Songs of Innocence and Experience Timeline

Year Historical Literary Author
1757 1757-63: Seven Year's War Blake born, 28th November
1759 Johnson's Rasselas
Sterne begins publishing Tristram Shandy
1760 George II dies; George III becomes king Smollet's The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves
1762 Rousseau's The Social Contract is published
1763 James Boswell meets Samuel Johnson
1764 Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto
Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary
1765 Smollett's Travels in France and Italy
1768 Captain Cook begins first of three voyages to the South Seas Sterne's A Sentimental Journey Attended Henry Par's drawing school (to 1772)
1771 Smollett's The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker
1772 Started apprenticeship to James Basrie, engraver
1773 Engraved earliest known picture
1775 James Watt develops the steam engine
1776 American War for Independence begins (to 1784) Smith's The Wealth of Nations
1778 Founding of Royal Academy
1779 Anglo-Spanish War Student at the Royal Academy of Art. Made living as an engraver.
1780 Gordon Riots, June 2-10, 300 people killed First exhibited at Royal Academy
1782 Married Catherine Boucher, lived in central London
1783 American Revolution ends
Anglo-Spanish war ends
Evangelical revival begins
Private print run of Poetical Sketches
1784 Wesleyan charter published
First mechanical threshing machine in use
Blake's father dies
Sets up an (unsuccessful) print shop with brother Robert and James Parker
1785 First steam engine installed
1787 Formation of a Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade Brother Robert dies of consumption (aged 20)
1788 The Times founded First works produced using illuminated printing - There is No Natural Religion and All Religions are One
1789 French Revolution and fall of the Bastille
First steam-driven cotton factory opens in Manchester
Blake's Songs of Innocence
Songs of Innocence engraved. Comes into contact with ideas of Swedenborg. Publishes Tiriel and The Book of Thel.
1790 First steam-driven rolling mill opens Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France Blakes move to Lambeth. Blake writing Songs of Experience.
1791 Darwin's The Botanic Garden Paine's Rights of Man, part 1 Meets prominent radicals. Publishes The French Revolution
1792 Abolition of French monarchy and Republic declared; Louis XVI of France is put on trial Paine's Rights of Man, part 2
Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Blake's engravings for John Gabriel
1793 Britain and France at war
Louis XVI and his queen, Marie-Antoinette are executed. Reign of Terror begins.
Godwin's Political Justice Blake's America; Visions of the Daughters of the Albion
Songs of Experience advertised for sale. Publishes The Marriage of Heaven and Hell; A Song of Liberty; Voices of the Daughters of Albion; America
1794 Execution of Danton and Robespierre in France Godwin's Caleb Williams Songs of Innocence and Experience first issued in one volume. Publishes Europe; The Book of Urizen
1795 Food riots
Rise of Napoleon
 Thomas Carlyle born
More's Cheap Repository Tracts

Adam Smith writes Essays on Philosophical Subjects 

Engraves own works - Song of Los, Book of Los, Book of Ahania
1796 Failure of French attempt to invade Ireland. Peace negotiations with France break down.

Napoleon Bonaparte marries Josephine and invades Italy

Peace negotiations with France break down
Wollstonecraft's Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Denmark and Norway
 M.G. Lewis writes The Monk
1797 Failure of French attempt to invade through Wales. Mutinies in navy
Naval mutinies at Spithead and Nore
Birth of Schubert
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin born in London; her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, dies ten days later Career as engraver damaged by failure of project to illustrate Night Thoughts (E Young)
Publishes Vala or The Four Zoas; Milton
1798 French forces land in Ireland. Government extends control of newspapers. Nelson defeats French in Egypt at Battle of the Nile

Battle of the Nile; Nelson destroys French fleet

Wordsworth and Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads
Wollstonecraft's The Wrongs of Woman published

Malthus: An Essay on the Principle of Population

1799 Combination Act bans some political societies
Introduction of income tax
Britain at war with France
Godwin's St Leon Exhibits at Royal Academy
1800 Act of Union of Ireland with Britain (takes effect 1801)
Food riots in many places in Britain
Volta generates electricity
Maria Edgeworth: Castle Rackrent
Walter Scott: The Eve of St John
Blakes move to Felpham, Sussex
1801 High food prices and economic and social unrest
First Factory Act
First cencus of England and Wales
Thomas Jefferson elected President of the USA
Union of Great Britain and Ireland
1802 Peace of Amiens ends war with France
Health and Morals of Apprentices Act passes Parliament
1803 War with France begins again
Richard Trevithick builds first working railway steam engine
Godwin's Life of Chaucer Fight with a soldier leads to a trial, where acquitted (1804). Blakes return to London. Struggling financially.
1804 Napoleon preparing invasion of England
Napoleon crowned Emperor
War with Spain
Ann and Jane Taylor's Original Poems for Infant Minds Blake's Jerusalem and Milton
1805 Nelson's victory at Trafalgar
Battle of Austerlitz

