Tuesday, September 22, 2009

1860 - 1861: Woman in White to Elsie Venner....

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Wilkie Collins. British. 1860. Novel. The Woman in White. Villain puts heiress into an insane asylum in order to get her money. Mystery novel.

Charles Dickens. British. 1860/61. Novel. Great Expectations. Pip grows from boy of shallow dreams to man of depth and character.

Walt Whitman. American. 1860/67. Poetry. Children of Adam. Praises physical love and procreation. Man lost Garden through degradations of senses. The body and soul are one.

George Eliot. British. 1861. Novel. Silas Marner, or The Weaver of Raveloe. Remedial influences of pure, natural human relations Lonely, embittered, accused of theft of which his friend was guilty; lost girl he had loved. Friendless miser, robbed of his gold; finds yellow-haired baby girl. Love for Eppie brings him back to normal, wholesome life. Given a chance to live with a wealthy relative, Eppie chooses to stay with Silas.

Oliver Wendell Holmes. 1861. Novel. Elsie Venner: A Romance of Destiny. While carrying her, Elsie’s mother is bitten by a snake; the child develops serpent characteristics. Strange and repellent, her nature prevents love. Dies while trying to humanize herself. With Elsie, Holmes attacks the Calvinist belief that humanity is held responsible for an inherited flaw.

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