Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 
 

TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

Loading
 
 
 

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

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

Dostoevsky: "Crime and Punishment"
 
 
 
 
 HISTORY, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, ART, LITERATURE, MUSIC, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, DAILY LIFE
 
 
 
 
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
 
 
 
1866 Part II
 
 
 
1866
 
 
Croce Benedetto
 

Benedetto Croce, (born February 25, 1866, Pescasseroli, Italy—died November 20, 1952, Naples), historian, humanist, and foremost Italian philosopher of the first half of the 20th century.

 

Benedetto Croce
  Early life
Croce belonged to a family of landed proprietors with estates in the Abruzzi region of central Italy but chiefly resident in Naples. His background was religious, monarchical, and conservative. Croce spent almost his whole life in Naples, becoming intimately identified with, and a keen observer of, its life, as well as a biographer of its heroes.
His life, of which he left a too-modest record in his autobiography, falls roughly into four phases; each develops the dual theme of his intellectual and moral growth and his gradual, ever-deepening identification with the moral character and destiny of the Italian nation.

The first period of Croce’s life (until about 1900) was the period of his agony. Orphaned (with his brother, Alfonso) by the earthquake of Casamicciola in 1883, his life became, in his words, a “bad dream.” The stable world of childhood and youth was shattered, leaving him forever marked. Henceforth, he was a solitary figure, despite his considerable activity in the world.

His salvation lay in work. Disillusioned with the university, he set out upon an austere course of study, to become one of the great self-taught students of history. His writings of this period are universally alert, intelligent, and engaging. Although limited in scope, they show a fine sobriety of style, as well as wit, irony, and a fiery polemical spirit—although lyricism, which he eulogized, eluded him. Ostensibly he had little taste for politics, but actually several basic attitudes were forming.

 
 
Disillusioned with the nationalistic liberal leaders of the period following the Risorgimento (the 19th-century movement for Italian unity), he began to develop his own convictions on how an ethical, democratic, liberal government should be structured. He “coquetted”—according to his autobiography—with socialism and Marxism, eventually discarding those views after thorough examination and severe criticism of both positions. Nevertheless, he was subject to a constant and profound malaise. Subliminally he desired public relevance for his activity but saw none; the limited world of erudition palled on him.
 
 

Benedetto Croce
  Founding of La Critica
He was delivered from his malaise, and the second period of his life was opened in 1903 with his founding of La Critica, a journal of cultural criticism in which, during the course of the next 41 years, he published nearly all of his writings and reviewed all of the most important historical, philosophical, and literary work that was being produced in Europe at the time.

According to Croce, “The foundation of La Critica marked the beginning of a new period in my life, the period of maturity or harmony between myself and reality.” Through the journal, he found the larger public theatre he had been seeking. “La Critica was the most direct service I could render to Italian culture.…I was engaged in politics in the broad sense…uniting the role of a student and of a citizen.” Through La Critica, Croce’s public role as teacher of modern Italy emerged. Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, the prime minister who presided over the formation of a unified Italy, had said, “Having made Italy, we must make Italians.” La Critica took up that task.

The image of the Italian which animated that work was severe and beautiful. Creative effort, a passion for freedom united with a profound sense of civic duty, a lifestyle purged of all rhetoric and sentimental romanticism, unambiguous norms of public and private truth, a sense of history united with an obligation to the future, unceasing but constructive self-criticism—those were its elements. That image strongly reflected the personal ideal Croce had gradually formed for himself. But history was preparing to put that ideal to the test.

 
 
The struggle with fascism
The test was to be fascism, the political attitude that places the nation or race at the centre of life and history and disregards individuals and their rights. So gradual was this preparation that Croce himself did not at once perceive it. He confessed that he first saw in fascism a movement to the right of the political spectrum that might restrain and counteract the leftist tendencies toward unrestricted individual freedom released by World War I. But as the character of the Benito Mussolini regime revealed itself, his opposition hardened, becoming absolute, beyond compromise. He became, within and without Italy, the symbol of the opposition to fascism, the rallying point of the lovers of liberty. In fascism Croce saw not merely another form of political tyranny. He saw it as the emergence of that other Italy, in which egoism displaced civic virtue, rhetoric dislodged poetry and truth, and the pretentious gesture replaced authentic action.

His consciousness of his role as the moral teacher of Italy was strengthened. Instruction now took the form of the composition of the great histories—a history of Europe in the 19th century, of Italy from 1871 to 1915, and of the Kingdom of Naples. Their didactic character was unmistakable. In them Croce pointed out how the historical path of Italy had become la via smarrita (“the lost way”). Moreover, the lesson was intended for Europe and for the entire Western world as well.

In the maelstrom of conflict and ambiguity that followed Italy’s defeat in World War II, a voice of moral authority that could speak for the true Italy was demanded. Croce’s was unanimously recognized as that voice. And with authority that voice recalled Italy to the inner spiritual resources through which it might renew itself. It matters little that Croce’s own project for the rebuilding of Italy—the retention of the monarchy with certain dynastic changes, the return to the principles of a revived Liberal Party in government—was not the one realized in history. More important is the fact that the new Italy, in its democratic form, was inspired by his spirit.

That last public duty fulfilled, Croce returned to his studies. In his own library—one of the finest collections in Europe within its own scope—he established the Italian Institute for Historical Studies as a research centre. Asked about his state of health, he replied with true stoic equanimity, “I am dying at my work.” He died at age 86.

 
 

Benedetto Croce
  Croce’s philosophy of the spirit
At about the time he founded La Critica, Croce began the systematic exposition of his “philosophy of the spirit,” his chief intellectual achievement. That term designates two distinct, but related, aspects of his thought:

(1) In the first aspect, philosophy of spirit designates the construction of a philosophical system on the remote pattern of the rationalism (i.e., idealism) of classical Romantic philosophy. Its principle is the “circularity” of spirit (mind, or consciousness) within the structure of the system and in historical time. The phases, or moments, of spirit in this system are theoretical and practical. They are distinguished, respectively, into aesthetic and logical, on the one hand, and economic (or utilitarian) and ethical, on the other. The circular dynamic moves between both the lesser and the greater moments. The law of this circularity is that of absolute immanence. This system is documented in the volumes Estetica come scienza dell’espressione e linguistica generale (1902; Aesthetic As Science of Expression and General Linguistic), Logica come scienza del concetto puro (1909; Logic As the Science of the Pure Concept), Filosofia della pratica: economia ed etica (1909; Philosophy of the Practical: Economic and Ethic), and Teoria e storia della storiografia (1917; History: Its Theory and Practice).

(2) Croce gradually abandoned, without explicitly renouncing, that schematism primarily in response to methodological considerations in history. Its moments are not dissolved but are concretized into the flow of historical action and thought.

 
 
History becomes the unique mediational principle for all the moments of spirit, while spirit is completely spontaneous, without a predetermined structure. This change is signaled by the publication of La storia come pensiero e come azione (1938; History As the Story of Liberty). To that period some have attached the term historical positivism, but Croce himself called it absolute historicism and identified it as the definitive form of his thought. The philosophy of spirit in its asystematic form produced the effective method of Croce’s later work, as in the anthology Filosofia, poesia, storia (1951; Philosophy, Poetry, History).
 
 
Croce’s aesthetic expressionism
The most important and influential aspect of Croce’s philosophy was his aesthetic theory, in particular his view that art is essentially expressive—an expression of an emotion, attitude, or experience of the artist. Croce was responsible for the contemporary distinction in aesthetics between the expressive and the representative functions of art. By introducing it, he sought to dismiss representation as aesthetically irrelevant and to elevate expression into the single, true aesthetic function. The former, he argued, is descriptive or conceptual, concerned with classifying objects according to their common properties and so done merely to satisfy the viewer’s (or the listener’s or the reader’s) curiosity. The latter, by contrast, is intuitive, concerned with presenting its subject matter (an “intuition”) in its immediate concrete reality, so that it may be seen as it is in itself.
  In understanding expression, one’s attitude passes from mere curiosity to immediate awareness of the concrete particular that is the core of aesthetic experience.

Croce conceived his expressionism as providing the philosophical justification for the artistic revolutions of the 19th century and, in particular, for the Impressionist style of painting, in which representation gives way to the attempt to convey experience directly onto the canvas.

Croce wrote an entry on aesthetics for the 14th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

A. Robert Caponigri

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 
1866
 
 
Soderblom Nathan
 

Lars Olof Jonathan Söderblom (15 January 1866 – 12 July 1931) was a Swedish clergyman. He was the Church of Sweden Archbishop of Uppsala between 1914-1931, and recipient of the 1930 Nobel Peace Prize. He is commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church and in the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on July 12.

 

Lars Olof Jonathan Söderblom
  Nathan Söderblom, (born Jan. 15, 1866, Trönö, Sweden—died July 12, 1931, Uppsala), Swedish Lutheran archbishop and theologian who in 1930 received the Nobel Prize for Peace for his efforts to further international understanding through church unity.

Ordained a minister in 1893, Söderblom served seven years as a chaplain to the Swedish legation in Paris before becoming professor of theology at his alma mater, the University of Uppsala (1901).

He was appointed archbishop of Uppsala and primate of Sweden in 1914.

Söderblom was an outspoken pacifist whose interest in Christian unity bore fruit when the first Universal Conference on Life and Work met in Stockholm in 1925.

The series of these conferences eventually united with the conferences on Faith and Order to form the World Council of Churches.

Söderblom was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1930 for his efforts on behalf of Christian unity.

His most important book is Gudstrons uppkomst (1914), a study emphasizing holiness rather than the idea of God as the basic notion in religious thought.

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 
1866
 
 
Pierre Larousse: "Grand dictionnaire universel du XIX siecle"
 
 
Larousse Pierre
 

Pierre Athanase Larousse (October 23, 1817 – January 3, 1875) was a French grammarian, lexicographer and encyclopaedist. He published many of the outstanding educational and reference works of 19th-century France, including the 15 volume Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle.

