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-1864 Part I NEXT-1864 Part III    
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

Dickens: "Our Mutual Friend"
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1864 Part II
Cesare Lombroso: "Genius and Madness"
Lombroso Cesare

Cesare Lombroso (born Ezechia Marco Lombroso; 6 November 1835 –19 October 1909), was an Italian criminologist, physician, and founder of the Italian School of Positivist Criminology. Lombroso rejected the established classical school, which held that crime was a characteristic trait of human nature. Instead, using concepts drawn from physiognomy, degeneration theory, psychiatry and Social Darwinism, Lombroso's theory of anthropological criminology essentially stated that criminality was inherited, and that someone "born criminal" could be identified by physical (congenital) defects, which confirmed a criminal as savage or atavistic.

Lombroso was born in Verona, Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, on 6 November 1835 to a wealthy Jewish family. His father was Aronne Lombroso, a tradesman from Verona, and his mother was Zeffora (or Zefira) Levi from Chieri near Turin. He studied literature, linguistics, and archæology at the universities of Padua, Vienna, and Paris, but changed his plans and became an army surgeon in 1859. In 1866 he was appointed visiting lecturer at Pavia, and later took charge of the insane asylum at Pesaro in 1871. He became professor of forensic medicine and hygiene at Turin in 1878. That year he wrote his most important and influential work, L'uomo delinquente, which went through five editions in Italian and was published in various European languages. However, it was not until 1900 that his work was published in English. Lombroso later became professor of psychiatry (1896) and criminal anthropology (1906) at the same university. He died in Turin in 1909.

Cesare Lombroso
  Concept of criminal atavism
Lombroso's general theory suggested that criminals are distinguished from noncriminals by multiple physical anomalies. He postulated that criminals represented a reversion to a primitive or subhuman type of man characterized by physical features reminiscent of apes, lower primates, and early man and to some extent preserved, he said, in modern "savages". The behavior of these biological "throwbacks" will inevitably be contrary to the rules and expectations of modern civilized society.

Through years of postmortem examinations and anthropometric studies of criminals, the insane, and normal individuals, Lombroso became convinced that the "born criminal" (reo nato, a term given by Ferri) could be anatomically identified by such items as a sloping forehead, ears of unusual size, asymmetry of the face, prognathism, excessive length of arms, asymmetry of the cranium, and other "physical stigmata". Specific criminals, such as thieves, rapists, and murderers, could be distinguished by specific characteristics, he believed. Lombroso also maintained that criminals had less sensibility to pain and touch; more acute sight; a lack of moral sense, including an absence of remorse; more vanity, impulsiveness, vindictiveness, and cruelty; and other manifestations, such as a special criminal argot and the excessive use of tattooing.
Besides the "born criminal", Lombroso also described "criminaloids", or occasional criminals, criminals by passion, moral imbeciles, and criminal epileptics.

He recognized the diminished role of organic factors in many habitual offenders and referred to the delicate balance between predisposing factors (organic, genetic) and precipitating factors such as one's environment, opportunity, or poverty.

Lombroso's research methods were clinical and descriptive, with precise details of skull dimension and other measurements. He did not engage in rigorous statistical comparisons of criminals and noncriminals. Although he gave some recognition in his later years to psychological and sociological factors in the etiology of crime, he remained convinced of, and identified with, criminal anthropometry.

Lombroso's theories were disapproved throughout Europe, especially in schools of medicine, but not in the United States, where sociological studies of crime and the criminal predominated. His notions of physical differentiation between criminals and noncriminals were seriously challenged by Charles Goring (The English Convict, 1913), who made elaborate comparisons and found insignificant statistical differences.

Psychiatric art
Lombroso published The Man of Genius in 1889, a book which argued that artistic genius was a form of hereditary insanity. In order to support this assertion, he began assembling a large collection of "psychiatric art". He published an article on the subject in 1880 in which he isolated thirteen typical features of the "art of the insane." Although his criteria are generally regarded as outdated today, his work inspired later writers on the subject, particularly Hans Prinzhorn.

Later in his life Lombroso began investigating mediumship. Although originally skeptical, he later became a believer in spiritualism. As an atheist Lombroso discusses his views on the paranormal and spiritualism in his book After Death – What? (1909) which he believed the existence of spirits and claimed the medium Eusapia Palladino was genuine. In the British Medical Journal on November 9, 1895 an article was published titled Exit Eusapia!. The article questioned the scientific legitimacy of the Society for Psychical Research for investigating Palladino a medium who had a reputation of being a fraud and imposture and was surprised that Lombroso had been deceived by Palladino.

The anthropologist Edward Clodd wrote "[Lombroso] swallowed the lot at a gulp, from table raps to materialisation of the departed, spirit photographs and spirit voices; every story, old or new, alike from savage and civilised sources, confirming his will to believe." Lombroso's daughter Gina Ferrero wrote that during the later years of his life Lombroso suffered from arteriosclerosis and his mental and physical health was wrecked. The skeptic Joseph McCabe wrote that because of this it was not surprising that Palladino managed to fool Lombroso into believing spiritualism by her tricks.

Cesare Lombroso: "Genius and Madness"
Literary impact
Historian Daniel Pick argues that Lombroso serves "as a curious footnote to late-ninteenth-century literary studies," due to his referencing in famous books of the time. Jacques in Emile Zola's The Beast Within' is described as having a jaw that juts forward on the bottom. It is emphasized especially at the end of the book when he is overwhelmed by the desire to kill. 'The anarchist Karl Yundt in Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, delivers a speech denouncing Lombroso. The assistant prosecutor in Leo Tolstoy's Resurection uses Lombroso's theories to accuse Maslova of being a congenital criminal. In Bram Stoker's Dracula, Count Dracula is described as having a physical appearance Lombroso would describe as criminal.

Lombroso was used for the name of the institute in Philip Kerr's techno-thriller A Philosophical Investigation.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Newman: "Apologia pro Vita Sua"
Apologia Pro Vita Sua (Latin: A defense of his life) is the classic defense by Newman John Henry  of his religious opinions, published in 1864 in response to what he saw as an unwarranted attack on him, the Catholic priesthood, and Roman Catholic doctrine by Charles Kingsley.

The work quickly became a bestseller and has remained in print to this day.

The work was tremendously influential in turning public opinion for Newman, and in establishing him as one of the foremost exponents of Catholicism in England.

After a brief and unsatisfactory correspondence with Kingsley, Newman began work on the Apologia.

A revised version, with many passages re-written and some parts omitted, was published in 1865.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Title page of the first edition of Apologia Pro Vita Sua
Syllabus of Errors

The Syllabus of Errors (Latin: Syllabus Errorum) was a document issued by Holy See under Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1864, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, on the same day as the Pope's encyclical Quanta cura. It listed the church's position in a number of both philosophical and political areas, and referred to the church's teaching on these matters as given in a number of documents issued previously. It is important as it was widely interpreted as an attack by the church on modernism, secularization and the political emancipation of Europe from the tradition of Catholic Monarchies.

The Syllabus was made up of phrases and paraphrases from earlier papal documents, along with index references to them, and presented as a list of "condemned propositions". For instance, in condemning proposition 14, "Philosophy is to be treated without taking any account of supernatural revelation", the Syllabus asserts the truth of the contrary proposition—that philosophy should take account of supernatural revelation. The Syllabus does not explain why each particular proposition is wrong, but it cites earlier documents to which the reader can refer for the Pope's reasons for saying each proposition is false. With the exception of some propositions drawn from Pius' encyclical Qui pluribus of November 9, 1846, all the propositions were based on documents that postdated the shocks to the Pope and the papacy of the Revolutions of 1848.

The Syllabus was divided into ten sections which condemned as false various statements about these topics:

-pantheism, naturalism, and absolute rationalism, Propositions 1–7;
-moderate rationalism, Propositions 8–14;
-indifferentism and latitudinarianism, Propositions 15–18;
-socialism, communism, secret societies, Bible societies, and liberal clerical societies, a general condemnation;
-the church and its rights, Propositions 19–38 (defending temporal power in the Papal States, which were overthrown six years later);
-civil society and its relationship to the church, Propositions 39–55;
-natural and Christian ethics, Propositions 56–64;
-Christian marriage, Propositions 65–74;
-the civil power of the sovereign Pontiff in the Papal States, Propositions 75–76 and
modern liberalism, Propositions 77–80.

Some statements of condemnation

Statements the encyclical condemned as false include the following:

-"Human reason, without any reference whatsoever to God, is the sole arbiter of truth and falsehood, and of good and evil." (No. 3)
-"All the truths of religion proceed from the innate strength of human reason; hence reason is the ultimate standard by which man can and ought to arrive at the knowledge of all truths of every kind." (No. 4)
-"In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship." (No. 77)
-"Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church." (No. 18).
-"The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church." (No. 55)
-"Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true." (No. 15) and that "It has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship." (No. 78)
-"The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with, progress, liberalism and modern civilization." (No. 80) (cf Jamdudum cernimus)


Within the Protestant world, reactions were uniformly negative. In 1874 the British Leader of the Opposition William Ewart Gladstone published a tract entitled The Vatican Decrees in their bearing on Civil Allegiance: A Political Expostulation, in which he said that after the Syllabus:

. . . no one can now become (Rome's) convert without renouncing his moral and mental freedom, and placing his civil loyalty and duty at the mercy of another.

The government of France briefly tried to suppress the circulation of the encyclical and the Syllabus within its borders; it forbade priests to explain the Syllabus from the pulpit, though newspapers were allowed to discuss it from a secular point of view.

The document met with a mixed reception among Catholics; many accepted it wholeheartedly, others wanted a clarification of some points, and still others were as shocked as their Protestant neighbors by the apparent broad scope of the condemnations.

