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.

23 June 1413

At about forty, soon after her meeting with Julian, Margery Kempe came to crisis point in a long-term spiritual struggle.
23 June 1516

The death of Ferdinand of Spain brought together the huge territories of Aragon, Castile, Burgundy, and the Low Countries, under the rule of Charles of Ghent, who soon became Holy Roman Emperor as Charles V.
This major shift in the European power balance became even more marked in 1520 with the conquest of Mexico for Spain by Hernando Cortés.
23 June 1647

In a tract entitled A Word in Season to the Kingdom of England, Mary Cary “championed lay preaching, and urged that godliness was to be found in many forms.” She used her name, as M. Cary.
23 June 1651

Katherine Philips first appeared in print, with commendatory verses in the Cavalier poet William Cartwright’s posthumous Comedies,Tragi-Comedies, with other Poems.
23 June 1659

Anne Bradstreet wrote a poem In Reference to Her Children. She calls them “eight birds hatched in one nest,” traces their progress in the world, and imagines leaving them at her death.
23 June 1695

Marie-Catherine d’ Aulnoy’s Memoirs of the Court of England, written by the way of letters was advertised in Athenian Mercury, London, as by the Countess Daunoy.
23 June 1709

Mary Astell was attacked in Tatler number 32, ostensibly for A Serious Proposal, by either Swift or Steele.
23 June 1774

Anna Letitia Barbauld met Elizabeth Montagu for the first time (after some months’ correspondence) when on her honeymoon trip she visited Montagu’s house in Hill Street, Mayfair, London site of the famous bluestocking salon.
23 June 1825

Annie French, who later wrote as Mrs Alexander, was born in Dublin.
23 June 1838

A twopenny weekly for women entitled the Gem and Ladies’ Album began publication in London; it lasted for only three issues.
23-26 June 1848

An insurrection of 20,000 workers in Paris was defeated and the workers were massacred.
The insurrection was instigated by the abolition of national workshops, set up under Socialist pressure and intended to provide some monetary relief for the unemployed. 1,500 to 3,000 people died in street fighting, 1,000 of them fighting on the government side. More than 4,000 people were arrested and mainly deported to Algerian labour camps. After the insurrection, the Republicans suspended Socialist newspapers and increased the length of the workday to twelve hours.
23 June 1849

Louisa Nottidge’s relatives were were put on trial for confining her against her will in a lunatic asylum; she was awarded £50 damages.
She was a member of the sect led by Henry James Prince, a former Anglican clergyman who claimed to be the Holy Ghost, and in 1846 withdrew with his followers to the commune of Agapemone or the Abode of Love at Spaxton near Charlinch in North Somerset. Frances Power Cobbe’s brother Will, also a member of the sect, was involved in the widely reported trial. The Illustrated London News picked up and recirculated the story in 1851.
The trial was significant in establishing criteria that someone was “to be considered of non-sane mind who is dangerous to himself, or to herself, and others. Beyond these limits we must not travel.”
23 June 1852

Margaret Sandbach died in her sleep after a long, painful battle with breast cancer.
23 June 1854

Ebenezer Ward and George Lock established the publishing house of Ward and Lock at 158 Fleet Street, London, the former premises of David Nutt.
Ward and Lock became important for their publication of inexpensive literature and educational and reference books. The firm eventually became Ward Lock Ltd.
23 June 1864

The Insane Prisoners Amendment Act prohibited defendants from appointing their own physicians to assess their mental condition.
This legislation had the effect of making it impossible to fix a verdict of not guilty by reason of momentary insanity. It was prompted by the murder trial of George Victor Townley, where the defence solicitor hired doctors to certify his client insane.
23 June 1868

Christopher Latham Sholes, an American printer, took out a patent on an early working model of the typewriter, which he and his associates had invented the previous year.
The typewriter developed in parallel stages in Europe. Jessie White Mario used one in the early 1860s.
23 June 1885

The Marquess of Salisbury (Conservative) formed a minority government in Britain.
23 June 1887

Queen Victoria began to employ two Indian servants.
23 June 1888

In an article in The Link, White Slavery in London, Annie Besant expressed outrage over the working conditions for girls in the Bryant and May match factory.
23 June 1894

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was set up to organise international Olympic Games meetings inspired by the pan-Greek games of classical times.
23 June 1894

Pauline Johnson published Iroquois of the Grand River in Harper’s Weekly.
23 June 1897

A state performance was held at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The programme included Tannhäuser, Romeo et Juliette and Les Huguenots.
23 June 1898

Winifred Holtby was born at Rudston, on Humberside in the county of Yorkshire. She was the younger of two daughters.
23 June 1921

Katherine Mansfield, John Middleton Murry, and L. M. settled at Sierre in Switzerland.
23 June 1925

British troops fired into striking crowds in Canton, killing fifty-two people and wounding a hundred and seventeen; this followed an incident in Shanghai on 30 May 1925, which left nine people dead and twenty wounded.
These shootings resulted in strikes, anti-foreign riots, and a fifteen-month boycott of British goods and shipping (which enjoyed special status in Shanghai under a British-Chinese treaty). The boycott ended on 10 October 1926.
23 June 1931

Lili de Alvarez became the first woman to wear shorts while playing in the tennis championships at Wimbledon.
23 June 1932

Catherine Carswell published a second biography, The Savage Pilgrimage: A Narrative of D. H. Lawrence. After brisk early sales, charges that it was libellous caused her publisher, Chatto and Windus, to remove it from the market.
23 June 1981

The Family Law (Protection of Spouses and Children) Act of Ireland was passed. This Act gave increased protections to abused or threatened spouses and children.
23 June 1988

The Men’s Room, Ann Oakley’s first novel to see print, appeared from Virago Press.
23 June 1999

Muriel Spark received an Honorary DLitt from Oxford University.
23 June 2000

Sarah Kane’s last play, 4.48 Psychosis, which has been described as her “70 minute suicide note,” was performed posthumously at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs.
23 June 2009

Elizabeth Inchbald’s politically-freighted tragedy The Massacre, which the author withdrew from publication in 1792, had its world premiere at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds.

Reviews of Orlando

Miranda Hickman in Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature

Orlando features not only British women writers but rather a wide range of male and female writers in some way related to literature associated with the British Isles. As a modernist, I welcomed entries on American writers H. D., Djuna Barnes, and Marianne Moore (Hickman 181).

It is inspiring to see such richly collaborative work in action in the humanities, enabled and encouraged by the Orlando framework; this reads as a real example of what Vera John Steiner calls the ‘co construction of knowledge.’ . . . I soon realized that the ground breaking (I should say pathfinding) nature of the project’s set up lay in how its structure allows one to navigate such pages [individual entries] in aggregate. . . . What Orlando allows you to do, in a spirit nicely faithful to the agility implied by Woolf’s Orlando, is to choose your own adventure. . . . When one departs from the usual technique of shuttling immediately to an individual writer’s entry, one appreciates more fully the mercurial quality of the information, uniquely susceptible of rearrangement thanks to the intricate electronic encoding system. This system of electronic tagging both indicates and enables theoretical savvy (Hickman 182).

The rich corpus of information the Orlando team has managed to build in the project’s brief lifespan is nothing short of astonishing. In both theoretical and practical terms, this exciting project makes superb use of the implications of new technologies, and like Woolf’s Orlando, it points to the future. Like Woolf’s oak tree, may it flourish and ramify (Hickman 184).

Miranda Hickman. Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, 27:1 (Spring 2008), 180-86. (Available from Project MUSE).
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