 

Pierre Athanase Larousse
  Pierre Larousse, in full Pierre-Athanase Larousse (born Oct. 23, 1817, Toucy, France—died Jan. 3, 1875, Paris), grammarian, lexicographer, and encyclopaedist who published many of the outstanding educational and reference works of 19th-century France, including the Grand Dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle (15 vol., 1866–76; supplements 1878 and 1890), a comprehensive encyclopaedia of lasting value.

The son of a blacksmith, Larousse obtained a bursary to study at Versailles and then returned to Toucy as a schoolmaster. In 1840 he went to Paris, supporting himself meagrely while beginning his researches. His first work, a basic vocabulary textbook, was published in 1849, followed soon after by a steady stream of grammars, dictionaries, and other textbooks he had written, brought out by his own publishing house after 1852. Success was immediate and provided a financial base for the Grand Dictionnaire, which was issued in fortnightly parts over 11 years. The work was imbued with Larousse’s attitude of scientific progressivism: he attempted to disseminate all of the newly developed scientific attitudes, even when these were not conventionally acceptable. “My first ambition was to teach children,” he wrote; “I wanted to continue by trying to teach everyone about everything.”

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
Larousse: Great Universal Dictionary of the 19th Century
 

The Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle (Great Universal Dictionary of the 19th Century), often called the Grand Larousse du dix-neuvième, is a French encyclopedic dictionary. It was planned, directed, published, and to a substantial degree written by Pierre Larousse, though he also relied on anonymous fellow contributors and though he died in 1875, before its completion. The publication of the Grand dictionnaire universel in 15 volumes of 1500 pages extended from 1866 to 1876. Two supplements were published in 1877 and 1890.

 
Description
Volumes 1-15, covering A-Z, were issued from 1866 to 1876. A supplement (Volume 16) was published in 1877, and a second supplement (Volume 17), in 1890. The Larousse firm also published further supplements in the form of a magazine called Revue encyclopédique (1891-1900) then Revue universelle (1900-1905).

Unlike Émile Littré's contemporary dictionary, the Grand Larousse is primarily an encyclopedia. It is opinionated and has a distinctive and personal style.

One such instance of subjectivity appears regarding emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. For Pierre Larousse, what the Republic's general had done until the coup of 18 Brumaire was virtuous and glorious, but the coup and the subsequent rule of the consul and emperor were a tyrant's doings. Hence, the Grand Larousse du dix-neuvième had two entries: one for Bonaparte, Napoleon, who, according to the article, died on the 18 Brumaire (9 November 1799); and one for Napoleon referring to the consul and emperor. Though it is true that Napoleon Bonaparte "changed" his name for Napoleon I, he only did so at his crowning as emperor, not after the 18 Brumaire coup.

 
 

Grand Larousse du XIXe siecle.
 
 
Nouveau Larousse illustre
The Nouveau Larousse illustré was an illustrated encyclopedia published 1897-1904 by Éditions Larousse and edited by Claude Augé. It was essentially a scaled-down, updated and more neutral version of the Grand Larousse du dix-neuvième.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
1866
 
 
Friedrich Lange: "History of Materialism"
 

History of Materialism and Critique of its Present Importance (German: Geschichte des Materialismus und Kritik seiner Bedeutung in der Gegenwart) is a philosophical work by Lange Friedrich Albert, originally written in German and published in October 1865 (although the year of publication was given as 1866). Lange vastly extended the second edition published in two volumes in 1873–75. A three-volume English translation of the opus was published 1877–81.

 
Contents
Adopting the Kantian standpoint that we can know nothing but phenomena, Lange maintains that neither materialism nor any other metaphysical system has a valid claim to ultimate truth. For empirical phenomenal knowledge, however, which is all that humans can look for, materialism with its exact scientific methods has done most valuable service. Ideal metaphysics, though they fail of the inner truth of things, have a value as the embodiment of high aspirations, in the same way as poetry and religion. Lange replaced the transcendental subject of Kantianism by the organism, although he considered that this substitution validated all the more Kant's philosophy that the subject apprehended the world through the categories of understanding. Lange suggests that the methods for real science were present in Democritus's atomistic materialism. However, atomistic materialism implies that the soul, like the body, is fated to be snuffed out: such a view made Democritus quite unattractive to virtually all world religions so Democritus was ignored and marginalized by the history of philosophy, in spite of being one of the greatest thinkers of the ancient Greek world. Lange mentions Max Stirner's book The Ego and Its Own as "the extremest that we know anywhere". He also mentioned Blanqui's L'Eternité par les astres, which discussed the thesis of an Eternal Return. Lange's work exerted a profound influence on Friedrich Nietzsche, who aimed at radicalizing Lange's viewpoint beyond Kant. At one time Nietzsche planned to write a dissertation on the notion of organism in Kant's philosophy (letter to Paul Deussen). He also envisioned sending a work on Democritus, a major focus of Lange, to Deussen.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
History of Materialism and Critique of its
Present Importance
 
 
 
1866
 
 
Benavente Jacinto
 
Jacinto Benavente y Martínez, (born Aug. 12, 1866, Madrid, Spain—died July 14, 1954, Madrid), one of the foremost Spanish dramatists of the 20th century, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1922.
 

Jacinto Benavente y Martínez
  He returned drama to reality by way of social criticism: declamatory verse giving way to prose, melodrama to comedy, formula to experience, impulsive action to dialogue and the play of minds.

Benavente showed a preoccupation with aesthetics and later with ethics.

The extent to which he broadened the scope of the theatre is shown by the range of his plays—e.g., Los intereses creados (performed 1903, published 1907; The Bonds of Interest, performed 1919), his most celebrated work, based on the Italian commedia dell’arte; Los malhechores del bien (performed 1905; The Evil Doers of Good); La noche del sábado (performed 1903; Saturday Night, performed 1926); and La malquerida (1913; “The Passion Flower”), a rural tragedy with the theme of incest.

La malquerida was his most successful play in Spain and in North and South America.

Señora Ama (1908), said to be his own favourite play, is an idyllic comedy set among the people of Castile.

In 1928 his play Para el cielo y los altares (“Toward Heaven and the Altars”), prophesying the fall of the Spanish monarchy, was prohibited by the government.

During the Spanish Civil War Benavente lived in Barcelona and Valencia and was for a time under arrest.

 
 
In 1941 he reestablished himself in public favour with Lo increíble (“The Incredible”). His extraordinary productivity as a dramatist (he wrote more than 150 plays) recalled Spain’s Golden Age and the prolific writer Lope de Vega. With the exception, however, of the harsh tragedy La infanzona (1948; “The Ancient Noblewoman”) and El lebrel del cielo (1952), inspired by Francis Thompson’s poem “Hound of Heaven,” Benavente’s later works did not add much to his fame.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1866
 
 
Dostoevsky: "Crime and Punishment"
 

Crime and Punishment (Russian: Преступлéние и наказáние, tr. Prestupleniye i nakazaniye) is a novel by the Russian author Dostoevsky Fyodor . It was first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866. It was later published in a single volume. It is the second of Dostoyevsky's full-length novels following his return from 10 years of exile in Siberia. Crime and Punishment is considered the first great novel of his "mature" period of writing.

 
Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in St. Petersburg who formulates and executes a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her cash. Raskolnikov, in attempts to defend his actions, argues that with the pawnbroker's money he can perform good deeds to counterbalance the crime, while ridding the world of a vermin. He also commits the murder to test a theory of his that dictates some people are naturally capable of such actions, and even have the right to perform them. Several times throughout the novel, Raskolnikov compares himself with Napoleon Bonaparte and shares his belief that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose.
 
 
Creation
Dostoyevsky conceived the idea of Crime and Punishment in the summer of 1865, having gambled away much of his fortune, leaving him unable to pay his bills or afford proper meals. At the time the author owed large sums of money to creditors, and was trying to help the family of his brother Mikhail, who had died in early 1864. Projected under the title The Drunkards, it was to deal "with the present question of drunkness ... [in] all its ramifications, especially the picture of a family and the bringing up of children in these circumstances, etc., etc." Once Dostoyevsky conceived Raskolnikov and his crime, now inspired by the case of Pierre François Lacenaire, this theme became ancillary, centering on the story of the Marmeladov family.
Dostoyevsky offered his story or novella (at the time Dostoyevsky was not thinking of a novel) to the publisher Mikhail Katkov, whose monthly journal, The Russian Messenger, was a prestigious publication of its kind, and the outlet for both Ivan Turgenev and Leo Tolstoy. However, Dostoyevsky, having carried on quite bruising polemics with Katkov in early 1860s, had never published anything in its pages. Nonetheless, forced by his situation, after all other appeals elsewhere failed, Dostoyevsky turned as a last resort to Katkov, urging for an advance on a proposed contribution. In a letter to Katkov written in September 1865, Dostoyevsky explained to him that the work was to be about a young man who yields to "certain strange, 'unfinished' ideas, yet floating in the air"; he had thus embarked on his plan to explore the moral and psychological dangers of the ideology of "radicalism".
 
Dostoevsky: "Crime and Punishment"
 
 
In letters written in November 1865 an important conceptual change occurred: the "story" has become a "novel", and from here on all references to Crime and Punishment are to a novel.

Dostoyevsky had to race against time, in order to finish on time both The Gambler and Crime and Punishment. Anna Snitkina, a stenographer who would soon become his second wife, was a great help for Dostoyevsky during this difficult task. The first part of Crime and Punishment appeared in the January 1866 issue of The Russian Messenger, and the last one was published in December 1866.

At the end of November much had been written and was ready; I burned it all; I can confess that now. I didn't like it myself. A new form, a new plan excited me, and I started all over again.

