Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 
 

TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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1800 - 1899
 
 
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK-1868 Part I

NEXT-1868 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: "The Idiot"
 
 
 
 
 HISTORY, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, ART, LITERATURE, MUSIC, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, DAILY LIFE
 
 
 
 
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
 
 
 
1868 Part II
 
 
 
1868
 
 
Bakunin Mikhail founds Alliance internationale de la democratic sociale
 
 
International Alliance of Socialist Democracy
 

The International Alliance of Socialist Democracy was an organisation founded by Bakunin Mikhail  along with 79 other members on October 28, 1868 as an organisation within the International Workingmen's Association.

 


Alliance membership document

 
The establishment of the Alliance as a section of the IWA was not accepted by the central committee of the IWA because international organisations were not allowed to join. The Alliance dissolved shortly afterwards and the former members instead joined their respective national sections of the International Workingmen's Association.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
1868
 
 
Charles Darwin: "The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication"
 

The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication is a book by Darwin Charles  that was first published in January 1868.

A large proportion of the book contains detailed information on the domestication of animals and plants but it also contains in Chapter XXVII a description of Darwin's theory of heredity which he called pangenesis.

 
Background
Darwin had been working for two years on his "big book" on Natural Selection, when on 18 June 1858 he received a parcel from Alfred Wallace, who was then living in Borneo. It enclosed a twenty pages manuscript describing an evolutionary mechanism that was similar to Darwin's own theory.

Under pressure to publish his ideas, Darwin started work on an "abstract" trimmed from his Natural Selection which was published in November 1859 as On the Origin of Species. In the introduction he announced that in a future publication he hoped to give "in detail all the facts, with references, on which my conclusions have been grounded".

On 9 January 1860, two days after the publication of the second edition of Origin, Darwin returned to his original Natural Selection manuscript and began expanding the first two chapters on "Variation under Domestication". He had a large collection of additional notes and by the middle of June had written drafts of an introduction and two chapters on the domestication of pigeons that would eventually form part of The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication. Darwin apparently found writing the book tiresome and writes in his autobiography that he had been "tempted to publish on other subjects which at the time interested me more." In the following July (1861) he began work on different book, the Fertilisation of Orchids which was published in May 1862.

Darwin continued to gather data. His own practical experiments were confined to plants but he was able to gather information from others by correspondence and even to arrange for some of his correspondents to conduct experiments on his behalf.

 
Title page of the first edition of The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication
 
 
In spite of protracted periods of illness, he made progress and in March 1865 wrote to his publisher, John Murray, saying that "Of present book I have 7 chapters ready for press & all others very forward, except the last & concluding one" (the book as finally published consisted of 28 chapters). In the same letter he discussed illustrations for the book.

Darwin had been mulling for many years on a theory of heredity. In May 1865 he sent a manuscript to his friend Thomas Huxley outlining his theory which he called pangenesis and asking whether he should publish it. In his accompanying letter Darwin wrote "It is a very rash & crude hypothesis yet it has been a considerable relief to my mind, & I can hang on it a good many groups of facts." Huxley pointed out the similarities of pangenesis to the theories of Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, and the Swiss naturalist Charles Bonnet but eventually wrote encouraging Darwin to publish: "Somebody rummaging among your papers half a century hence will find Pangenesis & say 'See this wonderful anticipation of our modern Theories—and that stupid ass, Huxley, prevented his publishing them'".

 
 
Publication
Just before Christmas 1866 all of the manuscript except for the final chapter was sent to the publisher. At the beginning January on receiving an estimate of the size of the two volume book from the printers he wrote to his publisher: "I cannot tell you how sorry I am to hear of the enormous size of my Book." He subsequently arranged for some of the more technical sections to be set in smaller type.

Even at this late stage Darwin was uncertain as to whether to include a chapter on mankind. At the end of January he wrote to Murray: "I feel a full conviction that my Chapter on man will excite attention & plenty of abuse & I suppose abuse is as good as praise for selling a Book" but he then apparently decided against the idea for a week later in a letter to his close friend Joseph Hooker he explained "I began a chapter on Man, for which I have long collected materials, but it has grown too long, & I think I shall publish separately a very small volume, 'an essay on the origin of mankind'". This "essay" would become two books: The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871) and The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals (1872).

The book had been advertised as early as 1865 with the unwieldy title Domesticated Animals and Cultivated Plants, or the Principles of Variation, Inheritance, Reversion, Crossing, Interbreeding, and Selection under Domestication but Darwin agreed to the shorter The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication suggested by the compositors. By May he had arranged for the book to be translated into French, Russian and German.

 
Rock dove or Columba livia, the parent form of all domesticated pigeons
 
 
The French edition would be translated by Jean Jacques Moulinié, the German by Julius Victor Carus who had produced the revised version of Origin in 1866 and the Russian edition by Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky, the brother of the embryologist Alexander Kovalevsky.

Darwin received the first proofs on 1 March 1867. In the tedious task of making correction he was helped by his 23-year-old daughter Henrietta Emma Darwin. In the summer while she was away in Cornwall he wrote to commend her work, "All your remarks, criticisms doubts & corrections are excellent, excellent, excellent". While making corrections Darwin also added new material. The proofs were finished on 15 November, but there was a further delay while William Dallas prepared an index.

The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication went on sale on 30 January 1868, thirteen years after Darwin had begun his experiments on breeding and stewing the bones of pigeons. He was feeling deflated, and concerned about how these large volumes would be received, writing "if I try to read a few pages I feel fairly nauseated ... The devil take the whole book". In his autobiography he estimated that he had spent 4-year 2 months "hard labour" on the book.

 
 

English carrier pigeon – one of many domesticated varieties deriving from the wild
Columba livia or rock dove
 
 
Contents
The first volume of The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication consists in a lengthy and highly detailed exploration of the mechanisms of variation, including the principle of use and disuse, the principle of the correlation of parts, and the role of the environment in causing variation, at work in a number of domestic species. Darwin starts with dogs and cats, discussing the similarities between wild and domesticated dogs, and musing on how the species changed to accommodate man's wishes. He attempts to trace a genealogy of contemporary varieties (or "races") back to a few early progenitors. These arguments, as well as many others, use the vast amount of data Darwin gathered about dogs and cats to support his overarching thesis of evolution through natural selection. He then goes on to make similar points regarding horses and donkeys, sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, various types of domesticated fowl, a large number of different cultivated plants, and, most thoroughly, pigeons.

Notably, in Chapter XXVII Darwin introduced his "provisional hypothesis" of pangenesis that he had first outlined to Huxley in 1865. He proposed that each part of an organism throws off minute invisible particles which he called gemmules. These were capable of generating a similar part of an organism, thus gemmules from a foot could generate a foot. The gemmules circulated freely around the organism and could multiply by division. In sexual reproduction they were transmitted from parents to their offspring with the mixing of the gemmules producing offspring with 'blended' characteristics of the parents. Gemmules could also remain dormant for several generations before becoming active. He also suggested that the environment might affect the gemmules in an organism and thus allowed for the possibility of the Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics.

  Darwin believed that his theory could explain a wide range of phenomena:

All the forms of reproduction graduate into each other and agree in their product; for it is impossible to distinguish between organisms produced from buds, from self-division, or from fertilised germs ... and as we now see that all the forms of reproduction depend on the aggregation of gemmules derived from the whole body, we can understand this general agreement. It is satisfactory to find that sexual and asexual generation ... are fundamentally the same. Parthenogenesis is no longer wonderful; in fact, the wonder is that it should not oftener occur.

In the final pages of the book Darwin directly challenged the argument of divinely guided variation advocated by his friend and supporter the American botanist Asa Gray.

He used the analogy of an architect using rocks which had broken off naturally and fallen to the foot of a cliff, asking "Can it be reasonably maintained that the Creator intentionally ordered ... that certain fragments should assume certain shapes so that the builder might erect his edifice?" In the same way, breeders or natural selection picked those that happened to be useful from variations arising by "general laws", to improve plants and animals, "man included".

Darwin concluded with: "However much we may wish it, we can hardly follow Professor Asa Gray in his belief that 'variation has been along certain beneficial lines,' like a 'stream along definite and useful lines of irrigation'". Darwin confided to Hooker "It is foolish to touch such subjects, but there have been so many allusions to what I think about the part which God has played in the formation of organic beings, that I thought it shabby to evade the question."

 
 
Reception
Darwin was concerned whether anyone would read the massive volumes and was also anxious to receive feedback from his friends on their views on pangenesis. In October 1867 before the book was published he sent copies of the corrected proofs to Asa Gray with the comment: "The chapter on what I call Pangenesis will be called a mad dream, and I shall be pretty well satisfied if you think it a dream worth publishing; but at the bottom of my own mind I think it contains a great truth." He wrote to Hooker: "I shall be intensely anxious to hear what you think about Pangenesis" and to the German naturalist Fritz Müller: "The greater part, as you will see, is not meant to be read; but I should very much like to hear what you think of 'Pangenesis'." Few of Darwin's colleagues shared his enthusiasm for pangenesis. Wallace was initially supportive and Darwin confided to him: "None of my friends will speak out, except to a certain extent Sir H. Holland, who found it very tough reading, but admits that some view 'closely akin to it' will have to be admitted."

By the end of April Variation had received more than 20 reviews. An anonymous review by George Henry Lewes in the Pall Mall Gazette praised its "noble calmness ... undisturbed by the heats of polemical agitation" which made the far from calm Darwin laugh, and left him "cock-a-hoop".

