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 September 1593

Christopher Marlowe’s poem Hero and Leander was posthumously entered in the Stationers’ Register.
28 September 1671

Sarah Dixon was baptised in Rochester, Kent, the eldest of a family of three.
28 September 1677

During another difficult season at Drury Lane Theatre, the manager extracted an agreement from the actors that they would not perform for any other company.
On 19 April 1678, they were further forbidden from removing costumes from the theatre (which suggests that performing elsewhere had not ceased).
28 September 1707

The Privy Council turned down a scheme by entrepreneurs including John Breholt for ending piracy by disaffected and allegedly very wealthy British seamen off the island of Madagascar.
The scheme was essentially for buying the pirates a pardon in exchange for a share in their loot. Once the Privy Council turned them down, the projectors moved on to try the Board of Trade. The writer Penelope Aubin made a deposition on this issue, drawing on her experience as a merchant.
28 September 1728

Following the prosecution of its proprietor, Nathaniel Mist, the Opposition paper Mist’s Weekly Journal changed its name to Fog’s Weekly Journal.
28 September 1728

The Daily Journal carried an advertisement for the return of a runaway slave boy wearing a metal collar engraved “My lady Broomfield’s black in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.”
Such newspaper advertisements were fairly commonplace.
28 September 1738

Mary Mitchell married, at a City of London church, Joseph Collyer, who worked as a bookseller and an author, and had bought the marriage licence that same day.
28 September 1781

Guests began arriving at Fonthill Abbey for William Beckford’s coming-of-age on the next day; the orgiastic party lasted three days.
28 September 1786

A hostile and sexually suggestive cartoon was published, depicting Mrs Fitzherbert dispensing venereal remedies to the Prince of Wales.
Details in the picture suggest a threat to the prince’s life.
28 September 1803

Prosper Mérimée, novelist and short story writer, was born in Paris, France.
28 September 1810

Abraham Goldsmid, a London banker, committed suicide; his suicide was symptomatic of the current financial collapse.
His loan-contracting company had raised money for the government and for eminent persons including the Prince of Wales. Not only had the market fallen this summer, but Goldsmid’s brother and partner, who was subject to depression, had killed himself two years before. Abraham’s death produced unprecedented panic on the stock-exchange and in the City generally.
28 September 1824

Francis Turner Palgrave, poet, critic, and anthologist, was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
28 September 1827

Elizabeth Grant and her family sailed from Portsmouth at twilight, on the four-month voyage for India.
By late September 1833

In the midst of a short, brutish affair with Prosper Mérimée and an alleged one with actress Marie Dorval, George Sand oversaw publication of her notorious novel Lélia.
28 September 1839

The Chartist Circular began publication in Glasgow, under the auspices of the Universal Suffrage Central Committee for Scotland.
Eliza Cook was a regular contributor.
28 September 1850

Caroline Chisholm’s Family Colonisation Loan Society launched its first sailing with two hundred and fifty British members travelling to Port Phillip and Port Adelaide, Australia.
28 September 1852

Elizabeth Rigby and her husband, Sir Charles Eastlake, cut their holiday short and left Venice for London to attend the November funeral of the Duke of Wellington.
28 September 1862

Violet Hunt was born at 29 Old Elvet, Durham.
28 September 1864

Karl Marx founded the First International Working Men’s Association in London.
28 September 1868

Charlotte Yonge’s mother died: she had become a difficult and demanding invalid; but Charlotte was now left to live alone.
28 September 1883

A meeting of authors, chaired by Walter Besant, gathered to found the Company of Authors, later the Society of Authors, to improve the earning prospects of writers and lobby for copyright protection.
Early supporters included Matthew Arnold, Wilkie Collins, William Michael Rossetti, and Thomas Huxley. Tennyson was first President. At this date almost three quarters of novels were published partly at their authors’ expense, publishers refused to divulge statements of their profits, and piracy was rife (including stage adaptations which paid nothing to the original author).
The Society attracted a large membership and claimed over 1,000 members by 1892. It marked a new professionalism among (largely male) writers. Well after its centenary, the Society has continued actively to support authors.
28 September 1885

