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 January 1620

Lucy Apsley, later Lucy Hutchinson, was born at the Tower of London, first daughter in a family which had five children surviving, and was to have six more (but only one more survivor).
29 January 1711

Jane Hughes married a wild young man, Thomas Brereton, whose father had money, and who was still enrolled as a university student.
29 January 1728

John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera opened at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. It was published on 14 February.
It ran 32 consecutive nights, to an unprecedented total of 62 nights for the season. Until then, nine nights had been considered a good run.
29 January 1729

Eliza Haywood published what is probably her first novel of this year: The Fair Hebrew; or, A True, but Secret History of Two Jewish Ladies, Who lately resided in London.
29 January 1737

Thomas Paine, political thinker and radical, was born at Thetford in Norfolk.
29 January 1746

Charlotte Ramsay (later Charlotte Lennox) first appeared on stage in London: at Drury Lane, as Lavinia in The Fair Penitent by Nicholas Rowe.
29 January 1753

Henry Fielding published A Proposal for making an Effectual Provision for the Poor, which he planned to do by establishing a county workhouse system.
His title continues, “for amending their morals, and for rendering them useful members of the society.”
29 January 1768

The earlier of Oliver Goldsmith’s two comedies, The Good Natur’d Man, opened at Covent Garden Theatre, where it ran long enough for three author’s benefit nights. It was printed the same year.
Goldsmith made about four hundred pounds from the production. The eponymous hero, who suffers from an irresistible compulsion to sacrifice himself for the good or merely the convenience of others, is among other things a satire on the current mode of the man of sensibility. He is rescued from the troubles he brings on himself by the heroine, Miss Richland, who is a strong young woman as well as a wealthy one.
29 January 1793

William Wordsworth published two early poems, An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches.
29 January 1793

Every One Has His Fault, a comedy by Elizabeth Inchbald, opened at Covent Garden, after being postponed for a week for fear of coinciding with the guillotining of Louis XVI of France.
29 January 1810

The Family Legend by Joanna Baillie was staged at the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh, by Henry Siddons (son of the great Sarah).
29 January 1820

King George III died and George IV (already Regent) assumed the throne.
29 January 1833

After meeting Anna Wheeler, Benjamin Disraeli described her as “awfully revolutionary.”
29 January 1838

Jemima Montgomery married Cajetan Josef Friedrich, Baron von Tautphoeus, of Marquartstein.
29 January 1848

Insurgency in Sicily resulted in the declaration of Sicily’s independence and the granting on this date, by Ferdinand II of Naples, of a constitution.
This was the first successful revolution of the year. Although some peasants took part in the Sicilian insurrection, there, as elsewhere in Italy and in most of Europe, revolution was characterized by a largely inactive rural population.
29 January 1849

The National Parliamentary and Financial Reform Association was founded to unite Chartists and radicals.
The Association aimed to bring together middle-class radicals (such as Joseph Hume and Joshua Walmsley), Manchester School radicals (such as John Bright and Richard Cobden), and moderate Chartists. Its programme consisted of four points: household suffrage, the ballot, triennial parliaments and more equitable seat distribution.
29 January 1852

George Sand met with Louis Napoléon to plead successfully for the release of political prisoners captured during his coup d’état.
29 January 1856

Queen Victoria instituted the Victoria Cross for acts of conspicuous valour.
29 January 1861

Catherine Gore died at Linwood, Lyndhurst, Hampshire.
29 January 1864

Lucy Aikin died of influenza at her home in Hampstead, Milford House.
29 January 1865

Isabella Beeton gave birth to Mayson, her fourth son, christened with her own family surname.
29 January 1871

Paris capitulated to the Prussians besieging it.
Madame Déperdussin, a Parisian who recorded the siege in a diary, believed that the city could and should have held out longer. Bismarck agreed to an armistice with France in order to permit the election of a National Assembly in February, in which the monarchists were returned to power.
29 January 1884

Annie Louisa Walker married Henry Coghill (who was generally known as Harry) and settled in Staffordshire.
29 January 1884

The first fascicle of the New English Dictionary (later Oxford English Dictionary) reached print, covering the beginning of the alphabet, from A to Ant.
29 January 1888

The Sunday Times carried Ella Hepworth Dixon’s earliest identified, signed story, Dr Patmore’s Patient.
29 January 1888

Edward Lear, writer and artist, died at San Remo, Italy.
29 January 1893

Emily Gerard’s close friend Princess Marguerite, Duchess of Madrid, died, which was a heavy blow to her.
29 January 1900

Edith J. Simcox dated the final entry in her diary or Autobiography of a Shirtmaker.
29 January 1903

Kathleen Beauchamp (later Katherine Mansfield) and her family left New Zealand to sail to England.
29 January 1907

Helen Taylor died at Torquay in Devon.
29 January 1909

Mary Augusta Ward addressed an anti-suffrage meeting of 1,100 people at the Victoria Rooms inBristol.
29 January 1937

Angela Thirkell sailed for the United States, where she spent several months visiting New York, Boston, and Washington.
29 January 1939

Germaine Greer was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, eldest of a family which later included a sister and brother, six and eleven years younger.
29 January 1942

The American Government began forcibly removing its Japanese citizens into relocation camps.
29 January 1958

Margiad Evans was re-admitted to the Kent and Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells, where she remained until her death.
29 January 1961

Angela Thirkell died at Birtley House, at Bramley in Surrey, of aplastic anaemia.
29 January 1963

Elspeth Huxley set out on her last visit to Kenya before her mother was to leave it. As it turned out, however, her frequent visits there continued after this.
29 January 1970

Iris Murdoch published A Fairly Honourable Defeat, a novel which has an unhappy ending for most of its characters.
29 January 1978

Pat Barker married zoology lecturer David Barker of Durham University, with whom she had already been living for close to a decade.
29 January 2013

Adrienne Rich’s final poetry volume was a fat selection from her life’s work as chosen by herself, including nothing from her first six volumes of verse, but something from each of the twelve volumes published thereafter: Later Poems: Selected and New, 1971-2012.

Reviews of Orlando

Matthew Reisz in Times Higher Education

[T]he possibilities offered by “interpretive tagging,”… enable the information about an individual writer’s life and work to be searched by time, place, genre and occupation. One can look at all the authors who were nuns or librarians; who wrote agit-prop, anthems or art criticism, who had links with Scarborough or South Africa. The biographers can also be interrogated in multiple further ways. Such options enable kinds of research quite impossible in a book. But they also indirectly help generate alternatives to more “mainstream” perspectives (50).

Matthew Reisz. “In search of a good companion: Matthew Reisz weighs up the role of weighty tomes of literary reference in the digital age,” Times Higher Education, 928:1 (December – January 2009), 48-51. Digital version available from Times Higher Education online.
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