ENGL 3379

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 08:12 -- sewm02


== Victorian Literature ENGL 3379 ==--Schwer, Mary 08:21, 19 August 2008 (EDT)

Useful Victorian Websites

Voice of the Shuttle


Victorian Women Writer's Project


Victorian Web


Spartacus History Encyclopedia


Norton Anthology Website


Webliography of Important Victorian Dates

Create an annotated list of Websites illustrating each of the events in Victorian culture listed in your assigned decade. For each event, link and annotate the best website you can find to teach the class about that event. Enter all websites on the ENGL 3379 Wiki page as well as a paragraph (6-8 coherent sentences) annotating the event and website.

Due Tuesday, Sept 2.

[Paste url here]

After websites are posted, please post on the discussion board at least one comment on the 2 other decades you didn't work on.


Group work will be graded on the number of contributions of each member, the pertinence and quality of each website posted, and the quality of the paragraph explaining the historical event and the website.



The 1830s not only marked the beginning of Queen Victoria's reign and what we now call the Victorian Age, but it also forced changed in England. Reformation in Parliament and the construction of the first public rail system boosted England's economy and gave more power to the middle class. While new ways of thinking about women's roles and the growth of the periodical would come later in the period, the 1830s paved the way for a new way of living.


Liverpool/Manchester Railway opens

In 1830, the Liverpool/ Manchester Railway became the first steam powered public railway line in the world. With the development of the railway came the push to reform Parliament due to the fact that passengers could now travel easily about the country. The railway system also aided in the growth of England's economy and closed distances between cities. The line opened on September 15, 1830 in North West England and by the year 1900 had 15, 195 miles of lines and an underground railway system in London.


 First Reform Bill


In 1832, British Parliament passed the First Reform Bill. The bill was put in place to transfer voting privileges from small, scarcely inhabited boroughs in England run by nobility to urban areas with large populations. The bill also extended the right to vote to all males owning property worth a certain amount in anual grant. The new voting rights gave power to middle class economic interests. The First Reform Bill was written by prime minister Charles Grey and was introduced to the House of Commons by John Russell. The bill was introduced in March of 1831 but did not pass through the House of Lords until until June 4, 1832.


Factory Act


The factory acts were put in the place in an attempt to improve industial labor and work conditions in England. The Factory of of 1833 restricted children ages fourteen-eighteen to a maximum of twelve work hours and a lunch break. Children ages nine-thirteen would permitted to work eight hours a day with a lunch break and were required to have two education hours. No one under the age of eighteen was allowed to work night shifys. Children under nine were restricted from the textile industry and mandatory factory inspections were put in place. The factory acts restricted child labor and limited hours of employment.


Abolition of Slavery in all British territories

http://www.users.muohio.edu/mandellc/projects/aronowml/History.HTM GOOD SITE...

In one day, a man by the name of Lord Mansfield abolished slavery in a ruling that pertained to a case where an African American slave was suing his master. This transpired before the court in May, the 14th day of 1772, four years before our nation founded and signed the Declaration of Independence. (I saw the play this summer at Prickett's Fort, it was great!) Slavery still continued, especially foreign, yet this decision made an impact on on the British abolition of the slave trade. Finally, in 1807, the Slave Trade act came into effect but slavery "still" continued to the point that citizens finally realized that slavery had to be made ILLEGAL for it to finally stop! This took place officially, for the majority of the British Empire, on August 1st in 1834. For the next 20 years or so, slavery slowly began to fade away as the slaves or "apprentices", which they were referred to as, were released by their masters.



Beginning of the Oxford Movement

The Oxford Movement was a religious movement that was originated by Angelican Clergymen at Oxford University, (hence the name). This movement revived certain Roman Catholic doctrines and rituals relating to the Roman Catholic ceremonies, i.e. reconstructing churches and their decor; hymn singing, and even changing the vestments that were worn by the priests and cloergymen. The decisions that activated this movement inspired, excited and outraged the opinions of the public and became a mode of transportation for advancements in social reform.


