The Color Purple Timeline

Year Historical Literary Author

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
1824 Combination Acts repealed, thus giving trade unions right to exist Scott's Redgauntlet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
1828 Test and Corporation Acts repealed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
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
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
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
1838 Anti-Corn Law League founded
Chartist petitions published
London to Birmingham railway opens
People's Charter issued
Letitia Landon dies, Gold Coast
1839 First Factory Inspector's report Carlyle's Chartism
Darwin's The Voyage of the Beagle
Ellis' The Women of England:Their Social Duties and Domestic Habits
1840 Penny post begins
Queen Victoria marries her cousin Albert, who becomes Prince Consort.
1841 The Tories come to power. Sir Robert Peel becomes Prime Minister
Punch begins
1842 Jowett becomes tutor at Balliol College, Oxford
Chartist riots. Report on Sanitary Conditions of Labouring Population
Mudie's Lending Library opens
Illustrated London News begins
1843 Theatre Regulation Act Thomas Carlyle's Past and Present
Ruskin's Modern Painters (vol. 1)
1844 Co-operative Society founded in Rochdale
Factory Act (women and children)
Expansion of railways across Britain
Disraeli's Coningsby, or The New Generation published
1845 John Henry Newman converts to Catholicism
Financial speculation in Railways
Onset of the Irish potato famine
The first Anglican sisterhood, Park Village, is founded in the Christ Church parish
Disraeli's Sybil, or The Two Nations published
E. A. Poe, Tales of Mystery and Imagination
1846 Repeal of Corn Laws
Famine in Ireland
Whigs come to Power
1847 Railway reaches Dorchester
Ten Hours' Factory Act
Disraeli's Tancred
1848 Chartist demonstrations in London following by the collapse of the Chartist movement
Democratic Revolutions in Europe.
Cholera epidemic
Public Health Act
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood founded
Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto
Newman's Loss and Gain
1849 Bedford College for Women founded Charles Kingsley's Alton Locke
1850 Roman Catholic hierarchy established
Public Libraries Act
Charles Kingsley, Alton Locke
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
1851 Great Exhibition in London
Taylor Mill's The Enfranchisement of Women
Ruskin's Stones of Venice

Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe

1853 Cholera epidemic
Crimean War
Yonge's Heir of Redclyffe
1854 Onset of Crimean War
1855 Daily Telegraph
Repeal of stamp duty on newspapers
Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South
1856 Crimean War ends Dickens, Little Dorrit
1857 Railway extended to Weymouth
Indian Mutiny
Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act
Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary
Hughes' Tom Brown's School days
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh
1858 Ballantyne's Coral Island
English Woman's Journal begins
George Eliot, Scenes of Clerical Life
1859 Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species published
Rise of movement for Home Rule in Ireland
Smiles' Self Help published
Mill's On Liberty
1860 Cornhill Magazine begins
1861 Death of Prince Consort
American Civil War begins
Dickens, Great Expectations
Beeton's Book of Household Management
Wood's East Lynne
1862 Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret
1863 The Oxford Declaration published Kingsley's The Water Babies
1864 John Henry Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua
1865 American Civil War ends
Women's Suffrage Campaign
Transatlantic cable laid
Joseph Lister establishes antiseptic surgery
Completion of St. Pancras' railway station
Slavery is abolished in the USA
Matthew Arnold's Essays in Criticism
1866 Cholera epidemic
Former slaves granted citizenship and equal rights in America
Ku Klux Klan founded
Swinburne's Poems and Ballads (dedicated to Rossetti) published
1867 Second Reform Act
Fenian Rising in Ireland
Marx's Das Kapital published
George Eliot's Felix Holt, the Radical
1868 Gladstone becomes Prime Minister
1869 Opening of Suez Canal
Mill's The Subjection of Women
Arnold's Culture and Anarchy
Blackmore's Lorna Doone
1870 Education Act: free education in new board schools
First Married Women's Property Act
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Poems
1871 Trade Union Act
Darwin's The Descent of Man
1872 MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin
1873 Mill's Autobiography
Pater's Studies in the Renaissance
1875 Gilbert & Sullivan's Trial by Jury
1876 Invention of telephone by Alexander Graham Bell
Queen Victorian proclaimed Empress of India
1878 Gramophones first produced by Thomas Edison
Newman made Cardinal
Revolutions in Europe
Hardy's Return of the Native published
Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore
1879 Electric lightbulb invented George Meredith's The Egoist published
1880 (-1881) First Boer War, also known as the Transvaal War Hardy's The Trumpet Major is published
1881 First Anglo-Boer War Hardy's A Laodicean published
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ballads and Sonnets
Uncle Remus series, J C Harris 

