's point of view. Thus proceeds, in the words of A. E. Dyson, "The Immolations of Pip".

Hope and social exclusion are two competing themes. The eponymous "Expectations" refers to its Victorian definition, "a legacy to come". The title immediately announces that money plays an important part in the novel and its themes but is only part of a broader package whose coherence John Hillis-Miller highlights in his book, Charles Dickens, The World of His Novels.

John Hillis-Miller first shows that, as in many novels by Dickens, most characters, and in the beginning, the protagonist, are "outcasts" living in insecurity. Thus, Pip, orphaned, grows up in a world full of sinister tombs, dangerous swamps, and threatening masses of prison ships emerging from the fog that dominate the shores. His existence reproaches him: "I was always treated as if I had insisted on being born in opposition to the dictates of reason, religion and morality".

Some of the major themes of Great Expectations are crime, social class, empire and ambition. From an early age, Pip feels guilt; he is also afraid that someone will find out about his crime and arrest him. The theme of crime comes into even greater effect when Pip discovers that his benefactor is a convict.

Mr Pumblechook: "And may I--May I--?", by John McLenan.
Pip has an internal struggle with his conscience throughout the book. Great Expectations explores the different social classes of the Georgian era. Throughout the book, Pip becomes involved with a broad range of classes, from criminals like Magwitch to the extremely rich like Miss Havisham. Pip has great ambition, as demonstrated constantly in the book.
Great Expectations is written in first person and uses some language and grammar that has fallen out of common use since its publication. The title Great Expectations refers to the 'Great Expectations' Pip has of coming into his benefactor's property upon becoming a gentleman with no particular profession, while being supported in gaining the education of a gentleman. Great Expectations is sometimes seen as a bildungsroman, a novel depicting growth and personal development from childhood to adulthood, in this case, of Pip.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  Charles Dickens

"Great Expectations"
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
>Dostoevsky: "The House of the Dead"

The House of the Dead (Russian: Записки из Мёртвого дома, Zapiski iz Myortvogo doma) is a semi-autobiographical novel published in 1861-2 in the journal Vremya by Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, which portrays the life of convicts in a Siberian prison camp. The novel has also been published under the titles Memoirs from the House of The Dead and Notes from the Dead House (or Notes from a Dead House). The book is a loosely-knit collection of facts, events and philosophical discussion organised by "theme" rather than as a continuous story. Dostoyevsky himself spent four years in exile in such a camp following his conviction for involvement in the Petrashevsky Circle. This experience allowed him to describe with great authenticity the conditions of prison life and the characters of the convicts.

After his mock execution on 22 December 1849, Dostoevsky was spared his life in exchange for 4 years of imprisonment in one of Siberia’s katorga labor camps. Though he often met with hostility from the other prisoners due to his noble status of dvoryanin, his views on life had changed and this precious gift, he did not take for granted. Ten years later, Dostoevsky returned to Russia to write, The House of the Dead. The novel incorporates several of the horrifying experiences he witnessed while in prison. He recalls the guards’ brutality and relish performing unspeakably cruel acts, the crimes that the convicted criminals committed, and the fact that blended amid these great brutes were good and decent individuals. However, he is also astonished at the convicts’ abilities to commit murders without the slightest change in conscience. It was a stark contrast with his own heightened sensitivity. During this time in prison he began experiencing the epileptic seizures that would plague him for the rest of his life. House of the Dead led Dostoevsky to include the theme of murder in his later works, a theme not found in any of his works preceding House of the Dead.

Plot summary
The narrator, Aleksandr Petrovich Goryanchikov, has been sentenced to penalty deportation to Siberia and ten years of hard labour for murdering his wife. Life in prison is particularly hard for Aleksandr Petrovich, since he is a "gentleman" and suffers the malice of the other prisoners, nearly all of whom belong to the peasantry. Gradually Goryanchikov overcomes his revulsion at his situation and his fellow convicts, undergoing a spiritual re-awakening that culminates with his release from the camp.