L.R. Six-


Tolpuddle Martyrs


The Tolpuddle Martyrs were a group of six men who were agricultural labourers who tried to stand against wage cutting in Dorset, England. People were working hard for only a little bit of food provided by the meager sums that they earned for the work that they did. So, they decided to form a "friendly" Society (similar to the union, just not nearly as large) but they were arrested and basically kicked out of England, because they were then sent to Australia.


First photographs by Fox Talbot


L.R. Six

William Fox Talbot was a man born into stature, becomming not only a photographer, but the inventor of a process that's called the negative/positive photographic process as well as the calotype process. Coupled with another man's technique's and photographic inovations, (a Frenchman by the name of Louis Daguerre) Fox Talbot was one of the main forerunners for innovative photographic science and experimentation!


Queen Victoria takes the throne

In 1837, Victoria became queen of Great Britain, ruling until her death in 1901. The daughter of Kent and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg, Victoria inherited the throne after the death of her uncle (William IV). Her reign encompassed many industrial and technological advances, as well as the subsequent population increase and societal changes. In addition, her namesake era brought forth a powerful system of trade and commerce; this system led Great Britain into other countries and established it as a much stronger nation. After her husband, Albert, died, Victoria became the epitome of a mourning widow, making very limited public appearances, but generally remaining reclusive. After a 64-year reign, Victoria died at Osborne.


London to Birmingham Railway

As Great Britain grew increasingly technological and industrial, investors began to invest in transportation systems. Yet few small railways could function aptly on their own, and as a result, many of the smaller railways were eventually consolidated into much larger routes that spanned the country. The original London to Birmingham line was combined with the Grand Junction Railway and the Manchester and Birmingham Railway to form a larger company, the London and North Western Railway. This London and Manchester railway, in turn, was one of the seven most important railway lines to form the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. The massive directional range of the large railroad companies transformed the landscape of Great Britain and made products and services more easily accessible.


The People’s Charter launches the Chartist 


During the 1830s, Great Britain saw a surge of rebellion against the constraints of a very capitalist society. In 1938, several established organizations joined to draft the People's Charter, which sought to increase the political rights of the working class. Obviously, Parliament and the upper class refused to act on the demands of the group, which resulted in further resentment and even hostility. However, a primary problem that plagued the collective group was that they were not uniform in idea. Disagreement occurred between individuals and internal groups, and weakened the arguments they presented to Parliament. Yet, the Chartist movement brought forth recognition of an active British proletariat, and help establish its rightful place in society.



First Chinese Opium War


== The 1840's ==

As transportation grew more advanced, so did opportunities for trade and commerce. Businessmen, eager to develop a more balanced trade system with the Chinese, began to export opium. The demand for the drug soon escalated, and soon, an extreme percentage of the population was addicted to British-procured opium. This frightening epidemic threatened to topple China's economy, and led Chinese officials to establish a ban on the drug. This ban, however, was highly resisted, and illegal trade continued between the British and Chinese. As a result, China attempted to completely eradicate the trade by battling the British navy, during which the Chinese lost several vessels under British fire. By selfishly increasing trade with the Chinese by exporting an addictive drug, Great Britain facilitated the falling power of the Qing dynasty.



Queen Victoria marries Prince Albert


Queen Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Germany, in 1840. They first met when Victoria was sixteen years old. At that point, it was suggested to Victoria that they marry. In 1839, when Victoria was nineteen years old and had been named Queen, Prince Albert returned to England. She fell in love with him at first sight, and she proposed to him. They were married the following year and had a very happy marriage until he died of typhoid fever in 1861.

The fact that Queen Victoria proposed to Prince Albert is really interesting and proves that she was beyond her time. It would take a strong woman like this to propose the type of reform England experienced during her reign and force her country to start to think differently about a woman's role in society.