First commercial production of electricity

Married Women's Property Act, enables women to buy, own and sell property and to keep their own earnings
1883 Fabian Society founded

Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathrustra

1884 Ruskin's Storm Cloud of the Nineteenth-Century
Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
1885 Haggard's King Solomon's Mines
1887 Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee celebrating 50 years of her reign Haggard's Allan Quartermain
1888 Jack the Ripper murders five women in London
Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society
Arnold's Essays in Criticism (Second Series)
1889 Newman dies Death of Gerard Manley Hopkins
1890 First underground railway in London
Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough (first two vols; complete 13 vols., -1915)
First of the Jim Crow laws passed to segregate blacks from whites in the South
Southern states pass series of laws to restrict black voting rights
William Morris' News from Nowhere
Emily Dickinson, Poems
1891 William Morris, Kelmscott Press Gissing's New Grub Street
1892 Daimlers sell their first motor car
1893 Independent Labour Party formed
1895 Oscar Wilde arrested and imprisoned for homosexuality
1897 Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee
1899 ( - 1902) Second Boer War
Irish Literary Theatre founded
Ibsen's When We Dead Awaken
Pinero's Trelawney of the 'Wells'
Symons' The Symbolist Movement in literature
Wells' Tales of Space and Time
1900 Most children under eleven attending elementary school
Daily Express founded
Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams
1901 Queen Victoria dies. Edward VII king
First transatlantic radio communication by Marconi
Wells' The First Men in the Moon
1902 Balfour Education Act establishes state system of secondary schools
Second Boer War ends
Bennett's Anna of the Five towns
Mare's Songs of Childhood
Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles
Kipling's Just So Stories
1903 Wilbur and Orville Wright make first powered flight
New York-London news service begins using wireless telegraphy
Emmeline Pankhurst founds the Women's Social and Political Union
Butler's The Way of All Flesh
James' The Ambassadors
The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. du Bois
1904 Entente Cordiale settles colonial differences between UK and France
Offset printing invented
Abbey Theatre, Dublin, founded
Freud's The Psychopathology of Everyday Life
Hardy's The Dynasts, Part I published
J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan first performed on stage
James' The Golden Bowl
1905 Start of suffragette agitation and first suffragettes imprisoned
Einstein's special theory of relativity
Freud's Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality
Doyle's The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Wells' Kipps
1906 Liberal landslide in general election; 29 Labour MPs elected and Labour Party constituted Mare's Poems
1907 Pablo Picasso introduces cubism
1908 Old Age Pensions Act introduces state pensions for the over-seventies
Ford's first Model T car sold in Britain
Pathe's first regular newsreel
First aeroplane flight in Britain
Edmund Gosse's Father & Son published
Bennett's The Old Wives' Tale
Wells' The War in the Air
1909 North Pole reached by Robert Peary (US)
NAACP founded 
Galsworthy's Strife
Pound's Personae
1910 Edward VII dies. George V becomes king
South Wales Miners' strike
First post-impressionist exhibition in London
First feature-length films
Freud's On Psychoanalysis
Collapse of cotton farming due to boll weevil damage
Galsworthy's Justice
Wells' The History of Mr Polly
1911 Ford Model T assembly plant opened in Manchester
Beatrice and Webb's Poverty
Der Blaue Reiter group of expressionist artists formed in Munich
Frazer's The Golden Bough (11 vols.-1915; first two vols., 1890)
Roald Amundsen reaches South Pole
Suffragette riots in London
Wells' The New Machiavelli
1912 First Post-Impressionism Exhibition in London
Titanic sinks
Widespread strikes in Britain
Women's Franchise Bill rejected by the House of Commons; suffragettes riot in London
Some 400 cinemas in London; establishment of British Board of Film Censors
Bridges' Poetical Works
Mare's The Listeners
Georgian Poetry, ed. Edward Marsh
Pound's Ripostes
Mann's Death in Venice
1913 Suffragette Emily Davies dies after throwing herself under the King's horse at the Derby
Freud's Totem and Taboo; also Interpretation of Dreams
Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring
'Cat and Mouse' Act
House of Commons passes Irish Home Rule Bill but rejected by the House of Lords
Suffragette deonstrations
Marcel Proust publishes first of the seven volumes of A la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past) (last volume, 1927)
1914 August: Great War breaks out (to November 1918)
Irish Home Rule Act passed but later suspended because of war
World War One - although segregated, black soldiers enlisted to fight in US armed forces
Pound's Des Imagistes
1915 War intensifies with huge losses
Zeppelin attacks on London
Sinking of Lusitania
Einstein's general theory of relativity
Second Battle of Ypres
Brooke's 1914 and Other Poems
Buchan's The Thirty-Nine Steps
Kafka's Metamorphosis
Maugham's Of Human Bondage