Penguin Edition of The House of the Dead
It is a work of great humanity; Dostoyevsky portrays the inmates of the prison with sympathy for their plight, and also expresses admiration for their energy, ingenuity and talent. He concludes that the existence of the prison, with its absurd practices and savage corporal punishments is a tragic fact, both for the prisoners and for Russia.

Many of the characters in the novel were very similar to the real-life people that Dostoyevsky met while in prison. While many of the characters do mirror real-life people, he has also made it so that some of the characters appear more interesting than their real-life counterparts.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Wood Engravings by Fritz Eichenberg
see also: Dostoevsky Fyodor
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

"The Idiot"
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
George Eliot: "Silas Marner"
Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe is the third novel by Eliot George, published in 1861. An outwardly simple tale of a linen weaver, it is notable for its strong realism and its sophisticated treatment of a variety of issues ranging from religion to industrialisation to community.
Plot summary
The novel is set in the early years of the 19th century. Silas Marner, a weaver, is a member of a small Calvinist congregation in Lantern Yard, a slum street in an unnamed city in Northern England. He is falsely accused of stealing the congregation's funds while watching over the very ill deacon. Two clues are given against Silas: a pocket-knife and the discovery in his own house of the bag formerly containing the money. There is the strong suggestion that Silas' best friend, William Dane, has framed him, since Silas had lent his pocket-knife to William shortly before the crime was committed. Silas is proclaimed guilty. The woman he was to marry breaks their engagement and later marries William. With his life shattered and his heart broken, Silas leaves Lantern Yard and the city.

Marner travels south to the Midlands and settles near the rural village of Raveloe, where he lives alone, with only minimal contact with the residents. He comes to adore the gold he earns and hoards from his weaving.

The gold is stolen by Dunstan ("Dunsey") Cass, a dissolute younger son of Squire Cass, the town's leading landowner. Silas sinks into a deep gloom, despite the villagers' attempts to aid him. Dunsey disappears, but little is made of this not unusual behaviour, and no association is made between him and the theft.

Godfrey Cass, Dunsey's elder brother, also harbours a secret. He is married to, but estranged from, Molly Farren, an opium-addicted woman of low birth living in another town. This secret prevents Godfrey from marrying Nancy Lammeter, a young woman of high social and moral standing. On a winter's night, Molly tries to make her way to Squire Cass's Christmas party with her two-year-old girl to announce that she is Godfrey's wife and ruin him. On the way, she takes opium and lays down in the snow. The child wanders away and into Silas' house.

First edition title page.
Silas follows her tracks in the snow and discovers the woman dead. When he goes to the party for help, Godfrey heads to the scene, but resolves to tell no one that Molly was his wife.

Silas keeps the child and names her Eppie, after his deceased mother and sister, both named Hephzibah. Eppie changes Silas' life completely. Silas has been robbed of his material gold, but has it returned to him symbolically in the form of the golden-haired child. Godfrey Cass is now free to marry Nancy, but continues to conceal the existence of his first marriage—and child—from her. However, he aids Marner in caring for Eppie with occasional financial gifts. More practical help and support in bringing up the child is provided by Dolly Winthrop, a kindly neighbour of Marner's. Dolly's help and advice help Marner not only to bring up Eppie, but also to integrate her into village society.

Sixteen years pass, and Eppie grows up to be the pride of the town. She has a strong bond with Silas, who through her has found a place in the rural society and a purpose in life. Meanwhile, Godfrey and Nancy mourn their own childless state. Eventually, the skeleton of Dunstan Cass—still clutching Silas' gold—is found at the bottom of the stone quarry near Silas' home, and the money is duly returned to Silas. Shocked by this revelation, and coming to the realisation of his own conscience, Godfrey confesses to Nancy that Molly was his first wife and that Eppie is his child. They offer to raise her as a gentleman's daughter, but this would mean Eppie would have to forsake Silas. Eppie politely refuses, saying, "I can't think o' no happiness without him."

