Tuesday, July 31, 2007

1709 to 1717

The Tatler. Richard steele. British. 1709/11. Essays. Light satires and criticisms of contemporary mores. Topics include entertainment, poetry, domestic and foreign news and miscellaneous subjects.

1710. Pennsylvania "Dutch" gunsmiths develop the Pennsylvania rifle with spiral bore for accuracy.

1710. British copyright law established. Basis for all future copyright laws.

1710. Great German migration to America begins.

Journal to Stella. Jonathan Swift. British. 1710/13. Journal. Swift's name for his friend Esther Johnson. Reveals his hopes, anxieties, social life and political intrigues.

1711. Black Death kills 300,000 in Austria, 215,000 in Brandenburg.

"An Essay on Criticism." Alexander Pope. British. 1711. Literary criticism. Discussion of literary taste, style, verse structure. Criticism based on neoclassical principles.

"Auld Lang Syne." Anonymous (Robert Burns?) British/Scottish. 1711? Song. New version of an older song. "...took it down from an old man's singing."

The Spectator. Joseph Addison and Richard Steele. British. March 1711 to December 1712. Essays. Picture of the social life of the times. Focus is on common sense and good manners.

1712. Slave revolt in New York.

1712. Pennsylvania forbids further importation of slaves.

1712. History of John Bull by Arbuthnot satirizes duke of Marlborough; becomes symbol of England.

1712. Scotland's Rob Roy becomes an outlaw, but foils all efforts to capture him.

1712. Sperm whale industry begins in Nantucket.

1713. America's first schooner built; from Scots dialect scoon, meaning to skip over surface of water.

1713. First evidence of the success of inoculation against smallpox.

1714. Hanover's George I succeeds Queen Anne in England. He speaks no English.

1714. Fahrenheit devises thermometer with mercury replacing alcohol.

"The Rape of the Lock." Alexander Pope. British. 1714. Poetry. Cuts off a lock of Belinda's hair and she demands its return. Mock-heroic.

1715. France's Louis XIV dies. Great-grandson, 5, begins reign as Louis XV.

1715. English colonial forces in America defeat the Yamassee Indians in South Carolina.

1715. Black slaves comprise 24% of Virginia colony's population.

Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane. Alain Rene Lesage. French. 1715/24/35. Novel. Picaresque. Extraordinary number of episodes. No coherent plot. Blas evolves: innocence, corruption, triumph of virtue. He meets adventurers, thieves, valets, actors, authors, doctors, clergymen, and noblemen. Setting is supposedly Spanish, but it is actually a picture of French society.

1717. Prussia makes school attendance compulsory.

Monday, July 30, 2007

1700 to 1709

1700. The Selling of Joseph by Boston Jurist Samuel Sewall, 48, condemns the selling of slaves.

The Way of the World. William Congreve. British. 1700. Play. Efforts of urbane, witty Mirabell to marry quick-witted Millamant. Opposition of her aunt whom Mirabell has been courting to disguise his suit for her niece. They decide to marry, but negotiate rights and responsibilities.

1701. Louisiana becomes a province of France.

1701. Yale University has its beginnings.

1701. Seed-planting drill sows three parallel rows of seeds at once. Jethro Tull.

1702. England's William III dies. His sister-in-law Anne succeeds. Last monarch of the House of Stuart.

1702. Queen Anne names John Churchill duke of Marlborough.

1702. Dutch jurist Cornelius van Bynershoek establishes the 3-mile territorial zone.

1702. Queen Anne gives royal approval to horse racing. Originates the sweepstakes idea.

1703. St. Petersburg founded by Russia's Peter I. Turns Russia's focus to the West.

1704. Battle of Blenheim gives Duke of Marlborough a stunning victory over French coalition.

1704. Canadian Indians and French attack Deerfield in Massachusetts.

1704. Boston's weekly News-Letter is the first regular American newspaper.

The Tale of a Tub. Jonathan Swift. British. 1704. Satire. Ridicule of religious extremists. Ironic digressions. Title from a nautical practice of throwing empty wooden tubs into the sea to divert whales who threaten a vessel.

The Battle of the Books. Jonathan Swift. British. 1704. Literary Criticism. Modern vs. ancient books in St. James's Library. Outcome is uncertain. Spider = the moderns; the bee = the ancients.

1705. Newcomen steam engine invented by English blacksmith Thomas Newcomen.

1705. Halley's Comet named by English astronomer Edmund Halley.

1707. United Kingdom of Great Britain unites England, Scotland under the Union Jack.

The Beaux' Stratagem. George Farquhar. British. 1707. Play. Fortune hunters, Aimwell and Archer. Aimwell plays sick and is nursed by Lady Bountiful whose daughter he marries.