— Dostoyevsky's letter to his friend Alexander Wrangel in February 1866

In the complete edition of Dostoyevsky's writings published in the Soviet Union, the editors reassembled and printed the notebooks that the writer kept while working on Crime and Punishment, in a sequence roughly corresponding to the various stages of composition. Because of these labors, there is now a fragmentary working draft of the story, or novella, as initially conceived, as well as two other versions of the text. These have been distinguished as the Wiesbaden edition, the Petersburg edition, and the final plan, involving the shift from a first-person narrator to the indigenous variety of third-person form invented by Dostoyevsky. The Wiesbaden edition concentrates entirely on the moral and psychological reactions of the narrator after the murder. It coincides roughly with the story that Dostoyevsky described in his letter to Katkov, and written in a form of a diary or journal, corresponds to what eventually became part II.

I wrote [this chapter] with genuine inspiration, but perhaps it is no good; but for them the question is not its literary worth, they are worried about its morality. Here I was in the right—nothing was against morality, and even quite the contrary, but they saw otherwise and, what's more, saw traces of nihilism ... I took it back, and this revision of a large chapter cost me at least three new chapters of work, judging by the effort and the weariness; but I corrected it and gave it back.

— Dostoyevsky's letter to A.P. Milyukov

Why Dostoyevsky abandoned his initial version remains a matter of speculation. According to Joseph Frank, "one possibility is that his protagonist began to develop beyond the boundaries in which he had first been conceived". The notebooks indicate that Dostoyevsky was aware of the emergence of new aspects of Raskolnikov's character as the plot action proceeded, and he structured the novel in conformity with this "metamorphosis," Frank says. Dostoyevsky thus decided to fuse the story with his previous idea for a novel called The Drunkards. The final version of Crime and Punishment came into being only when, in November 1865, Dostoyevsky decided to recast his novel in the third person. This shift was the culmination of a long struggle, present through all the early stages of composition. Once having decided, Dostoyevsky began to rewrite from scratch, and was able to easily integrate sections of the early manuscript into the final text—Frank says that he did not, as he told Wrangel, burn everything he had written earlier.

The final draft went smoothly, except for a clash with the editors of The Russian Messenger, about which very little is known. Since the manuscript Dostoyevsky turned in to Katkov was lost, it is unclear to what the editors had objected in the original.

 
 
Plot
Raskolnikov, a conflicted former student, lives in a tiny, rented room in Saint Petersburg. He refuses all help, even from his friend Razumikhin, and devises a plan to murder and to rob an unpleasant elderly pawn-broker and money-lender, Alyona Ivanovna. His motivation comes from the overwhelming sense that he is predetermined to kill the old woman by some power outside of himself. While still considering the plan, Raskolnikov makes the acquaintance of Semyon Zakharovich Marmeladov, a drunkard who recently squandered his family's little wealth. Raskolnikov also receives a letter from his sister and mother, speaking of their coming visit to Saint Petersburg, and his sister's sudden marriage plans which they plan to discuss upon their arrival.
After much deliberation, Raskolnikov sneaks into Alyona Ivanovna's apartment, where he murders her with an axe. He also kills her half-sister, Lizaveta, who happens to stumble upon the scene of the crime. Shaken by his actions, Raskolnikov manages to steal only a handful of items and a small purse, leaving much of the pawn-broker's wealth untouched. Raskolnikov then flees and, due to a series of coincidences, manages to leave unseen and undetected.

After the bungled murder, Raskolnikov falls into a feverish state and begins to worry obsessively over the murder. He hides the stolen items and purse under a rock, and tries desperately to clean his clothing of any blood or evidence. He falls into a fever later that day, though not before calling briefly on his old friend Razumikhin. As the fever comes and goes in the following days, Raskolnikov behaves as though he wishes to betray himself.

 
Fritz Eichenberg, illustrations to Crime and Punishment,1938.
 
 
He shows strange reactions to whoever mentions the murder of the pawn-broker, which is now known about and talked of in the city. In his delirium, Raskolnikov wanders Saint Petersburg, drawing more and more attention to himself and his relation to the crime. In one of his walks through the city, he sees Marmeladov, who has been struck mortally by a carriage in the streets. Rushing to help him, Raskolnikov gives the remainder of his money to the man's family, which includes his teenage daughter, Sonya, who has been forced to become a prostitute to support her family.

In the meantime, Raskolnikov's mother, Pulkheria Alexandrovna, and his sister, Avdotya Romanovna (or Dounia) have arrived in the city. Dounia had been working as a governess for the Svidrigaïlov family until this point, but was forced out of the position by the head of the family, Arkady Ivanovich Svidrigaïlov. Svidrigaïlov, a married man, was attracted to Dounia's physical beauty and her feminine qualities, and offered her riches and elopement. Mortified, Dounia fled the Svidrigaïlov family and lost her source of income, only to meet Pyotr Petrovich Luzhin, a man of modest income and rank. Luzhin proposes to marry Dounia, thereby securing her and her mother's financial safety, provided she accept him quickly and without question. It is for these very reasons that the two of them come to Saint Petersburg, both to meet Luzhin there and to obtain Raskolnikov's approval. Luzhin, however, calls on Raskolnikov while he is in a delirious state and presents himself as a foolish, self-righteous and presumptuous man. Raskolnikov dismisses him immediately as a potential husband for his sister, and realizes that she only accepted him to help her family.
 
 
As the novel progresses, Raskolnikov is introduced to the detective Porfiry, who begins to suspect him of the murder purely on psychological grounds. At the same time, a chaste relationship develops between Raskolnikov and Sonya. Sonya, though a prostitute, is full of Christian virtue and is only driven into the profession by her family's poverty. Meanwhile, Razumikhin and Raskolnikov manage to keep Dounia from continuing her relationship with Luzhin, whose true character is exposed to be conniving and base. At this point, Svidrigaïlov appears on the scene, having come from the province to Petersburg, almost solely to seek out Dounia. He reveals that his wife is dead, and that he is willing to pay Dounia a vast sum of money in exchange for nothing. She, upon hearing the news, refuses flat out, suspecting him of treachery.

As Raskolnikov and Porfiry continue to meet, Raskolnikov's motives for the crime become exposed. Porfiry becomes increasingly certain of the man's guilt, but has no concrete evidence or witnesses with which to back up this suspicion. Furthermore, another man admits to committing the crime under questioning and arrest. However, Raskolnikov's nerves continue to wear thinner, and he is constantly struggling with the idea of confessing, though he knows that he can never be truly convicted. He turns to Sonya for support and confesses his crime to her. By coincidence, Svidrigaïlov has taken up residence in a room next to Sonya's and overhears the entire confession. When the two men meet face to face, Svidrigaïlov acknowledges this fact, and suggests that he may use it against him, should he need to. Svidrigaïlov also speaks of his own past, and Raskolnikov grows to suspect that the rumors about his having committed several murders are true.

 
Fritz Eichenberg, illustrations to Crime and Punishment,1938.
 
 
In a later conversation with Dounia, Svidrigaïlov denies that he had a hand in the death of his wife.

Raskolnikov is at this point completely torn; he is urged by Sonya to confess, and Svidrigaïlov's testimony could potentially convict him. Furthermore, Porfiry confronts Raskolnikov with his suspicions and assures him that confession would substantially lighten his sentence. Meanwhile, Svidrigaïlov attempts to seduce Dounia, but when he realizes that she will never love him, he lets her go. He then spends a night in confusion and in the morning shoots himself. This same morning, Raskolnikov goes again to Sonya, who again urges him to confess and to clear his conscience. He makes his way to the police station, where he is met by the news of Svidrigaïlov's suicide. He hesitates a moment, thinking again that he might get away with a perfect crime, but is persuaded by Sonya to confess.

The epilogue tells of how Raskolnikov is sentenced to eight years of penal servitude in Siberia, where Sonya follows him. Dounia and Razumikhin marry and are left in a happy position by the end of the novel, while Pulkheria, Raskolnikov's mother, falls ill and dies, unable to cope with her son's situation. Raskolnikov himself struggles in Siberia. It is only after some time in prison that his redemption and moral regeneration begin under Sonya's loving influence.

 
 
Characters
In Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky fuses the personality of his main character, Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, with his new anti-radical ideological themes. The main plot involves a murder as the result of "ideological intoxication," and depicts all the disastrous moral and psychical consequences that result from the murder. Raskolnikov's psychology is placed at the center, and carefully interwoven with the ideas behind his transgression; every other feature of the novel illuminates the agonizing dilemma in which Raskolnikov is caught. From another point of view, the novel's plot is another variation of a conventional nineteenth-century theme: an innocent young provincial comes to seek his fortune in the capital, where he succumbs to corruption, and loses all traces of his former freshness and purity. However, as Gary Rosenshield points out, "Raskolnikov succumbs not to the temptations of high society as Honoré de Balzac's Rastignac or Stendhal's Julien Sorel, but to those of rationalistic Petersburg".

Raskolnikov (Rodion) is the protagonist, and the novel focuses primarily on his perspective. A 23-year-old man and former student, now destitute, Raskolnikov is described in the novel as "exceptionally handsome, above the average in height, slim, well built, with beautiful dark eyes and dark brown hair." Perhaps the most striking feature of Raskolnikov, however, is his dual personality. On the one hand, he is cold, apathetic, and antisocial; on the other, he can be surprisingly warm and compassionate. He commits murder as well as acts of compulsive charity. His chaotic interaction with the external world and his nihilistic worldview might be seen as causes of his social alienation or consequences of it.

 
Fritz Eichenberg, illustrations to Crime and Punishment,1938.
 
 
Despite its title, the novel does not so much deal with the crime and its formal punishment, as with Raskolnikov's internal struggle (the book shows that his punishment results more from his conscience than from the law). Believing society would be better for it, Raskolnikov commits murder with the idea that he possessed enough intellectual and emotional fortitude to deal with the ramifications, [based on his paper/thesis, "On Crime", that he is a Napoleon], but his sense of guilt soon overwhelms him to the point of psychological and somatic illness. It is only in the epilogue that he realizes his formal punishment, having decided to confess and end his alienation from society.