 Niger Expedition attempts to explore West Africa


In 1841, Thomas Fowell Buxton persuaded Parliament to allow a mission to the Niger River Delta in West Africa. The mission stemmed from Buxton's desire to see the slave trade ended and Africa renewed. He believed that Africa's people and natural resources could be renewed, thus strengthening the country. Despite his good intentions, Buxton's expedition failed. Forty members of the died from diseases contacted in Africa. The resulting failure also cost Buxton his credibility.


 Mudie’s Circulating Library founded


Charles Edward Mudie developed the select library in 1842. It was not like current public library's, in which books can be borrowed for free. Mudie's library system consisted of selling subscriptions of non-fiction works and novels to readers. During the fifty years that his circulating library was in business, Mudie had a great impact on the Victorian novel. Novels, as demanded by Mudie, were only released as three-volume works. This affected how novels were written. Through his influence in the publishing industry, Mudie also demanded that novels contain certain subjects and morality for the middle-class readers.


I love the fact that Mudie created his own sense of literary ideals by "picking and choosing" exactly what he wanted to distrubute, i.e. sell, out of his "library store" but I think it's horrible that he milked it so outrageously and then had the audacity to change Moby Dick's title to "The Whale" and censor some of the finer pieces of literature because his opinions were "suitable". Boo-hiss-rabble,rabble! In MY opinion, that's just pure literary tyranny...LITERALLY!



 Lord Shaftesbury’s Mines Act


Lord Shaftesbury helped bring about legislation that improved mining conditions and restricted the age of mine workers. In 1840, after being persuaded by Lord Shaftesbury, Parliament formed a Royal Commission to inspect and report on the working conditions in mines. The report was published in 1842. The content and photos detailed the horrible working conditions and the impact of the work on the young children working there. The report led to the Mines Act of 1842. The act required that mine workers had to be at least ten years of age. Inspectors were also nominated to maintain the conditions of the act.


 Crop failures in England and Potato blight in Ireland


The Potato Blight and Crop Failures were caused by an airborn fongus called, phytophthora infestans. It caused the potato plant to turn black and rot. It came from ships traveling from North America to England and spread quickly through the country and soon Ireland as well. Due to moist conditions one infected potato could infect many more in just a matter of days. In the eyes of many religious people the faminie was caused by sin or was considered a blessing since it would transform Ireland, which was too dependent on the potato.


 Corn Laws Repealed


British Prime Minister, Robert Peel repealed the Corn Laws in 1846. In 1838 the Anti-Corn Laws League was formed and pressure from it and the potato faminie caused Peel to make this choice and it practiclly ended his career. The Corn Laws themselves protected the wealthy in Britian but made it more diffucult for the less wealthy to buy bread.


 Mary Ann Evans’ translation of Strauss’s Life of Jesus published


Evans was born in 1819 and by the age of twelve she was teaching sunday school. After her mother's death in 1839 she became associated with free-thinkers and began questioning the anglican church. By 1846 she had translated D. F. Strauss's The Life of Jesus Critically Examined.


Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning marry and move to Italy


Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born in 1806. In 1821 she began suffering from a nervous disorder which cause headaches, weakness, and fainting spells and in 1838 she became seriously ill. She wrote a lot of poetry and attracted by the praise she gave his work Robert Browning wrote to her and one of the greatest literary loves began. A year later in 1846 they were secretly married since her father forbid any of his children to wed. Her father was so angry he refused to see her again. She died in her husbands arms in 1861.