1708. Canadian Indians and French massacre settlers at Haverhill in Massachusetts.

1708. Carolina: 2,400 whites, 2,900 black slaves, 1,100 Indian slaves.

1799. Close to 7 million Africans will cross the Atlantic in chains this century.

1709. Black Death kills 300,000 in Prussia.

1709. Fahrenheit alcohol thermometer introduced.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Literary Works, 1700 - 1799 (04)

List of Literary Works: 1700 - 1799 (04)
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. William Blake. 1790.
Torquato Tasso. Goethe. 1790.
"Tam O'Shanter." Robert Burns. 1791.
The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. James Boswell. 1791.
Justine. Marquis deSade. 1791.
Julie ou la Nouvelle Heloise. Jean Jacques Rousseau. 1791.
The Rights of Man. Thomas Paine. 1791/92.
Charlotte Temple. Susannah Haswell Rowson. 1791/94.
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. 1791/98.
Modern Chivalry. Hugh Henry Breckenridge. 1792.
"La Marsellaise." Claude DeLisle. 1792.
An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice. William Godwin. 1793.
The Adventures of Caleb Williams, or Things as They Are. William Godwin. 1794.
Reineke Fuchs. Goethe. 1794.
Wha Hae Scots. Robert Burns. 1794.
The Mysteries of Udolpho. Ann Radcliffe. 1794.
Wilhelm Meister. Goethe. 1795.
The Monk. Matthew Gregory Lewis. 1795.
On Naive and Sentimental Poetry. Friedrich Schiller. 1795/96.
Farewell Address (from the Presidency). George Washington. 1796.
Jacques le Fataliste. Denis Diderot. 1796.
"The Hasty Pudding." Joel Barlow. 1796.
Hermann and Dorothea. Goethe. 1797.
"Kubla Khan." ST Coleridge. 1797.
Hyperion or the Hermit in Greece. Friedrich Holderlin. 1797/99.
"Simon Lee." William Wordsworth. 1798.
"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." ST Coleridge. 1798.
Lyrical Ballads. Wordsworth and Coleridge. 1798/1800/1802.
Wallenstein. Friedrich Schiller. 1798/99.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Literary Works, 1700 - 1799 (03)

List of Literary Works, 1700 to 1799 (03)
The Wealth of Nations. Adam Smith. 1776.
Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson. 1776.
Common Sense. Thomas Paine. 1776.
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Edward Gibbon. 1776/88.
The School for Scandal. Richard B. Sheridan. 1777.
Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the world. Fanny Burney. 1778.
Nathan the Wise. Gotthold Lessing. 1779.
Iphigenia in Tauris. Goethe. 1779.
The Lives of the Poets. Samuel Johnson. 1779/81.
Critique of Pure Reason. Immanuel Kant. 1781.
Letters from an American Farmer. Michel Crevecoeur. 1782.
Cecilia, or Memoirs of an Heiress. Fanny Burney. 1782.
"John Gilpin." William Cowper. 1782.
The Village. George Crabbe. 1783.
Love and Intrigue. Friedrich Schiller. 1784.
The Task. William Cowper. 1785.
Vathek, an Arabian Tale. William Beckford. 1785.
The Anarchiad. Hartford Wits. 1786.
"The Cotter's Saturday Night." Robert Burns. 1786.
"The Holy Fair." Robert Burns. 1786.
Paul et Virginie. Bernardin Desalt-Pierre. 1787.
Don Carlos. Friedrich Schiller. 1787.
The Federalist. Hamilton, Madison and Jay. 1787/88.
Constitution of the United States of America. U.S. Congress. 1787/89.
Critique of Practical Reason. Immanuel Kant. 1788.
Egmont. Goethe. 1788.
The Power of Sympathy. Sarah Wentworth Morton. 1789.
Declaration of the Rights of Man. Anon. 1789.
Book of Thel. William Blake. 1789.
Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. William Blake. 1789/94.
Reflections on the French Revolution. Edmund Burke. 1790.
Critique of Judgment. Immanuel Kant. 1790.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Literary Works, 1700 - 1799 (02)

List of Literary Works, 1700 -1799 (02)
The Dream of the Red chamber. Ts'ao Hseuh-ch'in. 1750?
The Rambler. Samuel Johnson. 1750/02.
The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle. Tobias Smollett. 1751.
Amelia. Henry Fielding. 1751.
Methodical Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts and Trades. Encyclopedistes. 1751/80.
Micromegas. Voltaire. 1752.
Dictionary of the English Language. Samuel Johnson. 1755.
Candide, ou L' Optimisme. Voltaire. 1759.
Tristram Shandy. Laurence Sterne. 1759/ 67.
The Social Contract. Jean Jacques Rousseau. 1762.
Emile, ou l'Education. Jean Jacques Rousseau. 1762.
The Citizen of the World. Oliver Goldsmith. 1762.
"Rameau's Nephew." Denis Diderot. 1762.
The Castle of Otranto. Horace Walpole. 1764.
Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. Thomas Percy. 1765.
The Prince of Parthia. Thomas Godfrey. 1765.
"Goody Two-Shoes." Oliver Goldsmith. 1765.
"Laocoon, or On the Limits of Painting and Poetry." Gotthold Lessing. 1766.
The Vicar of Wakefield. Oliver Goldsmith. 1766.
Confessions. Jean Jacques Rousseau. 1766/70.
Minna von Barnhelm. Gotthold Lessing. 1767.
A Sentimental Journey. Laurence Sterne. 1768.
The Good Natur'd Man. Oliver Goldsmith. 1768.
The Deserted Village. Oliver Goldsmith. 1770.
The Man of Feeling. Henry Mackenzie. 1771.
The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker. Tobias Smollett. 1771.
Emilia Galotti. Gotthold Lessing. 1772.
She Stoops to Conquer, or The Mistakes of a Night. Oliver Goldsmith. 1773.
Gotz von Berlichingen. Goethe. 1773.
The Sorrows of Young Werther. Goethe. 1774.
On American Taxation. Burke, Edmund. 1774.
The Rivals. Richard B. Sheridan. 1775.
The Barber of Seville. Beaumarchais. 1775.
On Conciliation with the American Colonies. Edmund Burke. 1775.
M'Fingal. John Trumbull. 1775/82.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Literary Works, 1700 - 1799 (01)