Walter Scott: The Lay of the Last Minstrel 

Robert Southey: Poems 
1806 Napoleon defeats Prussians and establishes trade blockade of Britain
End of the Holy Roman Empire

Slave trade abolished in all British possessions

Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare
Bowdler: The Family Shakespeare

Hazlitt: Essays 

Leigh Hunt: Essays
1808 Start of Peninsular War

Beethoven: Fifth and Sixth Symphonies

Cowper: Poems
William Blake: Milton
1809 Proposals for Parliamentary reform are defeated in the House of Commons
Quarterly Review founded
First use of gas-lighting in central London
Battle of Corunna 

Arthur Wellesley defeats the French at Talavera and is created Duke of Wellington

Tennyson is born
Birth of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, poet Unsuccessful exhibition of paintings
1810 George III suffering from mental illness
Napoleon annexes the Netherlands
Chopin and Schumann are born
Coleridge lectures on Shakespeare
1811 Luddite machine-breakers active in the Midland counties of England.

Prince of Wales becomes Regent following the insanity of his father George III

Luddites begin destroying factory machinery
Shelley is expelled from Oxford
1812 War with America begins (until 1814)
Further Luddite unrest
Prime Minister Spencer Percival assassinated
Napoleon begins invasion of Russia
Wellington defeats French at Salamanca
Battle of Borodino

Napoleon enters Moscow but begins a retreat one month later
Birth of Robert Browning, poet
The Brothers Grimm publish their Tales
Shelley publishes Declaration of Rights
1813 Toleration Act for Unitarians
Leigh Hunt imprisoned for libelling Prince Regent
Wellington enters France
Napoleon defeated at Battle of Leipzig
Prussian army begins invasion of France
1814 Robert Stephenson builds steam locomotive
Napoleon abdicates and is banished to Elba
End of war with America
Congress of Vienna
Allies enter Paris
British burn Washington in USA
Scott's Waverley
1815 Napoleon returns from Elba and is defeated at Waterloo
Corn Law passed

Leigh Hunt released from prison on Feb. 3 

Napoleon returns to France and enters Paris
Napoleon finally defeated by Wellington at the battle of Waterloo
Napoleon banished to St Helena
John Nash begins the Brighton Pavilion
Scott's Guy Mannering
1816 Riots in East Anglia and the manufacturing districts of the north of England
Economic depression
William Cobbett's Political Register

 Shelley marries Mary Godwin

Scott's The Antiquary
1817 Prince Regent's coach attacked: further repressive measures by Government. Further social unrest
Manchester 'Blanketeers' march to London
Scott's Rob Roy
Hazlitt's Characters of Shakespeare's Plays
Southey's Wat Tyler
1818 Proposals for Parliamentary reform are twice defeated in the House of Commons
Percy and Mary Shelley depart from England for the final time
Peacock's Nightmare Abbey
Scott's Heart of Midlothian

Blake: Jerusalem

Occasional engraving commissions until 1824
1819 Peterloo massacres in Manchester and passing of Six Acts placing restrictions on the press and public assemblies
Poor Relief Act passed
Factory Act passed
Queen Victoria born
Birth of Albert (later Prince Consort)
Scott's Ivanhoe; The Bride of Lammermoor

Leigh Hunt: Hero and Leander

J.H. Reynolds: Benjamin the Waggoner; Peter Bell (both parodies of Wordsworth)

1820 Death of George III and accession of George IV
Royal Astronomical Society founded
Lamb's Essays of Elia
Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer
Publishes The Laocoon Group
1821 Another reform bill defeated in Commons
Greek War of Independence
Scott's Kenilworth
Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

Colony for freed slaves founded in Liberia 

Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater
1823 Scott's Quentin Durward
Hazlitt's Liber Amoris
Falls into extreme poverty
1824 Combination Acts repealed, thus giving trade unions right to exist Scott's Redgauntlet Becomes inspiration for new group of painters. Commissioned to illustrate The Divine Comedy and The Pilgrim's Progress
1825 Stockton - Darlington Railway opens Hazlitt's The Spirit of the Age
1826 Power looms destroyed by unemployed weavers
Further attempts at Parliamentary reform defeated
1827 Blake dies on 12th Aubust, aged 69
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