Romantic poets, selected poems: context links Timeline

Year Historical Literary Author
1771 Smollett's The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker
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
1780 Gordon Riots, June 2-10, 300 people killed
1783 American Revolution ends
Anglo-Spanish war ends
Evangelical revival begins
1784 Wesleyan charter published
First mechanical threshing machine in use
1785 First steam engine installed
1787 Formation of a Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade
1788 The Times founded
1789 French Revolution and fall of the Bastille
First steam-driven cotton factory opens in Manchester
1790 First steam-driven rolling mill opens Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France
1791 Darwin's The Botanic Garden Paine's Rights of Man, part 1
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
Birth of Percy Bysshe Shelley
1793 Britain and France at war
Louis XVI and his queen, Marie-Antoinette are executed. Reign of Terror begins.
Godwin's Political Justice
1794 Execution of Danton and Robespierre in France Godwin's Caleb Williams
1795 Food riots
Rise of Napoleon
 Thomas Carlyle born
More's Cheap Repository Tracts

Adam Smith writes Essays on Philosophical Subjects 

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
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

Mary Shelley's father, William Godwin, marries Mary Clairmont
1799 Combination Act bans some political societies
Introduction of income tax
Britain at war with France
Godwin's St Leon
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
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
1804 Napoleon preparing invasion of England
Napoleon crowned Emperor
War with Spain
Ann and Jane Taylor's Original Poems for Infant Minds
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
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
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
Visits Dundee and meets Percy Bysshe Shelley
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 Mary Shelley elopes with Percy Bysshe Shelley. Travels to Continent with Percy Bysshe Shelley and her stepsister Claire Clairmont. Returns to England in the autumn
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 Mary Shelley gives birth to a daughter who dies within two weeks
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 Gives birth to son, William.
Travels with Percy Bysshe Shelley and Claire to Continent; they stay at the Villa Deodati with Lord Byron and Polidori
Begins writing Frankenstein
Returns to England. Fanny Imlay, Mary's half-sister, and Percy Bysshe Shelley's wife, Harriet, commit suicide.
Marries Percy Bysshe Shelley in December
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
Shelley completes Frankenstein while living in Marlow, Bucks
Gives birth to daughter, Clara.
History of a Six Week's Tour published
Shelley's Laon and Cythna
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
Shelley's Frankenstein published
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)

Shelleys travel to Italy, living in Lucca, Este (where Clara dies), Rome and Naples. Move to Rome, where William dies, and then Livorno (Leghorn). Mary writes Mathilda
1820 Death of George III and accession of George IV
Royal Astronomical Society founded
Lamb's Essays of Elia
Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer
Shelleys move to Florence, where son, Percy Florence, is born.
Move to Pisa. Mary writes Prosperine and Midas
1821 Another reform bill defeated in Commons
Greek War of Independence
Scott's Kenilworth
Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
Shelley's move to Livorno, Bagni di San Giuliano and back to Pisa

Colony for freed slaves founded in Liberia 

Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater Shelleys move to Lerici. Mary Shelley suffers a miscarriage. Percy Bysshe Shelley drowns. Mary moves to Genoa
1823 Scott's Quentin Durward
Hazlitt's Liber Amoris
Shelley's Valperga and second edition of Frankenstein published. Returns to London
1824 Combination Acts repealed, thus giving trade unions right to exist Scott's Redgauntlet
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
Shelley's The Last Man published
1828 Test and Corporation Acts repealed
Duke of Wellington becomes Prime Minister
1829 Catholic Emancipation Act
Robert Peel creates metropolitan police force
Carlyle's Signs of the Times
1830 Death of George IV and accession of William IV
Earl Grey's Whig reforming government
'Captain Swing' rural riots
Opening of Manchester - Liverpool Railway
July Revolution in France
Greek independence from Ottoman Empire secured
Cobbett's Rural Rides
Charles Lyell (Dante Gabriel?s Godfather), Principles of Geology
Shelley's Perkin Warbeck published
1831 Wellington resigns as Prime Minister in opposition to Parliamentary reform
National Union of the Working Class founded
Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction
Cholera outbreak in England
Mill's The Spirit of the Age Mary Shelley: Revised third edition of Frankenstein published
1832 Parliamentary Reform Act passed
Passage of the Great Reform Act
Morse invents the telegraph
Chambers' Edinburgh Journal and Penny Magazine (-1837) begin
1833 First Tracts for the Times published
Factory Act limits children's working hours and includes provision for education
Abolition of Slavey Act
Carlyle's Sartor Resartus (-1834)
1834 New Poor Law
British Empire abolishes slavery
1836 Mary Shelley's father, William Godwin dies
1837 Death of William IV and accession of Queen Victoria
Brunel, Great Western Railway
Carlyle's The French Revolution
Sarah Stickney Ellis, The Women of England: Their Social Duties and Domestic Habits
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