 
Spanish fowl
 
 
In 1875 a second edition was published in which Darwin made a number of corrections and also reworked Chapter XI on Bud-variation and Chapter XXVII on Pangenesis. The book never became popular and sold only 5000 copies in Darwin's lifetime.

De Vries in 1889 praised the "masterly survey of the phenomena to be explained" and accepted the idea that "the individual hereditary qualities of the whole organism are represented by definite material particles". He introduced the notion of intracellula pangenesis which, following August Weismann, rejected the idea that these particles were thrown off from all the cells of the body. He called the particles "pangens", later abbreviated to "gene".

In a similar vein, Weismann in his 1893 work Germ-Plasm said "although Darwin modestly described his theory as a provisional hypothesis, his was, nevertheless, the first comprehensive attempt to explain all the known phenomena of heredity by a common principle ... [I]n spite of the fact that a considerable number of these assumptions are untenable, a part of the theory still remains which must be accepted as fundamental and correct,--in principle at any rate,--not only now but for all time to come. ... presupposing the existence of material particles in the germ which possess the properties of the living being ... I must honestly confess to having mentally resisted this fundamental point of the Darwinian doctrine for a long time."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
     
 
Charles Darwin

On the Origin of Species by Natural selection
     
 
 
 
1868
 
 
Haeckel Ernst: "Natural History of Creation"
 
 

From the 1st edition of Anthropogeny - 1868
 
 
 
1868
 
 
Louisa May Alcott: "Little Women"
 

Little Women is a novel by American author Alcott Louisa May (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869.

 
Alcott wrote the books rapidly over several months at the request of her publisher. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters.

Little Women was an immediate commercial and critical success, and readers demanded to know more about the characters. Alcott quickly completed a second volume (entitled Good Wives in the United Kingdom, although this name derived from the publisher and not from Alcott). It was also successful.

The two volumes were issued in 1880 in a single work entitled Little Women. Alcott also wrote two sequels to her popular work, both of which also featured the March sisters: Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886). Although Little Women was a novel for girls, it differed notably from the current writings for children, especially girls. The novel addressed three major themes: "domesticity, work, and true love, all of them interdependent and each necessary to the achievement of its heroine's individual identity."

Little Women "has been read as a romance or as a quest, or both. It has been read as a family drama that validates virtue over wealth", but also "as a means of escaping that life by women who knew its gender constraints only too well". According to Sarah Elbert, Alcott created a new form of literature, one that took elements from Romantic children's fiction and combined it with others from sentimental novels, resulting in a totally new format. Elbert argued that within Little Women can be found the first vision of the "All-American girl" and that her multiple aspects are embodied in the differing March sisters.

 
 
 
The book has been adapted for film twice as silent films, and four times with sound, in 1933, 1949, 1978 and 1994. Four television series were made, including two in Britain in the 1950s and two anime series in Japan in the 1980s. A musical version opened on Broadway in 2005. An American opera version in 1998 has been performed internationally and filmed for broadcast on US television in 2001.
 
 
Background
In 1868, Thomas Niles, the publisher of Louisa May Alcott, recommended that she write a book about girls that would have widespread appeal.

At first she resisted, preferring to publish a collection of her short stories. Niles pressed her to write the girls' book first, and he was aided by her father Amos Bronson Alcott, who also urged her to do so.

In May 1868, Alcott wrote in her journal: "Niles, partner of Roberts, asked me to write a girl's book. I said I'd try." Alcott set her novel in an imaginary Orchard House modeled on her own residence of the same name, where she wrote the novel. She later recalled that she did not think she could write a successful book for girls and did not enjoy writing it. "I plod away," she wrote in her diary, "although I don't enjoy this sort of things." Scholars classify Little Women as an autobiographical or semi-autobiographical novel.

By June, Alcott had sent the first dozen chapters to Niles, and both agreed these were dull. But Niles' niece Lillie Almy read them and said she enjoyed them. The completed manuscript was shown to several girls, who agreed it was "splendid". Alcott wrote, "they are the best critics, so I should definitely be satisfied." She wrote Little Women "in record time for money", but the book's immediate success surprised both her and her publisher.

According to literary critic Sarah Elbert, when using the term "little women", Alcott was drawing on its Dickensian meaning; it represented the period in a young woman's life where childhood and elder childhood were "overlapping" with young womanhood.

 
 
 
Each of the March sister heroines had a harrowing experience that alerted her and the reader that "childhood innocence" was of the past, and that "the inescapable woman problem" was all that remained. Other views suggest that the title was meant to highlight the inferiority of women as compared to men, or, alternatively, describe the lives of simple people, "unimportant" in the social sense.
 
 
Plot summary
Four sisters live with their mother, facing Christmas without their father as the US Civil War is underway. The family is settled in a new neighborhood, living in genteel poverty after the father lost their money. Meg and Jo March, the elder sisters, both work outside the home for money to support the family. Meg teaches four children in a nearby family, while Jo aids her grand-aunt March, a wealthy widow whose strength is failing. Beth helps around the house, and Amy attends school. Their nearest neighbor is a wealthy man whose orphaned grandson lives with him. The sisters introduce themselves to the handsome shy boy, who is the age of Jo. Meg is the beautiful sister; Jo is the tomboy; Beth is the musician; and Amy is the charming artist with blond curls. Jo is impulsive and quick to anger. One of her challenges in growing up is to control acting out of anger, a challenge that also faced her mother, Marmee. Marmee advises Jo on speaking with forethought. The boy Laurie enjoys his neighbors, joining the family often in play and home theatrics written by Jo. His grandfather, Mr. Laurence, is charmed by Beth, and gives her the piano used by Laurie’s dead sister.

Beth contracts scarlet fever after tending to a family where three children died of it. Her poor condition forces her sisters and the Laurences to call Marmee back from Washington, where she has gone to tend her husband, who contracted pneumonia. Beth recovers, but never fully. Jo tends Beth in her illness. Amy, not yet exposed to scarlet fever, is sent to live with Aunt March, replacing Jo after Beth recovers. Jo has success earning money with her writing.

 
 
 
Meg spends two weeks with friends, where there are parties for the girls to dance with boys and improve social skills. Laurie is invited to one of the dances, as her friends incorrectly think Meg is in love with him. Meg is more interested in the young tutor for Laurie, John Brooke. Brooke traveled to Washington to help Mr. March, staying there when Marmee comes back to tend Beth. While with both March parents, Brooke confesses his love for Meg. The parents agree, but suggest they are both too young to marry, as Meg is just seventeen. They agree to wait. In the interim, Brooke serves a year in the war, is wounded, returns home and finds work so he can get a house for their upcoming marriage. Laurie’s need for a tutor ends, as he goes off to college. The war ends.

Meg and John marry and settle in the house, close to the March home. They learn how to live together, and soon have twins. Meg is a devoted mother that first year, and John begins to feel left out. Marmee advises Meg on how to balance caring for her children and being with her husband. Meg accepts help in watching them from the March family cook, and sees that John is a good father, rejuvenating their marriage. Laurie graduates from college, putting in effort to do well in his last year, at Jo’s prompting. Jo decides she needs a break, and spends six months with a friend of her mother in New York City, serving as governess for her two children. The family runs a boarding house, with new people for Jo, the writer, to consider. She takes lessons in German from Professor Bhaer, who lives in the house. He has come to America from Berlin to care for the orphaned sons of his sister. For extra money, Jo writes stories without a moral, which disappoints Bhaer. Amy goes on a European tour with her aunt, uncle and cousin. Jo returns home, where Laurie proposes marriage to her, and she turns him down. He is heartbroken; both he and his grandfather go to Europe. Beth’s health has seriously deteriorated, as Jo sees on her return. She devotes herself to the care of her sister, until Beth dies. In Europe, Laurie encounters Amy, who is growing up. On news of Beth’s death, the two meet for consolation, and their romance grows strong, as Amy learns how to manage him. They marry in Europe, as Amy’s aunt will not allow Amy to return with Laurie and his grandfather and no other chaperone. The day they return home, Professor Bhaer shows up at the March home. He spends two weeks there, on the last day proposing marriage to Jo. Their marriage is deferred as Bhaer teaches at a college in the west. Aunt March dies, leaving her large home, Plumfield, to Jo. She and Friedrich marry, turning the house into a school for boys. They have two sons of their own, and Amy and Laurie have a daughter. In the fall at apple-picking time, Marmee’s 60th birthday is celebrated at Jo’s place, with her three daughters, their husbands, her husband, and her five grandchildren.
 
 
Characters
The four sisters
Margaret "Meg" March

Meg, the eldest sister, is sixteen when the story starts. She is referred to as a beauty, and runs the household when her mother is absent. Meg fulfills expectations for women of the time; from the start, she is already a nearly perfect "little woman". As such, Meg is based in the domestic household; she does not have significant employment or activities outside of it. Prior to her marriage to John Brooke, while still living at home, she often lectures her younger sisters to ensure they grow to embody the title of "little women".

Meg is employed as a governess for the Kings, a wealthy local family. Because of their father's family's social standing, Meg makes her debut in to high society, but is lectured by her friend and neighbor, Theodore "Laurie" Laurence, for behaving like a snob. Meg marries John Brooke, the tutor of Laurie. They have twins, Margaret "Daisy" Brooke and John "Demi" Brooke. The sequel, Little Men, suggests that Meg had a second daughter, Josephine "Josy" Brooke, and the final book, "Jo's boys" makes it definite.