Literary Works: 1700 to 1799 (01)
The Way of the World. William Congreve. 1700.
The Tale of a Tub. Jonathan Swift. 1704.
The Battle of the Books. Jonathan Swift. 1704.
The Beaux' Stratagem. George Farquahar. 1707.
The Tatler. Richard Steele. 1709/11.
Journal to Stella. Jonathan Swift. 1710/13.
"An Essay on Criticism." Alexander Pope. 1711.
"Auld Lang Syne." Anon. 1711.
The Spectator. Addison and Steele. March 1711 - December 1712.
"The Rape of the Lock." Alexander Pope. 1714.
Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane. Alain Rene Lesage. 1715/24/35.
Robinson Crusoe. Daniel Defoe. 1719/1720.
Moll Flanders. Daniel Defoe. 1722.
A Journal of the Plague Year. Daniel Defoe. 1722.
La Henriade. Voltaire. 1723.
Gulliver's Travels. Jonathan Swift. 1726.
The Seasons. James Thomson. 1726/30.
The New England Primer. Anon. 1727.
The Beggar's Opera. John Gay. 1728.
The Dunciad. Alexander Pope. 1728/43.
"A Modest Proposal." Jonathan Swift. 1729.
Manon Lescaut. Abbe Prevost. 1731.
An Essay on Man. Alexander Pope. 1733/34.
Chrononhotonthologos. Henry Carey. 1734.
Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot. Alexander Pope. 1735.
Dissertation upon Parties. Henry St. John. 1735.
Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded. Samuel Richardson. 1740/42.
Joseph Andrews. Henry Fielding. 1742.
Night Thoughts on Life, Death and Immortality. Edward Young. 1742/46.
"Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard." Thomas Gray. 1742/50.
The Life of Jonathan Wild the Great. Henry Fielding. 1743.
Clarissa Harlowe. Samuel Richardson. 1747/48.
Zadig, ou la Distinee. Voltaire. 1748.
The Spirit of Laws. Charles de Montesquieu. 1748.
Castle of Indolence. James Thomson. 1748.
The Adventures of Roderick Random. Tobias Smollett. 1748.
Tom Jones. Henry Fielding. 1749.

Friday, July 20, 2007

1700 to 1799: Notable Events and People

Notable Events and People, 1700 - 1799
Louisana and the French/ Queen Anne of England/ Duke of Marlborough/ Russia: St. Petersburg/ Newcomen Steam Engine/ Pennsylvania rifle/ George I of England/ Louis XV of France/ Small Pox/ Inoculation/ B Franklin/ John Peter Zenger and Freedom of the Press/ Sir Robert Walpole/ The Acadians/ Seven Years' War in Europe/ America's French and Indian War/ French Canada Falls to the British/ George III of England/ Stamp Act/ James Watt and the Steam Engine/ Mason and Dixon Line/ Daniel Boone/ Father Junipero Serra/ Boston Tea Party/ Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette of France/ First Continental Congress in Philadelphia/ Shakerism/ American War of Independence/ George Washington/ Thomas Paine/ Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence/ Nathan Hale/ Articles of Confederation/ Molly Pitcher/ John Paul Jones/ John Andre, Benedict Arnold and West Point/ Gordon Anti-Catholic Riots in London/ American Revolution Ends/ Blue Laws/ Webster's Spelling Book/ The Dollar/ Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia/ French Revolution/ American Bill of Rights/ Eli Whitney's Cotton Gin/ Reign of Terror in France/ The Guillotine/ American Fugitive Slave Act/ Bonaparte

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

1692 to 1699

1692. Accusations of witchcraft by English-American clergyman Samuel Parris, 39, result in dozens of alleged witches being brought to trial at Salem in the Massachusetts colony. Nineteen will be hanged and one pressed to death in the next two years, many of them on the testimony of 12-year-old Annie Putnam.

1693. The Amish sect has its beginnings in a schism from the Mennonite church in Switzerland led by Swiss Mennonite bishop Jacob Amman, whose followers observe strict discipline marked by opposition to change in dress or way of life.

Love for Love. William Congreve. British. 1695. Play. Relinquishes his inheritance to his brother if his father will pay his debts. attempts to regain the inheritance with the help of Angelica.

Contes de ma mere l'Oye (Mother Goose Tales). Charles Perrault. French. 1697. Gave stories form in which they are known today. Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding-Hood, Puss-in-Boots, Cinderella, Tom Thumb and The Fairies.

"Puss-in-Boots." Ingenious cat with a ready wit secures a fortune for his master, a penniless miller.

"Little Red Riding-Hood." Little girl bringing present to grandmother devoured by wolf disguised in old lady's nightcap. Brothers Grimm ending: huntsman slits open the wolf and restores the child and grandmother to life.