Catholic apologists such as Félix Dupanloup and Blessed John Henry Newman said that the Syllabus was widely misinterpreted by readers who did not have access to or did not bother to check the original documents of which it was a summary. The propositions listed had been condemned as erroneous opinions in the sense and context in which they originally occurred; without the original context, the document appeared to condemn a larger range of ideas than it actually did. Thus it was asserted that no critical response to the Syllabus which did not take the cited documents and their context into account could be valid (Newman 1874). Newman writes:

The Syllabus then has no dogmatic force; it addresses us, not in its separate portions, but as a whole, and is to be received from the Pope by an act of obedience, not of faith, that obedience being shown by having recourse to the original and authoritative documents, (Allocutions and the like,) to which the Syllabus pointedly refers. Moreover, when we turn to those documents, which are authoritative, we find the Syllabus cannot even be called an echo of the Apostolic Voice; for, in matters in which wording is so important, it is not an exact transcript of the words of the Pope, in its account of the errors condemned, just as would be natural in what is an index for reference.

In the wake of the controversy following the document's release, Pius IX referred to it as "raw meat needing to be cooked." However, others within the church who supported the syllabus disagreed that there was any misinterpretation of the condemnations.

Sources cited
The Syllabus cited a number of previous documents that had been written during Pius's papacy.

These include:

Qui pluribus, Maxima quidem, Singulari quadam, Tuas libenter, Multiplices inter, Quanto conficiamur, Noscitis, Nostis et nobiscum, Meminit unusquisque, Ad Apostolicae, Nunquam fore, Incredibili, Acerbissimum, Singularis nobisque, Multis gravibusque, Quibus quantisque, Quibus luctuosissimis, In consistoriali, Cum non sine, Cum saepe, Quanto conficiamur, Jamdudum cernimus, Novos et ante, Quibusque vestrum and Cum catholica.

Subsequent history
Further thoughts in the same vein were expressed in Pius' s encyclical of 21 November 1873, Etsi multa ("On the Church in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland"), which is often appended to the Syllabus. There Pius condemned contemporary liberalizing anti-clerical legislation in South America as "a ferocious war on the Church."

In 1907 Lamentabili sane was promulgated, a "Syllabus condemning the errors of the Modernists", being a list of errors that might be made by scholars engaged in biblical criticism.

Some think that the political or dogmatic propositions of the Syllabus may be abrogated by later documents coming from the Second Vatican Council in 1962. Others argue that this view results from an excessively broad interpretation of statements that had a narrower sense in their original context, and from contrasting the infallible documents of the ecumenical council with papal statements that were not infallible because they were not addressed to the whole church.

English historian E.E.Y. Hales argues that:

[T]he Pope is not concerned with a universal principle, but with the position in a particular state at a particular date. He is expressing his "wonder and distress" (no more) that in a Catholic country (Spain) it should be proposed to disestablish the Church and to place any and every religion upon a precisely equal footing. ... Disestablishment and toleration were far from the normal practice of the day, whether in Protestant or in Catholic states.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Deutsche Shakespeare-Gesellschaft founded at Weimar
The Deutsche Shakespeare-Gesellschaft (German Shakespeare Society) was founded on the occasion of the 300th birthday of William Shakespeare on 23 April 1864. It was the first scientific and cultural association of its type in Weimar, and is one of the oldest functioning literary societies in the world.
Dickens: "Our Mutual Friend"

Our Mutual Friend (written in the years 1864–65) is the last novel completed by Dickens Charles and is one of his most sophisticated works, combining psychological insight with social analysis. It centres on, in the words of critic J. Hillis Miller, "money, money, money, and what money can make of life", but is also about human values. In the opening chapters a body is found in the Thames and identified as that of John Harmon, a young man recently returned to London to receive his inheritance. Were he alive, his father's will would require him to marry Bella Wilfer, a beautiful, mercenary girl whom he had never met. Instead, the money passes to the working-class Boffins, and the effects spread into various corners of London society.


Major characters

John Harmon – heir to the Harmon estate, only under the condition that he marry Bella Wilfer; presumed dead throughout most of the novel; in fact living under the name John Rokesmith and working as a secretary for the Boffins in an attempt to better get to know Bella, the Boffins, and people's general reaction to John Harmon's "death"; also uses the alias Julius Handford upon first returning to London. Harmon's "death" and subsequent resurrection as Rokesmith/Handford is consistent with Dickens's recurring themes of rebirth from the water, and his upward social mobility through his own means is portrayed as favourable, in contrast with Headstone, Hexam, and the Lammles.
Bella Wilfer – born into poverty, but retains the hope of marrying into wealth and receiving the inheritance of Old Mr. Harmon – until her intended husband, John Harmon, is (reportedly) killed, leaving her without future prospects; learns of the troubles money can bring when taken in by the newly-rich Boffins; rejects Rokesmith's proposal at first but later accepts. Initially described as a "mercenary young woman", with "no more...character than a canary bird", Bella undergoes a significant moral change in the novel. Although originally completely preoccupied with money, her complexity is eventually displayed in her ability to defy the societal pressures in order to achieve happiness unrelated to wealth; praised as a character for her "vivacity and lifelikeness", with greater complexity than some of the other, more static characters. Her relationship with her father is almost that of a mother and son, as she consistently dotes upon him, calling him her "cherub" and treating him like a child; this provides a stark contrast to the strained and resentful relationships between Bella and her mother and sister.

Cover of serial No. 8, December 1864
Nicodemus (Noddy) Boffin, aka the Golden Dustman – becomes a member of the nouveaux-riches when Old Mr. Harmon's heir is considered dead; illiterate, but wants very much to fit the image of a wealthy man, and so hires Silas Wegg to read to him in hopes of gaining more intelligence and worldliness; nearly blackmailed by Wegg. Assumes the role of a miser to show Bella the dangers of wealth, but eventually admits this behaviour was an act and gives his money to Bella and John. Boffin's innocence, naïve curiosity, and desire to learn contrast with his "elaborate performances as Boffin the miser"; critics speculate that Dickens's decision to have Boffin playing a part may not have been planned, as it was not very convincing for a man who has shown his simplistic ignorance on several occasions. Boffin's inheritance of old Harmon's money is appropriate because Harmon had attained it by combing the dust heaps, thus suggesting a mobility of class. He represents a wholesome contrast to such wealthy characters as the Veneerings and Podsnaps and was probably based on Henry Dodd, a ploughboy who made his fortune removing London's rubbish.
Mrs. Henrietta Boffin – Noddy Boffin's wife, a very motherly woman; convinces Mr. Boffin to take in an orphan boy called Johnny, which shows "another progressive development for Dickens as his female characters undertake a more active role in social reform"; realises that Rokesmith is actually Harmon, leading to Mr. Boffin's pretending to be a miser.
Lizzie Hexam – daughter of Gaffer Hexam and sister of Charley Hexam; an affectionate daughter, but knows that Charley must escape their living circumstances if he is to succeed in life; gives Charley her money and helps him leave while their father is away; later rejected by Charley after she remains in poverty. Pursued romantically by both Bradley Headstone and Eugene Wrayburn; fears Headstone's violent passion and yearns for Eugene's love, while acutely aware of the difference in their classes; saves Eugene from Headstone's attack and the two are married. Lizzie acts as the moral centre of the story; by far the "most wholly good character ... almost bereft of ego"; Dickens carries over her moral superiority into her physical characterisation. Her "capacity for self-sacrifice ... is only slightly more credible than her gift for refined speech", making her slightly unbelievable as a character when compared with her uneducated father and Jenny Wren. Lizzie's concern about social class reveals her reasoning for ensuring her brother's escape from poverty and ignorance, though she remains humble about her own situation. However, the conventions of the moral character attract Eugene and thus her inherent goodness is rewarded with marital happiness.