Some's Imagist Poets: An Anthology, ed. Amy Lowell (further Imagist anthologies followed in 1916 and 1917)
Ford Maddox Ford's The Good Soldier
1916 Easter Rising, Dublin
Conscription introduced
Battle of the Somme
Theories of shell-shock develop
Jung's Psychology of the Unconscious
Battle of Verdun
Lloyd George becomes Prime Minister
The Great Migration to the north begins (US) 
Brighouse's Hobson's Choice
Wells' Mr Britling Sees it Through
1917 USA enters war
Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele)
Russian Revolution (March)
Freud's Introduction to Psychoanalysis
Abdication of Czar Nicholas II
Russian Revolution (October)
1918 End of the Great War: Armistice, 11 November
Rutherford splits atom
Representation of the People Act (4th Reform Bill) gives the vote to all men over twenty-one and women over thirty
Stopes' Married Love; Parenthood
Fisher Education Act raises school-leaving age to fourteen
Influenza pandemic, kills over 20 million people world-wide by 1920
Execution of Czar Nicholas II
Vote given to all men over twenty-one and women over thirty
Joyce's Exiles
Thomas' Last Poems
1919 Treaty of Versailles
Anglo-Irish War begins
Nancy Astor becomes first woman MP
Flu pandemic
Peace conference at Versailles
Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence
1920 Partition of Ireland
League of Nations founded (precursor of the United Nations)
Oxford admits women to degrees (1880 at London University)
Jung's Psychological Types
Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Mansfield's Bliss
Strachey's Eminent Victorians
Hardy's Collected Poems
1921 Economic slump
Marie Stopes opens first birth-control clinic in London
Irish Free State formed
Huxley's Crome Yellow
Pirandello Six Characters in Search of an Author
1922 Unemployment stands at 2 million: first of many 'hunger marches' organised by the NUWM throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
Irish Civil War breaks out (ends 1923)
Mussolini comes to power in Italy
Radio broadcasting begins; British Broadcasting Company formed
Frazer's The Golden Bough (one-volume abridged edn)
Establishment of the USSR
Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga
Mansfield's The Garden Party
Richards' Principles of Literary Criticism
1923 Matrimonial Causes Act (allows women to sue for divorce on same grounds as men, including adultery) Sitwell's Façade published
Cummings' Tulips and Chimneys
Huxley's Antic Hay
Cane, Jean Toomer (Harlem Renaissance author)
1924 Paris Exhibition
First Labour government in Britain under Ramsay MacDonald (January)
Housing Act provides for subsidised public housing (generates over half a million new homes by 1932)
Freud's The Ego and the Id
Ramsay Macdonald forms first Labour government
1925 Pensions Act provides pensions at sixty-five Coward's Hay Fever
Hemingway's In Our Time
1926 General Strike
Television first demonstrated by John Logie Baird; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) established
T.E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1927 Trade Disputes Act makes general strikes illegal
Charles Lindbergh, first solo transatlantic flight
German financial and economic crisis
Rise of Stalin in USSR
Graves and Riding's A Survey of Modernist Poetry
1928 Universal suffrage for men and women
Minimum voting age for women in Britain reduced to twenty-one from thirty years
Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin (fully exploited from 1940)
First films with sound in Britain
Blunden's Undertones of War
Huxley's Point Counter Point
Isherwood's All the Conspirators
1929 General election returns minority Labour government; Margaret Bondfield becomes first woman Cabinet member
Wall Street Crash and start of international economic depression
Margaret Bondfield becomes first woman Cabinet member
Graves' Goodbye to All That
Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms
Priestley's The Good Companions
Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front (film version, 1930)
1930 Jet engine invented
11th May: Amy Johnson becomes the first woman to complete a solo flight from England to Australia
The Great Depression
Nazis begin rise to power in Germany
Foundation of the Nation of Islam (black national separatist organisation)
Blunden's Collected Poems
Coward's Private Lives
Faulkner's As I Lay Dying
Maugham's Cakes and Ale
1931 Woolf's The Waves
1932 Hunger marches in Britain
British Union of Fascists formed
Huxley's Brave New World
Eliot's Sweeney Agonistes
1933 Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany Auden's The Dance of Death
Orwell's Down and Out in London and Paris
1934 British Union of Fascists addressed by Oswald Mosley
Adolf Hitler becomes Führer
John Masefield becomes Poet Laureate
James' The Art of the Novel
Pound's Make it New
Priestley's English Journey
1935 Radar & nylon invented
Italy invades Ethiopia
Launch of first Penguin paperbacks
1936 Death of George V
Accession, then abdication of Edward VIII
Spanish Civil war begins
Jarrow March of the unemployed
Accession of George VI
Huxley's Eyeless in Gaza
Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying
Thomas' 25 Poems
1937 British policy of appeasement towards Italy and Germany
Mass Observation Project starts
Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier
Priestley's Time and the Conway's
Woolf's The Years

Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

1938 Munich agreement with Hitler
Supreme Court rules Missouri must provide access to public schooling for blacks as well as whites
Waugh's Scoop
Day-Lewis' Overtures to a Death
Greene's Brighton Rock
1939 End of Spanish Civil War
Start of the Second World War
Evacuation of children from London
Thomas' Twenty-Six Poems
Eliot's The Family Reunion
Isherwood's Goodbye to Berlin
Joyce's Finnegan's wake
Orwell's Coming up for Air
Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath
1940 Churchill becomes Prime Minister
Evacuation of British forces from Dunkirk
Start of the Blitz
Thomas' Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog
Greene's The Power and the Glory
1941 Japanese bomb Pearl Harbour
USA declares war on Germany and Italy
Coward's Blithe Spirit
Eliot's Little Gidding
1942 US involvement in Second World War
1944 D-Day Landings in Normandy
Butler Education Act
Eliot's Four Quartets Alice Walker born in Eatonton, Georgia
1945 Yalta Conference
Death of Hitler
USA drops nuclear bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan surrenders
End of Second World War
Clement Atlee becomes Labour Prime Minister
Mitford's The Pursuit of Love
Orwell's Animal Farm
Waugh's Brideshead Revisited
Priestley's An Inspector Calls
1947 Independence of India and Pakistan
The UK school leaving age is raised to 15
Princess Elizabeth – later Queen – marries the Duke of Edinburgh
Compton-Burnett's Manservant and Maidservant
The Diary of Anne Frank is published
The Maids, Jean Genet
All My Sons, Arthur Miller
A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams
1948 British Citizenship Act gives Commonwealth citizens subject status
Policy of apartheid started in South Africa
State of Israel founded
Waugh's Brideshead Revisited
Leavis' The Great Tradition
1949 Orwell's 1984
Miller's Death of a Salesman
The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir
1950 Korean War begins Greene's The Third Man
Lessing's The Grass is Singing
1951 Festival of Britain
Churchill becomes Conservative Prime Minister
Spies Burgess and Maclean defect to USSR
Larkin's Poems
Manning's School for Love
1952 George VI dies
Accession of Elizabeth II
Britain produces an atomic bomb
Christie's The Mousetrap
Rattigan's The Deep Blue Sea
Thomas' Collected Poems
1953 Death of Stalin
Coronation of Elizabeth II
Ascent of Everest
Hartley's The Go-Between
Fleming's Casino Royale
Miller's The Crucible
1954 End of post-war food rationing
US Supreme Court declares racially segregated education is unconstitutional
Amis' Lucky Jim
Rattigan's Separate Tables
Golding's Lord of the Flies
Thomas' Under Milk Wood
1955 Rosa Parks, Civil Rights activist in USA, refuses to give up her seat on a bus Beckett's Waiting for Godot
1956 Suez Crisis
Russian invasion of Hungary
Rosa Parks defies bus segregation in Montgomery Alabama
Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia
Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
Osborne's Look Back in Anger
Wilson's Anglo-Saxon Attitudes
Beckett, Waiting for Godot
1957 Wolfenden Report on Prostitution and Homosexuality
Independence of Ghana
Obscene Publications Act
Martin Luther King elected President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference 
Larkin's A Girl in Winter
Hughes' The Hawk in the Rain
Murdoch's The Sandcastle
MacInnes' City of Spades
Naipaul's The Mystic Masseur
Osborne's The Entertainer
1958 Notting Hill race riots
Aden state of emergency
CND founded
Achebe's Things Fall Apart
Pinter's The Birthday Party
Delaney's A Taste of Honey
Bates' The Darling Buds of May
Murdoch's The Bell
Silitoe's Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Betjeman's Collected Poems
1959 First section of M1 motorway opened
State of emergency in Kenya
Wesker's Roots
Lee's Cider with Rosie
Braithwaite's To Sir with Love
Waterhouse's Billy Liar
Arden's Serjeant Musgrave's Dance
Silitoe's The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansbury
1960 John F. Kennedy wins US election
CND demonstrations in Trafalgar Square
Penguin wins the right to publish D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover
Banks' The L Shaped Room
Lessing's In Pursuit of the English
Pinter's The Caretaker
Barstow's A Kind of Loving
Plath's The Colossus
1961 Commonwealth Immigrants Act restricts right to settle in UK
Structure of DNA discovered
Building of Berlin Wall
Osborne's Luther
Waugh's Sword of Honour trilogy
Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Naipaul's A House for Mr Biswas
Walker begins college in Atlanta, Georgia 
1962 End of national military service
Jamaica, Trinidad and Uganda become independent from UK
Burgess' A Clockwork Orange
Al Alvarez (ed), The New Poetry
Carson's Silent Spring
Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing

Albee, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

1963 US President John F. Kennedy assassinated
Kenya becomes independent
Martin Luther King makes his 'I have a dream' speech
1960-1963 Wilson Harris publishes The Guyana Quartet
Plath's The Bell Jar
Theatre Workshop, Oh! What a Lovely War
Dunn's Up the Junction

Transfers to Sarah Lawrence College in New York

1964 Beatles become popular
Labour PM, Harold Wilson
Harlem race riots in USA
Martin Luther King awarded Nobel Peace Prize
Nelson Mandela sentenced to life in prison
US Congress passes the Civil Rights Act banning segregation
Orton's Entertaining Mr Sloane
Larkin's The Whitsun Weddings
1965 Vietnam war escalates
Abolition of the death penalty (UK)
Rhodesia declares independence from UK
Race riots across America
Osborne's A Patriot for Me
Pinter's The Homecoming
Plath's Ariel
Bond's Saved
Manning's The Balkan Trilogy
Graduates and wins writing scholarship
1966 England wins the World Cup
Guyana becomes independent from UK
Television drama Cathy Come Home highlights homelessness in UK
In China, Mao Zedong launches his Cultural Revolution
Orton's Loot
Fowles' The Magus
Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Jubilee, Margaret Walker

The Concubine, Elechi Amadi
1967 Legalisation of abortion (UK)
Homosexuality decriminalized (UK)
First heart transplant
Gough, Patten, Henri, The Mersey Sound
Carter's The Magic Toyshop
Dunn's Poor Cow
Marries Civil Rights lawyer Mervyn Levanthal

Publishes first short story
1968 National Front formed (UK)
Race Relations Bill declares race discrimination illegal in the UK
Student uprising in Paris
Martin Luther King assassinated
USA passes Civil Rights Bill
Enoch Powell makes 'Rivers of Blood' speech in Birmingham
National Front formed (UK)
Hines' A Kestrel for a Knave
Bond's Early Morning
End of theatre censorship in Britain
When Rain Clouds Gather, Bessie Head
Publishes first collection of poetry
1969 'Winter of Discontent'
Americans land on the moon
Start of Northern Ireland ‘troubles’
Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman

Greene, Travels with my Aunt

Birth of daughter, Rebecca
Formation of Women’s Liberation Movement in UK

Equal Pay Act, UK
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

Ted Hughes, Crow

First novel: The Third Life of Grange Copeland

1971 Decimalisation of UK currency
Anti Vietnam war demonstrations
Bond's Lear
1972 Terrorist attack at Munich Olympic Games
Equal Opportunity Act extends 'affirmative action' to colleges and universities in USA
Drabble, The Needle’s Eye

Stoppard, Jumpers
1973 Abortion legalised in USA
USA pulls out of Vietnam
Britain enters EEC
Alan Ayckbourn, The Norman Conquests
Sula, Toni Morrison

Martin Amis, The Rachel Papers

Greene, The Honorary Consul
Love & Trouble short stories
1974 President Richard Nixon resigns
Larkin, High Windows