"Tom Thumb." Pygmy hero of an old nursery tale, popular in the 16th century. Series of misadventures: cherry stones, pudding, cow, fish, butterfly. Death at the hands of a spider. Begins with Merlin and ends at King Arthur's Court.

"Bluebeard." Each new wife is warned not to open a door. Six do and are murdered. The seventh does also, but escapes.

"Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper." Household drudge transformed by fairy godmother. Details of the complete story are gruesome.

1697. The Russian czar Peter visits Holland, France and England incognito, the first Russian sovereign to venture abroad. Peter tastes the fruits of Western civilization and determines to westernize Russia.

Telemaque. Francois Fenelon. French. 1699. Romance. Pretext for a dissertation on politics, morals, education and religion. Prototype of religious and political tract disguised as a novel.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

1682 to 1691

The Medal. John Dryden. British. 1682. Poetry/Satire. Aimed at Shaftesbury who had been exonerated from a charge of high treason.

Religio Laici. John Dryden. British. 1682. Poetry. In defense of the Anglican religion with cogent argument for a middle way.

An Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providences. Increase Mather. American. 1684. Nonfiction. Collection of reports of supernatural incidents in New England to show God's role in human affairs.

1685. England's Charles II dies February 6 at age 54. Succeeded by his Catholic brother James, who will reign as James II.

1685. The revocation of France's Edict of Nantes, October 18, forbids the practice of any religion but Catholicism and forbids Huguenots to emigrate after 87 years of religious toleration.

1685. More than 50,000 French Huguenot families begin emigrating following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The emigrants will include so many seamen that French shipping will be hurt for generations to come, and the loss of the many craftsmen and intellectuals will leave France crippled.

The Hind and the Panther. John Dryden. British. 1687. Poetry. Bear = the independents. The wolf = the Presbyterians. The hare = the Quakers. The ape = the freethinkers. The boar = the Anabaptists. The fox = the Arians. Defense of the Catholic religion. The Hind = the Church of Rome. The Panther = the Church of England. The Lion = James II.

Principia. Sir Isaac Newton. British. 1687. Science. Presents the law of gravitation and rules for reasoning from physical events.

1688. The birth of a son to James II's Queen Mary, June 10, suggests the likelihood of a Catholic succession. England's Whig leaders send an invitation to the king's son-in-law William of Orange, June 30; William issues a declaration to the English people September 21; lands at Tor Bay, November 5, and moves to assume the throne with his wife Mary.

"Lillibulero." Henry Purcell (music) and Thomas Wharton (text). British. 1688. Song. Savagely thunderous British marching song of the English Revolution of 1688. Satirizes James II and the Catholics.

Esther. Racine. French. 1689. Play. Based on the Book of Esther. Relates the story of Esther and Ahasuerus. Written for school girls.

Declaration of Right. William and Mary. British. 1689. Nonfiction. Sets forth the fundamental principles of the English Constitution. Limits royal power.

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. John Locke. British. 1690. Philosophy. Knowledge stems from the perception of the relationships among ideas. The mind at birth is a blank sheet. There are no innate ideas. We acquire knowledge through experience, sensation and reflection.

Athalie. Racine. French. 1691. Play. Based on the story in 2 Kings 11. Athalie kills 42 princes to gain the throne of Judah. She missed Joash, a fatal mistake.

Monday, July 16, 2007

1679 to 1682

1679. The Habeas Corpus Act passed by Parliament in May obliges English judges to issue upon request a writ of habeas corpus directing a jailer to produce the body of any prisoner and to show cause for his imprisonment. A prisoner shall be indicted in the first term of his commitment, says Parliament; he shall be tried no later than the second term, and once set free by order of the court he shall not be imprisoned again for the same offense.

1679. The Black Death takes at least 76,000 lives at Vienna.

Iphigenie en Aulide. Racine. French. 1679. Play. Attempt by woman who loves Achilles to foil Iphigenie's escape results in herself being sacrificed. Seems her name had been Iphigenie at birth. Character invented by Racine. Loosely based on Euripides.

1681. Pennsylvania has its beginnings in a land grant of 48,000 square miles in the New World given by Charles II to religious nonconformist William Penn, 37. Penn has been the first person of means to join the Society of Friends founded by George Fox in 1647.

1681. The dodo becomes extinct as the last of the species dies on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. A flightless bird related to the pigeon but as large as a turkey, the dodo has been killed by Europeans for food.

"The Garden." Andrew Marvell. British. 1681. Poetry. Contrast between the innocence, peace and beauty of the garden and the stress and trouble of the outside world.

"The Definition of Love." Andrew Marvell. British. 1681. Poetry. Deals with exalted passion and the impossibility of its fulfillment.

Absalom and Achitophel. John Dryden. British. 1681. Poetry. Heroic couplets. Attacks Puritan attempts to exclude the legitimate heir form the throne because he is Catholic.

1682. A Frame of Government drawn up by William Penn for the Pennsylvania colony contains an explicit clause permitting amendments, an innovation that makes it a self-adjusting constitution.

1682. Philadelphia--a city "of brotherly love"--is founded by William Penn.

1682. The Black Death kills nearly half the 10,000 inhabitants of Halle and wipes out much of Magdburg.

1682. Versailles becomes the seat of French government as Louis XIV moves his court into a palatial chateau built outside Paris at a cost of $325 million and some 227 lives.