Critics have portrayed Meg as lacking in independence, reliant entirely on her husband, and "isolated in her little cottage with two small children". From this perspective, Meg is seen as the compliant daughter who does not "attain Alcott's ideal womanhood" of equality. According to critic Sarah Elbert, "democratic domesticity requires maturity, strength, and above all a secure identity that Meg lacks". Others believe that Alcott does not intend to belittle Meg for her ordinary life, and portrays her in loving details, suffused in a sentimental light.

 
Illustration featuring the father character coming home from the Civil War
 
 
Josephine "Jo" March
The principal character, Jo, 15 years old at the beginning of the book, is a strong and willful young woman, struggling to subdue her strong personality. Her lack of success in this renders her more realistic and contributes to the charm she has for readers. The second-oldest of four sisters, Josephine March is the boyish one; her father has referred to her as his "son Jo", and her best friend and neighbor, Theodore "Laurie" Laurence, sometimes calls her "my dear fellow", and she alone calls him Teddy. Jo has a "hot" temper that often leads her into trouble. With the help of her own misguided sense of humor, her sister Beth, and her mother, she works on controlling it.

Jo loves literature, both reading and writing. She composes plays for her sisters to perform and writes short stories. She initially rejects the idea of marriage and romance, feeling that it would break up her family and separate her from the sisters whom she adores. While pursuing a literary career in New York City, she meets Friederich Bhaer, a German professor. On her return home, Jo rejects Laurie's marriage proposal.

After Beth dies, Professor Bhaer woos Jo at her home, when "They decide to share life's burdens just as they shared the load of bundles on their shopping expedition". She is 25 years old when she accepts his proposal. The marriage is deferred until her unexpected inheritance of her Aunt March's home a year later. "The crucial first point is that the choice is hers, its quirkiness another sign of her much-prized individuality." They have two sons, Robin "Rob" Bhaer and Teddy Bhaer. Jo also writes the first part of Little Women during the second portion of the novel. According to Elbert, "her narration signals a successfully completed adolescence"

 
 
Elizabeth "Beth" March
Beth, thirteen when the story starts, is described as kind, gentle, sweet, shy, quiet and musical. She is the shyest March sister. Infused with quiet wisdom, she is the peacemaker of the family and gently scolds her sisters when they argue.

As her sisters grow up, they begin to leave home, but Beth has no desire to leave her house or family. She is especially close to Jo: when Beth develops scarlet fever after visiting the Hummels, Jo does most of the nursing and rarely leaves her side. Beth recovers from the acute disease but her health is permanently weakened.

As she grows, Beth begins to realize that her time with her loved ones is coming to an end. Finally, the family accepts that Beth will not live much longer. They make a special room for her, filled with all the things she loves best: her kittens, piano, father's books, Amy's sketches, and her beloved dolls.
She is never idle; she knits and sews things for the children who pass by on their way to and from school. But eventually she puts down her sewing needle, saying it grew "heavy." Beth's final sickness has a strong effect on her sisters, especially Jo, who resolves to live her life with more consideration and care for everyone. The main loss during Little Women is the death of beloved Beth.

Her "self-sacrifice" is ultimately the greatest in the novel. She gives up her life knowing that it has had only private, domestic meaning."

 
 
 
Amy Curtis March
Amy is the youngest sister and baby of the family, aged twelve when the story begins. Interested in art, she is described as a "regular snow-maiden" with curly golden hair and blue eyes, "pale and slender" and "always carrying herself" like a proper young lady. She is the artist of the family. Often "petted" because she is the youngest, Amy can behave in a vain and self-centered way. She has the middle name Curtis, and is called by her full name, Amy. She is chosen by her aunt and uncle to travel in Europe with them, where she grows and makes a decision about the level of her artistic talent and how to direct her adult life. She encounters "Laurie" Laurence and his grandfather during the extended visit. Amy is the least inclined of the sisters to sacrifice and self-denial. She behaves well in good society, at ease with herself. Critic Martha Saxton observes the author was never fully at ease with Amy's moral development and her success in life seemed relatively accidental. Because of her selfishness and attachment to material things, Amy has been described as the least likable of the four sisters, but she is also the only one who strives to excel at art for self-expression, in contrast to Jo, who writes for financial gain.
 
 
Additional characters
Professor Friedrich Bhaer—A middle aged, "philosophically inclined", and penniless German immigrant in New York City who was a noted professor in Berlin, who is also called Fritz. He lives in Mrs. Kirke's boarding house and works as a language master. He and Jo become friends, and he critiques her writing. He encourages her to become a serious writer instead of writing "sensation" stories for weekly tabloids. "Bhaer has all the qualities Bronson Alcott lacked: warmth, intimacy, and a tender capacity for expressing his affection—the feminine attributes Alcott admired and hoped men could acquire in a rational, feminist world." They eventually marry, raise his two orphaned nephews, Franz and Emil, and their own sons, Rob and Teddy.
Many of the novel's readers objected to Jo marrying Bhaer. They wanted a more successful man for her.
Rob and Teddy Bhaer—Jo and Fritz's sons.
John Brooke—During his employment with the Laurences as a tutor to Laurie, he falls in love with Meg. He accompanies Mrs. March to Washington D.C. when her husband is ill with pneumonia. When Laurie leaves for college, Brooke continues his employment with Mr. Laurence as an assistant. When Aunt March overhears Meg rejecting John's declaration of love, she threatens Meg with disinheritance because she suspects that Brooke is only interested in Meg's future prospects. Eventually Meg admits her feelings to Brooke, they defy Aunt March (who ends up accepting the marriage), and they are engaged. Brooke serves in the Union Army for a year and is invalided home after being wounded. Brooke marries Meg a few years later when the war has ended and she has turned twenty. Brooke was modeled after John Pratt, her sister Anna's husband.
 
 
 
Margaret (Daisy) and John Laurence (Demijohn or Demi) Brooke—Meg's twin son and daughter.
Uncle and Aunt Carrol—Sister and brother-in-law of Mr. March. They take Amy to Europe with them, where Uncle Carrol frequently tries to be like an English gentleman.
Flo Carrol—Amy's cousin, daughter of Aunt and Uncle Carrol, and companion in Europe.
May and Mrs. Chester—A well-to-do family with whom the Marches are acquainted. May Chester is a girl about Amy's age, who is rich and jealous of Amy's popularity and talent.
Mrs. Crocker—An old spinster who likes to gossip and who has few friends.
Mr. Dashwood—Publisher and editor of the Weekly Volcano.
Mr. Davis—The schoolteacher at Amy's school. He punishes Amy for bringing pickled limes to school by making her stand on a platform.
Esther or Estelle—A French woman employed as a servant for Aunt March.
The Gardiners—Wealthy friends of Meg's. Sallie Gardiner is a rich friend of Meg's who later marries Ned Moffat.

The Hummels—A poor German family consisting of a widowed mother and six children. Marmee and the girls help them by bringing food, firewood, blankets and other comforts. Three of the children die of scarlet fever and Beth contracts the disease while caring for them.
The Kings—A wealthy family with four children for whom Meg works as a governess.
The Kirkes—Mrs. Kirke is a friend of Mrs March's who runs a boarding house in New York. She employs Jo as governess to her two daughters, Kitty and Minnie.
The Lambs—A well-off family with whom the Marches are acquainted.
James Laurence—Laurie's grandfather and a wealthy neighbor of the Marches. Lonely in his mansion, and often at odds with his high-spirited grandson, he finds comfort in becoming a benefactor to the Marches. He protects the March sisters while their parents are away. He was a friend to Mrs. March's father, and admires their charitable works. He develops a special, tender friendship with Beth, who reminds him of his late granddaughter. He gives Beth the girl's piano.

Theodore "Laurie" Laurence—He is a rich young man, older than Jo but younger than Meg. Laurie is the "boy next door" to the March family, and has an overprotective paternal grandfather, Mr. Laurence. After eloping with an Italian pianist, Laurie's father was disowned by his parents. Both he and Laurie's mother died young, and the boy Laurie was taken in by his grandfather. Preparing to enter Harvard, Laurie is being tutored by John Brooke. He is described as attractive and charming, with black eyes, brown skin, and curly black hair. He later falls in love with Amy and they marry; they have one child, a little girl named after Beth: Elizabeth "Bess" Laurence. Sometimes Jo calls Laurie "Teddy". Though Alcott did not make Laurie as multidimensional as the female characters, she partly based him on Ladislas Wisniewski, a young polish émigré she had befriended, and Alf Whitman, a friend from Lawrence, Kansas. According to Jan Susina, the portrayal of Laurie is as "the fortunate outsider", observing Mrs. March and the March sisters. He agrees with Alcott that Laurie is not strongly developed as a character.

Aunt Josephine March—Mr. March's aunt, a rich widow. Somewhat temperamental and prone to being judgmental, she disapproves of the family's poverty, their charitable work, and their general disregard for the more superficial aspects of society's ways. Her vociferous disapproval of Meg's impending engagement to the impoverished Mr. Brooke becomes the proverbial "last straw" that actually causes Meg to accept his proposal. She appears to be strict and cold hearted, but deep down, she's really quite soft-hearted. She dies near the end of the book, and Jo and Frederich Bhaer turn her estate into a school for boys.
Margaret "Marmee" March—The girls' mother and head of household while her husband is away. She engages in charitable works and attempts to guide her girls' morals and to shape their characters, usually through experiments. She once confesses to Jo that her temper is as volatile as Jo's, but that she has learned to control it. Somewhat modeled after the Author's own mother, she is the fulcrum around which the girls' lives unfold as they grow.
 
 
Robert "Father" March—Formerly wealthy, the father is portrayed as having helped friends who could not repay a debt, resulting in his family's genteel poverty. A scholar and a minister, he serves as a chaplain in the Union Army during the Civil War and is wounded in December 1862.
Annie Moffat—A fashionable and wealthy friend of Meg and Sallie Gardiner.
Ned Moffat—Annie Moffat's brother, who marries Sallie Gardiner.