Sofia Semyonovna Marmeladova, variously called Sonia (Sonya) and Sonechka, is the daughter of a drunkard named Semyon Zakharovich Marmeladov, whom Raskolnikov meets in a tavern at the beginning of the novel. She is often characterized as self-sacrificial, shy, and even innocent despite the fact that she is compelled into prostitution to help her family. She also, as Raskolnikov discerns, shares the same feelings of shame and alienation as he does and becomes the first person to whom Raskolnikov confesses his crime, and she supports him even though she was friends with one of the victims (Lizaveta). Throughout the novel, Sonya is an important source of moral strength and rehabilitation for Raskolnikov, and in some interpretations, even considered a Christ-like figure. She is forced to prostitute herself to provide for her family, leading some critics to make comparisons with Mary Magdalene.

Avdotya Romanovna Raskolnikova – Raskolnikov's dominant and sympathetic sister, called Dunya, Dounia or Dunechka for short. She initially plans to marry the wealthy, yet smug and self-possessed, Luzhin, to free the family from financial destitution. She has a habit of pacing across the room while thinking. She is followed to Saint Petersburg by the disturbed Svidrigailov, who seeks to win her back through blackmail. She rejects both men in favour of Raskolnikov's loyal friend, Razumikhin.

Pulkheria Alexandrovna Raskolnikova – Raskolnikov's relatively clueless, hopeful and loving mother. Following Raskolnikov's sentence, she falls ill (mentally and physically) and eventually dies. She hints in her dying stages that she is slightly more aware of her son's fate, which was hidden from her by Dunya and Razumikhin.

Dmitri Prokofich Razumikhin – Raskolnikov's loyal friend. In terms of Razumikhin's contribution to Dostoyevsky's anti-radical thematics, he is intended to represent something of a reconciliation of the pervasive thematic conflict between faith and reason. The fact that his name means "reason" shows Dostoyevsky's desire to employ this faculty as a foundational basis for his Christian faith in God.

 
 
Other characters of the novel are:
Praskovya Pavlovna Zarnitsyna – Raskolnikov's landlady (called Pashenka). Shy and retiring, Praskovya Pavlovna does not figure prominently in the course of events. Raskolnikov had been engaged to her daughter, a sickly girl who had died, and Praskovya Pavlovna had granted him extensive credit on the basis of this engagement and a promissory note for 115 roubles. She had then handed this note to a court councillor named Chebarov, who had claimed the note, causing Raskolnikov to be summoned to the police station the day after his crime.
Porfiry Petrovich – The head of the Investigation Department in charge of solving the murders of Lizaveta and Alyona Ivanovna, who, along with Sonya, moves Raskolnikov towards confession. Unlike Sonya, however, Porfiry does this through psychological games. Despite the lack of evidence, he becomes certain Raskolnikov is the murderer following several conversations with him, but gives him the chance to confess voluntarily. He attempts to confuse and to provoke the unstable Raskolnikov in an attempt to coerce him to confess.
Arkady Ivanovich Svidrigaïlov – Sensual, depraved, and wealthy former employer and current pursuer of Dunya, Svidrigaïlov is suspected of multiple acts of murder, and overhears Raskolnikov's confessions to Sonya. With this knowledge he torments both Dunya and Raskolnikov but does not inform the police. When Dunya tells him she could never love him (after attempting to shoot him) he lets her go and commits suicide. Despite his apparent malevolence, Svidrigaïlov is similar to Raskolnikov in regard to his random acts of charity. He fronts the money for the Marmeladov children to enter an orphanage (after both their parents die), gives Sonya five percent bank notes totalling three thousand rubles, and leaves the rest of his money to his juvenile fiancée.
 
Fritz Eichenberg, illustrations to Crime and Punishment,1938.
 
 
There is an interesting fact: Svidrigaïlov has blue eyes; blue color in Russian culture symbolizes purity, kindness, and innocence, implying that Svidrigaïlov is a good person beneath his philandering exterior. (It is noteworthy that Sonya also has blue eyes.)
Marfa Petrovna Svidrigaïlova – Arkady Svidrigaïlov's deceased wife, whom he is suspected of having murdered, and who he claims has visited him as a ghost. Her bequest of 3,000 rubles to Dunya allows Dunya to reject Luzhin as a suitor.
Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladova – Semyon Marmeladov's consumptive and ill-tempered second wife, stepmother to Sonya. She drives Sonya into prostitution in a fit of rage, but later regrets it, and beats her children mercilessly, but works ferociously to improve their standard of living. She is obsessed with demonstrating that slum life is far below her station. Following Marmeladov's death, she uses Raskolnikov's money to hold a funeral. She later succumbs to her illness. The character is partially based on Polina Suslova.
Semyon Zakharovich Marmeladov – Hopeless drunk who indulges in his own suffering, and father of Sonya. Marmeladov could be seen as a Russian equivalent of the character of Micawber in Charles Dickens' novel, David Copperfield.
Pyotr Petrovich Luzhin – A well-off lawyer who is engaged to Raskolnikov's sister Dunya in the beginning of the novel. His motives for the marriage are rather despicable, as he states more or less that he chose her since she will be completely beholden to him financially.
Andrey Semyenovich Lebezyatnikov – Luzhin's utopian socialist and feminist roommate who witnesses his attempt to frame Sonya and subsequently exposes him.
Alyona Ivanovna – Suspicious old pawnbroker who hoards money and is merciless to her patrons. She is Raskolnikov's intended target, and he kills her in the beginning of the book.
Lizaveta Ivanovna – Alyona's handicapped, innocent and submissive sister. Raskolnikov murders her when she walks in immediately after Raskolnikov had killed Alyona. Lizaveta was a friend of Sonya.
Zosimov (Зосимов) – A friend of Razumikhin and a doctor who cared for Raskolnikov.
Nastasya Petrovna (Настасья Петровна) – Raskolnikov's landlady's servant who often brings Raskolnikov food and drink.
Nikodim Fomich (Никодим Фомич) – The amiable chief of police.
Ilya "Gunpowder" Petrovich (Илья Петрович) – A police official and Fomich's assistant.
Alexander Grigorievich Zamyotov (Александр Григорьевич Заметов) – Head clerk at the police station and friend to Razumikhin. Raskolnikov arouses Zamyotov's suspicions by explaining how he, Raskolnikov, would have committed various crimes, although Zamyotov later apologizes, believing, much to Raskolnikov's amusement, that it was all a farce to expose how ridiculous the suspicions were.
Nikolai Dementiev (Николай Дементьев) – A self-sacrificial painter and sectarian who admits to the murder, since his sect holds it to be supremely virtuous to suffer for another person's crime.
Polina Mikhailovna Marmeladova (Полина Михайловна Мармеладова) – Ten-year-old adopted daughter of Semyon Zakharovich Marmeladov and younger stepsister to Sonya, sometimes known as Polechka.
 
 
Structure
Crime and Punishment has a distinct beginning, middle and end. The novel is divided into six parts, with an epilogue.

The notion of "intrinsic duality" in Crime and Punishment has been commented upon, with the suggestion that there is a degree of symmetry to the book. Edward Wasiolek who has argued that Dostoyevsky was a skilled craftsman, highly conscious of the formal pattern in his art, has likened the structure of Crime and Punishment to a "flattened X", saying:

Parts I-III [of Crime and Punishment] present the predominantly rational and proud Raskolnikov: Parts IV-VI, the emerging "irrational" and humble Raskolnikov. The first half of the novel shows the progressive death of the first ruling principle of his character; the last half, the progressive birth of the new ruling principle. The point of change comes in the very middle of the novel.

This compositional balance is achieved by means of the symmetrical distribution of certain key episodes throughout the novel's six parts.

The recurrence of these episodes in the two-halves of the novel, as David Bethea has argued, is organized according to a mirror-like principle, whereby the "left" half of the novel reflects the "right" half. For her part, Margaret Church discerns a contrapuntal structuring: parts I, III and V deal largely with the main hero's relationship to his family (mother, sister and mother surrogates), while parts II, IV and VI deal with his relationship to the authorities of the state "and to various father figures".

 
Fritz Eichenberg, illustrations to Crime and Punishment,1938.
 
 
The seventh part of the novel, the Epilogue, has attracted much attention and controversy. Some of Dostoyevsky's critics have criticized the novel's final pages as superfluous, anti-climactic, unworthy of the rest of the work, while others have rushed to the defense of the Epilogue, offering various ingenious schemes which conclusively prove its inevitability and necessity. Steven Cassedy argues that Crime and Punishment "is formally two distinct but closely related, things, namely a particular type of tragedy in the classical Greek mold and a Christian resurrection tale". Cassedy concludes that "the logical demands of the tragic model as such are satisfied without the Epilogue in Crime and Punishment ... At the same time, this tragedy contains a Christian component, and the logical demands of this element are met only by the resurrection promised in the Epilogue".

Crime and Punishment is written from a third-person omniscient perspective. It is focalized primarily from the point of view of Raskolnikov; however, it does at times switch to the perspective of Svidrigailov, Razumikhin, Peter Petrovich, or Dunya. This narrative technique, which fuses the narrator very closely with the consciousness and point of view of the central characters of the plot, was original for its period. Franks notes that his identification, through Dostoyevsky's use of the time shifts of memory and his manipulation of temporal sequence, begins to approach the later experiments of Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce. A late nineteenth-century reader was, however, accustomed to more orderly and linear types of expository narration. This led to the persistence of the legend that Dostoyevsky was an untidy and negligent craftsman and to critical observations like the following by Melchior de Vogüé:

A word ... one does not even notice, a small fact that takes up only a line, have their reverberations fifty pages later ... [so that] the continuity becomes unintelligible if one skips a couple of pages.