Venice Preserved, or a Plot Discovered. Thomas Otway. British. 1682. Play. Venetian gentleman in reduced circumstances marries Belvidera, daughter of a Senator. The Senator, her father, disowns her. The husband becomes involved in a plot to overthrow the Venetian government. He warns the Senate of the plot, is condemned anyhow, and on the gallows, stabs his fellow conspirator to spare him an ignoble death. He commits suicide himself. Belvidera goes mad and dies.

MacFlecknoe. John Dryden. British. 1682. Poetry/Satire. Directed against Thomas Shadwell. The title is from Richard Flecknoe, an Irish priest noted for bad verse. Depicts Shadwell as Flecknoe's successor in the monarchy of nonsense. Model for Pope's Dunciad.

Friday, July 13, 2007

1674 to 1678

The Lectern (Le Lutrin). Nicolas Boileau. French. 1674/83. Mock epic poetry. Lampoons clerical pomposity and pettiness. Battle in a bookshop: ancients vs. moderns.

1675. King Philip's War devastates New England as Chief Metacum rebels against a 1671 order requiring his people to pay an annual tribute of 100 pounds. Called King Philip of Potanoket by the colonists, Metacum leads the Narragansett and Wampanoag in attacks on 52 American settlements, destroying 12 or 13 of them and killing 600 of New England's finest men.

1675. England tries to suppress the coffee houses that have become gathering places for men who neglect their families to discuss business and politics over coffee.

The Country Wife. William Wycherley. British. 1675. Play. Jealous Pinchwife and credulous Sparkish lose wife and fiancee. Horner, a rumored eunuch, has access to willing wives.

1676. King Philip's War in New England has ended in August with the killing in battle of Chief Metacum.

The Man of Mode, or Sir Fopling Flutter. Sir George Etherege. British. 1676. Play. Personification of dandyism. Based on real people. Loving "up" the social ladder to parity.

Phedre. Racine. French. 1677. Play. Hippolyte repulses Phedre's advances. Theseus has him destroyed, not knowing he is innocent.

1678. Reports of a "Popish Plot" rock England. Titus Oates "uncovers" a plot whereby Roman Catholics are supposedly pledged to massacre Protestants, burn London, and assassinate Charles II. Dozens of Catholics are executed, and Parliament passes the Papists' Disabling Act that excludes Roman Catholics from Parliament, an act that will stand until 1829.

1678. Niagara Falls is discovered by French Franciscan missionary-explorer Louis Hennepin.

All for Love, or The World well Lost. Dryden. British. 1678. Play. Blank verse. Classical unities. Last day of Antony, Cleopatra and others who vie for the soul of Antony.

La Princesse de Cleves. Comtesse de la Fayette. French. 1678. Novel. Princess struggles to remain faithful to her husband. Reveals her passion for another to him. He dies of bitterness. Precursor of the psychological novel.

Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That which is to Come. John Bunyan. British. 1678/84. Religion. Christian flees the City of Destruction and sets out for the Celestial City beyond the wicket gate.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

1668 to 1673

Essay of Dramatic Poesy. John Dryden. British. 1668. Literary Criticism. Conversation about Greek, French and English drama. The merits of dramatists. Blank vs. rhymed verse in plays.

L'Avare (The Miser). Moliere. French. 1668. Play. Inhuman greed balanced by a happy ending. Old men, trying to marry young women, are deceived by young men.

Selected Fables, Set in Verse. LaFontaine. French. 1668/94. Fables in Verse. Gently ironic view of life and society. Free verse. Sense and moderation. Told for the pleasure of telling.

Britannicus. Racine. French. 1669. Play. From Tacitus. Political drama. Nero tries to win Junia, his half-brother Britannicus's beloved. He is foiled.

1670. Minute hands appear on watches for the first time.

1670. Tractatus Theologico Politicus by Baruch Spinoza is published anonymously. Spinoza shows that the Bible, if properly understood, gives no support to the intolerance of religious authorities and their interference in civil and political affairs. The book creates a furor.

Pense'es. Pascal. French. 1670/1844. Nonfiction. First edition was abridged. Edition published in 1844 was faithful to the original manuscript.

Tite et Berenice. Corneille. French. 1670. Play. Titus is to marry Domitia. However, Domitia is in love with Titus's brother, Domitian. Berenice, Queen of Judea, arrives and reawakens Titus's love for her. Fearing that she puts Titus in jeopardy, she leaves. Titus allows Domitia to marry Domitian. Racine and Corneille both wrote plays on the subject. Racine's was judged better.

Berenice. Racine. French. 1670. Play. The Emperor Titus learns that the Roman people object to his marrying the Queen of Palestine. The lovers part forever.

Samson Agonistes. Milton. British. 1671. Poetry. Captivity of blinded Samson among the Philistines; repudiates Delilah. Samson's efforts to renew his faith in God's support; modeled on Greek tragedy.

1672. The New York to Boston Post Road is laid out to speed coach travel between the second and third largest American cities.

1672. The Black Death flares up again in Europe, killing 60,000 at Lyons and hundreds of thousands at Naples in just 6 months.