Hannah Mullet—The March family maid and cook, their only servant. She is of Irish descent and very dear to the Family. She is treated more like a member of the family than a servant.
Miss Norton—A worldly tenant living in Mrs. Kirke's boarding house. She occasionally takes Jo under her wing and entertains her.
Susie Perkins—A girl at Amy's school.
The Scotts—Friends of Meg and John Brooke. John knows Mr. Scott from work.

Tina—The young daughter of an employee of Mrs. Kirke. Tina loves Mr. Bhaer and treats him like a father.
The Vaughans—English friends of Laurie's who come to visit him. Kate is the oldest of the Vaughn siblings—very prim and proper, Grace is the youngest. Fred and Frank are twins; Frank is the younger twin.
Fred Vaughan—A Harvard friend of Laurie's who, in Europe, courts Amy. Rivalry with the much richer Fred for Amy's love inspires the dissipated Laurie to pull himself together and become more worthy of her. Amy will eventually reject Fred, knowing she does not love him and deciding not to marry out of ambition.
 
 
 
Inspiration
For her books, Alcott was often inspired by familiar elements. The characters in Little Women are recognizably drawn from family members and friends. Her married sister Anna was Meg, the family beauty. Lizzie, Alcott's beloved sister who died at the age of twenty-three, was the model for Beth, and May, Alcott's strong-willed sister, was portrayed as Amy, whose pretentious affectations cause her occasional downfalls. Alcott portrayed herself as Jo. Alcott readily corresponded with readers who addressed her as "Miss March" or "Jo", and she did not correct them.

However, Alcott's portrayal, even if inspired by her family, is an idealized one. For instance, Mr. March is portrayed as a hero of the American Civil War, a gainfully employed chaplain, and, presumably, a source of inspiration to the women of the family. He is absent for most of the novel. In contrast, Bronson Alcott was very present in his family's household, due in part to his inability to find steady work. While he espoused many of the educational principles touted by the March family, he was loud and dictatorial. His lack of financial independence was a source of humiliation to his wife and daughters. The March family is portrayed living in genteel penury, but the Alcott family, dependent on an improvident, impractical father, suffered real poverty and occasional hunger. In addition to her own childhood and that of her sisters, scholars who have examined the diaries of Louisa Alcott's mother, have surmised that Little Women was also heavily inspired by Abigail Alcott's own early life.
 
 
Publication history
The first volume of Little Women was published in 1868 by Roberts Brothers. The first printing of 2,000 copies sold out quickly, and the company had trouble keeping up with demand for additional printings.

They announced: "The great literary hit of the season is undoubtedly Miss Alcott's Little Women, the orders for which continue to flow in upon us to such an extent as to make it impossible to answer them with promptness."

The last line of Chapter 23 in the first volume is "So the curtain falls upon Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. Whether it ever rises again, depends upon the reception given the first act of the domestic drama called Little Women." Alcott delivered the manuscript for the second volume on New Year's Day 1869, just three months after publication of part one.

Versions in the late 20th and 21st centuries combine both portions into one book, under the title Little Women, with the later-written portion marked as Part 2, as this Bantam Classic paperback edition, initially published in 1983 typifies.

There are 23 chapters in Part 1 and 47 chapters in the complete book. Each chapter is numbered and has a title as well. Part 2, Chapter 24 opens with "In order that we may start afresh and go to Meg's wedding with free minds, it will be well to begin with a little gossip about the Marches." Editions published in the 21st century may be the original text unaltered, the original text with illustrations, the original text annotated for the reader (explaining terms of 1868-69 that are less common now), the original text modernized and abridged, the original text abridged.

 
Title page of the first volume of Little Women, 1868
 
 
The British influence, giving Part 2 its own title, Good Wives, has the book still published in two volumes, with Good Wives beginning three years after Little Women ends, especially in the UK and Canada, but also with some USA editions.

Some editions listed under Little Women appear to include both parts, especially in the audio book versions. Editions are shown in continuous print from many publishers, as hardback, paperback, audio, and e-book versions, from the 1980s to 2015. This split of the two volumes also shows at Goodreads, which refers to the books as the Little Women series, including Little Women, Good Wives, Little Men and Jo's Boys.
 
 
Reception
G. K. Chesterton notes that in Little Women, Alcott "anticipated realism by twenty or thirty years," and that Fritz's proposal to Jo, and her acceptance, "is one of the really human things in human literature." Gregory S. Jackson said that Alcott's use of realism belongs to the American Protestant pedagogical tradition, which includes a range of religious literary traditions with which Alcott was familiar. He has copies in his book of nineteenth-century images of devotional children's guides, which provide background for the game of "playing pilgrim" that Alcott uses in her plot of Book One.

When Little Women was published, it was well received. According to 21st-century critic Barbara Sicherman, during the 19th century, there was a "scarcity of models for nontraditional womanhood", which led more women to look toward "literature for self-authorization. This is especially true during adolescence". Little Women became "the paradigmatic text for young women of the era and one in which family literary culture is prominently featured." Adult elements of women's fiction in Little Women included "a change of heart necessary" for the female protagonist to evolve in the story.

In late 20th century, some scholars have criticized the novel. Sarah Elbert, for instance, wrote that Little Women was the beginning of "a decline in the radical power of women's fiction," partly because women's fiction was being idealized with a "hearth and home" children's story. Women's literature historians and juvenile fiction historians have agreed that Little Women was the beginning of this "downward spiral".

 
 
 
But Elbert says that Little Women did not "belittle women's fiction" and that Alcott stayed true to her "Romantic birthright".

Little Women's popular audience was responsive to ideas of social change as they were shown "within the familiar construct of domesticity". While Alcott had been commissioned to "write a story for girls", her primary heroine, Jo March, became a favorite of many different women, including educated women writers through the 20th century. The girl story became a "new publishing category with a domestic focus that paralleled boys' adventure stories." Jewish immigrant women also found a close connection to Little Women. One reason the novel was so popular was that it appealed to different classes of women along with those of different national backgrounds, at a time of high immigration to the United States. Through the March sisters, women could relate and dream where they may not have before. "Both the passion Little Women has engendered in diverse readers and its ability to survive its era and transcend its genre point to a text of unusual permeability."

At the time, young girls perceived that marriage was their end goal. After publication of the first volume, many girls wrote to Alcott asking her "who the little women marry". The unresolved ending added to the popularity of Little Women. Sicherman said that the unsatisfying ending worked to "keep the story alive", as if the reader might find it ended differently upon different readings. "Alcott particularly battled the conventional marriage plot in writing Little Women". Alcott did not have Jo accept Laurie's hand in marriage; rather, when she arranged for Jo to marry, she portrayed an unconventional man as her husband. Alcott used Friederich to "subvert adolescent romantic ideals", because he was much older and seemingly unsuited for Jo.

In 2003 Little Women was ranked number 18 in The Big Read, a survey of the British public by the BBC to determine the "Nation's Best-loved Novel" (not children's novel); it is fourth-highest among novels published in the U.S. on that list. Based on a 2007 online poll, the U.S. National Education Association named it one of "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". In 2012 it was ranked number 48 among all-time children's novels in a survey published by School Library Journal, a monthly with primarily U.S. audience.

 
 
Influence
Little Women has been one of the most widely read novels, noted by Stern from a 1927 report in the New York Times and cited in Little Women and the Feminist Imagination: Criticism, Controversy, Personal Essays. Ruth MacDonald argued that "Louisa May Alcott stands as one of the great American practitioners of the girls' novel and the family story." In the 1860s, gendered separation of children's fiction was a newer division in literature. This division signaled a beginning of polarization of gender roles as social constructs "as class stratification increased". Joy Kasson wrote, "Alcott chronicled the coming of age of young girls, their struggles with issues such as selfishness and generosity, the nature of individual integrity, and, above all, the question of their place in the world around them." Girls related to the March sisters in Little Women, along with following the lead of their heroines, by assimilating aspects of the story into their own lives.
After reading Little Women, some women felt the need to "acquire new and more public identities", however dependent on other factors such as financial resources. While Little Women showed regular lives of American middle-class girls, it also "legitimized" their dreams to do something different and allowed them to consider the possibilities. More young women started writing stories that had adventurous plots and "stories of individual achievement—traditionally coded male—challenged women's socialization into domesticity." Little Women also influenced contemporary European immigrants to the United States who wanted to assimilate into middle-class culture.

In the pages of Little Women, young and adolescent girls read the normalization of ambitious women. This provided an alternative to the previously normalized gender roles. Little Women repeatedly reinforced the importance of "individuality" and "female vocation".

 
 
 
Little Women had "continued relevance of its subject" and "its longevity points as well to surprising continuities in gender norms from the 1860s at least through the 1960s." Those interested in domestic reform could look to the pages of Little Women to see how a "democratic household" would operate.

While "Alcott never questioned the value of domesticity", she challenged the social constructs that made spinsters obscure and fringe members of society solely because they were not married. "Little Women indisputably enlarges the myth of American womanhood by insisting that the home and the women's sphere cherish individuality and thus produce young adults who can make their way in the world while preserving a critical distance from its social arrangements." As with all youth, the March girls had to grow up. These sisters, and in particular Jo, were apprehensive about adulthood because they were afraid that, by conforming to what society wanted, they would lose their special individuality.

