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.

29 June 1620

Lady Ashburnham (later Elizabeth Richardson, Lady Cramond) was left poor at the death of her first husband in the Fleet Prison, where he had been incarcerated for debt.
29 June 1754

In Cabinet the Duke of Newcastle for the first time enunciated the imperial idea as regards North America and the French presence there.
29 June 1757

The Duke of Newcastle formed his second government, this time a Whig coalition with William Pitt.
Newcastle did not really believe in Pitt’s dream of conquering Canada. But neither man could govern without the other, so Pitt now had scope for his imperial plans.
29 June 1767

The Revenue Act imposed new and severe duties on the British trade with America.
These were called Townshend’s duties after the drafter of the bill, Charles Townshend. They covered a range of items, notably tea. British exports to the colonies were reckoned as worth nearly two million pounds annually in 1765-6 and three million annually in 1771-3.
29 June 1767

Ann Masterman married the attorney William Skinn, who according to her fictional portrait of him three years later proved to be “the greatest brute in nature.”
29 June 1812

Sarah Siddons, the famous actress, now aged fifty-six, played her last night (as Lady Macbeth) at the Covent Garden Theatre.
To pay her a tribute, the crowd insisted on ending the play after Siddons made her final exit in the penultimate act. She is said to have made a graceful and poetic farewell speech. She did, however, make nineteen special individual performances after this date, before retiring permanently in 1819.
29 June 1813

Through her friendship with Mary Berry, Joanna Baillie met Germaine de Staël.
29 June 1821

A scant month after her husband’s death, Anna Eliza Stothard (later Anna Eliza Bray) gave birth to her only child, a daughter named Blanch Anna Eliza.
29 June 1838

The Sun newspaper was printed in gold to celebrate Queen Victoria’s coronation.
29 June 1852

Bessie Rayner Parkes (already a friend of Marian Evans—later George Eliot) introduced her to Barbara Leigh Smith, who became her close confidant and supporter.
29 June 1852

Barbara Leigh Smith was introduced to George Eliot by Bessie Rayner Parkes; they soon became close.
29 June 1854

Charlotte Brontë married curate Arthur Bell Nicholls. They honeymooned in Wales and his native Ireland.
29 June 1855

The first number appeared of Daily Telegraph and Courier, a newspaper which as the Daily Telegraph is still published in London in the twenty-first century.
It was founded by Colonel Arthur Sleigh, but relaunched by Moses Joseph Levy on 17 September 1855 as “the largest, best, and cheapest newspaper in the world.” It undercut The Times, at sevenpence a copy, and the Daily News and the Morning Post at fivepence each.
The paper supported the Liberal Party, Imperialism, progressive causes, and the popularisation of science. It also specialised in crime reporting. By January 1856 its circulation had reached 27,000.
29 June 1861

Elizabeth Barrett Browning died at Casa Guidi in Florence.
29 June 1865

The Sewage Utilization Act was passed.
This act, along with one in 1867, allowed town administrators to dispose of sewage, and join with other district authorities to do so where necessary. The Act also included a specific clause aimed at protecting local rivers from sewage pollution.
29 June 1868

A bill introduced in the House of Lords proposed extending the Contagious Diseases Acts to London, and any other borough that chose to follow.
The bill suggested that the acts could be administered by visiting surgeons appointed by local Poor Law boards.
29 June 1871

The UK’s Trade Union Act legalized labour unions but denied workers the right to picket.
29 June 1875

The new Artizans’ and Labourers’ Dwellings Improvement Act contained provisions for the rehousing of those rendered homeless through the compulsory demolition of insanitary buildings.
Local governments ultimately assumed this responsibility, if new housing developments on the site were insufficient to meet this demand.
29 June 1876

Two days after Harriet Martineau’s death, the Daily Mail published an obituary which she had written on herself some twenty-two years earlier, candidly assessing her strengths as well as her limitations.
29 June 1889

The Athenæum published a favourable review of Early Letters of Jane Welsh Carlyle.
29 June 1910

Women Folk ended publication in London.
This weekly, edited by Winifred Blatchford and published by Utopia Press, had begun on 20 December 1909. In February 1910 it had merged with The Woman Worker.
29 June 1910

Elizabeth von Arnim’s stage adaptation of her earlier novel Princess Priscilla’s Fortnight (1905) premiered at the Haymarket Theatre as Priscilla Runs Away.
29 June 1927

A total solar eclipse occurred over England. There would not be another one until 1999.
29 June 1927

Poet and novelist Christina Fraser-Tytler died after thirteen years as a widow.
29 June 1927

T. S. Eliot was received into the Church of England in the parish church at Finstock in Oxfordshire. Five months later, he became a naturalised British subject, which at this date meant renouncing his US citizenship.
29 June 1932

Edith Somerville received an Honorary DLitt from Trinity College, Dublin.
29-30 June 1934

This was Hitler’s Night of the Long Knives, during which about 100 rivals or enemies, the left-wing element within the Nazi Party, were killed. The sinister name came from a popular Nazi song.
The purge largely eliminated the Sturm Abteilung (SA) brownshirts, the private army of stormtroopers headed by Ernst Roehm (which had brought Hitler to prominence but was detested by the regular army), and swiftly consolidated Hitler’s power. Roehm himself was executed soon afterwards. The Schutzstaffel (SS) blackshirts, Hitler’s personal bodyguard, afterwards took over the position and power of the SA as the principal instrument of internal rule in Nazi Germany.
29 June 1940

Five years after the end of her first marriage, Dora Russell married Irish communist Pat Grace.
29 June 1946

Jan Struther made a temporary return from London to New York, this time by plane, ostensibly for the launch of her new book of poetry (which, however, appeared before her arrival).
29 June 1961

Muriel Spark published Voices at Play: Stories and Ear-pieces: this collects short stories but also four ear-pieces, or radio plays.
29 June 1965

Elizabeth Jane Howard married as her third husband the novelist Kingsley Amis, at Marylebone town hall.
29 June 1989

A selection of Dorothy Richardson’s short stories and autobiographical sketches were collected in book form for the first time in Journey to Paradise, published by Virago Modern Classics and edited by critic Trudi Tate.
29 June 2005

Policy Press issued the Ann Oakley Reader: Gender, Women and Social Science, the author’s own selection of excerpts from her writings.

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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