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.
1 March 1711
Joseph Addison began to publish the Spectator.
Addison had the help of Richard Steele and many contributors (all male except Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s anonymous contribution of a single number, 28 July 1714). The Spectator continued the Tatler‘s attention to gender issues. It ran until 6 December 1712, with a continuation, June-December 1714.
1 March 1739
A group of upper-class Opposition women caused a politically-angled disturbance at the House of Lords: they included Mary Pendarves (later Mary Delany).
1 March-19 April 1755
Charlotte Charke dated the instalments in which she wrote her Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Charlotte Charke.
1 March 1760-1 February 1761
Charlotte Lennox (perhaps in collaboration with Hugh Kelly) wrote and edited a periodical, The Lady’s Museum.
1 March 1794
The Biographical Magazine began publication; it ran till 2 May 1796.
1 March 1812
Architect and writer Augustus Pugin was born at 34 Store Street, near Bedford Square, London.
1 March 1814
Sydney Morgan dated her preface to O’Donnel: A National Tale, her first novel since her marriage, which appeared the same month.
1 March 1819
Taylor and Hessey, publishers of Jane Taylor’s most recent works, issued The Authoress. A Tale by the Author of Rachel. The attribution to Taylor is not universally accepted
1 March 1834
Harriet Martineau issued the final, twenty-fifth part of her massive series Illustrations of Political Economy, entitled The Moral of Many Fables.
1 March 1842
Harriet Smythies married the Rev. William Yorick Smythies, a member of a family prolific in clergymen.
1 March 1843
The trial of fifty-nine Chartists, including Feargus O’Connor, began at Lancaster.
Although the Chartists were found guilty of minor charges, they were released and never sentenced after the defence sued for a writ of error on the basis of faulty indictment.
1 March 1845
The popular working-class London Journal: and Weekly Record of Literature, Science, and Art began publication, boasting elaborately illustrated romantic, historical, and gothic fiction.
It continued into the twentieth century, ending in 1912.
1 March 1847
Eavan Boland gives this date to a poem purporting to be a letter from an upper-class woman about the Irish potato famine—which her speaker can see solely as it affects her own life.
1 March 1859
Elizabeth Ham died at the house of her latest employer, Wick House at Brislington just south-east of Bristol, of heart disease.
1 March 1863
George Eliot declined an invitation from Emily Faithfull to write a story for the Victoria Magazine.
1 March 1865
The Indo-European telegraph opened.
An earlier scheme undertaken in 1856, at a cost of £800,000, had never successfully transmitted a message. A joint committee of the Atlantic Telegraph Company and the Board of Trade was called to investigate the technology necessary for submarine telegraphy. William Thomson was instrumental in this work; by 1860, at the committee’s dissolution, successful submarine telegraphs were attainable.
Because the line passed through several foreign territories, its use was not confined to British traffic, and messages were vulnerable to alteration, loss, and problems of translation. The lines themselves were prone to theft. Messages from England to the colony could thus take from a week to a month to reach their destination.
1 March 1866
Herbert Vaughan established St Joseph’s Missionary College to train Roman Catholics for Ultramontanist missionary work—working, that is, for Catholicism based firmly on the power and infallibility of the Pope.
The college is situated at Mill Hill. Vaughan later became a Cardinal.
1 March 1873
Christopher Latham Sholes of the USA signed a contract with E. Remington and Sons of New York to produce portable typewriters.
In 1874 Remington introduced to the public the first commercial typewriters with the QWERTYUIOP keyboard arrangement. These typewriters printed in upper case only. Mark Twain is sometimes mentioned as the first author to purchase one. He used one in producing Tom Sawyer (published in 1876), and mentioned his “claim—until dispossessed—that I was the first person in the world to apply the type-machine to literature.”
1 March 1873
Walter Pater published his influential study of writers, sculptors, and painters from the thirteenth through the eighteenth century: Studies in the History of the Renaissance.
In this work he formulated his aesthetic credo.
1 March 1877
Caroline Norton married as second husband her old friend Sir William Stirling-Maxwell; the ceremony was held at her home in Chesterfield Street because of her immobility from arthritis.
1 March 1879
James Murray was appointed editor of the new Oxford English Dictionary; soon afterwards he sent out 2,000 copies of a four-page invitation to volunteer readers who would collect words.
The appointment came nearly a year after Murray’s first meeting with Oxford University Press Delegates. Readers had already been recruited for an earlier effort at compiling the dictionary, which ended in failure.
1 March 1884
The Fortnightly Review printed Augusta Gregory’s Glimpses of the Soudan, an essay about beliefs and customs of Sudanese tribes based on Schweinfurth’s travel account, The Heart of Africa.