Silas revisits Lantern Yard, but his old neighbourhood has been "swept away" and replaced by a large factory. No one seems to know what happened to Lantern Yard's inhabitants. However, Silas contentedly resigns himself to the fact that he now leads a happier existence among his family and friends. In the end, Eppie marries a local boy, Dolly's son Aaron. Aaron and Eppie move into Silas' new house, courtesy of Godfrey. Silas' actions through the years in caring for Eppie have provided joy for everyone, and the extended family celebrates its happiness.

Silas Marner: a weaver and miser who is cast out of Lantern Yard by his treacherous friend William Dane, and accumulates a small fortune only to have it stolen by Dunstan Cass. Despite these misfortunes, he finds his faith and virtue by the arrival of young Eppie (daughter of Godfrey Cass).
Godfrey Cass: eldest son of the local squire, who is being constantly blackmailed by his dissolute brother Dunstan over his secret marriage to Molly. When Molly dies, he feels relief, but in time realizes he must account for his deceit to those he has wronged..
Dunstan Cass: second eldest son of the local squire. He constantly blackmails his older brother. He has a rotten heart, and steals Silas' gold after killing his older brother's horse accidentally.
Molly Farren: Godfrey's first (and secret) wife, who has a child by him. She dies in the attempt to reveal their relationship and ruin Godfrey, leaving the child, Eppie, to wander into Silas' life.
Eppie: daughter of Molly and Godfrey, who is cared for by Silas after the death of her mother. Mischievous in her early years, she grows into a radiant young girl devoted to her adoptive father.
Nancy Cass (née Lammeter): Godfrey Cass' second wife, a morally and socially respectable young woman.
Aaron Winthrop: son of Dolly, who marries Eppie at the end of the novel.
Dolly Winthrop: mother to Aaron; godmother to Eppie. Sympathetic to Silas.
William Dane: William Dane is Silas' former best friend, who looked after and respected Silas in Lantern Yard. William ultimately betrays Silas by framing him for theft and marrying Silas' fiancée Sarah after Silas is exiled from Lantern Yard.
Sarah: Silas' fiancée in Lantern Yard, who subsequently marries his treacherous friend William Dane.
Mr. Macey: the clerk at the local church.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Silas finds Eppie"
  George Eliot 

"Silas Marner"
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Oliver Wendell Holmes: "Elsie Venner"

Elsie Venner: A Romance of Destiny is an 1861 novel by American author and physician Holmes Oliver Wendell, Sr. Later dubbed the first of his "medicated novels", it tells the story of a neurotic young woman whose mother was bitten by a rattlesnake while pregnant, essentially making her daughter half-woman, half-snake.

Plot summary
The novel is told from the perspective of an unnamed medical professor. He tells the story of a student named Bernard Langdon, who has to take some time away from his studies to earn money as a teacher. Langdon spends a short time teaching at a school in the village of Pigwacket Centre where he earns respect after taking on the school bully, Abner Briggs. After only a month, however, Langdon leaves to work at the Apollinean Female Institute in the town of Rockland. The owner of the institute is the profit-focused Silas Peckham and the schoolmistress is Miss Helen Darley, who is literally working herself to death. One of his students is the 17-year-old Elsie Venner, who purposely sits apart from the other students. She is known for being strange and quick to anger. She is only close to her father Dudley Venner, who she calls by his first name, and her governess, Old Sophy. She also has a friendship with the town physician Dr. Kittredge, to whom she reveals that she ran away from home to hide on the other side of the mountain, where the other town residents are afraid to go.

Elsie's half-Spanish cousin Richard "Dick" Venner pays a visit at the Venner estate. Like Elsie, his mother died when he was a child and the two cousins were playmates in their childhood. Elsie, however, was rough on her cousin and once bit him hard enough that he still has scars from it. Dick has since become a skilled horse-rider and a bit of a trouble-maker, though stories of his escapades are unclear. Rumors abound that Dick has come to town to ask his cousin Elsie to marry him; in fact, he intends to marry her so that he can inherit his uncle's estate.