 Ten Hours Factory Act

The Ten Hours Factory Act was one of many attempts beginning with a Factory Act in 1819 that attempted to better working conditions. It was established through the Whig government under Lord John Russell. It established a ten hour work day for both women and children between the ages of 13 and 18. Another positive aspect to the Ten Hours Factory Act was that it limited work time to a maximum of 58 hours weekly for both groups. Nothing was mentioned in the regulation, however, regarding day or night work and so women and children were still forced to work throughout the day and night. Unfortunately, nothing was done to regulate the hours of adult males and so their work days continued to be very long. [22]


 Communist Manifesto published in Paris

The Communist Manifesto was first published in Paris on February 21, 1848. It was commissioned by the Communist League. Two Communist theorists, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, wrote the manifesto as a call to the working class. It was created as a means to shorten the gap between the lower and upper classes. They suggested that to achieve a stateless society, the proletarian class needed to stage a revolution against the bourgeois social order. The ten planks of the manifesto included, among other things, "abolition of private property" and "abolition of all rights of inheritance." [23]


Great Chartist Demonstration

Chartists were members of the working class who attempted to rise up against the upper classes. Many of these uprisings were attributed to Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto. The Great Chartist Movement took place on April 10, 1848 on Kennington Common. It was organized by an Irish Chartist leader, Feargus O’ Conner. In fear that the group would start a violent uprising, thousands of military personnel were stationed in the area. Thousands of Chartists were in attendance and although the protest was relatively peaceful, it was also relatively ineffective in their goal to alter classes in society.



Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Founded

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, John Everett Millais, Frederic George Stephens, Thomas Woolner and William Holman Hunt, a group of English artists, created the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The brotherhood encouraged artists to defy the conventions of art established particularly by the founder of the English Royal Academy of Arts, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and to create a new artistic movement. The movement encouraged artists to draw upon new inspiration and sources. Intense detail and vibrant colors were encouraged as a way to create more accurate, lifelike paintings. Because of their radical approach to conventional art, many historians consider this group to be among the first avante garde artists. The brotherhood also published the Germ, a periodical lasting only four issues. [25]



Tennyson’s In Memoriam published


Full Text

Written for the death of his good friend Arthur Henry Hallam, Tennyson completed his work “In Memoriam A.H.H.” over the long stretch of seventeen years. Completed in 1849, “In Memoriam” was published in 1850. While written to grieve over the sudden death of his friend, Tennyson used this long poem of 133 cantos to ponder many issues of the Victorian Era, including those regarding developments in science. Much of England connected with the work's discussion of both universal emotions and pertinent Victorian issues, especially Queen Victoria, who connected with the work as a way to cope with the passing of Prince Albert.


Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace


In celebration of all of Britain's scientific, cultural and artistic triumphs of the Victorian Age, Prince Albert suggested an exhibition in honor of Britain's stance as the most advanced civilization on planet. True to the name the Great Exhibition, over 13,000 exhibits were displayed in a huge endeavor housed in the massive Crystal Palace which earned its name due to its composition of more than a million feet of glass. The artistic and scientific accomplishments, as well as natural wonders and other spectacles of the Victorian Age and many other societies of the past were put on display for over 6,000,000 visitors to marvel at. The Crystal Palace itself was surrounded by an equally grandiose park with equally impressive sets of fountains spraying nearly 12,000 gallons of water. In 1854, the Crystal Palace was relocated to South London as the focal piece of a Victorian theme park until its destruction by fire in 1936.


Westminster Review acquired by John Chapman;  edited by Mary Ann Evans


After John Chapman's acquisition of the Westminster Review, he looked to Mary Ann Evans, perhaps better known by her pen name George Eliot, to amass writers for a new beginning to the periodical. Gathering articles and support from some of the brightest minds of the Victorian Era such as John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer and Thomas Huxley, the Westminster Review became the forerunner of modern scientific discussion during the Victorian Age. Initial articles were in response to Thomas Malthus' ideas toward population theory, mostly in support. Later issues can also be accredited in paving the way for Darwin's ideas in ''The Origin of Species'', with the term “Darwinism” being coined by Thomas Huxley in an 1860 article.


 John Snow proves that cholera is spread through drinking water

John Snow proved that Cholera was spread through drinking water instead of the false belief at the time that all diseases or illnesses were contracted through inhalation. Snow did this by mapping the outbreak of Cholera. At the time, the Soho District in London, around Broad Street, had seen a mass number of outbreaks in 1854. Snow purposed, after mapping the infected, that since this outbreak was limited to one area, the theory that cholera was airborne was false, and closing the water pump that distributed to this area was essential. After the closing of the pump, the outbreaks stopped almost literally overnight.