Staplehurst rail accident. Illustration by Marcus Stone
Charley Hexam – son of Jesse "Gaffer" Hexam and brother of Lizzie; originally a very caring brother though this eventually deteriorates as he rises above Lizzie in class and must remove himself from her to avoid the shame of poverty-by-association; born into poverty, receives schooling and becomes a teacher under Headstone's mentoring; used by Dickens to simultaneously critique the schooling available to the poor (often crowded and noisy, making it difficult to learn anything) as well as the classist tendencies of those who manage to rise in status; portrayed as "morally corrupt" for alienating himself from his past and distancing himself from his loving sister in the name of his own upward movement.
Mortimer Lightwood – lawyer, acquaintance of the Veneerings and friend of Eugene Wrayburn. It is through him that the reader and the other characters learn about Harmon's will. Lightwood acts as the "storyteller"; however, under the "mask of irony" he assumes in telling his stories, he feels true friendship for Eugene, respect for Twemlow, and concern for the issues in which he is involved. In addition, he also serves as the "commentator and a voice of conscience" with sarcasm sometimes covering his concern. Through Lightwood's reason and advice, the reader is better able to judge the characters' actions.
Eugene Wrayburn – seen as the second hero of the novel; a barrister, and a gentleman by birth, but characterised as roguish and insolent; close friends with Mortimer Lightwood; involved in a love triangle with Lizzie Hexam and Bradley Headstone, both of whom act as foils, Lizzie providing contrast to Eugene's more negative traits and Headstone making Eugene appear virtuous in comparison; nearly killed by Headstone but, like Harmon/Rokesmith, "reborn" after his incident in the river. Though he appears morally grey throughout most of the novel, by the end he is seen as a moral, sympathetic character and a true gentleman, after choosing to marry Lizzie in order to save her reputation, even though she is below his class.
Jenny Wren – real name Fanny Cleaver; dolls' dressmaker, with whom Lizzie lives after her father dies; crippled with a bad back, though not ugly in her deformities; very motherly towards her drunken father whom she calls her "bad child" (somewhat like the nearly mother–son relationship between Bella and her father); later cares for Eugene while he recovers from Headstone's attack on his life; shares the presumed beginnings of a romance with Sloppy at the end of the book, which the reader may assume will end in marriage. Although her mannerisms give her a certain "strangeness", Jenny is very perceptive, identifying Eugene Wrayburn's intentions towards Lizzie in his small actions. Her role is a creator and a caretaker, and her "pleasant fancies" of "flowers, bird song, numbers of blessed, white-clad children" reflects the mind's ability to rise above adverse circumstances.
Mr Riah – Jewish money-lending manager; cares for and assists Lizzie Hexam and Jenny Wren and has a very kindly relationship with them when they have no one else; portrayed very sympathetically.
  Critics believe that Riah was meant as an apology for the stereotypical character of Fagin in Oliver Twist, particularly in response to Mrs. Eliza Davis, an upstanding Jewish woman who wrote to Dickens saying that "the portrayal of Fagin did 'a great wrong' to all Jews." Some critics still take issue with Riah, asserting that he is "too gentle to be a believable human being."
Bradley Headstone – rose from his childhood as a "pauper lad" to become Charley Hexam's schoolmaster and the love interest of Miss Peecher, whom he ignores; falls in love with Lizzie Hexam and pursues her passionately and violently, though his advances are rejected; develops an insane jealousy towards Eugene Wrayburn, whom he follows at night like an "ill-tamed wild animal" in hopes of catching Eugene and Lizzie together; dresses as Rogue Riderhood and almost succeeds in drowning Eugene. After Riderhood realises that Headstone is impersonating him to incriminate him for Eugene's murder, he attempts to blackmail Headstone, leading to a fight that ends with both men drowning in the river. Described repeatedly as "decent" and "constrained", Headstone's personality splits between "painfully respectable" and "wild jealousy" with "passion terrible in its violence". The image of an animal in the night contrasts sharply with that of the respectable, "mechanical" schoolteacher during the day; a possible explanation for this dichotomy rests in Headstone's "intellectual insecurity" that manifests itself in violence after Lizzie's rejection. This "disguise" is an interesting device, because the "most complex of Dickens's villain-murderers are presented as double-figures", casting Headstone as more of a "psychological study and not a whodunit". As such, Dickens demonstrates the way identity can be manipulated for the public. Headstone also serves as a foil to Eugene, and his evil nature antagonises Eugene as much as Lizzie's goodness helps him, as demonstrated in the scene in which Headstone attempts to kill Eugene but he is rescued from the river by Lizzie.

Silas Wegg – ballad-seller with a wooden leg; "social parasite"; hired to read for the Boffins and teach Mr. Boffin how to read despite not being entirely literate himself; finds Harmon's will in the dust heaps and he and Venus attempt to use it to blackmail the Boffins; wishes to buy back his own leg as soon as he has the money, which is seen by some critics as an attempt to "complete himself"; Wegg claims to want the leg so that he can be seen as respectable. Some critics find the juxtaposition of Wegg's villainy and his sense of humour to be inconsistent.

Mr Venus – a taxidermist and articulator of bones; in love with Pleasant Riderhood, whom he eventually marries. He meets Silas Wegg after having procured his amputated leg and he pretends to join Silas in blackmailing Mr. Boffin regarding Harmon's will, while really informing Boffin of Silas's scheme. Dickens is said to have based Mr. Venus on a real taxidermist named J. Willis, though Venus's "defining obsession" renders him "among Dickens's most outlandish, least realistic" characters.
Mr Alfred Lammle – married to Sophronia Lammle. Each of them, at the time of their marriage, was under the impression that the other was fairly wealthy. Both were mistaken and are then forced to use their overabundance of charm and superficiality in attempts to make influential acquaintances and gain money through them. They play into the image of the Veneerings, depending upon flattery and plots against their supposed friends to achieve their ends.
Mrs. Sophronia Lammle – referred to in the first several chapters as "the mature young lady" and portrayed as a proper young woman, though this turns out to be ironic as she is later shown to be greedy, cold, and manipulative; married Alfred Lammle because she believed he had money, and when it turned out he did not, the two of them formed a partnership around conning money from others; conspires to trap Georgiana Podsnap in a marriage with Fledgeby, but repents before this plan can come to fruition.
Georgiana Podsnap – daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Podsnap; portrayed as very sheltered, shy, trusting and naïve and, as such, is taken advantage of by the more manipulative upper-class characters such as Fledgeby and the Lammles, who scheme to "befriend" her to take her money; courted by Fledgeby through Alfred Lammle, though not with honourable intentions, and nearly finds herself trapped in a marriage with Fledgeby until Sophronia Lammle suffers a change of heart.
Mr Fledgeby – called Fascination Fledgeby; friend of the Lammles; owns Mr. Riah's moneylending business; greedy and corrupt; makes his money through speculation; provides a contrast with Mr. Riah's gentleness, and underlines the point that "a Jew may be kindly and a Christian cruel"; nearly marries Georgiana Podsnap to gain access to her money, but Sophronia Lammle backs out of the scheme and, once Fledgeby is no longer allied with the Lammles, they seek him out and beat him in his apartment.
Roger "Rogue" Riderhood – "Gaffer" Hexam's partner until Gaffer rejects him after he is convicted of theft. In revenge for that slight he falsely turns Gaffer in as the murderer of John Harmon in the hope of receiving a reward. Later, Riderhood becomes a lock-keeper, and Headstone attempts to frame him for the murder of Eugene Wrayburn. After attempts to blackmail Headstone, the two men fall in the river Thames during a fight and both drown. In his "literally irredeemable villainy", Riderhood represents an opportunistic character who will change his behaviour according to whatever suits his needs best at any given moment.
Reginald Wilfer – Bella Wilfer's doting father; gentle, innocent and kindly, despite his querulous wife and daughter and thankless work as a clerk; described by Dickens in almost childish terms; often called "the Cherub". It is possible his exceptionally affectionate relationship with Bella was Dickens's attempt to live vicariously after his own daughter cut him out of her life following her marriage.
Minor characters
Mr Inspector – a police officer; acts as a witness to several important events, such as when the corpse from the river is mistakenly identified as John Harmon, when Gaffer Hexam is taken into custody, and when the real John Harmon is named. In general, he is "imperturbable, omnicompetent, firm but genial, and an accomplished actor"; commands authority but does not prove particularly effective in his administration of the law, giving rise to doubt about the justice system in the novel.
Mr. John Podsnap – a pompous man of the upper middle class; married to Mrs. Podsnap and the father of Georgiana; smug and jingoistic. Some critics believe that Dickens used Podsnap to satirise John Forster, Dickens's lifelong friend and official biographer. However, Dickens insisted he only used some of Forster's mannerisms for this character, who was in no way to represent his closest friend. Forster, like Dickens, rose with difficulty from an impoverished middle-class background. The character of Podsnap was used to represent the views of "Society," as evidenced in his disapproval of Lizzie Hexam and Eugene Wrayburn's marriage.
Mrs Podsnap – the mother of Georgiana Podsnap. Though she embodies the materialistic ideals of her husband and daughter, Mrs. Podsnap is the least prominent of the family. She is described as a "fine woman" in her embodiment of the typical upper-class wife.
Mrs Wilfer – Bella's mother, a woman who is never satisfied with what she has. Her haughtiness is apparent in the way she acts at the Boffins's home and when Bella and Rokesmith return after their wedding. Her animosity towards her husband, her greed and discontent contrast with her husband's good nature and provide an image of what Bella could become, should she not change.
Illustration by Marcus Stone
Lavinia Wilfer – Bella's younger sister; George Sampson's fiancée; vocal and opinionated, the only character who will stand up to Mrs. Wilfer by matching her derisiveness and audacity. In some ways, she acts as a foil to Bella; while Bella overcomes her desire for money and appreciates other aspects of life, Lavinia remains resentful in her poverty.
George Sampson – Lavinia Wilfer's suitor; originally in love with Bella; used mostly as comic relief and to provide a contrast with the idyllic relationship between Bella and Rokesmith/Harmon.
Mr. Melvin Twemlow – the well-connected friend of the Veneerings; often cultivated for his supposed influence with powerful people, such as Lord Snigsworth. Mrs. Lammle tells him about their plot to marry Georgiana Podsnap and Fledgeby, to whom Twemlow owes money. Though Twemlow is introduced to the reader as being like the table at the Veneerings' dinner party, he comes to reflect a wise way of thinking. His dress of collar and cravat suggest an image that is "picturesque and archaic", and he proves himself a "true gentleman in his response to Wrayburn's marriage".
Mrs. Betty Higden – a child-minder; takes in poor children and cares for them, including Johnny, the orphan whom the Boffins adopt; old and poor; sympathetically portrayed as pitiable; so terrified of dying in the workhouse that, when she begins to grow sick, she runs away to the country and ends up dying in Lizzie Hexam's arms; used by Dickens to call attention to the miserable lives led by the poor, and the need for social reform.
Johnny – the orphan great-grandson of Betty Higden. The Boffins plan on adopting Johnny, but he dies in the Children's Hospital before they are able to do so.
Sloppy – foundling who assists Betty Higden in taking care of children; raised in the workhouse; appears to have a learning disability but is nevertheless adept at reading the newspaper for Mrs. Higden; portrayed as inherently innocent because of his disability; carts away Wegg at the end of the novel; shares the beginnings of a romance with Jenny Wren, though some critics take issue with this, believing that Dickens only paired the two together because of their disabilities.
Jesse "Gaffer" Hexam – a waterman and the father of Lizzie and Charley; makes a living by robbing corpses in the river Thames. His former partner, Rogue Riderhood, turns him in for the murder of John Harmon after his body is supposedly dragged up from the river. A search is mounted to find and arrest Gaffer, but his body is discovered dead in his boat. Gaffer's opposition to education prompts Lizzie to sneak Charley away to school, though she stays with her father; as a result, Gaffer disowns Charley as a son. In a sense, Gaffer predicted the alienating effect education would have on Charley.
Pleasant Riderhood – daughter of Rogue Riderhood; works in a pawn shop; is, like Jenny Wren and Lizzie Hexam, another daughter caring for her abusive father as though he were her child and trying in vain to steer him along the path of right, maintaining the Dickensian theme of daughters selflessly nurturing their fathers; she eventually marries Mr. Venus.
Mr. and Mrs. Veneering – a nouveaux-riches husband and wife whose main preoccupation is to advance in the social world. They invite influential people to their dinner parties where their furniture gleams with a sheen that they also put on to make themselves seem more impressive; they wear their acquaintances, their possessions, and their wealth like jewellery in an attempt to impress those around them.
Miss Abbey Potterson – mistress of the Six Jolly Fellowship Porters; keeps the inn respectable and under control, only allowing patrons to drink as much as she sees fit; humorously likened to a schoolmistress as a way for Dickens to link her to the themes of education in the novel.
Miss Peecher – a school teacher who is in love with Bradley Headstone; a "good and harmless" character though she displays an "addiction to rules and forms". In addition, she shows a "naive confidence in the outward appearance of things", as demonstrated by her love of Headstone, a villain in the story who gives the impression of being good.
Mr Dolls – Jenny Wren's alcoholic father; Jenny calls him her "bad child" and treats him accordingly, which is consistent with the themes of daughters infantilising and caring for their fathers. His real name is not known to Eugene, so Eugene calls him "Mr Dolls". As his daughter is really named Fanny Cleaver, his name might be Mr. Cleaver, but he is never called by a name other than "my bad child" or "Mr. Dolls" in the novel.