Title page of Elsie Venner
Langdon is surprised to find a gift stuck in the pages of a book by Virgil on his desk at school. Pressed inside is an exotic-looking flower, known to be the type Elsie collects. Frightened yet intrigued that the girl has taken an interest in him, he resolves to climb the mountain and find her secret hiding-place. Climbing up several precipitous rock formations, Langdon finds the source of the exotic flower Elsie presented him. Investigating a cavern where he thinks Elsie hides out, Langdon is instead overtaken by a rattlesnake poised to strike. Just at that moment, however, Elsie appears and calms the snake merely by looking at it.

Intrigued, Langdon researches snakes, poisons, and the "evil eye". He cages a couple snakes and contacts his old professor for information. Doctor Kittredge recognizes the mutual interest between Langdon and Elsie, and recommends the former begin practicing with a pistol. In the meantime, Dick Venner subtly pursues a relationship with Elsie in order to become heir to the ample Venner estate but is jealous of Langdon and worries Elsie's father might marry Miss Darley. One night, Dick attacks Langdon with his lasso. Langdon shoots his pistol and kills Dick's horse but is injured. Dr. Kittredge's assistant appears, having been ordered to follow Dick and, after exposing the incident, Dick is run out of town.

Soon, Elsie admits her interest in Langdon. Though he admits he is concerned about her as a friend, she is devastated and becomes sick. During her illness, she calls for Miss Darley to attend to her. Miss Darley finally asks Old Sophy how Elsie's mother died, and it is implied that she was poisoned by a snake bite shortly before Elsie was born. Elsie slowly loses her mysterious nature and softens enough to tell her father she loves him. She dies shortly after.

Composition and publication
Holmes's medical background—he had studied medicine in Paris when he was young and was a professor at Harvard Medical School when the novel was published—was an important influence on the novel's storyline, as well as its overriding themes.

Elsie Venner was Holmes's first novel, originally published serially in The Atlantic Monthly beginning in December 1859 as "The Professor's Story". It was first published as a stand-alone novel in 1861. It was republished in 1883 and 1891.

Holmes wrote in the second preface to Elsie Venner that his reason for writing the work was "to test the doctrine of 'original sin' and human responsibility for the distorted violation coming under that technical denomination". The novel explores medical complexities, psychology, the origins of behavior and the certainties of religion.

The novel bears a resemblance to Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "Rappaccini's Daughter", a tale which explored original sin several years before Elsie Venner was published. It is also often compared to Hawthorne's The Marble Faun (1860) in that both works discuss moral-theological questions in terms of psychology. Holmes himself referred to Elsie Venner as one of his "medicated novels", along with The Guardian Angel (1867) and A Moral Antipathy (1885), because of the characters' health or mental problems which are "diagnosed" in the text.

The character of Elsie Venner may have been modeled on Margaret Fuller, whom Holmes knew growing up in Cambridge.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Oliver Wendell Holmes: "Elsie Venner"
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Murger Louis-Henri, French novelist, d. (b. 1823)

Louis-Henri Murger
  Western Literature

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

Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali Rabīndranāth Ṭhākur (born May 7, 1861, Calcutta [now Kolkata], India—died August 7, 1941, Calcutta), Bengali poet, short-story writer, song composer, playwright, essayist, and painter who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913.


Rabindranath Tagore
  Tagore introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature, thereby freeing it from traditional models based on classical Sanskrit. He was highly influential in introducing the best of Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of modern India.

The son of the religious reformer Debendranath Tagore, he early began to write verses, and after incomplete studies in England in the late 1870s, he returned to India. There he published several books of poetry in the 1880s and completed Mānasī (1890), a collection that marks the maturing of his genius. It contains some of his best-known poems, including many in verse forms new to Bengali, as well as some social and political satire that was critical of his fellow Bengalis. In 1891 Tagore went to East Bengal (now in Bangladesh) to manage his family’s estates at Shilaidah and Shazadpur for 10 years. There he often stayed in a houseboat on the Padma River (i.e., the Ganges River), in close contact with village folk, and his sympathy for their poverty and backwardness became the keynote of much of his later writing. Most of his finest short stories, which examine “humble lives and their small miseries,” date from the 1890s and have a poignancy, laced with gentle irony, that is unique to him, though admirably captured by the director Satyajit Ray in later film adaptations.

