Monday, November 12, 2007


1848. London appoints John Simon its first medical officer of health and he creates a public health service that will be a model for those of other nations. Simon establishes the science of epidemiology by showing how environmental conditions can influence the spread and severity of disease.

1848. A telegraph line opens between New York and Chicago.

1848. Mormon farmers begin plowing the shores of Great Salt Lake and introduce irrigation to U.S. agriculture.

1848. San Francisco loses three-fourths of its population in 4 months as men hurry to strike it rich in the gold fields.

"The House of Life." Dante Gabriel Rossetti. British. 1848. Sonnet. Autobiographical. Title refers to house of human life in astrology.

Vanity Fair, A Novel Without a Hero. Wm. Makepeace Thackeray. British. 1848. Novel. Becky Sharp: clever, scheming, determined to get on in the world.

Dombey and Son. Charles Dickens. British. 1848. Novel. Father bitter on death of son; rejects loving daughter; after business failure, they are reconciled.

Mary Barton. Elizabeth Gaskell. British. 1848. Novel. Inhumanities suffered by impoverished weavers of Manchester.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Anne Bronte. British. 1848. Novel. Marriage destroyed by a dissipated husband.

"Eureka." Edgar Allan Poe. American. 1848. Essay. Material, spiritual unity of the universe. Non-Euclidean geometry? Surprisingly contemporary.

The Communist Manifesto. Marx/Engels. German. 1848. Nonfiction. Pamphlet. Analyzes history as class conflict, envisions classless society without personal property.

The Bigelow Papers. James Russell Lowell. American. 1848. Poetry and Prose. Poems in dialect; prose in standard English. Satirizes politicians, editors and the wealthy. Yankee dialect.

Fables for Critics. James Russell Lowell. American. 1848. Poetry/Satire. Witty profiles of leading writers: Emerson, Longfellow, Hawthorne, Poe, Cooper, Whittier, Holmes and himself.

Memoires d'outre-tombe (Memories from Beyond the Tomb). Francois Rene de Chateaubriand. French. 1848/50. Autobiography. Personal reminiscences by Chateaubriand.

The History of Pendennis. Wm. Makepeace Thackeray. British. 1848/50. Novel. Spoiled boy has affairs, matures, writes novel and marries true love.

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