1 March 1888
Wynifried Margaret Jesse (who later wrote as F. Tennyson Jesse) was born at Holly Bowers, Chislehurst, Kent.
1 March 1893
Mary Taylor died at her house, High Royd in Gomersal, of a stroke.
1 March 1895
Oscar Wilde, at the top of his fame as a playwright, brought libel charges against the Marquess of Queensberry (father of his lover Lord Alfred Douglas), who had sent him an insulting card, reading “To Oscar Wilde, ponce and Somdomite.”
1 March 1909
William Henry Bell’s musical setting for Rosamund Marriott Watson’s Ballad of the Bird-Bride was premiered by the London Symphony Orchestra at the Queen’s Hall in London, conducted by Hans Richter.
1 March 1912
The Women’s Social and Political Union smashed shop windows in London’s West End; this was the first time they had attacked private property.
1 March 1912
Ethel Smyth was arrested for throwing a stone through a window at the house of Lewis Harcourt, Colonial Secretary, and was imprisoned in Holloway.
Evening, 1 March 1912
Emmeline Pankhurst threw a stone through the window at 10 Downing Street (residence of the Prime Minister).
1 March 1919
The Royal Air Force began air-mail service between Folkestone in England, and Cologne in Germany, for the British occupation force in the Rhineland.
1 March 1924
On the advice of her son-in-law, Rhys Rhys-Williams (Liberal MP), Elinor Glyn established Elinor Glyn Ltd. Her daughters and their husbands acted as the company’s board of directors.
1 March 1929
Opium smoking was made illegal in China.
1 March 1932
In Britain the Import Duties Act placed a 20% duty on imported domestic appliances.
Such protective tariffs allowed new British firms to be set up, and made it more economical for American firms to build factories in the UK.
1 March 1932
The twenty-month-old son of US aviator Charles A. Lindbergh (famous for making the first solo non-stop transatlantic flight on 20-21 May 1927) was kidnapped.
The baby’s body was found about ten weeks later; a man was charged and four years later was executed for the murder. This celebrity crime was frenziedly followed by the media. The bereaved parents settled abroad to escape what they regarded as hounding by the press, and US federal law on kidnapping was changed as a result of the case.
1 March 1948
Jan Struther finally married Adolf Kurt Placzek, by then a librarian at Columbia University in New York, her lover of nearly a decade, whom she had met during his refugee days in England.
1 March 1954
The United States tested over Bikini Atoll (part of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean) a nuclear bomb 1,000 times the strength of the one used at Hiroshima.
Three small islands vanished; radioactive fallout was widely scattered. This explosion was a landmark among sixty-seven bomb tests in the area from 1946 to 1958.
1 March 1961
Philip Larkin’s letter to Barbara Pym expressing admiration for No Fond Return of Love began a lifelong correspondence of mutual critique and appreciation.
1 March 1968
A new and more restrictive Commonwealth Immigration Act was passed, rushed through Parliament in three days as an emergency measure, and covertly designed to limit the influx of Asians into the UK from Kenya, where they were suffering racist persecution.
The number of British Asians entering the UK from East Africa (where Africanisation was gathering momentum) had risen from 6,150 in 1965 to 12,800 in the first two months of 1968. By the Act, the group of British citizens in office in Westminster “abridge[d] the basic rights and freedoms of another group of British citizens, because of their colour and ethnic origins.”
1 March 1968-1972
P. D. James was a Principal at the Home Office in London, working on forensic science in the Police Department.
1 March 1972
Violet Trefusis died of starvation, the effect of a malabsorption disease, in Florence.
1 March 1985
Shelagh Delaney wrote the screenplay for Dance with a Stranger (which opened on this day), a film based on the story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in Britain.
1 March 1986
Viking published Penelope Mortimer’s biography, Queen Elizabeth: A Life of the Queen Mother, after Macmillan, which had originally commissioned the book, refused it after all.
1 March 1987
Bernice Rubens’s novel Our Father is the story of a female explorer meeting God in the desert.
1 March 1988
Anna Livia published a work of feminist science fiction, Bulldozer Rising.
1 March 1998
Seven years after Christine Brooke-Rose’s previous novel, she published another one, entitled Next.
1 March 2004
Jeanette Winterson’s next novel, Lighthousekeeping, presents an orphan heroine, Silver, born in 1959, who has no father and loses her mother early.
1 March 2007
In a novel entitled Over, Margaret Forster explored the effect on a family (especially the mother, who narrates her feelings in a secret diary or notebook) of losing a daughter in a sailing accident.
1 March 2008
Maia Press published another volume of short stories by Sara Maitland Far North and Other Dark Tales.