Dostoevsky uses different speech mannerisms and sentences of different length for different characters. Those who use artificial language—Luzhin, for example—are identified as unattractive people. Mrs. Marmeladov's disintegrating mind is reflected in her language, too. In the original Russian text, the names of the major characters have something of a double meaning, but in translation the subtlety of the Russian language is predominately lost due to major differences in the language structure and culture. For example, the original title ("Преступление и наказание") is not the direct equivalent to the English. "Преступление" is literally translated as a stepping across. The physical image of crime as a crossing over a barrier or a boundary is lost in translation. So is the religious implication of transgression, which in English refers to a sin rather than a crime.

 
 
Symbolism
Dreams

Raskolnikov's dreams have a symbolic meaning, which suggests a psychological view. The dream of the mare being whipped has been suggested as the fullest single expression of the whole novel, symbolizing gratification and punishment, contemptible motives and contemptible society, depicting the nihilistic destruction of an unfit mare, the gratification therein, and Rodion's disgust and horror, as an example of his conflicted character. Raskolnikov's disgust and horror is central to the theme of his conflicted character, his guilty conscience, his contempt for society, his rationality of himself as an extraordinary man above greater society, holding authority to kill, and his concept of justified murder. His reaction is pivotal, provoking his first taking of life toward the rationalization of himself as above greater society.

The dream is later mentioned when Raskolnikov talks to Marmeladov. Marmeladov's daughter, morally chaste and devout Sonya, must earn a living as a prostitute for their impoverished family, the result of his alcoholism. The dream is also a warning, foreshadowing an impending murder and holds several comparisons to his murder of the pawnbroker. The dream occurs after Rodion crosses a bridge leading out of the oppressive heat and dust of Petersburg and into the fresh greenness of the islands. This symbolizes a corresponding mental crossing, suggesting that Raskolnikov is returning to a state of clarity when he has the dream. In it, he returns to the innocence of his childhood and watches as a group of peasants beat an old mare to death. After Raskolnikov awakes, he reflects on it as a “such a hideous dream,” the same term he earlier used to describe his plot to kill the old woman.
 
Fritz Eichenberg, illustrations to Crime and Punishment,1938.
 
 
This diction draws a parallel between the two, suggesting that the child represents the part of him that clings to morality and watches horrified as another facet, represented by the peasants, is driven by hardship and isolation to become cold and unfeeling. The constant laughing of the peasants in the face of brutal slaughter reveals the extent to which they have been desensitized by their suffering, which is a reflection of Raskolnikov’s own condition. This interpretation is further supported by fact that the main peasant, Mikolka, feels that he has the right to kill the horse, linking his actions to Raskolnikov’s theory justifying murder for a select group of extraordinary men. The comparison between the cruel slaughter of the old mare and the plan to murder Alyona Ivanovna delineates the brutality of Raskolnikov’s crime, which is often downplayed by his habitual dehumanizing referral to the old woman as simply a “louse.” While awake, Raskolnikov’s view of the old woman is spiteful, defined by his tenacious belief in his extraordinary man theory. However, the dream acts as a conduit for Raskolnikov’s subconscious, and without the constraints of his theory the horrific nature of his crime becomes apparent. Therefore, in order for Raskolnikov to find redemption, he must ultimately renounce his theory. In the final pages, Raskolnikov, who at this point is in the prison infirmary, has a feverish dream about a plague of nihilism, that enters Russia and Europe from the east and which spreads senseless dissent (Raskolnikov's name alludes to "raskol", dissent) and fanatic dedication to "new ideas": it finally engulfs all of mankind. Though we don't learn anything about the content of these ideas they clearly disrupt society forever and are seen as exclusively critical assaults on ordinary thinking: it is clear that Dostoyevsky was envisaging the new, politically and culturally nihilist ideas which were entering Russian literature and society in this watershed decade and with which Dostoyevsky would be in debate for the rest of his life (cp. Chernyshevsky's What Is to Be Done?, Dobrolyubov's abrasive journalism, Turgenev's Fathers and Sons and Dostoyevsky's own The Possessed). Janko Lavrin, who took part in the revolutions of the World War I era, knew Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky and many others, and later would spend years writing and researching on Dostoyevsky and other Russian classics, called this final dream "prophetic in its symbolism".
 
 
Cross
Sonya gives Rodya a cross when he goes to turn himself in and symbolizes the burden Raskolnikov must bear. Sonya tells him they will bear the cross together and is taking part of his burden onto herself, encouraging him to confess. Sonya and Lizaveta had exchanged crosses, so originally the cross was Lizaveta's—whom Rodya didn't intend to kill, making it an important symbol of redemption. Sonya's face reminds him of Lizaveta's face, another example of his guilty conscience and symbolizes a shared grief. Self-sacrifice, along with poverty, is a larger theme of the novel. The desperation of poverty creates a situation where the only way to survive is through self-sacrifice, which Raskolnikov consistently rejects, as part of his philosophical reasoning. For example, he rejects Razumikhin's offer of employment and the idea of his sister's arranged marriage. Raskolnikov originally rejects Sonya's offer to accompany him to the confession but, in a feverish state of mind, sees her following him through the market, and finds power in that idealism.
 
 
The environment of Saint Petersburg

On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards K. bridge.

— Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (Constance Garnett translation), I, I

The above opening sentence of the novel has a symbolic function: Russian critic Vadim K. Kozhinov argues that the reference to the "exceptionally hot evening" establishes not only the suffocating atmosphere of Saint Petersburg in midsummer but also "the infernal ambience of the crime itself". Dostoyevsky was among the first to recognize the symbolic possibilities of city life and imagery drawn from the city. I. F. I. Evnin regards Crime and Punishment as the first great Russian novel "in which the climactic moments of the action are played out in dirty taverns, on the street, in the sordid black rooms of the poor".

Dostoyevsky's Petersburg is the city of unrelieved poverty; "magnificence has no place in it, because magnificence is external, formal abstract, cold". Dostoyevsky connects the city's problems to Raskolnikov's thoughts and subsequent actions. The crowded streets and squares, the shabby houses and taverns, the noise and stench, all are transformed by Dostoyevsky into a rich store of metaphors for states of mind. Donald Fanger asserts that "the real city ... rendered with a striking concreteness, is also a city of the mind in the way that its atmosphere answers Raskolnikov's state and almost symbolizes it.

 
Fritz Eichenberg, illustrations to Crime and Punishment,1938.
 
 
It is crowded, stifling, and parched." The inner turmoil suffered by Raskolnikov can also be perceived as a Shakespearean pathetic fallacy. For example, the great storm in Shakespeare's King Lear reflects the state of the titular character's mind, much like the chaos, disorder and noise of St. Petersburg reflects the state of Raskolnikov's mind.
 
 
Yellow
The colour yellow is used throughout the novel to signify suffering and mental illness. Examples include Sonya's yellow ticket, a license to practice prostitution, the walls of Raskolnikov's garret, and the walls of the old pawnbroker, among numerous other examples. Of note, the Russian term for lunatic asylum, "zholti dom", is literally translated as "yellow house". Yellow can also be seen when it is mentioned as the color of Luzchin's ring.
 
 
Themes
Dostoyevsky's letter to Katkov reveals his immediate inspiration, to which he remained faithful even after his original plan evolved into a much more ambitious creation: a desire to counteract what he regarded as nefarious consequences arising from the doctrines of Russian nihilism. In the novel, Dostoyevsky pinpointed the dangers of both utilitarianism and rationalism, the main ideas of which inspired the radicals, continuing a fierce criticism he had already started with his Notes from Underground. A Slavophile religious believer, Dostoyevsky utilized the characters, dialogue and narrative in Crime and Punishment to articulate an argument against westernizing ideas in general. He thus attacked a peculiar Russian blend of French utopian socialism and Benthamite utilitarianism, which had led to what revolutionaries, such as Nikolai Chernyshevsky, called "rational egoism".

The radicals refused, however, to recognize themselves in the novel's pages (Dimitri Pisarev ridiculed the notion that Raskolnikov's ideas could be identified with those of the radicals of his time), since Dostoyevsky pursued nihilistic ideas to their most extreme consequences. The aim of these ideas was altruistic and humanitarian, but these aims were to be achieved by relying on reason and suppressing entirely the spontaneous outflow of Christian pity and compassion. Chernyshevsky's utilitarian ethic proposed that thought and will in Man were subject to the laws of physical science. Dostoyevsky believed that such ideas limited man to a product of physics, chemistry and biology, negating spontaneous emotional responses. In its latest variety of Bazarovism, Russian nihilism encouraged the creation of an élite of superior individuals to whom the hopes of the future were to be entrusted.

 
Fritz Eichenberg, illustrations to Crime and Punishment,1938.
 
 
Raskolnikov exemplifies all the potentially disastrous hazards contained in such an ideal. Frank notes that "the moral-psychological traits of his character incorporate this antinomy between instinctive kindness, sympathy, and pity on the one hand and, on the other, a proud and idealistic egoism that has become perverted into a contemptuous disdain for the submissive herd".
 
 
Raskolnikov's inner conflict in the opening section of the novel results in a utilitarian-altruistic justification for the proposed crime: why not kill a wretched and "useless" old moneylender to alleviate the human misery? Dostoyevsky wants to show that this utilitarian type of reasoning and its conclusions had become widespread and commonplace; they were by no means the solitary invention of Raskolnikov's tormented and disordered mind. Such radical and utilitarian ideas act to reinforce the innate egoism of Raskolnikov's character and, likewise, contempt for the lower qualities in Man and for His ideals. He even becomes fascinated with the majestic image of a Napoleonic personality who, in the interests of a higher social good, believes that he possesses a moral right to kill. Indeed, his "Napoleon-like" plan drags him to a well-calculated murder, the ultimate conclusion of his self-deception with utilitarianism.

