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.

25 October 1154

King Stephen died; Henry II assumed the throne of England on 19 December 1154.
The Treaty of Winchester, 1153, named Henry as Stephen’s heir. Henry, son of Matilda and of Geoffrey, count of Anjou, inherited the French territories of Normandy, Maine, Touraine and Anjou, and acquired Aquitaine upon marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine.
25 October 1415

Henry V’s victory over the French at Agincourt initiated the peak period of English rule over France.
This battle marked a landmark in nationalist feeling: both at the time, when Henry commissioned Thomas Hoccleve for a poem of praise on the occasion, and generations later, when the speech which Shakespeare put into Henry’s mouth on the eve of the battle became a much-quoted expression of military patriotism.
25 October 1638

Brilliana, Lady Harley, wrote her first extant letter to her eldest son, Ned (later Sir Edward Harley), who at just thirteen was a new undergraduate entered at Magdalen Hall in Oxford.
October 1748-April 1749

Jane Collier was living with her brother Arthur and her mother in lodgings in Doctors’ Commons, London.
25 October 1760

King George II died suddenly of a heart attack; his grandson George III assumed the throne.
25 October 1764

Abigail Smith married lawyer John Adams, who was later to become Vice-President, then second President, of the newly-constituted United States.
25 October 1766

James Dodsley paid Charlotte Lennox twenty guineas for half the rights to The History of Eliza: keeping the other half as an investment was a new move for her.
25 October 1789

Hannah More and her sister Patty (whose journal provides details of this crucial time) opened their Sunday School at Cheddar in Somerset.
25 October 1800

Historian and politician Thomas Babington Macaulay was born at Rothley Temple in Leicestershire, the eldest of nine children.
25 October 1800

Maria Jane Jewsbury was born at Measham in Derbyshire.
25 October 1809

A celebration was held for George III’s silver jubilee (coincidentally the anniversary of the battle of Agincourt).
This national event was the brainchild of an ordinary middle-class widow, Mrs Biggs. From her home on the Welsh border, she wrote nearly 3,000 letters to influential people, suggesting that a jubilee would be a positive counterweight to the “pernicious” effects of the Mary Anne Clarke scandal.
25 October 1810

George III suffered the onset of a fifth attack of porphyria.
25 October 1814

Sir John Addington took “the first portion” of Hannah More’s An Essay on the Character and Practical Writings of Saint Paul to London for her, to her publisher Cadell.
25 October 1871

Some ten years after the novel’s publication, Caroline Norton in a letter to the Times claimed Ellen Wood had used one of her early stories as the basis of East Lynne.
25 October 1881

Pablo Picasso, painter and sculptor, was born in Malaga, Spain.
25 October 1913

Mary Sanders (later Ann Bridge) married Owen O’Malley (a member of the British Foreign Office and as he put it himself “an autocthonous Irishman”, later knighted) at St Mark’s Church, North Audley Street, London.
25 October 1913

Country Life published Beatrix Potter’s dialect story The Fairy Clogs, the only one accepted out of four stories which she submitted.
25 October 1916

Una Troubridge and her lover Radclyffe Hall joined the Society for Psychical Research (founded in 1882) at the encouragement of Sir Oliver Lodge, a well-known physicist and writer on Spiritualism.
25 October 1917

Sinn Féin, reorganized by Cathal Brugha and Michael Collins, adopted a constitution. Based on its principles, Sinn Féin became a national movement on a platform of Irish national independence and the withdrawal of Irish members from the British Parliament.
25 October 1917

The Russian royal family’s Winter Palace at St Petersburg was stormed by an angry mob: a defining event in the October Revolution.
The October Revolution followed an earlier one in February and a resulting civil war. Lenin returned to Russia from exile for the second time in October, became prominent in the Bolshevik party, was elected to a leadership role in early November, and took the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics out of World War One early in 1918. The Russian royal family were executed in summer 1918.
25 October 1919

The Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA) was formed during an international gathering of woman doctors in New York.
Dr Esther P. Lovejoy of the US was elected as its first President.
25 October 1928

The Hogarth Press published Twelve Days: An Account of a Journey Across the Bakhtiari Mountains in South-West Persia by Vita Sackville-West.
25 October 1971

The Communist People’s Republic of China was belatedly allowed to join the United Nations (Taiwan having been first expelled).
This was a highly controversial move.
25 October 1976

The National Theatre’s new home on the South Bank officially opened with a royal gala performance of a comedy by Carlo Goldoni in its larger auditorium, the Olivier.
25 October 1981

The film Quartet, adapted from Jean Rhys’s novel of that name, premièred in the USA.
25 October 1983

The United States invaded Grenada, a member of the British Commonwealth, and occupied it within three days in Operation Urgent Fury.
After a Marxist People’s Revolutionary Government came to power, and a request for UK intervention was reportedly mis-delivered to a plastic-bag factory in east London, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States invited the US to intervene in Grenada. The US was keen to do so because of the perceived communist threat in its backyard. Widespread criticism in the UK followed.
25 October 1993

Eva Figes’s Women’s Letters in Wartime, 1450-1945, an anthology edited for Pandora, covered a period from the hundred years’ war to the end of the second world war.
25 October 1997

The Round Reading Room at the British Library was finally closed.
25 October 2001

Helen Dunmore collected in Out of the Blue, Poems 1975-2001 work from seven previous volumes, together with new poems.

Reviews of Orlando

In Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies

The Orlando textbase is one of those online resources that can swallow hours of your life in pleasurable, work-related browsing. This seductive capacity to devour time may or may not be a good thing, depending on whether you should actually be planning a lecture or marking essays, but it is certainly enjoyable and, joking apart, Orlando is also undoubtedly useful. Those working in the long eighteenth century will find it an informative and in some respects unique research tool, with much of interest for scholars of the period.” (277).

Bibliographic citation links allow you to see where just about everything has come from, and also mean that anyone coming fresh to a particular writer has a useful starting-point for building up a bibliography. This is one of the many ways in which Orlando provides something very different from the various printed dictionaries, encyclopaedias and guides to women’s writing available (277).

Gillian Skinner, “Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present (review).” Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 22:2 (March 2010), 277-78. (Available from Project MUSE).
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