Florence Nightingale  and Mary Seacole are rivals nursing soldiers in the Crimean War


Mary Seacole was Jamaican (Creole, she was Scottish and Jamaican) nurse who was very experienced in the ways of healing, especially cholera and yellow fever epidemics. Seacole was also very dedicated to her work as a healer. When war broke out in Crimea, word eventually spread and got the attention of Secaole. She offered her services, but was turned by all due to racsim and possibly Nightingale's opinion about Seacole. Nightingale had been working administratively at making the nursing profession respectable (at the time nurses were seen as sloppy and drunks, not much higher than prostitutes). Eventually, Seacole decided to expense her trip herself, and give the obviously needed aid to the British. Seacole ended up in Florence Nightingale's unit despite Nightingale's attempts to keep her out because she saw Seacole as, "a dependent, strong-willed rival." Seacole began being known as the, "Black Nightingale", although her actions in Crimean were much more hands on than Nightingale's. Seacole was regarded as the first nurse practitioner because of the lack of advising by a doctor in medical situations, and because she was often seen on the field of battle tending to wounded soldiers (even while battles were still being fought). Although Seacole is not as well known as Nightingale in our time, she gained respect throughout England and her own country after her bravery at Crimean. Though respect was given, she never recieved and reward or compensation for her time, effort, and money spent during the war.


 Christian Socialism mocked as “Muscular Christianity”


The rise of Christian Socialism saw typical Christian ideals intermixed with the idea that spirituality is connected to physical well-being, with emphasis on both religious piety and healthy physique. Christian Socialism, typically accredited to the works of Reverend Charles Kingsley, was mocked as “Muscular Christianity” for the implication that British Christianity should be dominant spiritually as well as physically. Though considered elevated savagery by critics, “Muscular Christianity” flourished for a time, spreading worldwide and integrating itself with the organization of the early YMCA in both Britain and America.


Indian Mutiny (or First War of Independence)


The reason for the Indian revolt was the General Service Enlistment of 1856 which required troops to serve overseas. This brought about many threats to troops which they were not forced to face before. The famous greased cartridge which was brought about the same year was the last straw. Although some Indians stayed loyal to the British Empire. On May 9th 1857, troops refused to be "drummed-out" and near Delhi, led an attack on British soldiers as well as European civilians. What happened in Cawnpore seemed to overshadow all previous violent attacks. General Wheeler commanded a small force of soldiers along with about 330 women and children along the river Ganges where they were viciously attacked by Indians. About 200 women and children were taken captive only to be slaughtered later and thrown into a well. After the mutiny was over, and the East India Company was demolished (previous government rulers of India), the revolt was declared over on July 8, 1859, the British government took direct control of India.


 David Livingstone urges Britain to spread “Commerce and Christianity” in Africa

"Dr. Livingston, I presume?" ~ H.M. Stanley

This website talks about how David Livingston presented a two-fold objective to benefit Britain in both commerce and christianity. The Queen liked the idea she attached the importance of the moral influcence. It goes on to talk about those that mocked the link between the two.


 Matrimonial Causes Act permits divorce


The Matrimonial Causes Act allowed people to get a divorce through the law courts instead of through parliment, which was a slow and expensive process. Under this act all husbands had to do to get a divorce was prove that their wife was having an affair. It was a little harder for women because they had to prove that thier husband not only committed adultery but also incest, bigamy, cruelty or disertion.


Darwin publishes Origin of Species, his theory of evolution


Darwin introduced his theory on natural selection. Natural selection is a process that acts to preserve and accumulate minor advantageous variations within living systems. Darwin's observation of natural selection was keen but he lacked a strong conclusion. Darwin concluded that natural selection could explain the variety in speices, but in someway they are all related with a common ancestor.