Tagore came to love the Bengali countryside, most of all the Padma River, an often-repeated image in his verse. During these years he published several poetry collections, notably Sonār Tarī (1894; The Golden Boat), and plays, notably Chitrāṅgadā (1892; Chitra). Tagore’s poems are virtually untranslatable, as are his more than 2,000 songs, which remain extremely popular among all classes of Bengali society.

In 1901 Tagore founded an experimental school in rural West Bengal at Śantiniketan (“Abode of Peace”), where he sought to blend the best in the Indian and Western traditions.

Rabindranath Tagore
  He settled permanently at the school, which became Viśva-Bhārati University in 1921. Years of sadness arising from the deaths of his wife and two children between 1902 and 1907 are reflected in his later poetry, which was introduced to the West in Gitanjali, Song Offerings (1912). This book, containing Tagore’s English prose translations of religious poems from several of his Bengali verse collections, including Gītāñjali (1910), was hailed by W.B. Yeats and André Gide and won him the Nobel Prize in 1913. Tagore was awarded a knighthood in 1915, but he repudiated it in 1919 as a protest against the Amritsar Massacre.

From 1912 Tagore spent long periods out of India, lecturing and reading from his work in Europe, the Americas, and East Asia and becoming an eloquent spokesperson for the cause of Indian independence.

Tagore’s novels, though less outstanding than his poems and short stories, are also worthy of attention; the best known are Gorā (1910) and Ghare-Bāire (1916; The Home and the World). In the late 1920s, at nearly 70 years of age, Tagore took up painting and produced works that won him a place among India’s foremost contemporary artists.

W. Andrew Robinson

Encyclopædia Britannica

  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Charles Reade: "The Cloister and the Hearth"

The Cloister and the Hearth (1861) is an historical novel by the English author Reade Charles. Set in the 15th century, it relates the story revolving about the travels of a young scribe and illuminator, Gerard Eliassoen, through several European countries. The Cloister and the Hearth often describes the events, people and their practices in minute detail. Its main theme is the struggle between man's obligations to family and to Church.


An 1893 poster by Edward Penfield advertising The Cloister & the Hearth.
Married to Margaret Brandt, Gerard sets off to Rome from Holland in order to escape the persecution of a vicious burgomaster as well as to earn money for the support of his family. Margaret awaits his return in Holland and in the meantime gives birth to his son. As Gerard is the favourite with his parents, his two lazy and jealous brothers decide to divert him from Holland and receive a larger share of fortune after their parents' death.

They compose and dispatch a letter to Gerard informing him falsely that Margaret has died. Gerard believes the news and, stricken by grief, gives himself to a dissolute life and even attempts a suicide. After being saved from death by chance, he takes vows and becomes a Dominican friar. Later Gerard preaches throughout Europe and, while in Holland, discovers that Margaret is alive. He is afraid of temptation and in order to shun Margaret becomes a hermit. Margaret discovers Gerard's hiding place and convinces him to come back to normal life in which he becomes a vicar of a small town.
  Gerard and Margaret no longer live as a man and wife, but nevertheless see each other several times a week. A few years pass, Gerard's son grows up and is sent to a private school. Later, having heard that plague breaks out at the school, Margaret rushes to rescue her son, but contracts the disease herself and dies shortly afterwards. Gerard takes her demise painfully, renounces his vicarship and dies in a few weeks.

The author of The Cloister and the Hearth, at the end of this story, reveals that Margaret's and Gerard's son, also named Gerard, became the great Catholic scholar and Humanist, Erasmus of Rotterdam, a major historical figure. Indeed, little is actually known about Erasmus' actual parentage (apparently illegitimate), though his parents were in reality named Margaret Roger and Gerard. Reade was apparently using his imagination to fill in some historical gaps in Erasmus' background. The Cloister and the Hearth can easily be read as anti-Catholic, as it presents Catholic discipline regarding the celibate priesthood as an unsympathetic obstacle preventing Margaret's and Gerard's love from continuing to be consummated.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle named this as his favorite novel of all time, saying that it combined intellect and heart in a unique way.