Murdoch, The Sacred and Profane Love Machine

Langston Hughes - poet biography
1975 End of Vietnam war
Sex Discrimination Bill (UK)
North Sea oil comes on line
Griffiths' Comedians
Bradbury's The History Man
Jhabvala's Heat and Dust
Scott's The Raj Quartet
Lodge's Changing Places
Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time
1976 Notting Hill (race) riots
Advent of punk rock
UK Race Relations Act strengthens anti-discrimination laws
Edgar's Destiny Divorced from husband
1977 Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee is celebrated
Strikes by firefighters and riots against Far Right groups take place across the UK
Public Works Employment Act - 10% of contractors to be from minorities

First Virago Press publication

First recognised AIDS death, New York
Dennis Potter, Brimstone and Treacle
 Our Sister Killjoy, Ama Aidoo
Stoppard, Professional Foul
1978 The first 'test tube' baby Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea
Weldon's Praxis
McEwan's The Cement Garden
Hare's Plenty
1979 Conservative party wins General Election (first female British Prime Minister)
'Winter of Discontent'
Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran flees Iran with his family
Churchill's Cloud Nine
Naipaul's A Bend in the River
1980 Start of civil war in El Salvador
Mount St Helens volcano erupts in Washington State, USA
AIDS epidemic starts to spread
1981 Wedding of Prince Charles and Diana
Riots in London, Bristol, Liverpool and Manchester
Reverend Sun Myung Moon marries 2075 couples in mass wedding in Madison Square Garden

Falklands War

Women’s anti-nuclear Greenham Common protests

First CD players
Rushdie's Midnight's Children
The Women of Brewster Place, Gloria Naylor

Churchill, Top Girls

You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down

1982 Reverend Sun Myung Moon marries 2075 couples in mass wedding in Madison Square Garden
1983 US cruise missiles stationed in UK
Swift, Waterland

Weldon, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil

In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens

Becomes first black woman to win Pulitzer Prize 

1984 Miner's Strike (UK)
IRA attempt to assassinate PM Margaret Thatcher
Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, is assassinated by her bodyguards
Ted Hughes becomes Poet Laureate
Carter's Nights at the Circus
Amis' Money
Ballard's Empire of the Sun
Barnes' Flaubert's Parrot
1985 Live Aid concerts for Ethiopian famine relief
Ackroyd, Hawksmoor

Brenton & Hare, Pravda

Winterson, Oranges are Not the Only Fruit 

Co-founds Wild Tree Press
1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in Ukraine
1987 Conservatives win General Election
Race riots (UK)
The Great Storm devastates southern UK
IRA bomb, Enniskillen
Stock market crash
Morrison's Beloved
Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
Ian McEwan, The Child in Time
Beloved, Toni Morrison

Ackroyd, Chatterton

Churchill, Serious Money
1988 Death threats against Salman Rushdie
PanAm flight 103 destroyed by bomb over Lockerbie
Rushdie's Satanic Verses
Hawking's A Brief History of Time
Revolutions in Eastern Europe lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall 

Exxon Valdez oil tanker spills millions of gallons of oil off Alaskan coast
Protesting students massacred in Tiananmen Square, Beijing
Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day
Gwendolen, Buchi Emechera

Winterson, Sexing the Cherry 
1990 Nelson Mandela freed from imprisonment in South Africa
Germany re-unified
Kureishi's The Buddha of Suburbia
Byatt's Possession
1991 Collapse of Soviet Union
South Africa repeals apartheid laws
Jazz, Toni Morrison

Hornby, Fever Pitch
Possessing the Secret of Joy
1993 Murder of Stephen Lawrence
Nelson Mandela becomes President of South Africa

UK National Lottery starts

First female Anglican priests ordained
D'Aguiar's British Subjects Warrior Marks
1994 Nelson Mandela elected President of South Africa
1996 Islamist fundamentalist group, the Taliban, takes power in Afghanistan
1997 Hong Kong returned by Britain to Chinese rule
1998  Hughes, Birthday Letters
Motion, Selected Poems 1976-97
By The Light of My Father's Smile
2000 Millennium celebrations 
Ishiguro, When we were Orphans
Zadie Smith, White Teeth

The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart

2001 September 11th - destruction of World Trade Center towers in New York by terrorists flying planes into them McEwan's Atonement
2003 Invasion of Iraq by USA and Britain
Exploration of Mars by space probe

Devastating Tsunami around Indian Ocean
Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty

Alan Bennett, The History Boys


Seamus Heaney, Beacons of Bealtaine
Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart
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