Plot summary
Having made his fortune from London's rubbish, a rich misanthropic miser dies – estranged from all except his faithful employees Mr and Mrs Boffin. By his will, his fortune goes to his estranged son John Harmon, who is to return from where he has settled abroad (putatively in South Africa, though this is never stated specifically) to claim it, on condition that he marries a woman he has never met, Miss Bella Wilfer. The implementation of the Will is in the charge of the solicitor, Mortimer Lightwood, who has no other practice.
Before the son and heir can claim his inheritance, he goes missing, presumed drowned, at the end of his journey back to London. A body is found in the Thames by Gaffer Hexam, a waterman who makes his living by retrieving corpses and robbing them of valuables before rendering them to the authorities. Papers in the pockets of the drowned man identify him as the heir, John Harmon. Present at the identification is a mysterious young man, who gives his name as Julius Handford and then disappears.

By the terms of the miser's will, the whole estate then devolves upon Mr and Mrs Boffin, naïve and good-hearted people who wish to enjoy it for themselves and to share it with others. They take the disappointed bride of the drowned heir, Miss Wilfer, into their household, and treat her as their pampered child and heiress. They also accept an offer from Julius Handford, now going under the name of John Rokesmith, to serve as their confidential secretary and man of business, at no salary. Rokesmith uses this position to watch and learn everything about the Boffins, Miss Wilfer, and the aftershock of the drowning of the heir John Harmon.

Illustration by Marcus Stone

Mr Boffin engages a one-legged ballad-seller, Silas Wegg, to read aloud to him in the evenings, and Wegg tries to take advantage of his position and of Mr Boffin's good heart to obtain other advantages from the wealthy dustman. Having persuaded Mr Boffin to move to a larger house, he himself takes possession of their former home, in the yard of which stand several mounds of "dust" remaining from Mr Harmon's business; Wegg hopes to find hidden treasure there.

Gaffer Hexam, who found the body, is accused of murdering John Harmon by a fellow-waterman, Roger "Rogue" Riderhood, who is bitter at having been cast off as Hexam's partner on the river and who covets the large reward offered in relation to the murder. As a result of the accusation, Hexam is shunned by his fellows on the river, and excluded from The Six Jolly Fellowship-Porters, the public house they frequent. Hexam's young son, the clever but priggish Charley Hexam, leaves his father's house to better himself at school, and to train to be a schoolmaster, encouraged by his sister, the beautiful Lizzie Hexam. Meanwhile, Lizzie stays with her father, to whom she is devoted.

Before Riderhood can claim the reward for his false allegation against Hexam, Hexam is found drowned himself. Lizzie Hexam becomes the lodger of a doll's dressmaker, a disabled teenager nicknamed "Jenny Wren". Jenny's alcoholic father lives with them, and is treated by Jenny as a child. Lizzie has caught the eye of the work-shy barrister, Eugene Wrayburn, who noticed her when accompanying his friend, the Harmon solicitor Mortimer Lightwood, to question Gaffer Hexam. Wrayburn falls in love with her. However, he soon gains a violent rival in Bradley Headstone, the schoolmaster of Charley Hexam. Charley wants his sister to be under obligation to no one but him, and tries to arrange lessons for her with Headstone, only to find that Wrayburn has already engaged a teacher for both Lizzie and Jenny. Headstone quickly becomes enamoured with Lizzie, and makes an unsuccessful proposal. Angered by Wrayburn's dismissive attitude towards him, Headstone comes to see him as the source of all his misfortunes, and takes to following him around the streets of London at night. Lizzie, fearing a violent quarrel between them, and unsure of Wrayburn's intentions toward her (Wrayburn admits to Lightwood that he himself doesn't know either), flees both men, getting work up-river outside London.

Mr and Mrs Boffin attempt to adopt a young orphan, previously in the care of his great-grandmother, Betty Higden, but the boy dies before the adoption can proceed. Mrs Higden minds children for a living, assisted by the gangling foundling known as Sloppy. She has a terror of the workhouse. When Lizzie Hexam finds Mrs Higden dying, she meets the Boffins and Bella Wilfer. In the meantime Eugene Wrayburn has obtained information about Lizzie's whereabouts from Jenny's father and has tracked the object of his affections. Bradley Headstone attempts to enlist the help of Riderhood, now working as a lock-keeper, to find Lizzie. After following Wrayburn up river and seeing him with Lizzie, Headstone attacks Wrayburn and leaves him for dead. Lizzie finds him in the river and rescues him. Wrayburn, thinking he will die anyway, marries Lizzie to save her reputation. When he survives, he is glad that this has brought him into a loving marriage, albeit with a social inferior. He had not cared about the social gulf between them but Lizzie had and would not otherwise have married him.


Illustration by Marcus Stone

Rokesmith has clearly fallen in love with Bella Wilfer but she cannot bear to accept him, having insisted that she will marry only for money. Mr Boffin appears to be corrupted by his wealth and becomes a miser. He also begins to treat his secretary Rokesmith with contempt and cruelty. This arouses the sympathy of Bella Wilfer, and she stands up for Rokesmith when Mr Boffin dismisses him for aspiring to marry her. They marry and live happily, in relatively poor circumstances. Bella soon conceives.

Meanwhile, Bradley Headstone has tried to put the blame for his assault on Wrayburn onto Rogue Riderhood, by dressing in similar clothes when doing the deed. Riderhood realises this and attempts to blackmail Headstone. Headstone, overcome with the hopelessness of his situation, especially after discovering that Wrayburn has survived and has married Lizzie, is seized with a self-destructive urge and flings himself into the lock, pulling Riderhood with him so that both are drowned.

The one-legged parasite Silas Wegg has, with help from Mr Venus, an "articulator of bones", searched the mounds of dust and discovered a will subsequent to the one which has given the Boffins the whole of the Harmon estate. By the later will, the estate goes to the Crown. Wegg decides to blackmail Boffin with this will, but Venus has second thoughts and reveals all to Boffin.

It has gradually become clear to the reader that John Rokesmith is the missing heir, John Harmon. He had been robbed of his clothes and possessions by the man later found drowned and mis-identified as him. Rokesmith/Harmon has been maintaining his alias to find out more about Bella Wilfer before committing himself to marry her as required by the terms of his father's will. Now that she has married him, believing him to be poor, he can throw off his disguise. He does so and it is revealed that Mr Boffin's apparent miserliness and ill-treatment of his secretary was part of a scheme to test Bella's motives and affections.

When Wegg attempts to clinch his blackmail on the basis of the later will disinheriting Boffin, Boffin turns the tables by revealing a still later will by which the fortune is granted to Boffin even at young John Harmon's expense. The Boffins are determined to make John Harmon and his bride Bella Wilfer their heirs anyway so all ends well, except for the villain Wegg, who is carted away by Sloppy. Sloppy himself becomes friendly with Jenny Wren, whose father has died.

A sub-plot involves the activities of the devious Mr and Mrs Lammle, a couple who have married one another for money, only to discover that neither of them has any. They attempt to obtain financial advantage by pairing off their acquaintance, Fledgeby, first with the heiress Georgiana Podsnap and later with Bella Wilfer. Fledgeby is an extortioner and money-lender, who uses the kindly old Jew, Riah, as his cover, temporarily causing Riah to fall out with his friend and protégée Jenny Wren. Eventually, all attempts at improving their financial situation having failed, the Lammles leave England, Mr Lammle having first administered a sound beating to Fledgeby.


Themes and analysis
Rebirth and renewal

One of the most prevalent symbols in Our Mutual Friend is that of the River Thames, which becomes part of one of the major themes of the novel, rebirth and renewal. Water is seen as a sign of new life, used by churches during the sacrament of Baptism as a sign of purity and a new beginning. In Our Mutual Friend, it has the same meaning. Characters like John Harmon and Eugene Wrayburn end up in the waters of the river, and come out reborn as new men.

Wrayburn emerges from the river on his deathbed, but is ready to marry Lizzie to save her reputation. Of course, he surprises everyone, including himself, when he survives and goes on to have a loving marriage with Lizzie. John Harmon also appears to end up in the river through no fault of his own, and when Gaffer pulls his "body" out of the waters, he adopts the alias of John Rokesmith. This alias is for his own safety and peace of mind; he wants to know that he can do things on his own, and does not need his father's name or money to make a good life for himself.