Sad as it is, it is not maudlin or forced, but the solemn and tender sadness of life which has something sweet forever mixed with its bitterness.

Doyle compliments the quantity of minute detail giving the feeling of daily life in the 1500s, from a clean Dutch home to a slovenly medieval German Inn to conflicted pre-Renaissance Rome. He incidentally mentions clothing, hobbies, morals, attitudes, and popular outlook at the end of the Dark Ages. Reade was not Doyle's favorite author, but that didn't diminish his admiration for this specific book.

. . . imperfections, the irritating and superficial tricks of manner, are so obtrusive that they catch the eye. . . . His style can be abrupt, jerky, and incoherent to an exasperating extent. . . . But when all this has been most freely discounted, there still remains enough virtue in this novel to make it, in my eyes, the wisest and the most beautiful I have ever read.

Thomas Wolfe also considered the novel his favorite work of fiction.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Scribe Eugene, French dramatist, d. (b. 1791)

Eugene Scribe
see also: Eugene Scribe
  Western Literature

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

Ellen Wood (17 January 1814 – 10 February 1887), was an English novelist, better known as "Mrs. Henry Wood". She is perhaps remembered most for her 1861 novel East Lynne, but many of her books became international best-sellers, being widely received in the United States and surpassing Charles Dickens' fame in Australia.


Ellen Wood
Ellen Price was born in Worcester in 1814. In 1836 she married Henry Wood, who worked in the banking and shipping trade in Dauphiné in the South of France, where they lived for 20 years. On the failure of Wood's business, the family (including four children) returned to England and settled in Upper Norwood near London, where Ellen Wood turned to writing. This supported the family (Henry Wood died in 1866). She wrote over 30 novels, many of which (especially East Lynne), enjoyed remarkable popularity. Among the best known are Danesbury House, Oswald Cray, Mrs. Halliburton's Troubles, The Channings, Lord Oakburn's Daughters and The Shadow of Ashlydyat. In 1867, Wood purchased the English magazine Argosy, which had been founded by Alexander Strahan in 1865. Her writing tone would be described as "conservative and Christian," occasionally expressing religious rhetoric. She wrote much of the magazine herself, but other contributors included Hesba Stretton, Julia Kavanagh, Christina Rossetti, Sarah Doudney and Rosa Nouchette Carey. Wood continued as its editor until her death in 1887, when her son Charles Wood took over.
Wood's works were translated into many languages, including Russian. Leo Tolstoy, in a 9 March 1872 letter to his older brother Sergei, noted that he was "reading Mrs. Wood's wonderful novel In the Maze".

Wood wrote several works of supernatural fiction, including "The Ghost" (1862) and the often anthologized "Reality or Delusion?" (1868).

At her death (caused by bronchitis) her estate was valued at over £36,000, then a very considerable sum. She was buried in Highgate Cemetery, London. A monument to her was unveiled in Worcester Cathedral in 1916.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mrs. Henry Wood: "East Lynne"

East Lynne is an English sensation novel of 1861 by Ellen Wood. A Victorian bestseller, it is remembered chiefly for its elaborate and implausible plot, centreing on infidelity and double identities. There have been numerous stage and film adaptations.

The much-"quoted" line "Gone! And never called me mother!" (variant: "Dead! Dead! And never called me mother!") does not appear in the book; both variants come from later stage adaptations.

The book was originally serialised in The New Monthly Magazine between January 1860 and September 1861, being issued as a three-volume novel on 19 September 1861.

