Monday, October 8, 2007

1813 to 1814

The Swiss Family Robinson. JR Wyss. Swiss. 1813. Novel. Adventures of a Swiss clergyman, his wife and four sons, shipwrecked on a desert island.

Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen. British. 1813. Novel. Wife wants good match for each of five daughters. Elizabeth vs. Darcy.

1814. The Battle of Laon begins a series of reverses for Napoleon.

1814. Allied troops storm Montmarte and the triumphant allies enter Paris.

1814. Napoleon abdicates unconditionally April 11 and is awarded sovereignty of the the 95-square-mile Mediterranean island of Elba.

1814. The Battle of Bladensburg 4 miles from Washington, D.C., August 24, ends in a rout of 7,000 U.S. militiamen by 3,000 British regulars who march into Washington, burn most of the city's public buildings, along with several private houses in retaliation for the burning of York (Toronto, teaching the U.S. government that green state militia cannot be relied upon for the nation's defense.

1814. A U.S. naval force under Lieut. Thomas Macdonough defeats and captures a British squadron on Lake Champlain September 11 in the Battle of Plattsburgh. 16,000 British troops that have launched an invasion from Canada are forced to retire, and the victory assures final success for the Americans.

1814. British ships bombard Baltimore's Fort McHenry, September 14; the bombardment is witnessed by Georgetown, Md., lawyer Francis Scott Key, who writes the Star Spangled Banner.

1814. Fire destroys most of the Library of Congress established in 1800 as British troops burn the Capitol.

1814. The White House at Washington gets its name as architect James Hoban works to rebuild the 15-year-old executive mansion and paints it white to conceal the marks of fire set by the British troops who have gutted the structure.

"Star Spangled Banner." Francis Scott Key. American. 1814. Song. "Written during the War of 1812. Sept. 13 and 14. Part scribbled on back of envelope. Sung to the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven" by English composer John Stafford Smith. Became National Anthem in 1931 by act of Congress.

"Peter Schlemihl's Wundersame Geshichte." Adelbart von Chamisso. German. 1814. Story. Gives up shadow to gray stranger for purse. Balance between fantastic subject and matter-of-fact style in which it is treated.

"The Corsair." Lord Byron. British. 1814. Poetry. Adventures of Conrad the Pirate and Queen Guinare. Prototype of the Byronic hero.

Waverly. Sir Walter Scott. British. 1814. Novel. Background is the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745.

The Excursion. William Wordsworth. British. 1814. Poetry. Discusses virtue, religious faith, the industrial revolution and its social effects and the education of children.

Mansfield Park. Jane Austen. British. 1814. Novel. Girl adopted by rich uncle's family emerges triumphant after a soap opera plot.

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