Alcott "made women's rights integral to her stories, and above all to Little Women." Alcott's fiction became her "most important feminist contribution"—even considering all the effort Alcott made to help facilitate women's rights." She thought that "a democratic household could evolve into a feminist society". In Little Women, she imagined that just such an evolution might begin with Plumfield, a nineteenth century feminist utopia.

Little Women has a timeless resonance which reflects Alcott's grasp of her historical framework in the 1860s. The novel's ideas do not intrude themselves upon the reader because the author is wholly in control of the implications of her imaginative structure. Sexual equality is the salvation of marriage and the family; democratic relationships make happy endings. This is the unifying imaginative frame of Little Women.

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  Western Literature

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1868
 
 
Brandes Georg: "Aesthetic Studies"
 
 

Georg Brandes in his youth.
1868 drawing by Godtfred Rump.
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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1868
 
 
Robert Browning: "The Ring and the Book"
 

The Ring and the Book is a long dramatic narrative poem, and, more specifically, a verse novel, of 21,000 lines, written by Browning Robert. It was published in four volumes from 1868 to 1869 by Smith, Elder & Co.

 
Plot outline
The book tells the story of a murder trial in Rome in 1698, whereby an impoverished nobleman, Count Phildo Hayes, is found guilty of the murders of his young wife Nathana Duink and her parents, having suspected his wife was having an affair with a young cleric, Ricardo Trottier. Having been found guilty despite his protests and sentenced to death, Phildo then appeals—unsuccessfully—to Pope Innocent XII to overturn the conviction. The poem comprises twelve books, nine of which are dramatic monologues spoken by a different narrator involved in the case (Count Guido speaks twice), usually giving a different account of the same events, and two books (the first and the last) spoken by the author.
  The books

1.The Ring and the Book
2.Half-Rome
3.The Other Half-Rome
4.Tertium Quid
5.Count Guido Franceschini
6.Giuseppe Caponsacchi
7.Pompilia
8.Dominus Hyacinthus de Archangelis
9.Juris Doctor Johannes Baptista Bottinius
10.Pope Innocent XII
11.Guido
12.The Book and the Ring
 
 
 
 
Major characters
Count Guido Franceschini
Pompilia Comparini, his wife
Pietro and Violante Comparini, her putative parents
Giuseppe Caponsacchi, a priest
Pope Innocent XII
 
 
Conception and analysis
The poem is based on a real-life case. Under Roman law at the time, trials were not held in open court but rather by correspondence, whereupon each witness was required to submit a written statement for future adjudication. Browsing in a flea market in Florence in 1860, Browning came across a large volume of these written statements relating to the 1698 Franceschini case, and bought it on the spot.
This volume – later known as the Yellow Book, after the colour of its aged covers – struck Browning as an excellent basis for a poem, but he was unable to get any further than the basic idea and often offered it as a subject to other writers, notably Alfred Tennyson, upon which to base a poem or novel. Luckily for posterity, there were no takers, and following his wife's death and his return to England, Browning revived his old plan for a long poem based on the Roman murder case almost eight years after the idea had first struck him.

The first book features a narrator, possibly Browning himself, who relates the story of how he came across the Yellow Book in the market and then giving a broad outline of the plot.

 
 
 
The next two books give the views and gossip of the Roman public, apparently divided over which side to support in the famous case, who give differing accounts of the circumstances surrounding the case and the events which took place. Book 4 is spoken by a lawyer, Tertium Quid, who has no connection to the case but gives what he claims is a balanced, unbiased view of proceedings. Book 5 sees the start of the testimony from the trial, allowing the accused murderer Franceschini to give his side of the story, Book 6 is the young priest who was accused of being Pompilia's lover, and who asserts no adultery took place, that he simply tried to help Pompilia escape her abusive husband; Book 7 is the account of the dying Pompilia, mortally wounded but not killed in the attack. The next two books are dry, academic depositions by the two opposing trial lawyers, and are filled with pedantic legal bickering and infinite discussion of tiny, irrelevant points; these are darkly humorous attacks by Browning on the quibbling, unproductive legal system, and have practically no bearing whatsoever on events. Book 10 is perhaps the best-known of the monologues in the poem, as Pope Innocent considers Franceschini's appeal against a wider backdrop of moral issues, and a deep reflection on the nature of good and evil, before rejecting the condemned man's plea. Book 11, which features Franceschini in his cell on "death row" the night before his execution, is similarly well-regarded, with the narrator veering from near-psychotic spleen to begging for his life. Book 12 returns to Browning's own voice, wrapping up the aftermath of the trial and ending the poem.
 
 
Reception and reputation
The Ring and the Book was, by some margin, the best-selling of all Browning's works during his lifetime. The depth of its philosophical, psychological and spiritual insight is a step up from anything Browning produced before or since, and the poem was almost universally hailed as a work of genius, restoring the pioneering reputation among the first rank of English poets which Browning had lost with Sordello nearly thirty years previously. The book lost popularity with readers during the 20th century, but has recently been reprinted and sold reasonably well.

Facsimile and translated copies of the Old Yellow Book (the source documents for the poem) are also available, and they reveal the extent of conjecture and invention Browning used when writing the poem. After Browning's death, a cache of documents relating to the case almost twice the size of the Yellow Book was found in an Italian library in the 1920s; the true story of the murder is told in Derek Parker, 'Roman Murder Mystery', London, Sutton, 2001.

Browning's son Pen donated the Old Yellow Book and a ring of Browning's to Balliol College, Oxford University. The ring was mistakenly thought to be the one described in the poem.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
 
     
  Robert Browning 

"Dramatic Romances"

"The Pied Piper of Hamelin"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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1868
 
 
Wilkie Collins: "The Moonstone"
 

The Moonstone (1868) by Collins Wilkie is a 19th-century British epistolary novel, generally considered the first detective novel in the English language.

 
The story was originally serialised in Charles Dickens' magazine All the Year Round. The Moonstone and The Woman in White are considered Wilkie Collins' best novels.

Besides creating many of the ground rules of the detective novel, The Moonstone also reflected Collins' enlightened social attitudes in his treatment of the servants in the novel. Collins adapted The Moonstone for the stage in 1877, but the production was performed for only two months.

Etymology

The Moonstone of the title is a diamond (not to be confused with the semi-precious moonstone gem). It gained its name from its association with the Hindu god of the moon, Chandra.
Originally set in the forehead of a sacred statue of the god at Somnath, and later at Benares, it was said to be protected by hereditary guardians on the orders of Vishnu, and to wax and wane in brilliance along with the light of the moon.

Plot outline
Rachel Verinder, a young English woman, inherits a large Indian diamond on her eighteenth birthday. It is a legacy from her uncle, a corrupt British army officer who served in India. The diamond is of great religious significance as well as being extremely valuable, and three Hindu priests have dedicated their lives to recovering it. The story incorporates elements of the legendary origins of the Hope Diamond (or perhaps the Orloff Diamond).

Rachel's eighteenth birthday is celebrated with a large party, whose guests include her cousin Franklin Blake. She wears the Moonstone on her dress that evening for all to see, including some Indian jugglers who have called at the house.

 
First edition title page
 
 
Later that night, the diamond is stolen from Rachel's bedroom, and a period of turmoil, unhappiness, misunderstandings and ill-luck ensues. Told by a series of narratives from some of the main characters, the complex plot traces the subsequent efforts to explain the theft, identify the thief, trace the stone and recover it.
 
 
Plot summary
Colonel Herncastle, an unpleasant former soldier, brings the Moonstone back with him from India where he acquired it by theft and murder during the Siege of Seringapatam. Angry at his family, who shun him, he leaves it in his will as a birthday gift to his niece Rachel, thus exposing her to attack by the stone's hereditary guardians, who, legend says, will stop at nothing to retrieve it.

Rachel wears the stone to her birthday party, but that night it disappears from her room. Suspicion falls on three Indian jugglers who have been near the house; on Rosanna Spearman, a maidservant who begins to act oddly and who then drowns herself in a local quicksand; and on Rachel herself, who also behaves suspiciously and is suddenly furious with Franklin Blake, with whom she has previously appeared to be enamoured, when he directs attempts to find it. Despite the efforts of Sergeant Cuff, a renowned detective, the house party ends with the mystery unsolved, and the protagonists disperse.

During the ensuing year there are hints that the diamond was removed from the house and may be in a London bank vault, having been pledged as surety to a moneylender.
The Indian jugglers are still nearby, watching and waiting. Rachel's grief and isolation increase, especially after her mother dies, and she first accepts and then rejects a marriage proposal from her cousin Godfrey Ablewhite, a philanthropist who was also present at the birthday dinner and whose father owns the bank near Rachel's old family home. Finally Franklin Blake returns from travelling abroad and determines to solve the mystery.

 
 
 
He first discovers that Rosanna Spearman's behaviour was due to her having fallen in love with himself. She found evidence (a paint smear on his nightclothes) that convinced her that he was the thief and concealed it to save him, confusing the trail of evidence and throwing suspicion on herself. In despair at her inability to make him acknowledge her despite all she had done for him, she committed suicide, leaving behind the smeared gown and a letter he did not receive at the time because of his hasty departure abroad.
 
 
Now believing that Rachel suspects him of the theft on Rosanna's evidence, Franklin engineers a meeting and asks her. To his astonishment she tells him she actually saw him steal the diamond and has been protecting his reputation at the cost of her own even though she believes him to be a thief and a hypocrite.

With hope of redeeming himself he returns to Yorkshire to the scene of crime and is befriended by Mr. Candy's assistant, Mr. Ezra Jennings. They join together to continue the investigations and learn that Franklin was secretly given laudanum during the night of the party (by the doctor, Mr. Candy, who wanted revenge on Franklin for criticising medicine); it appears that this, in addition to his anxiety about Rachel and the diamond and other nervous irritations, caused him to take the diamond in a narcotic trance, to move it to a safe place.