Plot summary
Lady Isabel Carlyle, a beautiful and refined young woman, leaves her hard-working lawyer-husband and her infant children to elope with an aristocratic suitor. After he deserts her, and she bears their illegitimate child, Lady Isabel disguises herself and takes the position of governess in the household of her former husband and his new wife.
East Lynne has been adapted for the stage many times; the play was so popular that stock companies put on a performance whenever they needed guaranteed revenue. The play was staged so often that critic Sally Mitchell estimates some version was seen by audiences in either England or North America every week for over forty years. The novel was first staged as Edith, or The Earl's Daughter in New York in 1861 and under its own name on 26 January 1863 in Brooklyn; by March of that year, "three competing versions were drawing crowds to New York theaters." The most successful version was written by Clifton W. Tayleur for actress Lucille Western, who was paid $350 a night for her performance as Isabel Vane. Western starred in East Lynne for the next 10 years. At least nine adaptations were made in all, not including plays such as The Marriage Bells that "used a different title for the sake of some copyright protection." There have been many silent film versions of the book including a 1913 film. Another, starring Theda Bara, was made in 1916, and there was an Australian film six years later. In 1925, another version reached the screen which starred Alma Rubens, Edmund Lowe, Lou Tellegen and Leslie Fenton. In the 1970s a TV dramatisation was broadcast from The City Varieties Theatre in Leeds, with the audience all in Victorian costume and Queen Victoria in The Royal Box. The famous TV host of The Good Old Days, Leonard Sachs, was present to introduce the proceedings. The story has been refilmed as recently as 1982, in a star-studded BBC made-for-television production starring amongst many others Martin Shaw, Gemma Craven, Lisa Eichhorn, Jane Asher, Annette Crosbie and Tim Woodward. In 1931 a comedy film East Lynne on the Western Front was made in which British soldiers fighting in the World War I stage a burlesqued version of the story.
Mrs. Henry Wood: "East Lynne"
1931 Film
A film version of East Lynne was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1931. The movie was adapted from the novel by Tom Barry and Bradley King and directed by Frank Lloyd. The film is a melodrama starring Ann Harding, Clive Brook, Conrad Nagel and Cecilia Loftus. Only one copy of the film is known to exist.

Critical assessment
Some critics argue that the novel champions middle classes over the lower orders; others, however, find this claim "too simplistic" and argue that the novel "highlights the shortfalls inherent to bourgeois masculinity." Sally Mitchell argues that the novel simultaneously upholds and undermines middle-class values.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Spielhagen Friedrich
Friedrich Spielhagen (February 24, 1829 – February 25, 1911) was a German novelist, literary theorist and translator. He tried a number of careers in his early 20s, but at 25 began writing and translating. His best known novel is Sturmflut and his novel In Reih' und Glied was quite successful in Russia.

Friedrich Spielhagen
Spielhagen was born in Magdeburg and brought up in Stralsund, where his father was appointed a government architect in 1835. He attended the gymnasium (roughly equivalent to an American high school) in Stralsund, studied law, and subsequently literature and philosophy at the universities of Berlin, Bonn and Greifswald.

At Bonn, he was a member of the Burschenschaft Franconia, which at that time also included Carl Schurz, Johannes Overbeck, Julius Schmidt, Carl Otto Weber, Ludwig Meyer and Adolf Strodtmann. In his Reminiscences, Schurz recalls Spielhagen as a person “in whom, in spite of his somewhat distant and reserved character, we all recognized a man of rare intellectuality and moral elevation, and who later became a star of the first magnitude among the novelists of the century.”

After leaving university, he tried his hand at being a private tutor, an actor, a soldier and a teacher in a school in Leipzig, but upon his father's death in 1854 he devoted himself entirely to writing. In 1859, he became editor of the Zeitung für Norddeutschland (Newspaper for Northern Germany) in Hannover, and then, in 1862, moved to Berlin where he later edited Westermanns illustrirte deutsche Monatshefte (Westermann's Illustrated German Monthly) 1878-84.


As a translator, Spielhagen rendered into German George William Curtis's Howadji, Ralph Waldo Emerson's English Traits, a selection of American poems (1859; 2d ed. 1865), and William Roscoe's Lorenzo de' Medici. He also translated from the French minor works of Jules Michelet: L'amour, La femme, La mer.

