Today in Orlando

This is a small sample drawn from within and beyond the lives and careers of writers. Look again tomorrow! Read more about The Orlando Project chronology.

28 June 1712

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, philosopher and novelist, was born at home in the Grand’ Rue, Geneva, Switzerland.
28 June 1729

Another edition of Katherine Philips’s Letters from Orinda to Poliarchus was published by Lintot, priced at half a crown.
28 June 1778

An attack on retreating British troops at Monmouth, New Jersey, was the last major engagement in the American Revolutionary war in the north.
28 June 1793

The French National Assembly decreed various kinds of state support for poor working people, including an allowance for each child under twelve.
A condition of the payment was that the mother should suckle her own children. The promised support never fully materialised.
28 June 1797

The New-York Weekly Magazine reprinted an excerpt from Eliza Parsons’s The Errors of Education: Henry and Louisa. An Affecting Tale.
28 June 1820

Parliament granted leave to Henry Brougham to present a Parish Schools Bill to provide for schools established and maintained by the Anglican clergy.
Parish clerks were to be encouraged to become teachers. Dissenters were reassured that their children would not be required to attend.
28 June 1829

Elizabeth Fenton and her nearly-three-month-old daughter were on board the Denmark Hill, headed onwards from Mauritius towards Van Diemen’s Land.
28 June 1838

Princess Alexandrina Victoria was crowned Queen in Westminster Abbey.
28 June 1858

Jane Marcet died in her late eighties, at her daughter’s house at 14 Stratton Street, Piccadilly, London.
28 June 1862 to 7 February 1863

Ellen Wood serialised Verner’s Pride in Once a Week. It was released as a three-volume novel by March 1863.
28 June 1866

Lord Derby, a Conservative, formed his third government.
28 June 1877

Annie Besant and Charles Bradlaugh were convicted of obscenity and sentenced, initially, to six months in prison for reprinting, as Fruits of Philosophy, a pamphlet on contraception dating from 1832.
28 June 1887

The Pall Mall Gazette published Flora Shaw’s interview from Gibraltar with Zebehr Pasha, an exiled leader and slave trader from Sudan: this scoop revived his reputation and assured hers.
28 June 1892

The Burgh Police (Scotland) Act made publishing or exhibiting obscene material a summary offence.
28 June 1899

Caroline Lindsay read her pamphlet The Art of Poetry with Regard to Women Writers to the Women’s International Congress for their literary meeting.
Hatchard published it the same year.
28 June 1903-20 August 1905

Ada Leverson contributed 113 numbers (over 150,000 words) of a regular column, White and Gold, to a popular weekly entitled The Referee.
28 June 1905

Sailors on the Russian battleship Potemkin mutinied. The ship was lying in port at Odessa, now in Ukraine.
The date is sometimes given as 16 June, as Russia was still under the Julian calendar at the time.
28 June 1910

The National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies sponsored a meeting in Queen’s Hall in support of the Conciliation Bill.
The NUWSS raised £1,500 at this meeting, for further suffrage work. Shortly after this rally and the earlier Women’s Social and Political Union procession, the government announced that the Bill would be given an early second reading, on July 11th and 12th. This government change of plan resulted from pressure exerted by the Conciliation Committee and from perceived popular support for the Bill.
28 June 1912

Eminent painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema died at the German spa of Wiesbaden; his death transformed the life of his daughter Laurence Alma-Tadema
28 June 1914

The Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife Sofia were assassinated in Sarajevo by a Serb; given all the other tensions in the region, this act figured prominently amongst the constellation of events that precipitated World War I.
Exactly one month later Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.
28 June 1919