Throughout Our Mutual Friend, Dickens uses many descriptions that relate to water. Some critics refer to this as "metaphoric overkill," and indeed there are numerous images described by water that have nothing to do with water at all. Phrases such as the "depths and shallows of Podsnappery," and the "time had come for flushing and flourishing this man down for good" show Dickens's use of watery imagery, and help add to the descriptive nature of the book.

Illustration by Marcus Stone

Expectations of society
In Our Mutual Friend Dickens also explores the conflict between doing what society expects of you or being true to yourself. Much of what society expects of a person may be shown through the influence of one's family. In many of Dickens's novels, including Our Mutual Friend and Little Dorrit, parents try to force their children into arranged marriages, which, although suitable in terms of money, are not suitable in other ways. John Harmon, for example, was supposed to marry Bella to suit the conditions of his father's will; initially, he refused to marry her for that reason, although he later married her for love. Rokesmith goes against his father's wishes in another way too, simply by taking the alias of John Rokesmith. By taking this new identity, he refuses his inheritance. Bella is also swayed by the influence of her parents. Her mother wishes her to marry for money to better the fortunes of the entire family, while her father is perfectly fine with her marrying John Rokesmith for love. Bella's marriage to Rokesmith goes against what is expected of her by her mother, and at first displeases her, but eventually she accepts the fact that Bella has at least married someone who will make her happy. Bella fails to be true to herself later on in the novel though, through her acceptance of the everyday duties of a wife and her effective renunciation of her independent spirit once she is married. She refuses to be the "doll in the doll's house"; she is not content with being the type of wife who rarely leaves her home without her husband. She reads up on the current events so she can discuss them with her husband, and she is actively involved in all of the couple's important decisions.

Lizzie Hexam also objects to her marriage to Eugene Wrayburn. She is unwilling to marry Wrayburn even though she would be elevated in society simply by marrying him, which almost any female would have done at the time. Lizzie feels that she is unworthy of him, while Wrayburn feels that he is unworthy of such a good woman; plus, he feels that his father would disapprove of her low social status. Both of them end up going against expectations by marrying each other.

Lizzie also ends up going against her brother Charley's wishes when she refuses to marry Bradley Headstone. He would have technically been an excellent match for her, according to societal norms of the time; however, Lizzie did not love him or care for him, which made her unwilling to accept the match. She spends most of the book unselfishly doing what others expect of her, doing things like helping Charley escape their father to go to school, and living with Jenny Wren. Marrying Wrayburn is the only truly selfish act Lizzie commits in Our Mutual Friend, and even that is debatable, since she only did it because Wrayburn appeared to be on his deathbed.


Illustration by Marcus Stone

Historical contexts
Dickens and Our Mutual Friend

In writing Our Mutual Friend, Dickens was possibly inspired by the 1850 Household Words piece "Dust; or Ugliness Redeemed" by Richard Henry Horne, which contains a number of situations and characters to be found in the later novel. These include a dust heap in which the legacy of a fortune lies buried, a man with a wooden leg and an acute interest in the dust heap (Silas Wegg), and another with "poor withered legs" (Jenny Wren). The clearest genesis of the novel dates from 1862, when Dickens jotted down in his notebook: "LEADING INCIDENT FOR A STORY. A man—young and eccentric?—feigns to be dead, and is dead to all intents and purposes, and ... for years retains that singular view of life and character". Additionally, Dickens's longtime friend John Forster was the likely model for the wealthy, pompous John Podsnap.

Our Mutual Friend was published in nineteen monthly numbers in the fashion of many earlier Dickens novels and for the first time since Little Dorrit (1855–57). A Tale of Two Cities (1859) and Great Expectations (1860–1) had been serialised in Dickens's weekly magazine All the Year Round. Dickens remarked to Wilkie Collins that he was "quite dazed" at the prospect of putting out twenty monthly parts after more recent weekly serials.

Our Mutual Friend was the first of Dickens's novels not illustrated by Hablot Browne, with whom he had collaborated since The Pickwick Papers (1836–37). Dickens instead opted for the younger Marcus Stone and, uncharacteristically, left much of the illustrating process to his discretion. After suggesting only a few slight alterations for the cover, for instance, Dickens wrote to Stone: "All perfectly right. Alterations quite satisfactory. Everything very pretty". Stone's encounter with a taxidermist named Willis provided the basis for Dickens's Mr. Venus, after Dickens had indicated he was searching for an uncommon occupation ("it must be something very striking and unusual") for the novel.

Dickens, who was aware that it was now taking him longer than before to write, made sure he had built up a safety net of five serial numbers before the first went to publication for May 1864. He was at work on number sixteen when he was involved in the traumatic Staplehurst rail crash. Following the crash, and while tending to the injured among the "dead and dying," Dickens went back to the carriage to rescue the manuscript from his overcoat. In the resulting stress, from which Dickens would never fully recover, he came up two and a half pages short for the sixteenth serial, published in August 1865. Dickens acknowledged his close brush with death that nearly cut short the composition of Our Mutual Friend in the novel's postscript:

On Friday the Ninth of June in the present year, Mr. and Mrs. Boffin (in their manuscript dress of receiving Mr. and Mrs. Lammle at breakfast) were on the South-Eastern Railway with me, in a terribly destructive accident. When I had done what I could to help others, I climbed back into my carriage—nearly turned over a viaduct, and caught aslant upon the turn—to extricate the worthy couple. They were much soiled, but otherwise unhurt. [...] I remember with devout thankfulness that I can never be much nearer parting company with my readers for ever than I was then, until there shall be written against my life, the two words with which I have this day closed this book:—THE END.

Dickens was actually travelling with his mistress Ellen Ternan and her mother.

Sales of Our Mutual Friend opened at 35,000 for the first number, but declined thereafter, dropping 5,000 by the second number and to 19,000 by the concluding double number.


Jews in Our Mutual Friend
The Jewish characters in Our Mutual Friend are more sympathetic than Fagin in Oliver Twist. In 1854, the Jewish Chronicle had asked why "Jews alone should be excluded from the 'sympathizing heart' of this great author and powerful friend of the oppressed." Dickens (who had extensive knowledge of London street life and child exploitation) explained that he had made Fagin Jewish because "it unfortunately was true, of the time to which the story refers, that that class of criminal almost invariably was a Jew". Dickens commented that by calling Fagin a Jew he had meant no imputation against the Jewish faith, saying in a letter, "I have no feeling towards the Jews but a friendly one. I always speak well of them, whether in public or private, and bear my testimony (as I ought to do) to their perfect good faith in such transactions as I have ever had with them". Eliza Davis, whose husband had purchased Dickens's home in 1860 when he had put it up for sale, wrote to Dickens in June 1863 urging that "Charles Dickens the large hearted, whose works please so eloquently and so nobly for the oppressed of his country ... has encouraged a vile prejudice against the despised Hebrew." Dickens responded that he had always spoken well of Jews and held no prejudice against them. Replying, Mrs. Davis asked Dickens to "examine more closely into the manners and character of the British Jews and to represent them as they really are."

In his article, "Dickens and the Jews," Harry Stone claims that this "incident apparently brought home to Dickens the irrationality of some of his feelings about Jews; at any rate, it helped, along with the changing times, to move him more swiftly in the direction of active sympathy for them."

Illustration by Marcus Stone
Riah in Our Mutual Friend is a Jewish moneylender yet (contrary to stereotype) a profoundly sympathetic character, as can be seen especially in his relationship with Lizzie and Jenny Wren; Jenny calls him her "fairy godmother" and Lizzie refers to Riah as her "protector." (he finds her a job in the country and risks his own welfare to keep her whereabouts a secret from Fledgeby (his rapacious (Christian) master))

Women's power in the household
Because of the rapid increase in wealth generated by the Industrial Revolution, women gained power through their households and class positions. It was up to the women in Victorian society to display their family's rank by decorating their households. This directly influenced the man's business and class status. Upper-class homes were ornate, as well as packed full of materials. "A lack of clutter was to be considered in bad taste." Through handcrafts and home improvement, women asserted their power over the household.

"The making of a true home is really our peculiar and inalienable right: a right, which no man can take from us; for a man can no more make a home that a drone can make a hive." (Frances Cobbe)

Ways Dickens mocks the upper classes' obsession with material possessions in Our Mutual Friend
-"The camels are polishing up in the Analytical's pantry for the dinner of wonderment of the occasion of the Lammles going to pieces."
-The Lammles go from being one of the Veneerings' oldest friends to simply a topic of gossip, because of their lack of money and possessions
-Lady Tippins refers to the Lammles as "what's-their-names."


Illustration by Marcus Stone
In the middle half of the Victorian Era, the earlier conduct books, which covered topics such as "honesty, fortitude, and fidelity," were replaced with more modern etiquette books. These manuals served as another method to distinguish oneself by social class. Etiquette books specifically targeted members of the middle and upper classes; it was not until 1897 that a manual, specifically Book of the Household, by Casell, addressed all the classes. Not only did the readership of etiquette manuals show class differences, but the practices prescribed within them became a starch view by which one could locate a member of the lower class.

Most etiquette manuals addressed calling cards, the duration of the call, and what was acceptable to say and do during a visit. One of the most popular etiquette books was Isabella Beeton's Book of Household Management, which was published in 1861. In this book, Beeton claims that a call of fifteen to twenty minutes is "quite sufficient" and states, "A lady paying a visit may remove her boa or neckerchief; but neither her shawl nor bonnet."

Beeton goes on to write, "Of course no absorbed subject was ever spoken about. We kept ourselves to short sentences of small talk, and were punctual to our time."

Etiquette books were constantly changing themes and ideas so this also distinguished who was an "insider" and who was an "outsider."