1672. England's Charles II has judges and barristers wear wigs in court, a custom imported from France.

Bajazet. Racine. French. 1672. Play. Attempts to use Sultana Roxane to gain his freedom. She learns he is not sincere and he is executed. Sultan learns of Roxane's unfaithfulness and has her executed. Bajazet's lover commits suicide.

The Imaginary Invalid. (Malade imaginaire, Le). Moliere. French. 1673. Play. Moliere's last play. Hypochondriac pretends his death to discover his second wife's greed and his daughter's loyalty.

Mithridate. Racine. French. 1673. Play. Son vs. father in ancient Rome for the love of a young Greek girl, Monime.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

1665 to 1668

1665. English naval forces defeat a Dutch fleet off Lowestoft, June 3, as a second Anglo-Dutch war begins.

1665. The New Jersey colony is founded by English colonists under the leadership of Philip Carteret.

1665. London has its last outbreak of the Black Death which is introduced either by Dutch prisoners of war or bales of merchandise from Holland that originated in the Levant. Some two-thirds of London's 400,000 inhabitants leave town to avoid contagion, but at least 68,506 die.

Don Juan or the Stone Guest. Moliere. French. 1665. Play. Don Juan mistreats Elvire. Invites the statue of a man he murdered to dinner and the statue reciprocates.

1666. The calculus discovered (or invented) by Cambridge University mathematics professor Isaac Newton, 23, provides rules for dealing with rates of change.

1666. The Great Fire of London that begins early in the morning of Sunday, September 2, in Pudding Lane near London Bridge, spreads through the crowded wooden houses to the Thames wharf warehouses and continues for 4 days and nights until the flames have consumed four-fifths of the walled city plus another 63 acres of property outside the city walls.

1666. Destroyed in London's Great Fire are thousands of old dwellings that have harbored lice-bearing rats which spread plague.

Le Misanthrope. Moliere. French. 1666. Play. Alceste decides to speak and act with complete honesty and to ignore conventions.

Le Medecin Malgre lui (The Doctor in Spite of Himself) Moliere. French. 1666. Play. Woodcutter pretends to be a doctor. Recites the medical jargon. "Cures" Lucinde of her pretended dumbness.

1667. Architect Christopher Wren, 35, is assigned the task of rebuilding London which in January is still smoldering after the Great Fire of 4 months earlier.

Andromaque. Racine. French. 1667. Play. First representation of psychology of passion. Pyrrhus, Andromaque, Pyrrhus's fiancee Hermione and Orestes. Pyrrhus wants Andromaque. Hermione is insanely jealous. She begs Orestes to kill Pyrrhus and he does. Hermione repudiates Orestes and commits suicide on Pyrrhus's funeral pyre.

Annus Mirabilis. Dryden. British. 1667. Poetry. "Year of Wonder." London fire, the Dutch War, chief events of 1666. Discusses the poetic imagination.

Paradise Lost. Milton. British. 1667. Epic poem. Greatest epic in any modern language. The story of the Devil's temptation of Adam and Eve.

1668. John Dryden is named England's first Poet Laureate.

Simplicissimus. Hans Grimmelhausen. German. 1668. Novel. Thirty Years' War. Development of the hero's simple soul toward resignation and wisdom. Panorama of contemporary events. Horrors and injustices of war.

Monday, July 9, 2007

1656 to 1664

1656, Dutch mathematician-physicist-astronomer Christian Huygens, 27, revolutionizes clockmaking with a clock regulated by a pendulum.

1658. Oliver Cromwell dies September 3 at age 58 after nearly 5 years as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. His son Richard, 31, succeeds to power.

1658. English coal production at Newcastle reaches 529,032 tons, up from 32,051, as the deforestation of England and the Continent spurs use of coal for fuel.

"Hydriotaphia, or Urn Burial." Sir Thomas Browne. British. 1658. Essay. Starts as a scientific report on Roman burial urns. Meditation on morality and oblivion. Flawless prose.

The Ridiculous Snobs. Moliere. French. 1659. Play. Girls admire only extravagant manners. Lovers send valets who act in this way and they fall for it.

1660. England's civil war ends, May 8, after 11 years as the son of the late Charles I is proclaimed king. Now 20, he lands at Dover, May 26, arrives at Whitehall, May 29, amidst universal rejoicing, and will reign until 1685 as Charles II.

1662. The Royal Society for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge is chartered at London.

The School for Wives. Moliere. French. 1662. Play. Verse. Arnolphe arranges for his beloved Agnes to be raised in total innocence. Horace undermines his plans.

The Day of Doom. Michael Wigglesworth. American. 1662. Poetry. First American best seller. Describes the Day of Judgment, sending sinners and babies without baptism to Hell.

1663. A Second Navigation Act passed by Parliament, July 27, forbids English colonists to trade with other European countries. European goods bound for America must be unloaded at English ports and reshipped, even though English export duties and profits to middlemen may make prices prohibitive in America.

1663. An epidemic of the Black Death kills 10,000 at Amsterdam out of the city's 200,000 people.

1664. Nieuw Amsterdam becomes New York, August 27, as 300 English soldiers under Col. Mathias Nicolls take the town from the Dutch under orders from charles II.

1664. The Black Death kills 24,000 in Old Amsterdam. Men who put the dead into the deadcarts keep their pipes lit in the belief now widespread that tobacco smokers will be spared.