In his depiction of the Petersburg background, Dostoyevsky accentuates the squalor and human wretchedness that pass before Raskolnikov's eyes. He also uses Raskolnikov's encounter with Marmeladov to present both the heartlessness of Raskolnikov's convictions and the alternative set of values to be set against them. Dostoyevsky believes that the "freedom" propounded by the aforementioned ideas is a dreadful freedom "that is contained by no values, because it is before values". The product of this "freedom", Raskolnikov, is in perpetual revolt against society, himself, and God. He thinks that he is self-sufficient and self-contained, but at the end "his boundless self-confidence must disappear in the face of what is greater than himself, and his self-fabricated justification must humble itself before the higher justice of God". Dostoyevsky calls for the regeneration and renewal of the "sick" Russian society through the re-discovering of its country, its religion, and its roots.

 
Fritz Eichenberg, illustrations to Crime and Punishment,1938.
 
 
Reception
The first part of Crime and Punishment published in the January and February issues of The Russian Messenger met with public success. Although the remaining parts of the novel had still to be written, an anonymous reviewer wrote that "the novel promises to be one of the most important works of the author of The House of the Dead". In his memoirs, the conservative belletrist Nikolay Strakhov recalled that in Russia Crime and Punishment was the literary sensation of 1866.

The novel soon attracted the criticism of the liberal and radical critics. G.Z. Yeliseyev sprang to the defense of the Russian student corporations, and wondered, "Has there ever been a case of a student committing murder for the sake of robbery?" Pisarev, aware of the novel's artistic value attempted in 1867 another approach: he argued that Raskolnikov was a product of his environment, and explained that the main theme of the work was poverty and its results. He measured the novel's excellence by the accuracy and understanding with which Dostoyevsky portrayed the contemporary social reality, and focused on what he regarded as inconsistencies in the novel's plot. Strakhov rejected Pisarev's contention that the theme of environmental determinism was essential to the novel, and pointed out that Dostoyevsky's attitude towards his hero was sympathetic: "This is not mockery of the younger generation, neither a reproach nor an accusation—it is a lament over it."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
     
 
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

"The Idiot"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1866
 
 
Robert Hamerling: "Ahasver in Rom"
 
 
Hamerling Robert
 

Robert Hamerling, original name Rupert Johann Hammerling (born March 24, 1830, Kirchberg am Walde, Austria—died July 13, 1889, Graz), Austrian poet remembered chiefly for his epics.

 

Robert Hamerling
  After studying in Vienna, he became a teacher in Trieste (1855–66).

He wrote several popular collections of lyrics, including Ein Schwanenlied der Romantik (1862; “A Swan Song of the Romantic”), which have some attractive rhythms but not much originality.

His most important works are his epic poems: Ahasver in Rom (1866; “Ahasuerus in Rome”), a grandiosely romantic retelling of the myth of the wandering Jew, which, in spite of its brilliant descriptions, suffers from theatricality; and Der König von Sion (1869; “The King of Zion”), a narrative of the Anabaptist movement of 1534.

Hamerling’s other works include dramas, a novel, and autobiographical writings such as Stationen meiner Lebenspilgerschaft (1889; “Stations on My Life’s Journey”).

His collected works (4 vol., 1900) were edited by M. Rabenlechner.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1866
 
 
Ibsen: "Brand"
 

Brand is a play by the Norwegian playwright Ibsen Henrik . It is a verse tragedy, written in 1865 and first performed in Stockholm, Sweden on 24 March 1867. Brand was an intellectual play that provoked much original thought.

 

Brand is a priest who wants to take consequence of his choices, and is therefore deeply bound to doing the "right thing". He believes primarily in the will of man, and lives by the device "all or nothing". To make compromises is therefore difficult, or by his moral standards questionable at best. His picture of God is clearly derived from the Old Testament. His beliefs render him lonely in the end, as people around him, when put to the test, as a rule can not or will not follow his example. Brand is arguably a young idealist with a main purpose: to save the world, or at least Man's soul. His visions are great, but his judgment of others may seem harsh and unfair.

The word "Brand" means fire in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.

 
 
Plot    
First act
At the beginning of the play, we find Brand in the mountains, and confronting three different kinds of people: a farmer, who doesn't dare to brave an unsure glacier on behalf of his dying daughter, the crazy beggar-girl Gerd, who claims to know a bigger church in the hills, and hunts for a great hawk, and finally, Einar, a young painter with an easy-going attitude, and his fiancée, Agnes. Einar and Brand were in school together, and their conversation ends in a long discussion about the envisioning of God. Brand taunts Einar for portraying God as an old man, who "sees through his fingers", and wants to envision God as a young, heroic saviour. He means that people have become too sloppy about their sins and shortcomings, because of the dogma that Christ, through his sacrifice, cleansed humanity once and for all.

In the end, Brand vows to take a fight, mainly in his own soul, with those three "minds" he just met: The lazy mind (the farmer), the wild mind (Gerd), and the easy-goer (Einar). He ponders Man's purpose, and the difference between what is, and what should be. Here, we find the famous sentence: What you are, be fully, not in parts and pieces.

 
 
 

Second act
Brand enters the valley in which he was born, and finds great famine and need. The local mayor distributes bread for the hungry in strict rations, and Brand questions the need for it. Meanwhile, a mother comes from the other side of the fjord, telling of her husband who needs absolution, because he, in dire need, killed one of his children rather than seeing him starve. Then he harmed himself. Nobody dares to venture the high sea, but Brand goes in a boat and, to his surprise, Agnes follows him. Together, they sail across, and the man gets his absolution. Brand muses over the remaining children, and what this experience might do to them, when a couple of farmers show up and demand that he stay with them as their priest. Brand is reluctant to do this, but they use his own words against him, and he gives in.

Agnes, sitting on the beach, looks into herself, and tells of an "inner world being born", in one of Ibsen's best known soliloquies. She renounces her former fiancé Einar and goes with Brand. In the end of the second act, we meet Brand's mother, and learn that he grew up under the glacier, in a dreary place with no sun. His mother robbed his father while he was on his deathbed, and as a consequence, Brand does not want her money, but she urges him to take it.

 
 
Third act
Some years later, Brand and Agnes live together with their son, Alf, who is grievously ill because of the climate. The local doctor urges him to leave for the sake of his son, and he hesitates. Meanwhile, his mother is dying, and Brand impresses on her that she will not get her priest unless she gives all her money to charity. She refuses to do so, and so Brand refuses to go to her.

On the question of his son's health, the doctor points out that it is right to be "humane", whereas Brand answers: "Was God humane towards his son?" He states that by modern standards, the sacrifice of Christ would have boiled down to a "diplomatic heavenly charter", and no more. He clearly means there's a difference between being a "human", and being a "humanist". In the end he almost gives in, but the farmers come to him and plead with him to stay. Then Gerd shows up, and states that evil forces will prevail if he leaves. The final straw is when she points out that the son is his "false god". Then he gives in and stays, knowing this will take his son's life. It is clear, however, that he wants Agnes to choose for him, and she answers: "Go the road your God appointed for you".

Fourth act
After the death of his son, Brand schemes to build a bigger church in the parish. The old one is too small to cope with his visions. He has hardened somewhat, and refuses to mourn. Agnes comforts herself with the clothes of her dead child.

 
 
 
The local mayor is mostly opposing him, but tells him that he has rising support in the parish and of his plans for a jail/labor facility. He also tells him how his mother was forced to break bonds with her true love, and married an old miser instead. The boy then became father of Gerd, while Brand is the result of the other, clearly loveless affair. During the act, a beggar-woman arrives, demanding clothes for her freezing child (it's Christmas Eve). Brand then puts Agnes to the test, and gradually, all her dead child's clothes are given to the beggar-woman. As a result of this, Agnes renounces her life, and exclaims "I'm free". Brand accepts with effort, and Agnes dies.
 
 
Fifth act
Brand gets his new church built (in the 1860s, many old Norwegian churches were being rebuilt as new, larger places of worship). Brand comes to believe that his new church is still too small, and rebels against the authorities, the local dean and the mayor. The provost talks about getting people to heaven "by the parish", and denounces individual thinking. The provost's speech should be examined in detail, also because he has a vision of the masses "marching with equal steps" towards salvation, and stressing that egality matters more to the church than freedom. This speech has been interpreted as holding a fascist undertone. In fact, the provost mentions that the ideal of a religious leader is "a corporal" that shall hold the masses in line. Rendered in Norwegian, the word "fører-ideal" is used in this passus (rhyming on corporal), something that to Norwegian (and German) ears easily could be interpreted as a foreshadowing of Hitler (fører = führer). Brand's answers to this are mostly sarcastic. The provost ends his speech mentioning the "erasing of God in the soul of man", something of which he seems to approve. Brand, of course, wants the opposite: individual freedom and a clear picture of God in man's soul. Einar returns as a gloomy missionary soon after the provost's friendly speech. He has worked out a view of life that makes Brand shiver. Whereas Brand mourns the loss of his wife, Einar in the end thinks her death was righteous, because he regards her as a female seducer. Upon learning this, Brand shoves him off.
 
 
 

In the end, Brand protests the heavy plight lain upon him by his elders, and throws the key to the church into the river and makes for the mountain with the entire parish following him. He holds a great speech, and urges the people to "lift their faith", to make their Christianity surge through their entire existence, and in a way make a "Church without limits", that is meant to embrace all sides of life. In the end, he states that they all shall be priests in the task of relieving all people in the country from mental thralldom. To this, the local clergy protest, because they no longer have any sway over their flock. He is greatly loved and respected by the commoners, but the test is in the end too hard. They are lured down again by the mayor, who fakes news of great economical opportunity (a great amount of fish in the sea). The same people who followed him, then chase him with stones in their hands. Brand is then left alone, struggling with doubt, remorse, and temptation, "the spirit of compromise". He does not yield to it, even when the spirit claims to be Agnes, something Brand doubts. The spirit says that the fall of man forever closed the gates to Paradise, but Brand states that the road of longing is still open. Then the spirit flees and says: "Die! The world does not need you!". Brand meets Gerd again, who thinks she sees the saviour in him, and Brand denies this, of course. At the very end of the play, Gerd takes him to the glacier, her personal church, and Brand recoils when understanding where he is, the "Ice-cathedral". He breaks down in tears. Gerd, being a hunter from the start of the play, fires a shot at the hawk, and lets loose a great avalanche, which in the end buries the entire valley.

