Monday, August 31, 2009

1850: Representative Men to The Prelude

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Emerson. American. 1850. Biography. Representative Men. Shakespeare (poet); Plato (philosopher); Swedenborg (mystic); Goethe (writer); Napoleon (man of the world); Montaigne (skeptic). “Uses” of great men. Modeled on Carlyle, but Emerson believed great men are representative of their time, not apart from it.

Melville. American. 1850. Novel. White Jacket, or The World in a Man-o-war. Brutal and inhumane practices of the ship’s officers. The white jacket almost drowns the hero, but he discards it and rises to the surface.

Ivan Turgenev. Russia. 1850. Play. A Month in the Country. Bored wife and her ward fall for tutor who is sent away; wife lapses into ennui.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. British. 1850. Poetry. Sonnets from the Portuguese. Expresses poet’s love for her husband. Title refers to a 16th-century Portuguese poet.

Wordsworth. British. 1850. Poetry. The Prelude. Growth of a poet’s mind—traces life from childhood.

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