The Treaty of Versailles was signed, settling the peace terms imposed by the victors of World War I on Germany and its allied nations.
Germany was saddled with heavy reparations. The treaty terms were later blamed for the collapse of the German economy, for grievous social hardships and a deprived and alienated generation which was to welcome the Nazi party as a solution. Those speaking out against the treaty terms included the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (first international organisation to do so) as well as individuals like Kathleen E. Innes (a member of the WILPF) and John Maynard Keynes in The Economic Consequences of the Peace, 1919. On 19 March 1920 the US Senate refused to endorse the Treaty.
Former German and some Ottoman colonies were assigned as Mandates to the Allied Powers, since they were not deemed capable of self-government. The UK was allocated German East Africa (Tanzania), Nauru Island, and (jointly with France) Togo (Ghana) and the Cameroons. The Union of South Africa was assigned German South West Africa (Namibia). Despite the absence from negotiations of the USA (the only anti-colonial great power), the League’s Mandate system was said to have “helped make the end of empire imaginable.”
The Treaty drew up the League of Nations Covenant: a framework for an organization charged with settling international disputes peacefully through diplomacy, a forum for international discussion of political, social, and health concerns from around the world. The first League Assembly was held in Geneva from 15 November to 18 December 1920, at which time Mandates were assigned and the Permanent Court of International Justice was set up in The Hague.
28 June 1919

Lord Riddell, who had engaged Elinor Glyn as a special correspondent for his paper, The News of the World, got her a press permit to witness the signing of the Versailles Peace Treaty, in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles.
28-30 June 1922

Republicans who had occupied the Four Courts in Dublin were attacked by Free State forces. The Republicans surrendered, but destroyed the building with mines. Thus really began the Irish Civil War.
The explosion caused wholesale destruction of documents in the Irish Public Record Office. Michael Collins, commander-in-chief of the Free State forces, was killed in an ambush on 22 August at Béal na mBláth in western Cork not long before the end of the war gave the victory to the Free Staters.
28 June 1940

The Womanpower Committee (WPC) was formed, with Irene Ward as chairman, with the purpose of influencing government policy.
28 June 1948

Deborah Hough (later Deborah Moggach) was born in the Lake District, the third of four daughters of two author parents.
28 June 1949

H. D. published By Avon River: the Avon is the one flowing through Stratford, and the book celebrates the Shakespearean moment in literature.
28 June 1967

The National Health Service (Family Planning) Act (1967) allowed local health authorities to give advice on contraception and to supply contraceptive substances and devices for family planning.
The local health authority could charge a fee proportionate to income for the cost of advisory sessions or contraceptive devices and substances.
28 June 2001

Carcanet published a final volume of Elizabeth Jennings’s poetry, Timely Issues, dedicated to Dr Hywel W. Jones.
28 June 2012

Helen Dunmore’s poetry volume The Malarkey was titled after a disturbing, prize-winning poem from two years before.

Reviews of Orlando

Devoney Looser in Huntington Library Quarterly

The experiment is unquestionably a successful one. Orlando‘s most obvious utility, as with the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, involves the ability to turn to its entries on more than 800 individual British women writers for specific biographical or bibliographical information. For example, Orlando‘s entry on Jane Austen or Frances Burney is in many ways more useful than the ODNB’s: it supplies more specific dates and employs a hierarchical structure that enables the reader to jump easily to specific portions of each entry. . . . Orlando, in that sense, offers one-stop biographical and book-historical shopping. Orlando’s unique value is in providing ‘materials [that] are capable of a high degree of interaction.’ To be sure, one can do a full-text search in the ODNB for the word ‘antiquarian’ or ‘bluestocking’ and come up with some surprising and valuable results, but in Orlando, the ability to quickly investigate not only such keywords but also circles of writers—particularly by tracing connections among individual writers (male and female)—is unprecedented. One can learn not only about interpersonal connections and literary influences but also about locations, events, occupations, genres, birth position, and other categories that link British women writers (and a smaller selection of male or non-British women writers) to each other.

Two books under review in this essay: William McCarthy’s Anna Letitia Barbauld: Voice of the Enlightenment and Nicholas D. Smith’s The Literary Manuscripts and Letters of Hannah More.

Devoney Looser, “Enlightenment Women’s Voices”, Huntington Library Quarterly 73:2 (June 2010), 295-302. (Available from JSTOR).

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