Critical reaction
"He happens to be one of those 'great authors' who are ladled down everyone's throat in childhood. At the time this causes rebellion and vomiting, but it may have different after-effects in later life."

—George Orwell (1939)

"Mr. Dickens must stand or fall by the severest canons of literary criticism: it would be an insult to his acknowledged rank to apply a more lenient standard; and bad art is not the less bad art and a failure because associated, as it is in his case, with much that is excellent, and not a little that is even fascinating."

—George Stott (1866)

  Dickens's contemporary critics
Our Mutual Friend was not regarded as one of Dickens's greatest successes at the time of its original publication. During Our Mutual Friend's first round of publishing, fewer than 30,000 copies were sold. Though The New York Times 22 November 1865 article concerning Our Mutual Friend conjectured, "By most readers...the last work by Dickens will be considered his best," direct evidence of how readers responded to Dickens's novels is scarce. Because Dickens burned his letters, the voices of his nineteenth-century serial audiences remain elusive. Thus, evidence of the reactions of his Victorian era readers must be obtained from reviews of Our Mutual Friend by Dickens's contemporaries.

The first British periodical to print a review of Our Mutual Friend, published 30 April 1864 in The London Review, extolled the first serial instalment, stating, "Few literary pleasures are greater than that which we derive from opening the first number of one of Mr. Dickens's stories" and "Our Mutual Friend opens well".

Dickens had his fans and detractors just like every author throughout the ages, but not even his most strident supporters like E.S. Dallas felt that Our Mutual Friend was perfect. Rather, the oft acknowledged "genius" of Dickens seems to have overshadowed all reviews and made it impossible for most critics to completely condemn the work, the majority of these reviews being a mixture of praise and disparagement.

In November 1865, a review in The Times by E.S. Dallas lauded Our Mutual Friend as "one of the best of even Dickens's tales," but was unable to ignore the flaws. "This last novel of Mr Charles Dickens, really one of his finest works, and one in which on occasion he even surpasses himself, labours under the disadvantage of a beginning that drags ... On the whole, however, at that early stage the reader was more perplexed than pleased.

There was an appearance of great effort without corresponding result. We were introduced to a set of people in whom it is impossible to take an interest, and were made familiar with transactions that suggested horror. The great master of fiction exhibited all his skill, performed the most wonderful feats of language, loaded his page with wit and many a fine touch peculiar to himself. The agility of his pen was amazing, but still at first we were not much amused." Despite the mixed review, it pleased Dickens so well that he gave Dallas the manuscript.

Many critics found fault with the plot. In 1865, The New York Times disapproved of Dickens's complicated conduct of his story, describing it as an "involved plot combined with an entire absence of the skill to manage and unfold it". In an unsigned review published in the London Review in 1865, the anonymous critic felt that "the whole plot in which the deceased Harmon, Boffin, Wegg, and John Rokesmith, are concerned, is wild and fantastic, wanting in reality, and leading to a degree of confusion which is not compensated by any additional interest in the story" and he also found that "the final explanation is a disappointment." Typical of the conflicting reviews, the London Review also thought that "the mental state of a man about to commit the greatest of crimes has seldom been depicted with such elaboration and apparent truthfulness."
Many reviewers responded negatively to Dickens's creation of his characters in Our Mutual Friend. The 1865 review by Henry James in The Nation described every character put before the reader as "a mere bundle of eccentricities, animated by no principle of nature whatever" and condemned Dickens for what he saw as a lack of characters in the novel who represent "sound humanity".
James maintained that none of the novel's characters add anything to the reader's understanding of human nature, and asserted that Dickens's characters within Our Mutual Friend, whom he referred to as "grotesque creatures" were not representative of actual existing Victorian types.

Like James, the 1869 article "Table Talk" in Once a Week did not view the characters in Our Mutual Friend as realistic depictions. The article asks: "Do men live by finding the bodies of the drowned, and landing them ashore 'with their pockets allus inside out' for the sake of the reward offered for their recovery? As far as we can make out, no. We have been at some trouble to inquire from men who should know; watermen, who have lived on the river nigh all their lives, if they have seen late at night a dark boat with a solitary occupant, drifting down the river on the 'look out,' plying his frightful trade? The answer has uniformly been 'No, we have never seen such men,' and more, they do not believe in their existence."

The reviewer in the London Review in 1865 denounced the characters of Wegg and Venus, "who appear to us in all the highest degree unnatural—the one being a mere phantasm, and the other a nonentity," but he applauded the creation of Bella Wilfer. "Probably the greatest favourite in the book will be—or rather is already—Bella Wilfer. She is evidently a pet of the author's, and she will long remain the darling of half the households of England and America." E.S. Dallas, in his 1865 review, concurred that "Mr Dickens has never done anything in the portraiture of women so pretty and so perfect" as Bella.

Dallas also admired the creation of Jenny Wren—who was greeted with contempt by Henry James—stating that, "The dolls' dressmaker is one of his most charming pictures, and Mr Dickens tells her strange story with a mixture of humour and pathos which it is impossible to resist."

In an Atlantic Monthly article "The Genius of Dickens" written by critic Edwin Percy Whipple in 1867, he declared that Dickens's characters "have a strange attraction to the mind, and are objects of love or hatred, like actual men and women."

  Pathos and sentiment
Edwin Whipple also appreciated the sentiment and pathos of Dickens's characters, stating "But the poetical, the humorous, the tragic, or the pathetic element is never absent in Dickens's characterization, to make his delineations captivating to the heart and imagination, and give the reader a sense of having escaped from whatever in the actual world is dull and wearisome."

In October 1865 an unsigned review appeared in the London Review stating that "Mr Dickens stands in need of no allowance on the score of having out-written himself. His fancy, his pathos, his humour, his wonderful powers of observation, his picturesqueness, and his versatility, are as remarkable now as they were twenty years ago."
Similar to other critics, after praising the book this same critic then turned around and disparaged it. "Not that we mean to say Mr Dickens has outgrown his faults. They are as obvious as ever—sometimes even trying our patience rather hard.

A certain extravagance in particular scenes and persons—a tendency to caricature and grotesqueness—and a something here and there which savours of the melodramatic, as if the author had been considering how the thing would 'tell' on the stage—are to be found in Our Mutual Friend, as in all this great novelist's productions."

In 1869 George Stott condemned Dickens for being overly sentimental. "Mr Dickens's pathos we can only regard as a complete and absolute failure. It is unnatural and unlovely. He attempts to make a stilted phraseology, and weak and sickly sentimentality do duty for genuine emotion." But in the manner of all the other mixed reviews, Stott states that "we still hold him to be emphatically a man of genius."

The Spectator in 1869 concurred with Stott's opinion, writing "Mr Dickens has brought people to think that there is a sort of piety in being gushing and maudlin," and that his works are heavily imbued with the "most mawkish and unreal sentimentalism" but the unsigned critic still maintained that Dickens was one of the great authors of his time.


In his 1940 article "Dickens: Two Scrooges", Edmund Wilson states, "Our Mutual Friend, like all these later books of Dickens, is more interesting to us today than it was to Dickens's public. Certainly the subtleties and profundities that are now discovered in it were not noticed by the reviewers." As a whole, modern critics of Our Mutual Friend, particularly those of the last half century, have been more appreciative of Dickens's last completed work than his contemporary reviewers. Although some modern critics find Dickens's characterisation in Our Mutual Friend problematic, most tend to positively acknowledge the novel's complexity and appreciate its multiple plot lines.

G. K. Chesterton, one of Dickens's critics in the early 20th century, expressed the opinion that Mr. Boffin's pretended fall into miserliness was originally intended by Dickens to be authentic, but that Dickens ran out of time and so took refuge in the awkward pretence that Boffin had been acting. Chesterton argues that while we might believe Boffin could be corrupted, we can hardly believe he could keep up such a strenuous pretence of corruption: "Such a character as his—rough, simple and lumberingly unconscious—might be more easily conceived as really sinking in self-respect and honour than as keeping up, month after month, so strained and inhuman a theatrical performance. ... It might have taken years to turn Noddy Boffin into a miser; but it would have taken centuries to turn him into an actor." However, Chesterton also praised the book as being a return to Dickens's youthful optimism and creative exuberance, full of characters who "have that great Dickens quality of being something which is pure farce and yet which is not superficial; an unfathomable farce—a farce that goes down to the roots of the universe."

Form and plot
In his 2006 article "The Richness of Redundancy: Our Mutual Friend," John R. Reed states, "Our Mutual Friend has not pleased many otherwise satisfied readers of Dickens's fiction. For his contemporaries and such acute assessors of fiction as Henry James, the novel seemed to lack structure, among other faults. More recently, critics have discovered ways in which Dickens can be seen experimenting in the novel." Reed maintains that Dickens's establishment of "an incredibly elaborate structure" for Our Mutual Friend was an extension of Dickens's quarrel with realism. In creating a highly formal structure for his novel, which called attention to the novel's own language, Dickens embraced taboos of realism. Reed also argues that Dickens's employment of his characteristic technique of offering his reader what might be seen as a surplus of information within the novel, in the form of a pattern of references, exists as a way for Dickens to guarantee that the meaning of his novel might be transmitted to his reader. Reed cites Dickens's multiple descriptions of the River Thames and repetitive likening of Gaffer to "a roused bird of prey" in the novel's first chapter as evidence of Dickens's use of redundancy to establish two of the novel's fundamental themes: preying/scavenging and the transformative powers of water. According to Reed, to notice and interpret the clues representing the novel's central themes that Dickens gives his reader, the reader must have a surplus of these clues. Echoing Reed's sentiments, in her 1979 article "The Artistic Reclamation of Waste in Our Mutual Friend," Nancy Aycock Metz claims, "The reader is thrown back upon his own resources. He must suffer, along with the characters of the novel, from the climate of chaos and confusion, and like them, he must begin to make connections and impose order on the details he observes."