Women achieved suffrage in the Madras Presidency.
28 September 1891

Herman Melville, novelist, died in New York of heart problems.
By 28 September 1922

Katharine Tynan’s fourth volume of autobiography, The Wandering Years, covered the time since the death of her husband in 1919.
28 September 1923

The BBC released the first issue of the Radio Times, a weekly publication providing information and programme listings.
In 1935 this popular publication’s circulation was 2.4 million, while that of The Listener, the BBC’s weekly critical magazine, was 52,000.
28 September 1928

Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness was reissued by Pegasus Press, an English-language press based in Paris, after the Home Secretary suppressed Jonathan Cape’s first edition.
28 September 1938

Ivy Compton-Burnett, unable to face an evening alone in expectation of war being declared, telephoned Herman Schrijver to come and sit with her.
28 September 1938

Patricia Highsmith enrolled for a BA course in English Literature at Barnard College, the women’s college of Columbia University, NewYork.
28 September 1940

Travelling from Switzerland, Bryher arrived at 49 Lowndes Square, London, the home of her companion H. D. The two lived there through the rest of the Second World War.
28 September 1960

In her final novel, Love and a Birdcage, Naomi Royde-Smith returned to the Cinderella plot.
28 September 1960

After touring the provinces, Enid Bagnold’s play The Last Joke opened at the Phoenix Theatre in London, starring John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.
28 September 1972

E. M. Forster’s The Life to Come, and Other Stories, a collection containing several stories about homosexual relationships, was posthumously published.
28 September 1972

A valedictory volume of Simone de Beauvoir’s autobiography appeared under the title of Tout compte fait (translated into English in 1974 by Patrick O’Brian as All Said and Done).
28 September 1981

Sylvia Plath’s Collected Poems were published, nearly twenty years after her death: they were edited with an introduction by Ted Hughes.
28 September 1987

Daphne Du Maurier published a final collection of short stories, Classics of the Macabre, to mark her eightieth birthday.
28 September 1992

P. D. James continued to display her fondness for Biblical titles in publishing The Children of Men, a dystopian novel which is her second non-detective story.
28 September 1998

Dervla Murphy published with the Lilliput Press of Dublin (which had already published her pamphlet Changing the Problem: Post-Forum Reflections, 1984) a book called Visiting Rwanda.
28 September 2000

Poetry Quartets no. 6 featured Anne Stevenson reading and discussing her poems. No. 7 in the series, issued the same day, featured Liz Lochhead. Each appeared with three male poets.

Reviews of Orlando

In Eighteenth-Century Fiction

… each Orlando Project entry serves the beginning student and advanced researcher alike; it provides an introductory survey of a particular author, but can also function as a source of the latest critical understandings of the author and an encouragement for further advanced research on the themes, influences, and cultural contexts radiating out from that author (377).

[…] Orlando‘s most innovative contribution to humanities scholarship is the modelling of more interpretive, open-ended, thematic database research. The database encourages what it terms “Tag Searches,” in which entries have been tagged to highlight key terms relating to topics unique to literary history; searches can return information relating to biographical details, literary production, literary reception, textual features, and essential or “core tag” details such as dates and names. Orlando allows searches for topics that are not part of a “typical” database search—such as editions, circulation, anthologization, and type of press—but are of keen interest to researchers of reading and writing culture. Orlando thus captures some of the most recent trends in history of the book and material culture studies and translates those interests into research queries that can be performed quickly and efficiently (377).

[…] Orlando enacts exciting new approaches to women’s history, literary history, and the history of the book by translating those approaches into an equally exciting database organization. The textbase features authoritative summaries of women’s lives and writing, new cultural and thematic topics for “tagged” investigations, and innovative processes for performing searches across disciplines and time periods. Perhaps most importantly, Orlando encourages the researcher to see new patterns, new connections, and new traditions—and thus to think in new ways. The transformative effect of women’s writing is keenly felt by the Orlando researcher. With its ability to encourage new thinking in both the entry-level student and the advanced researcher, Orlando deserves a prominent place in the electronic database collection of every research library (378).

Ros Ballaster et al. The Orlando Project (review).” Eighteenth Century Fiction 22:2 (2009): 371-379. (Available from Project MUSE).
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