Holly and Bethany

1860 Italian unification declared


This page contains a timeline that describes Italy's unification process in the 18th century. A series of political and militart events resulted in Italy's unification. Liberal ideas from France and Britain spread rapidly and caused Italy to rethink its country's unification formation.

1861 Prince Albert dies of typhoid


This a BBC website dedicated to historic figures. This short summary of Prince Albert's life includes the effects his death from typhoid had on his wife, Queen Victoria, and his country. Queen Victoria never recovered from his premature death.

1862 Education funding becomes linked to pupils' results

This a timeline describing the progression of England's education system. In 1862 England revised the code for education and created government funded schooling. The vice president at the Education Board, Robert Lowe, accepted the main points set out by the Newcastle Commission and in 1862 announced a Revised Code for Education.

1863 London Underground railway is world’s first


London's Metropolitan underground railway opened on January 10, 1963. Within a few months, the railway was carrying over 26,000 passengers a day. The first underground lines were only ten feet deep.


1865 Lewis Carroll publishes Alice in Wonderland


Alice in Wonderland was first published July 4, 1865.In 1865, Dodgson's tale was published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by "Lewis Carroll" with illustrations by John Tenniel. The first print run of 2,000 was destroyed because Tenniel had objections over the print quality. (Only 23 copies are known to have survived; 18 are owned by major archives or libraries, such as the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, while the other five are held in private hands.) A new edition, released in December of the same year but carrying an 1866 date, was quickly printed.


1865 Joseph Lister introduces sterile surgery procedures


1867 Second Reform Bill doubles the electorate


1869 Suez Canal opens


1869 Girton College, first women’s college at Cambridge, founded




Kim and Scott

1870 Forster Act introduces secular Board Schools [27]

The Education Act of 1870, also referred to as the Forster Act, for its main proponent, introduced Board Schools to England. This act opened opportunities for working class children to attend non-denominational public schools. England was divided up into school districts, and school boards were elected to monitor the needs of the individual schools and the students. Attendance was required of all children from ages 5 to 13.

1870 Married Women’s Property Act [28]

Until the Married Women's Property Act of 1870, women had no legal rights after marriage. Any property that they owned or were willed became their husbands property. The new act granted women independence from their husbands, in terms of wages and property ownership. Women were allowed to keep any earnings that they earned separate from their husbands. They were also granted continued ownership of property that had been willed to them.

1870 Irish Land Act [29]

The first of three land acts, the Irish Land Act of 1870 was created to protect Irish peasants/ farmers. The act allowed for tenants to be reimbursed for any improvements that they had made to the land that they rented, but the protection ended there.

1870 Charles Dickens dies [30]

Charles Dickens has a long list of works, including Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, and David Copperfield. He worked hard through his whole life, constantly concerned about money. He died of a stroke at the age of 58, after suffering some persistent health problems.

1871 George Eliot’s Middlemarch [31]

Middle March is George Eliot's seventh and final novel. The novel an excellent representation of the time period. Eliot uses her novel to examine "the status of women, the nature of marriage, idealism and self-interest, religion and hypocrisy, political reform, and education". The novel is divided into eight parts, according to the period trend of publishing novels in parts.

1872 Secret Ballot Act [32]

The Secret Ballot Act of 1872 was a firm step in establishing democracy. Until this point, all voting was public. Voting was tainted, therefore, by the influence of other powers. Some voted a certain way because they feared the retaliation of their landlords of employers. The Secret Ballot Act established the right for people to vote in private, thus granting voters the ability to vote without intense outside pressures.

1873 Ashanti War


The Ashanti War came about when the King of Ashanti tried to keep his last trade route to the coast open. He sent a troop of 12000 to 60000 warriors across the Pra River. When the war ended, the Ashanti had to pay an indemnity of 50,000 ounces of gold, to renounce claims to Elmina and to all payments from the British for the use of forts, and to terminate their alliances with several other states, including Denkyera and Akyem. They also had to the withdraw troops from the coast, to keep the trade routes open, and to halt the practice of human sacrifice.


