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.

7 July 1593

Christopher Marlowe’s tragedy Edward II was posthumously entered in the Stationers’ Register.
7 July 1623

Lucy Davies (daughter of Lady Eleanor Davies, later Lady Eleanor Douglas), was married, aged ten, to Ferdinando Hastings, heir of Lord Huntingdon; a second ceremony was held a month later. She remained, though, with her family.
7 July 1754

Frances Seymour (formerly Countess of Hertford, now dowager Duchess of Somerset) died.
7 July 1770

John Wesley made one of his visits to Mary Bosanquet’s settlement at Cross Hall, which he called “a pattern, and a general blessing to the country.”
7 July 1776

Elizabeth and Joseph Inchbald sailed from Shields in Scotland for France, in order for Elizabeth to study French and her husband to improve his painting.
7 July 1791

With feelings of immense relief, Frances Burney finally left her Keeper of the Robes position at Court, which she had held since 1786.
7 July 1796

Sarah Harriet Burney published, anonymously, her first book: Clarentine. A Novel.
7 July 1809

Jane Austen, with her mother, her sister, and their friend Martha Lloyd, moved from Southampton to the security of Chawton Cottage in Hampshire.
7 July 1814

Walter Scott caused a sensation with Waverley, his first novel, a historical work published anonymously with a dedication to the sentimental novelist Henry Mackenzie.
7 July 1816

Richard Brinsley Sheridan, playwright, theatre manager, and politician, died in London.
7 July 1818

Catherine Anne Austen (later Catherine Hubback) was born at Chawton House in Hampshire; she was a fourth daughter, far down among a family of eleven brothers and sisters.
7 July 1821

Anna Letitia Barbauld met Charles Lamb and his sister Mary. Charles had already, in the privacy of a letter, railed at “the cursed Barbauld Crew” whose didactic tales had driven out old, “wild” tales, Science driving out Fancy.
7 July 1832

Ann Hatton was soliciting subscribers for Fifty-two Poetic Cumaean Leaves, Predicting the Destiny of Ladies and Gentlemen.
7 July 1839

Margaret Emily Shore died of tuberculosis at the age of nineteen, the year after her family moved from England to the island of Madeira in an attempt to improve her health.
7 July 1848

Newby’s advertisement of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in the US as the work of Currer Bell prompted Charlotte and Anne Brontë to make a sudden trip to London to refute the claim.
7 July 1848

Charlotte Brontë travelled to London with her sister Anne to refute the claim that Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell were a single author.
7 July 1849

George Meredith’s first published work, the poem Chillianwallah, appeared in Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal.
7 July 1859

The first meeting of the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women was held in London; founding members included Anna Jameson, Emily Faithfull, Jessie Boucherett, Adelaide Procter, Bessie Rayner Parkes, Isa Craig, and Sarah Lewin.
The group sought to expand the range of gainful employment available to women beyond teaching, needlework, or domestic service. The argument that women were well suited for certain trades, such as printing, helped lead to all-women printing houses, such as the Victoria Press. The society operated at least into the 1890s.
7 July 1860

Florence Farr was born near London, at Bickley in Kent.
7 July 1882

This date was written on a threatening letter thrust into Lady Florence Dixie’s hand, signed Liberty, saying she would be assassinated if she did not cease her activity in Irish political matters.
7 July 1883

Robert Browning dated his first of many letters addressed to Edith Cooper and Katharine Harris Bradley, who were soon to publish together as Michael Field.
7 July 1892

In the British general election of this month, James Keir Hardie and two other candidates became the first independent Labour Members of Parliament.
Hardie stood for the constituency of West Ham South. In the 1895 elections, neither he nor the twenty-seven other candidates standing for the now officially constituted Independent Labour Party were elected.
7 July 1907

Annie Louisa Walker died in Bath, aged around seventy.
7 July 1912

L. M. Montgomery gave birth to her first son, Chester Cameron Macdonald, at the age of thirty-eight.
7 July 1916

Representatives from the Women’s Police Service (Margaret Damer Dawson and Mary Allen) signed an agreement with the Ministry of Munitions for the employment of women police to regulate and oversee the conduct of female munitions workers.
7 July 1917

The Army Council Instruction No. 1069 formally declared the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was to substitute women for soldiers in certain home employment or on lines of communication overseas.
This official recognition resulted from the determination of the War Office to increase the human resources available for the war effort. It was stressed that no woman would be taken on except specifically for the purpose of freeing a male soldier.
7 July 1922

Katherine Mansfield wrote The Canary, the last story she ever finished, as a gift for Brett.
7 July 1927

Pomes Penyeach, a “tiny volume covered in the pale green of Joyce’s favorite apple, the Calville, was published by Shakespeare and Company, selling, as the title suggested, for a shilling or twelve francs.”
7 July 1937

Japan launched a full-scale invasion of China: by the end of the month the Japanese had taken Peking.
The following month they reached the treaty port of Shanghai, with its large expatriate British colony.
7 July 1946

BBC television broadcast to children for the first time, in For the Children.
7 July 1975

The first work by the Afro-American writer Ntozake Shange opened off Broadway in New York: the choreopoem (or verse sequence for musical performance with dance) For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf.
This piece (published the same year) was produced with dancer Paula Moss, and was re-worked in 1982 as a film. Shange, born Paulette Williams, chose for herself her Zulu name, which means “she who comes with her own things” and “she who walks like a lion.” She has gone on to publish further dramatic works and poems, as well as novels, essays, and stories.
7 July 1978

The Solomon Islands became independent from Britain.
7 July 1990

Martina Navratilova won the women’s singles title at the Wimbledon tennis tournament for the ninth time, beating the record of eight wins set by Helen Wills Moody between 1927 and 1938.
7 July 2005

Fifty-two people died and many were injured in suicide bombings on the London tube and a bus during the morning rush hour.
Apart from the dead, more than 700 people were injured: most of them working people, many of international origins. The four suicide bombers, aged between nineteen and thirty, were all British and came from secure and apparently moderate backgrounds. Two weeks later a second wave of bombs placed in similar places failed to cause significant damage.

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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