He married Therese Boutin (1835–1900) with whom he had a daughter, Elsa Spielhagen (1866–1942). He died on 25 February 1911. Streets are named after him in his hometown of Magdeburg, as well as the three cities in which he lived: Stralsund, Hannover, and Berlin.

Novels and a play
After publishing Clara Vere (1857) and Auf der Düne (1858), neither of which was widely read, he began to write for newspapers and journals. In 1861, he struck gold with Problematische Naturen (1860–1861; English translation “Problematic Characters,” by Prof. Schele de Vere, New York, 1869); it was followed a year later by a sequel, Durch Nacht zum Licht (English translation, “Through Night to Light,” by Prof. Schele de Vere, New York, 1869), then by Die von Hohenstein (1863; English translation, “The Hohensteins,” by Prof. Schele de Vere, 1870), In Reih' und Glied (1866), Hammer und Amboß (1869; English translation, “Hammer and Anvil,” by William Hand Browne, 1873), Deutsche Pioniere (1870), Allzeit voran (1872), Was die Schwalbe sang (1873; English translation, “What the Swallow Sang,” 1873), Ultimo (1874), Liebe für Liebe (a drama, which has was produced in Leipzig; 1875), Sturmflut (based on the financial crises in Berlin following the Franco-Prussian War; 1876), Plattland (1878), Quisisana (1880), Angela (1881), Uhlenhans (1884), Ein neuer Pharao (1889), Faustulus (1897) and Freigeboren (1900) among many others. These days, Sturmflut is his best known work though it is currently only available in an abridged form. Spielhagen's later works were almost entirely on literary theory.

Spielhagen's Sämtliche Werke (Complete Works) were published in 1871 in sixteen volumes, in 1878 in fourteen volumes. His Sämtliche Romane (Complete Novels) followed in 1898 (22 vols), and these were followed by a new series in 1902. In 1890, he published his autobiography, Finder und Erfinder (2 vols, 1890).

Spielhagen: "Problematische Naturen"

His novel In Reih' und Glied, translated into Russian as Один в поле не воин [Odin v pole ne voin, "One man in the field is not a warrior" or "One man alone can't win a war"] (1867–1868), with its revolutionary protagonist Leo (based on Ferdinand Lassalle), was extraordinarily popular in Russia, and virtually all his novels were subsequently translated there at least once, collected editions being brought out in 1895 (8 vols.) and 1898 (30 vols.).

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Friedrich Spielhagen: "Problematische Naturen"
Problematische Naturen (“Problematical Natures,” 1861; translated into English as “Problematic Characters,” by Prof. Schele de Vere, New York, 1869) was a popular novel written by German novelist Friedrich Spielhagen exploring German personalities from around the time of the Revolutions of 1848.
Like Freytag and Paul Heyse, Friedrich Spielhagen was chiefly concerned, in his novels, with defining the warring elements of German character and the opposing springs of German action in the period before and after the revolution of 1848. Like Freytag and Heyse, Spielhagen saw clearly the dangers that threatened the country, politically, religiously and morally from a reactionary aristocracy; like Heyse and unlike Freytag he saw the hope of the nation in the spread of an enlightened democracy rather than in a spiritual renaissance of the ruling classes.

The hero of Problematische Naturen, Oswald Stein, is the mouthpiece for Spielhagen's revolutionary social theories. He is modeled after those characters of whom Goethe wrote “There are problematical natures that do not fit into any situation and who remain always unsatisfied. For them there arises a terrible conflict that consumes life without enjoyment.”

For Spielhagen, the conflict itself, even though it ends in defeat, is victory; the mere struggle against the domination of dead ideas is progress. For such a philosophy, there could be no better historical background than the Germany of 1848 and after, and Problematische Naturen with its sequel Durch Nacht zum Licht (1862), — although it squanders material for half a dozen novels, idealizes Teutonic morbidity, and forsakes art for tendency, — tells with remarkable vividness the story of the men and women who lived and thought and fought for freedom in Germany's day of hope.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  Western Literature

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

  BACK-1861 Part II NEXT-1861 Part IV