In his 1995 article "The Cup and the Lip and the Riddle of Our Mutual Friend", Gregg A. Hecimovich reaffirms Metz's notion of reading the novel as a process of connection and focuses on what he sees as one of the main aspects of Dickens's narrative: "a complex working out of the mysteries and idiosyncrasies presented in the novel." Unlike Dickens's contemporary critics, Hecimovich commends Dickens for Our Mutual Friend's disjunctive, riddle-like structure and manipulation of plots, declaring, "In a tale about conundrums and questions of identity, divergence of plots is desirable." Hecimovich goes on to say that in structuring his last novel as a riddle-game, Dickens challenges conventions of nineteenth-century Victorian England and that the "sickness" infecting Dickens's composition of Our Mutual Friend is that of Victorian society generally, not Dickens himself.

Hecimovich refers to Jenny Wren, Mr. Wegg, and Mr. Venus, all seemingly minor characters in Our Mutual Friend whom Henry James dismissed as "pathetic characters" in his 1865 review of the novel, as "important riddlers and riddlees."

Hecimovich states, "Through the example of his minor characters, Dickens directs his readers to seek, with the chief characters, order and structure out of the apparent disjunctive 'rubbish' in the novel, to analyze and articulate what ails a fallen London... Only then can the reader, mimicking the action of certain characters, create something 'harmonious' and beautiful out of the fractured waste land."

Harland S. Nelson's 1973 article "Dickens's Our Mutual Friend and Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor" examines Dickens's inspiration for two of the novel's working class characters.

Nelson asserts that Gaffer Hexam and Betty Higden were potentially modelled after real members of London's working class whom Mayhew interviewed in the 1840s for his nonfiction work London Labour and the London Poor.

Unlike some of Dickens's contemporaries, who regarded the characters in Our Mutual Friend as unrealistic representations of actual Victorian people, Nelson maintains that London's nineteenth-century working class is authentically depicted through characters such as Gaffer Hexam and Betty Higden.

However, not all modern critics of Our Mutual Friend regard the novel's characters in a positive light. In her 1970 essay "Our Mutual Friend: Dickens as the Compleat Angler," Annabel Patterson declares, "Our Mutual Friend is not a book which satisfies all of Dickens's admirers.

Those who appreciate Dickens mainly for the exuberance of his characterization and his gift for caricature feel a certain flatness in this last novel..."

Deirdre David claims that Our Mutual Friend is a novel through which Dickens "engaged in a fictive improvement of society" that bore little relation to reality, especially regarding the character of Lizzie Hexam, whom David describes as a myth of purity among the desperate lower-classes.

David criticises Dickens for his "fable of regenerated bourgeois culture" and maintains that the character Eugene Wrayburn's realistic counterpart would have been far more likely to offer Lizzie money for sex than to offer her money for education.


Aside from examining the novel's form and characters, modern critics of Our Mutual Friend have focused on identifying and analysing what they perceive as the main themes of the novel. Although Stanley Friedman's 1973 essay "The Motif of Reading in Our Mutual Friend" emphasises references to literacy and illiteracy in the novel, Friedman states, "Money, the dust-heaps, and the river have been seen as the main symbols, features, that help develop such themes as avarice, predation, death and rebirth, the quest for identity and pride. To these images and ideas, we may add what Monroe Engel calls the 'social themes of Our Mutual Friend—having to do with money-dust, and relatedly with the treatment of the poor, education, representative government, even the inheritance laws.'"

According to Metz, many of the prominent themes in Dickens's earlier works of fiction are intricately woven into Dickens's last novel. She states, "Like David Copperfield, Our Mutual Friend is about the relationship between work and the realization of self, about the necessity to be 'useful' before one can be 'happy.' Like Great Expectations, it is about the power of money to corrupt those who place their faith in its absolute value. Like Bleak House, it is about the legal, bureaucratic, and social barriers that intervene between individuals and their nearest neighbours. Like all of Dickens's novels, and especially the later ones, it is about pervasive social problems—poverty, disease, class bitterness, the sheer ugliness and vacuity of contemporary life."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  Charles Dickens

"Great Expectations"
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Jules de Goncourt (Goncourt Jules): "Renee Mauperin"

Jules de Goncourt: "Renee Mauperin"
see also: Edmond and Jules Goncourt
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Hawthorne Nathaniel, American novelist, d. (b. 1804)

Nathaniel Hawthorne in the 1860s
see also: Nathaniel Hawthorne
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Ibsen Henrik: "The Crown Pretenders"
  Western Literature

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Karlfeldt Erik Axel

Erik Axel Karlfeldt (20 July 1864 – 8 April 1931) was a Swedish poet whose highly symbolist poetry masquerading as regionalism was popular and won him the Nobel Prize in Literature posthumously in 1931. It has been rumored that he had been offered, but declined, the award already in 1919. His unwillingness to accept the award might help explain why he remains the only posthumous winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.


Erik Axel Karlfeldt
  Erik Axel Karlfeldt, (born July 20, 1864, Folkärna, Sweden—died April 8, 1931, Stockholm), Swedish poet whose essentially regional, tradition-bound poetry was extremely popular and won him the Nobel Prize for Literature posthumously in 1931; he had refused it in 1918, at least in part because of his position as secretary to the Swedish Academy, which awards the prize.

Karlfeldt’s strong ties to the peasant culture of his rural homeland remained a dominant influence on him all his life. The peasants whom he portrayed are, as one critic put it, “in harmony with nature and the seasons”; their culture is sometimes threatened by the erotic, anarchic Pan. Karlfeldt published his most important works in six volumes of verse: Vildmarks- och kärleksvisor (1895; “Songs of Wilderness and of Love”), Fridolins visor (1898; “Fridolin’s Songs”), Fridolins lustgård (1901; “Fridolin’s Pleasure Garden”), Flora och Pomona (1906; “Flora and Pomona”), Flora och Bellona (1918; “Flora and Bellona”), and finally, four years before his death, Hösthorn (1927; “The Horn of Autumn”). Some of his poems have been published in English translation in Arcadia Borealis: Selected Poems of Erik Axel Karlfeldt (1938). He was a beloved Neoromantic poet whose occasional artistic complexity was emotional rather than intellectual. In time, even some of his admirers criticized him for employing his gifts so exclusively in the service of a dying local culture.

Encyclopædia Britannica

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Landor Walter Savage, English author, d. (b. 1775)

Walter Savage Landor by William Fisher
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Raabe Wilhelm: "Der Hungerpastor"

Wilhelm Raabe: "Der Hungerpastor"
see also: Wilhelm Raabe
  Western Literature

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Trollope: "The Small House at Allington"

The Small House at Allington is the fifth novel in Anthony Trollope's (Trollope Anthony) series known as the "Chronicles of Barsetshire", first published in 1864. It enjoyed a revival in popularity in the early 1990s when the British prime minister, John Major, declared it as his favourite book.

Plot summary
The Small House at Allington concerns the Dale family, who live in the "Small House", a dower house intended for the widowed mother (Dowager) of the owner of the estate.

The landowner, in this instance, is the bachelor Squire of Allington, Christopher Dale. Dale's mother having died, he has allocated the Small House, rent free, to his widowed sister-in-law and her daughters Isabella ("Bell") and Lilian ("Lily").

Lily has for a long time been secretly loved by John Eames, a junior clerk at the Income Tax Office, while Bell is in love with the local doctor, James Crofts.

The handsome and personable, somewhat mercenary Adolphus Crosbie is introduced into the circle by the squire's nephew, Bernard Dale. Adolphus rashly proposes marriage to portionless Lily, who accepts him, to the dismay of John Eames.

Crosbie soon jilts her in favour of Lady Alexandrina de Courcy, whose family is in a position to further his career. Lily meets her misfortune with patience, and remains single, continuing to reject Eames, though retaining his faithful friendship. Bell marries Dr Crofts, after refusing an offer of marriage from her cousin Bernard.

As with all of Trollope's novels, this one contains many sub-plots and numerous minor characters. Plantagenet Palliser (of the "Palliser" series) makes his first appearance, as he contemplates a dalliance with Griselda Grantly, the now-married Lady Dumbello, daughter of the Archdeacon introduced earlier in the Chronicles of Barsetshire.

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Title page from the first edition in book form.
  Anthony Trollope 

"Barchester Towers"
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Wedekind Frank

Frank Wedekind, original name Benjamin Franklin Wedekind (born July 24, 1864, Hannover, Hanover [Germany]—died March 9, 1918, Munich), German actor and dramatist who became an intense personal force in the German artistic world on the eve of World War I.


Frank Wedekind
  A direct forebear of the modern Theatre of the Absurd, Wedekind employed episodic scenes, fragmented dialogue, distortion, and caricature in his dramas, which formed the transition from the realism of his age to the Expressionism of the following generation.

The son of a German American father and a Swiss mother, Wedekind lived in Switzerland from 1872 to 1884, when he moved to Munich, where he remained until his death. He was successively an advertising manager, the secretary of a circus, a journalist for the satirical weekly Simplicissimus, a cabaret performer, and the producer of his own plays. The electric quality of his personality has been attested by his contemporaries.

Wedekind’s characteristic theme in his dramas was the antagonism of the elemental force of sex to the philistinism of society. In 1891 the publication of his tragedy Frühlings Erwachen (The Awakening of Spring, also published as Spring Awakening) created a scandal. Successfully produced by Max Reinhardt in 1905, the play is a series of brief scenes, some poetic and tender, others harsh and frank, dealing with the awakening of sexuality in three adolescents. In the Lulu plays, Erdgeist (1895; Earth Spirit) and Die Büchse der Pandora (1904; Pandora’s Box), he extended the theme of sex to the underworld of society and introduced the eternal, amoral femme fatale Lulu, who is destroyed in the tragic conflict of sexual freedom with hypocritical bourgeois morality.