1874 Benjamin Disraeli becomes the Conservative Prime Minister of Britain http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/uk-pm1.htm

The first Jewish Prime Minister. After Derby's resignation, the Queen asked Disraeli to become Prime Minister.


1875 Disraeli buys the Suez Canal http://www.britannia.com/gov/primes/prime35.html

Disraeli became Prime Minister at the age of 70. He acted on his own and purchased a controlling interest in the Suez Canal. This earned his the title of Earl of Beaconfield. Disraeli represented Britain in the Congress of Berlin which brought peace under the British Flag.



1876 Queen Victoria proclaimed “Empress of India” http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1700

The soveriegnty of India became weak and was transfered to the Queen when Disraeli purchased the controlling intreset in the Suez Canal.



1877 Telephone adapted for general use



1878 London adopts electric street lights



1879 Zulu War


Jordan and Kristen

1882 Phoenix Park Murders in Dublin


1884 Third Reform Act—almost universal manhood suffrage


1884 Safety bicycle mass-produced


1884 Shaw joins the Fabian Society



1885 Gladstone supports Home Rule for Ireland


1885 General Gordon dies at Khartoum



1886 Conference of Berlin--European powers divide up Africa


1887 Conan Doyle introduces Sherlock Holmes


1887 Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee



1888 Kipling publishes Plain Tales from the Hills



1888 Jack the Ripper terrorizes the East End of London




Letitia and Amie (include 1900 dates)

1891 Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles

http://www.enotes.com/urberville/ Thomas Hardy’s penultimate novel was initially serially published by The Graphic, a British illustrated newspaper. Tess of D’Ubervilles’s subtitle, “A Pure Woman,” was heavily criticized as an impossible judgment of the main character. The subject matter, the story of a married milkmaid who is seduced by a man and eventually commits murder, was considered too risqué and was criticized heavily. When the work was originally published it was heavily censored to make it fit for the general public. It is speculated, from Hardy’s own journal entries, that the criticism he received from this book caused him to quit writing novels.

1894 Death duties introduced


Death duties were established to effectively break up large estates. The goal was to keep large inheritances from being passed down through generations. The fear of passing inheritances through generations was that it breeds generations of idle citizens who will not work to support the economy. Another reason for death duties was the redistribution of wealth to create a more level economy. Many of these laws are still in place now under the titles of “inheritance tax” or “estate tax.”


1895 The Importance of Being Earnest is a stage hit

It premiered in St James's Theatre, London on Valentine’s Day on 1895. This play was his fourth hit play in only three years. His works were so popular at this time that his previous play was still showing at the time of this debut. The play itself lost attention when Wilde’s personal life became the focus. First, Wilde was accused by John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry,of conducting an illicit relationship with his son. Wilde was then arrested on April 5 1895 on a charge of gross indecency. The play quickly fell apart after a run of 83 performances. The last viewing from this debut was on May 8th.


1895 Oscar Wilde tried and sentenced to 2 years hard labor


The charge, gross indecency, began with an assertion from the 9th Marquess of Queensbury, John Sholto Douglas. Douglas was the father of Wilde’s young male lover. He left a calling card revealing Wilde’s acts of sodomy at one of Wilde’s clubs, the Albemarle. Despite Wilde’s libel charges against Douglas, Wilde was later arrested for his actions. As soon as Wilde had fulfilled his court ordered duties, he returned to his young lover. Although he is regarded in our time as a brilliant playwright, his reputation during a very anti-homosexual era was forever marred.


