Monday, August 24, 2009

1847: Wuthering Heights to Evangeline

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Emily Bronte. British. 1847. Novel. Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff, a foundling, is strange, uncouth, passionate, and disruptive. Wuthering Heights is the Earnshaw’s lonely moorland home. “Wuthering” = turbulent weather. Catherine loves Heathcliff but suggests she can’t marry him because it would degrade her. Furious, Heathcliff leaves. Returns as polished, wealthy man. Exacts his revenge. Eventually, he gains control of Wuthering Heights.

Benjamin Disraeli. British. 1847. Novel. Tancred, or the New Crusade. Young, high-born visionary leaves social circles of 19th century London to travel in the East. Experiences “the great Asian mystery,” which is to work for the regeneration of the West.

Edgar Allan Poe. American. 1847. Poetry. “Ulalume.” Composed at the request of an elocutionist needing a poem to recite. Narrator and his soul walk in a “ghoul-haunted woodland” on Halloween. Stopped by the door of the forgotten tomb of the narrator’s beloved Ulalume.

John Maddison Morton. British. 1847. Play. Box and Cox. Farce. Characters are Box, Cox and the landlady. She rents the same room to both. One works at night, the other in the day. Hopes they won’t know.

Longfellow. American. 1847. Poetry. Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie. Lovers are separated when British expel the Acadians from Nova Scotia. They spend years searching for each other. Tragic reunion.

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