Hudibras. Samuel Butler. British. 1664/78. Poetry. Satire. Directed against the hypocritical intolerance of the Puritans. The hero Hudibras is modeled after Don Quixote.

Tartuffe. Moliere. French. 1664. Play. Religious hypocrite and credulous wealthy fool. His wife fools Tartuffe into trying to seduce her while her husband watches--after he has deeded Tartuffe the house. Tartuffe tries to evict the family. But the king understands Tartuffe's true nature and has him thrown into jail.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

1650 to 1656

"To His Coy Mistress." Andrew Marvell. British. 1650. Poetry. Make love now with me. Time is passing quickly.

Holy Living and Dying. Jeremy Taylor. British. 1650. Religion. Rule and exercise of holy living and dying.

1651. Charles II is crowned at Scone, January 1, but Oliver Cromwell takes Perth in early August and defeats royalist forces September 3 at the Battle of Worcester. Charles escapes to France after traveling through a countryside alive with Roundheads.

Leviathan, or the Matter, Form and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil. Thomas Hobbes. British. 1651. Treatise. On the origin and ends of government. Defense of secular monarchy written while the Puritans ruled England Egoism is the root of social conflict. We need stable government with absolute authority over its subjects and institutions, a social contract to accept a common and absolute power to protect them from themselves and others, and thus allow moderate satisfaction of human desires.

El Gran Teatro del Mundo (The Great Theatre of the World). Calderon. Spanish. 1651? Play. Auto Sacramental. Theatrical allegory. The author, God, presents a performance with personifications. Only God endures.

1653. Oliver Cromwell is proclaimed Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland December 15.

1653. Nieuw Amsterdam colonists build a wall across Manhattan from the North River to the East River for protection against English attacks. Wall Street will get its name from the defensive wall.

The Compleat Angler, or the Contemplative Man's Recreation. Izaac Walton. British. 1653. Nonfiction. Treatise on fishing. Dialogue. Angler tries to convince a hunter that fishing is the superior sport.

1654. Oliver Cromwell quarrels with Parliament and later orders the exclusion of hostile members of Parliament.

1654. Jesuit missionary Simon LeMoyne visits the area in upper New Netherlands that will later be the site of Syracuse, New York.

1654. The Black Death strikes eastern Europe.

Historie Romaine Clelie. Madeleine de Scudery. French. 1654/60. Novel. Ten volumes. Digressions. The trials of a Roman hostage Clelie who swims the Tiber to reunite with her lover Aronce.

1655. Oliver Cromwell suppresses an uprising against Puritan government of Salisbury. The Puritans order Catholic priests to leave the realm, forbid Anglican clergymen to teach or preach, censor the press, and impose rigid puritanical rules.

Areopagitica. Milton. British. 1655. Pamphlet. Argument against the restriction of the freedom of the press.

The Amsterdam Synagogue excommunicates rabbinical student Baruch Spinoza, 24, in July for views the elders consider heretical. Spinoza turns to grinding lenses in order to support himself.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

1647 to 1650

The Simple Cobler of Aggawam in America. Nathaniel Ward. American. 1647. Nonfiction. Satirical denunciation of England, New England, the human race and women in particular.

1648. Europe's Thirty Years' War ends, October 24, in the Peace of Westphalia. The long war leaves the German states destitute. Mercenary troops from Bohemia, Denmark, France, Spain, Sweden, and the German states themselves have destroyed roughly 18,000 villages, 1,500 towns and 2,000 castles.

1648. A second English civil war has begun along with an Anglo-Scottish war as Royalists battle Roundheads and Presbyterians battle Independents.

1648. Parliament has renounced its allegiance to Charles I, January 15, following revelations of a secret treaty signed by Charles with the Scots.

1648. A Ukrainian pogrom by Greek Orthodox peasants destroys hundreds of Jewish communities, killing all who will not accept the Cross.

1648. Russia's Czar Alexis Mikhailovich, now 19, abolishes the state monopoly in tobacco and reimposes the ban on smoking.

1648. The Taj Mahal completed outside Agra in India.

"To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time." Robert Herrick. British. 1648. Poetry. "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may/ Old Time is still a-flying."

"Corinna's Going A-Maying." Robert Herrick. British. 1648. Poetry. Implores late-sleeping Mistress to rise and join May Day festivities. Life is too short. Urges love.

"Delight in Disorder." Robert Herrick. British. 1648. Poetry. Little imperfections in lady's dress are beguiling.

1649. England's Charles I blandly denies the jurisdiction of a high court but is sentenced to death and beheaded January 30. His son of 18 is proclaimed Charles II at Edinburgh in Scotland, but England becomes a republic headed by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell whose commonwealth will rule until 1660.

1649. Tobacco exports bring prosperity to the Virginia colony.

1649. The Virginia Colony receives an influx of Cavalier (Royalist) refugees from England.

"To Althea from Prison." Richard Lovelace. British. 1649. Poetry. True liberty, freedom of soul, cannot be threatened by chains and fetters.

1650. Ireland will lose close to a quarter of its population in the next decade, declining from 1.3 million to less than 1 million as a result of ruinous wars, anti-Catholic penal laws, and laws that destroy the security of land tenure and put Irishmen at the mercy of absentee landlords.

