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 February 1638

At Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotsmen opposed to Charles I’s imposition of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer on the Scottish (Presbyterian) Church signed a National Covenant against such innovations: in time the Covenanters movement became anti-monarchist as well as anti-episcopalian.
The name Covenanter was also given to a new generation of Scots who opposed the re-introduction of episcopacy in 1662. Brutal repression beginning in 1670 and intensifying from early 1678 culminated in the Killing Times of 1684-5.
28 February 1725

Henry Muilman received the verdict that his marriage to Teresia Constantia Phillips was null and void on grounds of her previous marriage; this ran counter to the facts that the first marriage had been illegal and was thus no impediment.
28 February 1738

Mary Barber finally gained a secure income by a subscription edition of Swift’s Polite Conversation, whose manuscript he had given her for this end.
28 February 1744

Lucy Molyneux, later the proto-feminist writer Lucy Hutton, was born at Preston in Lancashire, the third daughter in a family of several children.
28 February 1791

Anna Letitia Barbauld told her brother that she had been asked by people in Paris to answer Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France (a fuller development of ideas she had already challenged).
28 February 1793

Charlotte Smith published her currently best-known novel, The Old Manor House.
28 February 1817

Ann Gomersall was baptised in the Church of England at Portsmouth. Her parents were unlikely to have omitted this sacrament when she was little if they were Anglicans; it seems therefore that she probably converted from some Dissenting sect.
28 February 1846

Robert Lowe’s poem To Mrs Chisholm, which commended her as “The guardian angel of her helpless sex,” was printed in the Sydney Spectator.
28 February 1850

Wilkie Collins’s first published novel, the historical romance Antonina; or, The Fall of Rome, A Romance of the Fifth Century, was released in London.
28 February 1854

Margaret Elise Harkness was born at either Great Malvern or Upton on Severn in Worcestershire.
28 February 1857

Cecil Frances Alexander gave birth to her first daughter, Eleanor Jane Alexander, at Fahan, Donegal; she had another difficult delivery.
28 February 1860

Nathaniel Hawthorne published Transformation: Or, The Romance of Monte Beni in three volumes.
28 February 1872

A young man with Fenian connections was apprehended for an assassination attempt on Queen Victoria; his pistol proved not to be loaded.
28 February 1874

Ellen Terry returned to the stage in The Wandering Heir.
28 February 1883

A protest meeting by British residents at Calcutta was held against Ilbert’s Criminal Procedure Amendment bill.
The bill would have allowed Indian judges to try Europeans. Rhetoric against the bill heavily involved the sanctity of British womanhood. An amended version (allowing Europeans to claim a jury wholly or partly European) was passed on 25 January 1884.
28 February 1889

Sara Jeannette Duncan attended the ball in Calcutta where she met her future husband, Everard Cotes, an entomologist working for the Indian Museum.
28 February 1891

The Irish Schoolmistress began publication.
It advertised itself as “the only paper in Ireland owned, edited, and managed by women, and the only paper exclusively devoted to the interests of the great teaching body of women.”
It was edited by Alice O’Byrne, and argued for equal pay. Its cessation date is unknown.
28 February 1897

The last Hova queen of Madagascar, Ranavalona III, was deposed by France.
The Hova queens were anti-Christian and this last one energetically resisted French control.
28 February 1908

A Liberal Member of Parliament, Henry York Stanger, introduced a women’s suffrage bill which passed its second reading by a majority of 179 votes.
Further progress on the bill, however, was blocked.
28 February 1916

Henry James, novelist, died at home at 21 Carlyle Mansions, Chelsea.
28 February 1922

The UK recognized Egypt (formerly a British protectorate) as an independent sovereign state.
Some reservations still applied about Egypt’s handling of foreign affairs and of its relationship with the Sudan. British military presence continued until 26 August 1936. Nationalist (Wafdist) feeling was not appeased, but continued to run very high.
28 February 1922

Viola Meynell married John Dallyn, a farmer from Greatham, Sussex, where her family had lived for eleven years.
28 February 1934

Frances Bellerby told her husband, John Rotherford Bellerby, that she thought they should separate, which for a trial period they did.
28 February 1935

The Irish Criminal Law Amendment Act (1935) prohibited sale or import of contraceptives.
The actual use of contraceptives was not prohibited, only their import or sale. Later, the birth control pill was sometimes legally available if prescribed for health reasons.
28 February 1939

Britain recognized Franco’s government in Spain.
American recognition soon followed. After the end of the Spanish Civil War, Spain joined the Anti-Comintern pact and left the League of Nations on 8 May 1939.
28 February 1949

Margery Allingham arrived in New York with her husband, visiting the USA for the first and only time in her life.
28 February 1950

A late flowering of Marianne Moore’s reputation began when she spoke at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in a double bill with W. H. Auden.
28 February 1976

A charity gala performance, Tribute to the Lady, was staged for the last night of the National Theatre Company at the Old Vic before its move to the South Bank.
Written by Val May to honour Lilian Baylis, and graced by a roster of British theatrical luminaries, the show starred Peggy Ashcroft as Baylis. Ashcroft impressed director Peter Hall with her portrayal of “that strange, Cockney, busybodying, strait-laced, crooked-mouthed, eternal mother bossing everyone about . . . a genuine eccentric.”
28 February 1977

Moonshine, a play by Shirley Gee, was produced and broadcast by BBC Radio 4.
28 February 2013

After a series of health-induced interruptions, Margaret Forster published a novel entitled The Unknown Bridesmaid, whose protagonist turns out to be an unreliable narrator, as her intensely remembered past has some aspects she does not want to acknowledge.

Reviews of Orlando

James L. Harner in Literary Research Guide

Because of the ways in which the extensive data can be mined or formulated, Orlando offers the best access to information on British women writers and serves as a model for similar databases that will supplant printed literary dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks (187).

James L. Harner. Literary Research Guide: An Annotated Listing of Reference Sources in English Literary Studies, 5th ed. New York: MLA, 2008.
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