Tuesday, November 6, 2007

1844 ti 1845

Pensees. Blaise Pascal. French. 1844 (Written in 1670). Nonfiction. Reflections on religion; testament of religious faith; man is helpless, a frail reed in a vast universe, but a thinking reed. Man's fall must be true; otherwise one can't explain the contradictions in man's nature. Faith not by reason alone. God's grace speaks to the heart.

"Rappaccini's Daughter." Nathaniel Hawthorne. American. 1844. Story. Daughter brought up on poisons becomes invulnerable to them. Scientist subordinates "heart to head." She drinks an antidote from a suitor, knowing she will die.

Don Juan Tenorio. Jose Zorilla y Moral. Spanish. 1844. Verse Drama. Falls in love with the virtuous Dona Ines, repents and is saved by her prayers.

The Count of Monte Cristo. Alexandre Dumas. French. 1844. Novel. False political charge condemns Dantes to life imprisonment. Escapes. Revenges himself.

The Three Musketeers. Alexandre Dumas. French. 1844. Novel. French history from 1624 to 1665. Narrow escapes and amazing exploits of four friends.

Maria Magdalena. Freidrich Hebbel. German. 1844. Play. Great drama produced at moments in history when old order and new are in conflict. Theory. Influenced by Hegel. Pregnant, web of conflicting motives and obligations, fear of social reproach, suicide. Father's final comment; "I don't understand this world anymore."

"Lady Geraldine's Courtship." Elizabeth Barrett Browning. British. 1844. Poetry. Lady falls in love with a peasant poet, whom she marries. This poem led to her meeting Robert Browning.

The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq., Written by Himself. Wm. Makepeace Thackeray. British. 1844. Novel. Narrator is a scoundrel who engages in a succession of affairs without any feelings of responsibility.

Coningsby, or The New Generation. Benjamin Disraeli. British. 1844. Novel. Pictures contemporary figures, thinly disguised. People were interested in identifying them.

The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit. Charles Dickens. British. 1844. Novel. Slashes at American provincialism and selfish, grasping Chuzzlewit Englishmen.

1845. Mexico severs relations with the U.S. following U.S. Senate ratification of a treaty to annex Texas.

1845. United States Magazine and Democratic Review editor John L. O'Sullivan asserts U.S. claims to Oregon Territory "by right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent" in his July-August issue.

1845. The First Tuesday following the first Monday in November is established by Congress as election day for electors of presidents and vice presidents.

1845. The Adventist Church is founded by U.S. evangelist William Miller, now 72, whose 1836 prediction of the Second Coming in 1843 proved wrong but who has nevertheless attracted a considerable following.

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