In his dying words at the end of the play, Brand screams out to God, asking, "Does not salvation consider the will of man?" The final words are from an unknown voice: "He is the god of love." What this line means has been debated. One interpretation is that Brand left love out of his account (a popular statement). Another might be that, being the god of love, God does not forget Brand after all.

 
 
Analysis

Topics

The play debates freedom of will and the consequential choice. The problem is further debated in Peer Gynt. A crucial point is the discussion about the absence of love, and the sacrifice of Christ. As a consequence, the imitation of Christ can be regarded as a theme of the play (cf. Thomas à Kempis).

A key to this interpretation is found in the name of Agnes, clearly derived from Agnus Dei, the lamb of God or the sacrificial lamb. One should be aware that Brand never asks anyone to sacrifice themselves for his cause. He rather warns them off, if they wish to pledge themselves to him - as is the case of Agnes. But when she chooses, Brand reminds her of the moral consequence of that choice - it is final, and there is no turning back. Agnes chooses anyway, both the sweet and the bitter.

One can also see a discussion in the play about what the Christian message really means, and what God's purpose with man really is. At one point Brand says: The goal is to become blackboards for God to write upon. A reminiscence of this is found in Peer Gynt: I was a paper, and was never written upon. The topics of the two plays are clearly related.

The play was Ibsen's breakthrough as playwright and author. Ibsen was himself fond of the character, and claimed that Brand was "himself in his best moments".

 
 
 

Brand's vision
Brand's vision is arguably a romantic one, and his address in the fifth act resembles in a way Henrik Wergeland`s vision in his great poem Man. His rebellion against the clergy, whom he feels are leading people astray rather than in the right direction, is also foreshadowed by Wergeland. He states here that "the spirit of compromise", a mentality he struggles to get free from all the way, is none other than Satan. When he is tempted later, we should be aware of this.

From the beginning, Brand wishes to make man whole, because he is aware that there has been a split, a sundering somewhere in the past, and he wishes to fight a fragmented view of man and God. This fragmentation makes man weak, he states, and an easy prey to temptation - a result of the fall of man. The definition of wholeness as a greater good and fragmentarism as a bad thing, is a philosophical statement, originally derived from Plato and Pythagoras. The sentence about a Christianity that embraces all sides of life, resembles the view of the Danish priest Grundtvig.

Throughout the play, we see that Brand looks for the right way to solve this problem, and makes new discoveries as he moves forward. One can also interpret the entire play as a tale of a developing soul, struggling with his connection to God. In this view, the collapse at the very end is a collapse of Brand's conflicting self, and the disaster opens a closed road for him.

 
 
Thus, the final words of Gerd makes sense, as she finally manages to shoot the great hawk, with the words: "Salvation comes". This interpretation makes Gerd a restless voice in Brand's soul.
The play can also be seen as a discussion of romanticism and reality, in a quite disillusional way. Ibsen at this stage leaves romanticism well behind, and moves on to greater realism.

Some also consider Brand's character to have been based on the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard gave an essential place in his philosophy to the opposition between faith and reason, the importance of making decisive choices and suffering in the name of God, and whose life ended during an official attack he led against the church of his country (which he thought perverted the original Christian message, making it an empty religion).

Otto Weininger saw the play as expressing a deep understanding of Kantian ethics:-

“ There remains a most important point in which the Kantian system is often misunderstood. It reveals itself plainly in every case of wrong-doing. Duty is only towards oneself; Kant must have realised this in his earlier days when first he felt an impulse to lie. Except for a few indications in Nietzsche, and in Stirner, and a few others, Ibsen alone seems to have grasped the principle of the Kantian ethics (notably in "Brand" and "Peer Gynt").”

 
 
 

Problems in modern interpretation
In recent years, the character of Brand has been fairly misunderstood, and he is often regarded as an unsympathetic, fundamentalistic and conservative man. In many ways, his view of life is rather too radical for his peers, who fail to understand him. While Ibsen states an open ending, as he does in most cases, modern instructors often condemn Brand where Ibsen does not. The attitude of Brand is regarded as dangerous and unfitting, apt to give readers or viewers bad conscience. The Norwegian judgment of Brand and Peer Gynt often goes in favour of Peer, and disregards Brand. One could interpret this change in judgment of the character as a consequence of postmodernism and the acknowledgement of a fragmented soul.

Problems in interpretation of the character arise even more when considering: what kind of people today are willing to sacrifice their lives for a cause? Before getting into that discussion, one has to consider what the cause of Brand really is. The answer to that question can only come through examination of Ibsen's text; however the most important questions that Ibsen is raising require that the reader not only study the text, but also engage in self-reflection.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1866
 
 
Kingsley: "Hereward the Wake"
 

Hereward the Wake: Last of the English (also published as Hereward, the Last of the English) is an 1866 novel by Kingsley Charles. It tells the story of Hereward, the last Anglo-Saxon holdout against the Normans. It was Kingsley's last historical novel, and was instrumental in elevating Hereward into an English folk-hero.

 
Plot
Hereward is, in Kingsley's novel, the son of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and Lady Godiva. He is introduced as an eighteen-year-old "bully and the ruffian of the fens" who is outlawed by Edward the Confessor at the request of his father. He sets off to see the world in the company of his boyhood friend Martin Lightfoot. In one adventure he defeats a caged polar bear in single combat in the north of England.

He brawls his way through Cornwall and eventually turns up at the court of Baldwin of Flanders. Once there, he demonstrates his prowess against Baldwin's knights, and wins the love of Torfrida whom he marries. Three years after the Norman Conquest, Hereward and Martin return to England and discover the brutality of the Norman regime. Hereward takes revenge on the Normans who killed his brother. At a drunken feast he kills fifteen of them, with the assistance of Martin Lightfoot.

Hereward then musters a force of English rebels and takes up camp at Ely in the Fens. William of Normandy leads a host of mercenaries against Ely but they are repulsed with heavy losses when the English set fire to the surrounding reeds. In spite of this victory Hereward's resistance is worn down by the Norman invaders and the intrigues of the Countess Alftruda who separates the hero from Torfrida.

Herward eventually swears loyalty to William, acknowledging that the Norman is indeed king of all England. Married to Alftruda, Lord of Bourne and in favor with the king, Hereward is still hated by the "French" (Norman) nobles, most of whom have lost kinsmen fighting against him, Finally Hereward's prime enemy, Ivo Taillebois, surprises him in his ancestral home, where fighting almost alone he is killed after a brutal struggle.

 
First edition title page
 
 
Themes
The novel concerns the Anglo-Saxon (or as Kingsley preferred "Anglo-Danish") resistance to the Norman Conquest, and this reflects Kingsley's own admiration of Germanic (or "Teutonic") vigour. Kingsley admired Norman discipline and chivalry, but makes it clear that primitive energies and virtues must never be entirely forsaken.

Publication
The novel was first published in serial form in the monthly periodical Good Words from January to December 1865.[2] It was then published in two volumes in 1866.

Legacy
The novel had the effect of elevating Hereward into one of the most romantic figures of English medieval history.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
see also: Charles Kingsley
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1866
 
 
Peacock Thomas Love, English novelist, d. (b. 1785)
 
 

Thomas Love Peacock
 
see also: Thomas Love Peacock
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1866
 
 
Rolland Romain
 

Romain Rolland, (born Jan. 29, 1866, Clamecy, France—died Dec. 30, 1944, Vézelay), French novelist, dramatist, and essayist, an idealist who was deeply involved with pacifism, the fight against fascism, the search for world peace, and the analysis of artistic genius. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915.

 

Romain Rolland
  At age 14, Rolland went to Paris to study and found a society in spiritual disarray. He was admitted to the École Normale Supérieure, lost his religious faith, discovered the writings of Benedict de Spinoza and Leo Tolstoy, and developed a passion for music. He studied history (1889) and received a doctorate in art (1895), after which he went on a two-year mission to Italy at the École Française de Rome. At first, Rolland wrote plays but was unsuccessful in his attempts to reach a vast audience and to rekindle “the heroism and the faith of the nation.” He collected his plays in two cycles: Les Tragédies de la foi (1913; “The Tragedies of Faith”), which contains Aërt (1898), and Le Théâtre de la révolution (1904), which includes a presentation of the Dreyfus Affair, Les Loups (1898; The Wolves), and Danton (1900).

In 1912, after a brief career in teaching art and musicology, he resigned to devote all his time to writing. He collaborated with Charles Péguy in the journal Les Cahiers de la Quinzaine, where he first published his best-known novel, Jean-Christophe, 10 vol. (1904–12). For this and for his pamphlet Au-dessus de la mêlée (1915; “Above the Battle”), a call for France and Germany to respect truth and humanity throughout their struggle in World War I, he was awarded the Nobel Prize. His thought was the centre of a violent controversy and was not fully understood until 1952 with the posthumous publication of his Journal des années de guerre, 1914–1919 (“Journal of the War Years, 1914–1919”). In 1914 he moved to Switzerland, where he lived until his return to France in 1937.

 
 
His passion for the heroic found expression in a series of biographies of geniuses: Vie de Beethoven (1903; Beethoven), who was for Rolland the universal musician above all the others; Vie de Michel-Ange (1905; The Life of Michel Angelo), and Vie de Tolstoi (1911; Tolstoy), among others.
 
 

Romain Rolland
  Rolland’s masterpiece, Jean-Christophe, is one of the longest great novels ever written and is a prime example of the roman fleuve (“novel cycle”) in France.