A re-enactment of the evening's events confirms this, but how the stone ended up in a London bank remains a mystery solved only a year after the birthday party when the stone is redeemed. Franklin and his allies trace the claimant to a seedy waterside inn, only to discover that the Indians have got there first: he is dead and the stone is gone. Under the dead man's disguise is none other than Godfrey Ablewhite, who is found to have embezzled the contents of a trust fund in his care and to have been facing exposure soon after the birthday party.
 
 
 
The mystery of what Blake did while in his drugged state is solved: he encountered Ablewhite in the passageway outside Rachel's room and gave the Moonstone to him to be put back in his father's bank, from which it had been withdrawn on the morning of the party to be given to Rachel. Seeing his salvation, Ablewhite pocketed the stone instead, and pledged it as surety for a loan to save himself temporarily from insolvency. When he was murdered, he was on his way to Amsterdam to have the stone cut; it would then have been sold to replenish the plundered trust fund before the beneficiary inherited.

The mystery is solved, Rachel and Franklin marry, and in an epilogue from Mr. Murthwaite, a noted adventurer, the reader learns of the restoration of the Moonstone to the place where it should be, in the forehead of the idol in India.

 
 
Characters
Rachel Verinder – a young heiress at the centre of the story, inherits the Moonstone on her eighteenth birthday
Lady Verinder – her mother, a wealthy widow, devoted to her only child
Colonel Herncastle – Lady Verinder's brother, suspected of foul deeds in India, including the theft of the Moonstone
Gabriel Betteredge – the Verinders' head servant, first narrator
Penelope Betteredge – his daughter, also a servant in the household
Rosanna Spearman – second housemaid, ex-thief, suspicious and tragic character
Drusilla Clack – a poor cousin of Rachel Verinder, an unlikeable Christian evangelist and meddler, second narrator
Franklin Blake – an adventurer, another cousin, and suitor of Rachel
Godfrey Ablewhite – a philanthropist, another cousin and suitor of Rachel
Mr. Bruff – a family solicitor, third narrator
Sergeant Cuff – a famous detective with a penchant for roses
Dr. Candy – the family physician, loses his ability to speak coherently because of a fever
Ezra Jennings – Dr. Candy's unpopular and odd-looking assistant, suffers from an incurable illness and uses opium to control the pain, fourth narrator
Mr. Murthwaite – a noted adventurer who has travelled frequently in India, provides the epilogue to the story
The Indian Jugglers – three disguised Hindu Brahmin, determined to recover the diamond

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
 
     
  Wilkie Collins 

"The Moonstone"

"The Woman in White"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
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1868
 
 
Dostoevsky: "The Idiot"
 

The Idiot (Russian: Идио́т) is a novel by the 19th-century Russian author Dostoevsky Fyodor . It was first published serially in the journal The Russian Messenger in 1868-9.

 
The title is an ironic reference to the central character of the novel, Prince Lyov Nikolaevich Myshkin, a young man whose goodness and open-hearted simplicity lead many of the more worldly characters he encounters to mistakenly assume that he lacks intelligence and insight. In the character of Prince Myshkin, Dostoevsky set himself the task of depicting "the positively good and beautiful man". The novel examines the consequences of placing such a unique individual at the centre of the conflicts, desires, passions and egoism of worldly society, both for the man himself and for those with whom he becomes involved. The result, according to philosopher A.C. Grayling, is "one of the most excoriating, compelling and remarkable books ever written; and without question one of the greatest."
 
 
Plot summary
Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin, a fair-haired young man in his mid-twenties and a descendant of one of the oldest Russian lines of nobility, is on a train to Saint Petersburg on a very cold November morning. He is returning to Russia having spent the past four years in a Swiss clinic for treatment of a severe epileptic condition. On the journey Myshkin meets a young man of the merchant class, Parfyon Semyonovich Rogozhin, and is struck by his passionate intensity, particularly in relation to a woman—the dazzling society beauty Nastassya Filippovna—with whom he is obsessed. Rogozhin has just inherited a very large fortune from his dead father and he intends to use it to pursue the object of his desire.

The nominal purpose for Myshkin's trip to St. Petersburg is to make the acquaintance of his very distant relative Lizaveta Prokofyevna Yepanchina, and to make inquiries about a certain matter of business. Madame Yepanchina is the wife of General Yepanchin, a wealthy and respected man in his late fifties. When the Prince calls on them he is instructed to wait by a servant. He strikes up a conversation with the servant, treating him as an equal and expatiating, to the lackey's surprize, on the subject of the horror of capital punishment. General Yepanchin has an ambitious and vain assistant, Gavril Ardalionovich Ivolgin (Ganya), who the Prince also meets while waiting. He learns that the General and his friend Totsky are seeking to arrange a marriage between Ganya and Nastassya Filippovna, and Ganya shows Myshkin a photograph of her. Nastassya Filippovna, though of a noble family herself, became a ward of Totsky at the age of 7, following a family tragedy.

 
Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of The Idiot
 
 
When she was 16, Totsky, a highly refined voluptuary, had settled her in a little house in the country and for the next four years treated her as his concubine. Now a grown woman—beautiful, intelligent, fearless and incisive—she has made it frighteningly clear to Totsky that she does not intend to let him off lightly. Totsky, thinking the marriage might settle her and give him back his freedom, has promised 75,000 rubles; but Nastassya Filippovna, unsure of Ganya's motives and aware that his family does not approve of her, has reserved her decision. Ganya and the General openly discuss the subject of the proposed marriage in front of Myshkin. The Prince tells them of Rogozhin's interest in Nastassya Filippovna, and Ganya asks the Prince whether Rogozhin would marry her. The Prince replies that he might well marry her and then murder her a week later.
 
 
Myshkin makes the acquaintance of Lizaveta Prokovyevna and her three daughters—Alexandra, Adelaida and Aglaya, the last being the youngest and the most beautiful. Despite a less than flattering description of the Prince from the General, the mother and daughters are all very impressed by his candour, sense of humour, and intelligent conversation. He readily answers all their questions and speaks with striking openness on a wide variety of subjects - himself, his illness, his impressions of Switzerland, his love of donkeys, the mystery of life, painting, capital punishment, death and the brevity of life. He ends by describing what he divines about each of their characters from studying their faces, and surprizes everyone by saying that Aglaya is almost as beautiful as Nastassya Filippovna.

The prince rents a room in the Ivolgin apartment, also occupied by Ganya; Ganya's sister Varvara Ardalyonovna (Varya); his mother, Nina Alexandrovna; his teenage brother, Nikolai (Kolya); his father, General Ivolgin; and another lodger named Ferdyshchenko.

Nastassya Filippovna arrives and insults Ganya's family, which has refused to accept her as a possible wife for Ganya. Myshkin restrains her from continuing. The insult is compounded by the arrival of Rogozhin accompanied by a rowdy crowd of drunks and rogues. On the strength of his newly inherited fortune, Rogozhin promises to bring 100,000 rubles to Nastassya Filippovna's birthday party that evening, at which she is to announce whom she will marry.

Among the guests at the party are Totsky, General Yepanchin, Ganya, Ferdyshchenko, Ptitsyn—a usurer friend of Ganya's who is a suitor to Varya Ivolgin—and others. With the acquiescence of Kolya, Prince Myshkin arrives, uninvited.

 
 
 
Burdovsky, a young man who claims to be the illegitimate son of Myshkin's late benefactor, Pavlishchev, demands money from Myshkin as a "just" reimbursement for Pavlishchev's support. Burdovsky is supported by a group of insolent young men, including the consumptive seventeen-year-old Hippolite Terentyev, a friend of Kolya Ivolgin. Although Burdovsky's claim turns out to be based on a false rumour—he is not Pavlishchev's son at all—Myshkin feels compassion for him and is willing to help him financially.
 
 
Following Myshkin's advice, Nastassya Filippovna refuses Ganya's proposal. Rogozhin arrives with the promised 100,000 rubles, but Myshkin himself offers to marry Nastassya Filippovna instead, announcing that he has recently received a large inheritance.

Though surprised and deeply touched by Myshkin's love, Nastassya Filippovna, after throwing the 100,000 rubles in the fire and telling Ganya they are his if he wants to get them out, chooses to leave with Rogozhin. Myshkin follows them.

For the next six months Nastassya Filippovna is torn between Myshkin's compassionate and insightful love for her and a self-punishing desire to ruin herself by submitting to Rogozhin's passion.

Myshkin is tormented by her suffering, and Rogozhin is tormented by her love for Myshkin and her frequently expressed disdain for his own claims on her. Myshkin's inheritance turns out to be smaller than expected and shrinks further as he satisfies the often fraudulent claims of creditors and alleged relatives. Finally, he returns to St. Petersburg and visits Rogozhin's house.

They discuss religion and exchange crosses, but Nastassya Filippovna remains between them. Myshkin becomes increasingly horrified at Rogozhin's attitude to her. Rogozhin confesses to beating her in a jealous rage, and raises the possibility of cutting her throat.

 
 
 
Later that day, Rogozhin, motivated by jealousy, attempts to stab Myshkin in the hall of the prince's hotel, but a sudden epileptic fit saves the prince.

Myshkin then leaves St. Petersburg for Pavlovsk, a nearby town popular as a summer residence of St. Petersburg nobility. The prince rents several rooms from Lebedev, a rogue functionary who is, however, a highly complex character, first introduced at the time Myshkin meets Rogozhin on the train to Petersburg. Most of the novel's characters—the Yepanchins, the Ivolgins, Varya and her husband Ptitsyn, and Nastassya Filippovna—spend the summer in Pavlovsk as well.