1897 Marconi patents wireless telegraph


Marchese Guglielmo Marconi is attributed with being one of the founders of radio communication. He was an Italian inventor who despite his complicated inventions, did not do well in school. Others were highly skeptical of his inventions and he was once even taken by friends to have his head examined when “he announced he had discovered a principle through which he could send messages through air.” He and Karl Ferdinand Braun were awarded the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics for their contributions to telegraphy. Interestingly, Marconi has ties to the Titanic. Marconi International Marine Communication Company employed two of the radio operators on board the Titanic. Marconi “gave evidence to the Court of Inquiry into the loss of the Titanic regarding the marine telegraphy's functions and the procedures for emergencies at sea”



1897 Bram Stoker publishes Dracula

www.online-literature.com/stoker is another site to check out.

"Just over a century ago, the novel Dracula was published, written by the Irish author Bram Stoker. It created a widespread interest in vampirism. But what was Stoker’s inspiration? On June 24, 1897, Midsummer’s day, the London publisher Arthur Constable published Dracula, by author Bram Stoker" (Phillip Cowen) http://www.philipcoppens.com/dracula.html



1898 Britain obtains a 99 year lease for Hong Kong from China

"In 1898, the British and Chinese governments signed the Second Convention of Peking, which included a 99-year lease agreement for the island of Hong Kong.

The lease awarded control of a piece of the Chinese mainland, Kowloon, and more than 200 surrounding small islands to the British. In return, China got a promise that Hong Kong Island and the adjacent area would be returned to it after 99 years.

So, on December 31, 1997, the lease ended and the government of Great Britain transferred control of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China." http://asianhistory.about.com/od/asianhistoryfaqs/f/HongKongFAQ.htm

Basically, Britain wanted to have their cake and eat it too. They didn't want to control opium in their own country, they just wanted to import it and have a place that could produce it and still control it. This site below is also a good link. http://www.stormfront.org/truth_at_last/sassoon.htm


1899 Boer War begins in South Africa

"The year was 1899. Queen Victoria had recently celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. The British Empire was at its zenith in power and prestige. But the High Commissioner of Cape Colony in South Africa, Alfred Milner, wanted more. He wanted to gain for the Empire the economic power of the gold mines in the Dutch Boer republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. He also wanted to create a Cape-to-Cairo confederation of British colonies to dominate the African continent. And he wanted to rule over it. To do this, Milner precipitated a war with the Boers."



1900 Boxer Rebellion in China (http://www.smplanet.com/imperialism/fists.html)

"In northern Shandong province, a devastating drought was pushing people to the edge of starvation. Few people there were thinking about making peace. A secret society, known as the Fists of Righteous Harmony, attracted thousands of followers. Foreigners called members of this society "Boxers" because they practiced martial arts. The Boxers also believed that they had a magical power, and that foreign bullets could not harm them. Millions of "spirit soldiers," they said, would soon rise from the dead and join their cause. Their cause, at first, was to overthrow the imperial Ch'ing government and expel all "foreign devils" from China. In the early months of 1900, thousands of Boxers roamed the countryside. They attacked Christian missions, slaughtering foreign missionaries and Chinese converts. Then they moved toward the cities, attracting more and more followers as they came. Nervous foreign ministers insisted that the Chinese government stop the Boxers. From inside the Forbidden City, the empress told the diplomats that her troops would soon crush the "rebellion." Meanwhile, she did nothing as the Boxers entered the capital."


1901 Queen Victoria Dies at age 81. (http://www.information-britain.co.uk/famdates.php?id=181)

"On January 22 1901 the reign of Queen Victoria ended with her death of a brain haemorrhage at the age of 81 while staying at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, as was her custom every Christmas. Her reign had lasted 63 years seven months.

" I am every day more convinced that we women, if we are to be good women, feminine and amiable and domestic, are not fitted to reign; at least it is they that drive themselves to the work which it entails.

-- Queen

"Her reign still stands as the longest in British history, though the current queen has surpassed her as the oldest reigning British monarch. There were enormous social changes during her reign, with the industrial revolution at its peak, the railway age changing transport in the land, and the rise of the middle classes as parliament was reformed and the franchise expanded."