An epic in construction and style, rich in poetic feeling, it presents the successive crises confronting a creative genius—here a musical composer of German birth, Jean-Christophe Krafft, modeled half after Beethoven and half after Rolland—who, despite discouragement and the stresses of his own turbulent personality, is inspired by love of life. The friendship between this young German and a young Frenchman symbolizes the “harmony of opposites” that Rolland believed could eventually be established between nations throughout the world.

After a burlesque fantasy, Colas Breugnon (1919), Rolland published a second novel cycle, L’Âme-enchantée, 7 vol. (1922–33), in which he exposed the cruel effects of political sectarianism. In the 1920s he turned to Asia, especially India, seeking to interpret its mystical philosophy to the West in such works as Mahatma Gandhi (1924).

Rolland’s vast correspondence with such figures as Albert Schweitzer, Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, and Rabindranath Tagore was published in the Cahiers Romain Rolland (1948). His posthumously published Mémoires (1956) and private journals bear witness to the exceptional integrity of a writer dominated by the love of mankind.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 

Quotations

"The people have been gradually conquered by the bourgeois class, penetrated by their thoughts and now want only to resemble them. If you long for a people's art, begin by creating a people!"
Romain Rolland, Le Théâtre du peuple (1903).

"To one whose mind is free, there is something even more intolerable in the suffering of animals than in the sufferings of humans. For with the latter, it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the person who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any person were to refer to it, they would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime. That alone is the justification of all that humans may suffer. It cries vengeance upon all the human race. If God exists and tolerates it, it cries vengeance upon God."
Jean Christophe.

"There are some dead who are more alive than the living." "No, no! It would be more true to say that there are some who are more dead than the dead." "Maybe. In any case there are old things which are still young." "Then if they are still young we can find them for ourselves.... But I don't believe it. What has been good once never is good again."
Jean Christophe.

"All these young millionaires were anarchists, of course: when a man possesses everything it is the supreme luxury for him to deny society: for in that way he can evade his responsibilities."

Jean Christophe.


"If there is one place on the face of the earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India....For more than 30 centuries, the tree of vision, with all its thousand branches and their millions of twigs, has sprung from this torrid land, the burning womb of the Gods. It renews itself tirelessly showing no signs of decay."

Life of Ramakrishna.


"The true Vedantic spirit does not start out with a system of preconceived ideas. It possesses absolute liberty and unrivalled courage among religions with regard to the facts to be observed and the diverse hypotheses it has laid down for their coordination. Never having been hampered by a priestly order, each man has been entirely free to search wherever he pleased for the spiritual explanation of the spectacle of the universe."
Life of Vivekananda.

 
 
see also: Romain Rolland
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1866
 
 
Wells Herbert
 

H.G. Wells, in full Herbert George Wells (born Sept. 21, 1866, Bromley, Kent, Eng.—died Aug. 13, 1946, London), English novelist, journalist, sociologist, and historian best known for such science fiction novels as The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds and such comic novels as Tono-Bungay and The History of Mr. Polly.

 
Early life
Wells was the son of domestic servants turned small shopkeepers. He grew up under the continual threat of poverty, and at age 14, after a very inadequate education supplemented by his inexhaustible love of reading, he was apprenticed to a draper in Windsor. His employer soon dismissed him; and he became assistant to a chemist, then to another draper, and finally, in 1883, an usher at Midhurst Grammar School. At 18 he won a scholarship to study biology at the Normal School (later the Royal College) of Science, in South Kensington, London, where T.H. Huxley was one of his teachers. He graduated from London University in 1888, becoming a science teacher and undergoing a period of ill health and financial worries, the latter aggravated by his marriage, in 1891, to his cousin, Isabel Mary Wells. The marriage was not a success, and in 1894 Wells ran off with Amy Catherine Robbins (d. 1927), a former pupil, who in 1895 became his second wife.
 
 

Herbert George Wells
  Early writings
Wells’s first published book was a Textbook of Biology (1893). With his first novel, The Time Machine (1895), which was immediately successful, he began a series of science fiction novels that revealed him as a writer of marked originality and an immense fecundity of ideas: The Wonderful Visit (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898), The First Men in the Moon (1901), and The Food of the Gods (1904). He also wrote many short stories, which were collected in The Stolen Bacillus (1895), The Plattner Story (1897), and Tales of Space and Time (1899). For a time he acquired a reputation as a prophet of the future, and indeed, in The War in the Air (1908), he foresaw certain developments in the military use of aircraft.
But his imagination flourished at its best not in the manner of the comparatively mechanical anticipations of Jules Verne but in the astronomical fantasies of The First Men in the Moon and The War of the Worlds, from the latter of which the image of the Martian has passed into popular mythology.

Behind his inventiveness lay a passionate concern for man and society, which increasingly broke into the fantasy of his science fiction, often diverting it into satire and sometimes, as in The Food of the Gods, destroying its credibility. Eventually, Wells decided to abandon science fiction for comic novels of lower middle-class life, most notably in Love and Mr. Lewisham (1900), Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul (1905), and The History of Mr. Polly (1910). 

 
 
In these novels, and in Tono-Bungay (1909), he drew on memories of his own earlier life, and, through the thoughts of inarticulate yet often ambitious heroes, revealed the hopes and frustrations of clerks, shop assistants, and underpaid teachers, who had rarely before been treated in fiction with such sympathetic understanding. In these novels, too, he made his liveliest, most persuasive comment on the problems of Western society that were soon to become his main preoccupation. The sombre vision of a dying world in The Time Machine shows that, in his long-term view of humanity’s prospects, Wells felt much of the pessimism prevalent in the 1890s. In his short-term view, however, his study of biology led him to hope that human society would evolve into higher forms, and with Anticipations (1901), Mankind in the Making (1903), and A Modern Utopia (1905), he took his place in the British public’s mind as a leading preacher of the doctrine of social progress. About this time, too, he became an active socialist, and in 1903 joined the Fabian Society, though he soon began to criticize its methods. The bitter quarrel he precipitated by his unsuccessful attempt to wrest control of the Fabian Society from George Bernard Shaw and Sidney and Beatrice Webb in 1906–07 is retold in his novel The New Machiavelli (1911), in which the Webbs are parodied as the Baileys.
 
 

Herbert George Wells, 1918
  Middle and late works
After about 1906 the pamphleteer and the novelist were in conflict in Wells, and only The History of Mr. Polly and the lighthearted Bealby (1915) can be considered primarily as fiction.

His later novels are mainly discussions of social or political themes that show little concern for the novel as a literary form. Wells himself affected not to care about the literary merit of his work, and he rejected the tutelage of the American novelist Henry James, saying, “I would rather be called a journalist than an artist.” Indeed, his novel Boon (1915) included a spiteful parody of James. His next novel, Mr. Britling Sees It Through (1916), though touched by the prejudice and shortsightedness of wartime, gives a brilliant picture of the English people in World War I.

World War I shook Wells’s faith in even short-term human progress, and in subsequent works he modified his conception of social evolution, putting forward the view that man could only progress if he would adapt himself to changing circumstances through knowledge and education.

To help bring about this process of adaptation Wells began an ambitious work of popular education, of which the main products were The Outline of History (1920; revised 1931), The Science of Life (1931), cowritten with Julian Huxley and G.P. Wells (his elder son by his second wife), and The Work, Wealth, and Happiness of Mankind (1932).
At the same time he continued to publish works of fiction, in which his gifts of narrative and dialogue give way almost entirely to polemics. His sense of humour reappears, however, in the reminiscences of his Experiment in Autobiography (1934).

 
 
In 1933 Wells published a novelized version of a film script, The Shape of Things to Come. (Produced by Alexander Korda, the film Things to Come [1936] remains, on account of its special effects, one of the outstanding British films of the 20th century.) Wells’s version reverts to the utopianism of some earlier books, but as a whole his outlook grew steadily less optimistic, and some of his later novels contain much that is bitterly satiric. Fear of a tragic wrong turning in the development of the human race, to which he had early given imaginative expression in the grotesque animal mutations of The Island of Doctor Moreau, dominates the short novels and fables he wrote in the later 1930s. Wells was now ill and aging. With the outbreak of World War II, he lost all confidence in the future, and in Mind at the End of Its Tether (1945) he depicts a bleak vision of a world in which nature has rejected, and is destroying, humankind.
 
 

Herbert George Wells, 1943
  Assessment
In spite of an awareness of possible world catastrophe that underlay much of his earlier work and flared up again in old age, Wells in his lifetime was regarded as the chief literary spokesman of the liberal optimism that preceded World War I. No other writer has caught so vividly the energy of this period, its adventurousness, its feeling of release from the conventions of Victorian thought and propriety.

Wells’s influence was enormous, both on his own generation and on that which immediately followed it. None of his contemporaries did more to encourage revolt against Christian tenets and accepted codes of behaviour, especially as regards sex, in which, both in his books and in his personal life, he was a persistent advocate of an almost complete freedom.

Though in many ways hasty, ill-tempered, and contradictory, Wells was undeviating and fearless in his efforts for social equality, world peace, and what he considered to be the future good of humanity.

As a creative writer his reputation rests on the early science fiction books and on the comic novels. In his science fiction, he took the ideas and fears that haunted the mind of his age and gave them symbolic expression as brilliantly conceived fantasy made credible by the quiet realism of its setting.

 
 
In the comic novels, though his psychology lacks subtlety and the construction of his plots is often awkward, he shows a fund of humour and a deep sympathy for ordinary people. Wells’s prose style is always careless and lacks grace, yet he has his own gift of phrase and a true ear for vernacular speech, especially that of the lower middle class of London and southeastern England. His best work has a vigour, vitality, and exuberance unsurpassed, in its way, by that of any other British writer of the early 20th century.

Norman Cornthwaite Nicholson

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 
     
  H.G. Wells

"The War of the Worlds"   
PART I, PART II   
"The Invisible Man"
 
"A Short History of the World"  PART I, II, III, IV, V
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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

 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK-1866 Part I NEXT-1866 Part III