The prince now spends much of his time at the Yepanchins' home. He falls in love with Aglaya and she appears to reciprocate his feelings. A haughty, willful, and capricious girl, she refuses to publicly admit her love and in fact often openly mocks him. Yet her family begins to acknowledge him as her fiancé and even stages a dinner party in the couple's honor for members of the Russian nobility.
 
 
Over the course of an ardent speech on religion and the future of aristocracy, Myshkin accidentally breaks a beautiful Chinese vase. Later that evening he suffers a mild epileptic fit. Guests and family agree that the sickly prince is not a good match for Aglaya.

Yet Aglaya does not renounce Myshkin and even arranges to meet Nastassya Filippovna, who has been writing her letters in an attempt to persuade her to marry Myshkin. At the meeting the two women confront the Prince and demand that he choose between Aglaya, whom he loves romantically, and Nastassya Filippovna, for whom he has compassionate pity. Myshkin demurs, prompting Aglaya to depart, ending all hope for an engagement between them. Nastassya Filippovna then renews her vow to marry the Prince, but goes off with Rogozhin instead.

The prince follows Nastassya and Rogozhin to Saint Petersburg and learns that Rogozhin has slain Nastassya Filippovna during the night. The two men keep vigil over her body, which Rogozhin has laid out in his study. Rogozhin is sentenced to fifteen years of hard labor in Siberia, Myshkin goes mad and returns to the sanatorium and Aglaya, against the wishes of her family, marries a wealthy, exiled Polish count who later is discovered to be neither wealthy, nor a count, nor an exile—at least, not a political exile—and who, along with a Catholic priest, has turned her against her family.

 
 
 
Criticism
Joseph Frank has called The Idiot "perhaps the most original of Dostoevsky's great novels, and certainly the most artistically uneven of them all," and he admitted of "the inconsistencies and awkwardnesses of its structures and motivation."

In her essay "The Epileptic Mode of Being," Elizabeth Dalton wrote that in The Idiot, more than in any other of Dostoevsky's works, we are shown "the actual experience itself" of one mind wrestling with the various tensions of life – rather than simply dwelling on "intellectual speculation," as we see in Crime and Punishment and Notes from Underground.

Richard Pevear called The Idiot "Dostoevsky's most autobiographical novel," and notes that, in contrast to Crime and Punishment, setting has very little importance in this novel: "Russia is present in the novel not as a place but as a question – the essence of Russia, the role of Russia and the "Russian Christ" in Europe and in the world."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
     
 
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

"The Idiot"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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1868
 
 
George Stefan
 

Stefan George, (born July 12, 1868, Büdesheim, near Bingen, Hesse [Germany]—died Dec. 4, 1933, Minusio, near Locarno, Switz.), lyric poet responsible in part for the emergence of Aestheticism in German poetry at the close of the 19th century.

 

Stefan George
  After attending a Gymnasium in Darmstadt, George traveled to England, Switzerland, and France. He studied philosophy and the history of art in Paris, becoming associated with the poet Stéphane Mallarmé and others in the Symbolist movement. Returning to Germany, where he divided his time between Berlin, Munich, and Heidelberg, he founded a literary school of his own, the George-Kreis, held together by the force of his personality. Many well-known writers (e.g., Friedrich Gundolf, Karl Wolfskehl, and Georg Simmel) belonged to it or contributed to its journal, Blätter für die Kunst, published from 1892 to 1919. The chief aim of the journal was to revitalize the German literary language. George aimed for new aesthetic forms in German poetry, avoiding impure rhymes and metrical irregularities. Vowels and consonants were arranged with precision to achieve harmony. The resulting symbolic poem was intended to evoke a sense of intoxication. These poetic ideals were a protest not only against the debasement of the language but also against materialism and naturalism, to which George opposed an austerity of life and a standard of poetic excellence. He advocated a humanism inspired by Friedrich Hölderlin, which he hoped would be realized in a new society. His ideas, and the affectations into which they led some of his disciples, his claim of superiority, and his obsession with power were ridiculed, attacked, and misused by those who misunderstood them.
But George himself was strongly opposed to the political developments—above all, the rise of Nazism—which his ideas are sometimes thought to reflect.
 
 
When the Nazi government offered him money and honours, he refused them and went into exile.

George’s collected works fill 18 volumes (Gesamtausgabe, 1927–34), including five of translations and one of prose sketches. His collections of poetry, of which Hymnen (1890), Pilgerfahrten (1891), Algabal (1892), Das Jahr der Seele (1897), Der Teppich des Lebens (1899), Der siebente Ring (1907), Der Stern des Bundes (1914), and Das neue Reich (1928) are the most important, show his poetic and spiritual development from early doubts and searching self-examination to confidence in his role as a seer and as leader of the new society he projected.

Personally, and spiritually, he found the fulfillment of his striving for significance in “Maximin” (Maximilian Kronberger [1888–1904]), a beautiful and gifted youth whom he met in Munich in 1902. After the boy’s death George claimed that he had been a god, glorifying him in his later poetry and explaining his attitude to him in Maximin, ein Gedenkbuch (privately published, 1906).

Encyclopædia Britannic

 
 
see also: Stefan George
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1868
 
 
Gorki Maxim
 

Maksim Gorky, also spelled Maxim Gorki, pseudonym of Aleksey Maksimovich Peshkov (born March 16 [March 28, New Style], 1868, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia—died June 14, 1936), Russian short-story writer and novelist who first attracted attention with his naturalistic and sympathetic stories of tramps and social outcasts and later wrote other stories, novels, and plays, including his famous The Lower Depths.

 

Maksim Gorky
  Early life
Gorky’s earliest years were spent in Astrakhan, where his father, a former upholsterer, became a shipping agent. When the boy was five his father died; Gorky returned to Nizhny Novgorod to live with his maternal grandparents, who brought him up after his mother remarried. The grandfather was a dyer whose business deteriorated and who treated Gorky harshly. From his grandmother he received most of what little kindness he experienced as a child. Gorky knew the Russian working-class background intimately, for his grandfather afforded him only a few months of formal schooling, sending him out into the world to earn his living at the age of eight. His jobs included, among many others, work as assistant in a shoemaker’s shop, as errand boy for an icon painter, and as dishwasher on a Volga steamer, where the cook introduced him to reading—soon to become his main passion in life. Frequently beaten by his employers, nearly always hungry and ill clothed, he came to know the seamy side of Russian life as few other Russian authors before or since. The bitterness of these early experiences later led him to choose the word gorky (“bitter”) as his pseudonym.

His late adolescence and early manhood were spent in Kazan, where he worked as a baker, docker, and night watchman. There he first learned about Russian revolutionary ideas from representatives of the Populist movement, whose tendency to idealize the Russian peasant he later rejected. Oppressed by the misery of his surroundings, he attempted suicide by shooting himself. Leaving Kazan at the age of 21, he became a tramp, doing odd jobs of all kinds during extensive wanderings through southern Russia.

 
 
First stories
In Tbilisi (Tiflis) Gorky began to publish stories in the provincial press, of which the first was “Makar Chudra” (1892), followed by a series of similar wild Romantic legends and allegories of only documentary interest. But with the publication of “Chelkash” (1895) in a leading St. Petersburg journal, he began a success story as spectacular as any in the history of Russian literature. “Chelkash,” one of his outstanding works, is the story of a colourful harbour thief in which elements of Romanticism and realism are mingled. It began Gorky’s celebrated “tramp period,” during which he described the social dregs of Russia. He expressed sympathy and self-identification with the strength and determination of the individual hobo or criminal, characters previously described more objectively. “Dvadtsat shest i odna” (1899; “Twenty-Six Men and a Girl”), describing the sweated labour conditions in a bakery, is often regarded as his best short story. So great was the success of these works that Gorky’s reputation quickly soared, and he began to be spoken of almost as an equal of Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov.
 
 

Anton Chekhov and Gorky. 1900, Yalta
 
 
Plays and novels
Next Gorky wrote a series of plays and novels, all less excellent than his best earlier stories. The first novel, Foma Gordeyev (1899), illustrates his admiration for strength of body and will in the masterful barge owner and rising capitalist Ignat Gordeyev, who is contrasted with his relatively feeble and intellectual son Foma, a “seeker after the meaning of life,” as are many of Gorky’s other characters. From this point, the rise of Russian capitalism became one of Gorky’s main fictional interests. Other novels of the period are Troye (1900; Three of Them), Ispoved (1908; A Confession), Gorodok Okurov (1909; “Okurov City”), and Zhizn Matveya Kozhemyakina (1910; “The Life of Matvey Kozhemyakin”). These are all to some extent failures because of Gorky’s inability to sustain a powerful narrative, and also because of a tendency to overload his work with irrelevant discussions about the meaning of life. Mat (1906; Mother) is probably the least successful of the novels, yet it has considerable interest as Gorky’s only long work devoted to the Russian revolutionary movement. It was made into a notable silent film by Vsevolod Pudovkin (1926) and dramatized by Bertolt Brecht in Die Mutter (1930–31). Gorky also wrote a series of plays, the most famous of which is Na dne (1902; The Lower Depths). A dramatic rendering of the kind of flophouse character that Gorky had already used so extensively in his stories, it still enjoys great success abroad and in Russia. He also wrote Meshchane (1902; The Petty Bourgeois, or The Smug Citizen), a play that glorifies the hero-intellectual who has revolutionary tendencies but also that explores the disruptions revolutionaries can wreak on everyday life.
 