"An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland." Andrew Marvell. British. 1650. Poetry. Cromwell as fated, elemental force. Pity for Charles I. Uneasiness about the future with Cromwell in power.

The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America. Anne Bradstreet. American. 1650. Poetry. First volume of poems written in North America.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

1643 to 1647

1643. Nieuw Amsterdam's Dutch governor orders a massacre of the Wappinger Indians who have sought Dutch protection from attacks by raiding Mohawks. Some 1,500 of the 15,000 Wappingers are treacherously wiped out.

1643. The first permanent settlement in what will be Pennsylvania is made at Tinicum Island in the Schuylkill River, where Swedish colonists build some log cabins.

Religio Medici (A Doctor's Religion). Thomas Browne. British. 1643. Nonfiction. Attempt to arrive at a faith acceptable to a scientist. Ornate style.

1644. The Battle of Marston Moor, July 2, ends in victory for Oliver Cromwell's English Roundheads over the Cavaliers of Charles I and wins the north country for the Puritan parliamentary forces.

The Bloudy Tenent. Roger Williams. American. 1644. Nonfiction. Tract pleading for religious toleration. Advocates democracy. John Cotton replied. Both tracts were eloquent.

1645. Europe's Thirty Years' War nears its end.

1646. England's 4-year civil war ends as Oliver Cromwell's Roundheads defeat and capture Lord Ashley, March 26. Charles surrenders himself to the Scots May 5, but in July he rejects Parliament's Newcastle proposals that he take the Covenant and support the Protestant establishment and that he let Parliament control the militia for 20 years.

Vulgar Errors. Sir Thomas Browne. British. 1646. Treatise. Display of recondite learning. Confutes errors and misconceptions in science, history, etc. Title: Enquiries into very many received tenets and commonly presumed truths.

"Wishes to His Supposed Mistress." Richard Crashaw. British. 1646. Poetry. Addressed to his ideal mistress. Radiant but humorous picture of her physical and spiritual beauty.

1647. The Scots surrender England's Charles I to Parliament, January 30, in return for 400,000 pounds.

1647. Peter Stuyvesant, 55, is named governor of New Netherlands. He has lost his right leg 3 years ago in a campaign.

1647. The Black Death strikes Spain in an epidemic that will last for 4 years, the worst since 1599.

1647. The Society of Friends (Quakers) has its beginning in the "Friends of Truth," established in Leicestershire by English clergyman George Fox, 23, who begins preaching the need for inward spiritual experience. Troubled by the deadly formalism of Puritan Christianity, Fox makes conscience and self-examination supreme, and he draws recruits from the lower middle classes who heed his protest against the Presbyterian system. The Friends will be called Quakers in 1650 by Justice Gervase Bennet either because of the Friends' vehemence in appealing to conscience, which makes them shake with emotion, or because they assert that those who do not know quaking and trembling are strangers to the experience of Moses, David and other saints.

Monday, July 2, 2007

1639 to 1643

1639. The Whole Book of Psalms Faithfully Translated Into English Metre (The Bay Psalm Book) published by English-American printer Stephen Day, 47, the first book to be printed and bound in New England.

1640. France enjoys power and prosperity under Cardinal Richelieu, but the mass of Frenchmen live on the edge of starvation.

1649. The first English stagecoach lines begin as roads and coaching houses are built to accommodate coaches and travelers.

1640. England's Puritan movement spreads to her lower classes.

Cinna. Corneille. French. 1640. Play. Augustus must choose between justice or mercy for the plotters against him. He decides on mercy.

El Alcalde de Zalamea. Calderon. Spanish. 1640. Play. Captain violates the host's daughter and refuses to marry her. Does not believe that he has to answer to commoners for his conduct. Her father has him committed to prison where he is strangled. King agrees that justice has been done and makes her father permanent mayor of the town. Protest against the capricious, despotic feudal nobility.

Horace. Corneille. French. 1640. Play. Horace kills Curiace, his sister's betrothed. She swears revenge. He kills her, too. Horace is pardoned. Horace represents Rome. Curiace represents Alba. Purpose of the combat was to decide a war between the cities.

1641. Russia's Michael Romanov forbids sale and use of tobacco.

Bay Psalm Book. Richard Mather, et al. American. 1641. Poetry. Translation of the biblical psalms. First bound book printed in the English colonies.

Polyeucte. Corneille. French. 1641. Play. Armenia in the early Christian era. Newly baptized Christian reviles pagans and is imprisoned. His martyrdom subsequently stimulates conversions of his wife Pauline and his father-in-law, Felix.

The Body of Liberties. Nathaniel Ward, et al. American. 1641. Nonfiction. Combined the common law of England and the Mosaic law. Recognized fundamental human rights.

1642. Civil war begins in England as Charles I sends his Cavaliers against the Puritan parliament.

1642. Cardinal Richelieu dies, December 4, at age 57.

1642. Montreal is founded.

1642. New England has some 16,000 colonists whose transatlantic passage averaged 3 months' time.

1643. France's Louis XIII dies. His son of 4 will reign until 1715 as Louis XIV, initially under the aegis of Cardinal Mazarin.

1643. France's nobility will rise against Cardinal Mazarin in the next 5 years in a final attempt to oppose the court by armed resistance and substitute rule of law for royal whim.