These two tragedies inspired Alban Berg’s opera Lulu. The character of Lulu is most identified with actress Louise Brooks, who portrayed her in G.W. Pabst’s masterful silent film version of Die Büchse der Pandora (1929).

Wedekind’s other plays include Der Kammersänger (1899; The Court Singer, also translated as The Tenor and The Singer), Der Marquis von Keith (1900; The Marquis of Keith), König Nicolo oder So ist das Leben (1901; Such Is Life), Hidalla (1904), and Franziska (1912; Eng. trans. Franziska). He also wrote poetry, novels, songs, and essays. His diary was posthumously published as Die Tagebücher: ein erotisches Leben (1986; Diary of an Erotic Life).

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Zangwill Israel

Israel Zangwill (21 January 1864 – 1 August 1926) was a British author at the forefront of cultural Zionism during the 19th century, he was a close associate of Theodor Herzl. He later rejected the search for a Jewish homeland and became the prime thinker behind the territorial movement.


Israel Zangwill
  Early life and education
Zangwill was born in London on 21 January 1864, in a family of Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire. His father, Moses Zangwill, was from what is now Latvia, and his mother, Ellen Hannah Marks Zangwill, was from what is now Poland.

He dedicated his life to championing the cause of people he considered oppressed, becoming involved with topics such as Jewish emancipation, Jewish assimilation, territorialism, Zionism, and women's suffrage. His brother was novelist Louis Zangwill, and his son was the prominent British psychologist, Oliver Zangwill.

Zangwill received his early schooling in Plymouth and Bristol. When he was nine years old Zangwill was enrolled in the Jews' Free School in Spitalfields in east London, a school for Jewish immigrant children.
The school offered a strict course of both secular and religious studies while supplying clothing, food, and health care for the scholars; presently one of its four houses is named Zangwill in his honour.

At this school he excelled and even taught part-time, eventually becoming a full-fledged teacher. While teaching, he studied for his degree from the University of London, earning a BA with triple honours in 1884.


He had already written a fantastic tale entitled The Premier and the Painter in collaboration with Louis Cowen, when he resigned his position as a teacher owing to differences with the school managers and ventured into journalism. He initiated and edited Ariel, The London Puck, and did miscellaneous work for the London press.

Zangwill's work earned him the nickname "the Dickens of the Ghetto". He wrote a very influential novel Children of the Ghetto: A Study of a Peculiar People (1892). The use of the metaphorical phrase "melting pot" to describe American absorption of immigrants was popularised by Zangwill's play The Melting Pot, a success in the United States in 1909–10.

When The Melting Pot opened in Washington D.C. on 5 October 1909, former President Theodore Roosevelt leaned over the edge of his box and shouted, "That's a great play, Mr. Zangwill, that's a great play."

In 1912 Zangwill received a letter from Roosevelt in which Roosevelt wrote of the Melting Pot "That particular play I shall always count among the very strong and real influences upon my thought and my life."

The protagonist of the play, David, emigrates to America after the Kishinev pogrom in which his entire family is killed. He writes a great symphony named "The Crucible" expressing his hope for a world in which all ethnicity has melted away, and becomes enamored of a beautiful Russian Christian immigrant named Vera. The dramatic climax of the play is the moment when David meets Vera's father, who turns out to be the Russian officer responsible for the annihilation of David's family. Vera's father admits guilt, the symphony is performed to accolades, David and Vera live happily ever after, or, at least, agree to wed and kiss as the curtain falls.


Theatre Programme for the play The Melting Pot (1916).
  "Melting Pot celebrated America's capacity to absorb and grow from the contributions of its immigrants." Zangwill was writing as "a Jew who no longer wanted to be a Jew. His real hope was for a world in which the entire lexicon of racial and religious difference is thrown away."

Zangwill wrote many other plays, including, on Broadway, Children of the Ghetto (1899), a dramatisation of his own novel, directed by James A. Herne and starring Blanche Bates, Ada Dwyer, and Wilton Lackaye; Merely Mary Ann (1903) and Nurse Marjorie (1906), both of which were directed by Charles Cartwright and starred Eleanor Robson. Liebler & Co. produced all three plays as well as The Melting Pot. Daniel Frohman produced Zangwill's 1904 play, The Serio-Comic Governess, featuring Cecilia Loftus, Kate Pattison-Selten, and Julia Dean. In 1931 Jules Furthman adapted Merely Mary Ann for a Janet Gaynor film. Zangwill's simulation of Yiddish sentence structure in English aroused great interest. He also wrote mystery works, such as The Big Bow Mystery (1892), and social satire such as The King of Schnorrers (1894), a picaresque novel (which became a short-lived musical comedy in 1979). His Dreamers of the Ghetto (1898) includes essays on famous Jews such as Baruch Spinoza, Heinrich Heine and Ferdinand Lassalle. The Big Bow Mystery was the first locked room mystery novel. It has been almost continuously in print since 1891 and has been used as the basis for three commercial movies.

Another widely-produced play was The Lens Grinder, based on the life of Spinoza.

Zangwill endorsed feminism and pacifism, but his greatest effect may have been as a writer who popularised the idea of the combination of ethnicities into a single, American nation. The hero of his widely-produced play, The Melting Pot, proclaims: "America is God's Crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and reforming... Germans and Frenchmen, Irishmen and Englishmen, Jews and Russians – into the Crucible with you all! God is making the American."'

"A Child of the Ghetto"
Zangwill as caricatured by Walter Sickert in Vanity Fair, February 1897.
  Jewish politics
Zangwill was also involved with specifically Jewish issues as an assimilationist, an early Zionist, and a territorialist. Zangwill quit Zionism in 1905 to become a major promoter of Territorialism, advocating a Jewish homeland in whatever land might be available.

Zangwill is known incorrectly for inventing the slogan "A land without a people for a people without a land" describing Zionist aspirations in the Biblical land of Israel. He did not invent the phrase; he acknowledged borrowing it from Lord Shaftesbury.

In 1853, during the preparation for the Crimean War, Shaftesbury wrote to Foreign Minister Aberdeen that Greater Syria was "a country without a nation" in need of "a nation without a country... Is there such a thing? To be sure there is, the ancient and rightful lords of the soil, the Jews!" In his diary that year he wrote "these vast and fertile regions will soon be without a ruler, without a known and acknowledged power to claim dominion. The territory must be assigned to some one or other... There is a country without a nation; and God now in his wisdom and mercy, directs us to a nation without a country." Shaftesbury himself was echoing the sentiments of Alexander Keith, D.D.

In 1901 in the periodical New Liberal Review, Zangwill wrote that "Palestine is a country without a people; the Jews are a people without a country". Theodor Herzl fared best with Israel Zangwill, and Max Nordau. They were both well-known writers or 'men of letters' - imagination that engendered understanding. Baron Albert Rothschild had little to do with the Jews. On Herzl's visits to London, they co-operated closely. In a debate at the Article Club in November 1901 Zangwill was still misreading the situation: "Palestine has but a small population of Arabs and fellahin and wandering, lawless, blackmailing Bedouin tribes."

Then, in the dramatic voice of the Wandering Jew, "restore the country without a people to the people without a country. (Hear, hear.) For we have something to give as well as to get. We can sweep away the blackmailer—be he Pasha or Bedouin—we can make the wilderness blossom as the rose, and build up in the heart of the world a civilisation that may be a mediator and interpreter between the East and the West."

Israel Zangwill 1905
  In 1902, Zangwill wrote that Palestine "remains at this moment an almost uninhabited, forsaken and ruined Turkish territory". However, within a few years, Zangwill had "become fully aware of the Arab peril", telling an audience in New York, "Palestine proper has already its inhabitants. The pashalik of Jerusalem is already twice as thickly populated as the United States" leaving Zionists the choice of driving the Arabs out or dealing with a "large alien population". He moved his support to the Uganda scheme, leading to a break with the mainstream Zionist movement by 1905.

In 1908, Zangwill told a London court that he had been naive when he made his 1901 speech and had since "realized what is the density of the Arab population", namely twice that of the United States. In 1913 he criticised those who insisted on repeating that Palestine was "empty and derelict" and who called him a traitor for reporting otherwise.

According to Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Zangwill told him in 1916 that, "If you wish to give a country to a people without a country, it is utter foolishness to allow it to be the country of two peoples. This can only cause trouble. The Jews will suffer and so will their neighbours. One of the two: a different place must be found either for the Jews or for their neighbours".
In 1917 he wrote "'Give the country without a people,' magnanimously pleaded Lord Shaftesbury, 'to the people without a country.' Alas, it was a misleading mistake. The country holds 600,000 Arabs."

TIME Magazine Cover: Israel Zangwill,
Sep. 17, 1923
  In 1921 Zangwill wrote "If Lord Shaftesbury was literally inexact in describing Palestine as a country without a people, he was essentially correct, for there is no Arab people living in intimate fusion with the country, utilizing its resources and stamping it with a characteristic impress: there is at best an Arab encampment, the break-up of which would throw upon the Jews the actual manual labor of regeneration and prevent them from exploiting the fellahin, whose numbers and lower wages are moreover a considerable obstacle to the proposed immigration from Poland and other suffering centers".

After having for a time endorsed Theodor Herzl, including presiding over a meeting at the Maccabean Club, London, addressed by Herzl on 24 November 1895, and endorsing the main Palestine-oriented Zionist movement, Zangwill quit the established philosophy and founded his own organisation, named the Jewish Territorialist Organization in 1905. Its goal was to create a Jewish homeland in whatever possible territory in the world could be found for them, with speculations including Canada, Australia, Mesopotamia, Uganda and Cyrenaica.

Zangwill died in 1926 in Midhurst, West Sussex.

Personal life
Zangwill married Edith Ayrton, a gentile feminist and author who was the daughter of cousins William Edward Ayrton and Matilda Chaplin Ayrton.

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