 

Leo Tolstoy with Gorky in Yasnaya Polyana, 1900
  Marxist activity
Gorky, Maksim [Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images]Between 1899 and 1906 Gorky lived mainly in St. Petersburg, where he became a Marxist, supporting the Social Democratic Party. After the split in that party in 1903, Gorky went with its Bolshevik wing. But he was often at odds with the Bolshevik leader V.I. Lenin. Nor did Gorky ever, formally, become a member of Lenin’s party, though his enormous earnings, which he largely gave to party funds, were one of that organization’s main sources of income.

In 1901 the Marxist review Zhizn (“Life”) was suppressed for publishing a short revolutionary poem by Gorky, “Pesnya o burevestnike” (“Song of the Stormy Petrel”). Gorky was arrested but released shortly afterward and went to Crimea, having developed tuberculosis. In 1902 he was elected a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, but his election was soon withdrawn for political reasons, an event that led to the resignations of Chekhov and the writer V.G. Korolenko from the academy.

Gorky took a prominent part in the Russian Revolution of 1905, was arrested in the following year, and was again quickly released, partly as the result of protests from abroad. He toured America in the company of his mistress, an event that led to his partial ostracism there and to a consequent reaction on his part against the United States as expressed in stories about New York City, Gorod zhyoltogo dyavola (1906; “The City of the Yellow Devil”).
 
 
Exile and revolution
On leaving Russia in 1906, Gorky spent seven years as a political exile, living mainly in his villa on Capri in Italy. Politically, Gorky was a nuisance to his fellow Marxists because of his insistence on remaining independent, but his great influence was a powerful asset, which from their point of view outweighed such minor defects. He returned to Russia in 1913, and during World War I he agreed with the Bolsheviks in opposing Russia’s participation in the war. He opposed the Bolshevik seizure of power during the Russian Revolution of 1917 and went on to attack the victorious Lenin’s dictatorial methods in his newspaper Novaya zhizn (“New Life”) until July 1918, when his protests were silenced by censorship on Lenin’s orders. Living in Petrograd, Gorky tried to help those who were not outright enemies of the Soviet government. Gorky often assisted imprisoned scholars and writers, helping them survive hunger and cold. His efforts, however, were thwarted by figures such as Lenin and Grigory Zinovyev, a close ally of Lenin’s who was the head of the Petrograd Bolsheviks. In 1921 Lenin sent Gorky into exile under the pretext of Gorky’s needing specialized medical treatment abroad.
 
 

Vladimir Lenin plays chess with Alexander Bogdanov during a visit to Maxim Gorky
 
 
Last period
In the decade ending in 1923 Gorky’s greatest masterpiece appeared. This is the autobiographical trilogy Detstvo (1913–14; My Childhood), V lyudyakh (1915–16; In the World), and Moi universitety (1923; My Universities). The title of the last volume is sardonic because Gorky’s only university had been that of life, and his wish to study at Kazan University had been frustrated. This trilogy is one of the finest autobiographies in Russian. It describes Gorky’s childhood and early manhood and reveals him as an acute observer of detail, with a flair for describing his own family, his numerous employers, and a panorama of minor but memorable figures. The trilogy contains many messages, which Gorky now tended to imply rather than preach openly: protests against motiveless cruelty, continued emphasis on the importance of toughness and self-reliance, and musings on the value of hard work.
 
 

Gorky with Joseph Stalin near the Kremlin in 1931
  Gorky finished his trilogy abroad, where he also wrote the stories published in Rasskazy 1922–1924 (1925; “Stories 1922–24”), which are among his best work. From 1924 he lived at a villa in Sorrento, Italy, to which he invited many Russian artists and writers who stayed for lengthy periods. Gorky’s health was poor, and he was disillusioned by postrevolutionary life in Russia, but in 1928 he yielded to pressures to return, and the lavish official celebration there of his 60th birthday was beyond anything he could have expected.

In the following year he returned to the U.S.S.R. permanently and lived there until his death. His return coincided with the establishment of Stalin’s ascendancy, and Gorky became a prop of Stalinist political orthodoxy. Correspondence published in the 1990s between Gorky and Stalin and between Gorky and Genrikh Yagoda, the head of the Soviet secret police, shows that Gorky gradually lost all illusions that freedom would prevail in the U.S.S.R., and he consequently adjusted to the rules of the new way of life. He was now more than ever the undisputed leader of Soviet writers, and, when the Soviet Writers’ Union was founded in 1934, he became its first president. At the same time, he helped to found the literary method of Socialist Realism, which was imposed on all Soviet writers and which obliged them—in effect—to become outright political propagandists.
 
 
Gorky remained active as a writer, but almost all his later fiction is concerned with the period before 1917. In Delo Artamonovykh (1925; The Artamonov Business), one of his best novels, he showed his continued interest in the rise and fall of prerevolutionary Russian capitalism. From 1925 until the end of his life, Gorky worked on the novel Zhizn Klima Samgina (“The Life of Klim Samgin”). Though he completed four volumes that appeared between 1927 and 1937 (translated into English as Bystander, The Magnet, Other Fires, and The Specter), the novel was to remain unfinished. It depicts in detail 40 years of Russian life as seen through the eyes of a man inwardly destroyed by the events of the decades preceding and following the turn of the 20th century. There were also more plays—Yegor Bulychov i drugiye (1932; “Yegor Bulychov and Others”) and Dostigayev i drugiye (1933; “Dostigayev and Others”)—but the most generally admired work is a set of reminiscences of Russian writers—Vospominaniya o Tolstom (1919; Reminiscences of Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy) and O pisatelyakh (1928; “About Writers”). The memoir of Tolstoy is so lively and free from the hagiographic approach traditional in Russian studies of their leading authors that it has sometimes been acclaimed as Gorky’s masterpiece. Almost equally impressive is Gorky’s study of Chekhov. He also wrote pamphlets on topical events and problems in which he glorified some of the most brutal aspects of Stalinism.

Some mystery attaches to Gorky’s death, which occurred suddenly in 1936 while he was under medical treatment. Whether his death was natural or not is unknown, but it came to figure in the trial of Nikolay I. Bukharin and others in 1938, at which it was claimed that Gorky had been the victim of an anti-Soviet plot by the “Bloc of Rightists and Trotskyites.” The former police chief Genrikh Yagoda, who was among the defendants, confessed to having ordered his death. Some Western authorities have suggested that Gorky was done to death on Stalin’s orders, having finally become sickened by the excesses of Stalinist Russia, but there is little evidence of this except that it was characteristic of Stalin to frame others on the charge of accomplishing his own misdeeds.

 
 

Pjotr Kryuchkov, Maxim Gorky and Genrikh Yagoda
 
 
Assessment
After his death Gorky was canonized as the patron saint of Soviet letters. His reputation abroad has also remained high, but it is doubtful whether posterity will deal with him so kindly. His success was partly due, both in the Soviet Union and to a lesser extent abroad, to political accident. Though technically of lower-middle-class origin, he lived in such poverty as a child and young man that he is often considered the greatest “proletarian” in Russian literature. This circumstance, coinciding with the rise of working-class movements all over the world, helped to give Gorky an immense literary reputation, which his works do not wholly merit.

Gorky’s literary style, though gradually improving through the years, retained its original defects of excessive striving for effect, of working on the reader’s nerves by the piling up of emotive adjectives, and of tending to overstate. Among Gorky’s other defects, in addition to his weakness for philosophical digressions, is a certain coarseness of emotional grain. But his eye for physical detail, his talent for making his characters live, and his unrivaled knowledge of the Russian “lower depths” are weighty items on the credit side. Gorky was the only Soviet writer whose work embraced the prerevolutionary and postrevolutionary period so exhaustively, and, though he by no means stands with Chekhov, Tolstoy, and others in the front rank of Russian writers, he remains one of the more important literary figures of his age.

Ronald Francis Hingley

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
see also: Maksim Gorky
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1868
 
 
Rostand Edmond
 

Edmond Rostand, (born April 1, 1868, Marseille, France—died Dec. 2, 1918, Paris), French dramatist of the period just before World War I whose plays provide a final, very belated example of Romantic drama in France.

 

Edmond Rostand
  Rostand’s name is indissolubly linked with that of his most popular and enduring play, Cyrano de Bergerac. First performed in Paris in 1897, with the famous actor Constant Coquelin playing the lead, Cyrano made a great impression in France and all over Europe and the United States.

The plot revolves around the emotional problems of Cyrano, who, despite his many gifts, feels that no woman can ever love him because he has an enormous nose. The connection between the Cyrano of the play and the 17th-century nobleman and writer of the same name is purely nominal.

But Rostand’s stirring and colourful historical play, with its dazzling versification, skillful blend of comedy and pathos, and fast-moving plot, provided welcome relief from the grim dramas that emerged from the naturalist and Symbolist movements.

Rostand wrote a good deal for the theatre, but the only other play of his that is still remembered is L’Aiglon (1900). This highly emotional patriotic tragedy in six acts centres on the Duke of Reichstadt, who never ruled but died of tuberculosis as a virtual prisoner in Austria. Rostand always took pains to write fine parts for his stars, and L’Aiglon afforded Sarah Bernhardt one of her greatest triumphs.

Rostand’s son Jean Rostand (1894–1977) was a noted biologist, moralist, and writer.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
     
  Edmond Rostand

"Cyrano De Bergerac"
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 
1868
 
 
Stifter Adalbert, Austrian novelist, d. (b. 1805)
 
 

Adalbert Stifter
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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

 
 
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