1840 in literature

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This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1840.

Contents

Events

Frederick William IV of Prussia King of Prussia

Frederick William IV, the eldest son and successor of Frederick William III of Prussia, reigned as King of Prussia from 1840 to 1861. Also referred to as the "romanticist on the throne", he is best remembered for the many buildings he had constructed in Berlin and Potsdam, as well as for the completion of the Gothic Cologne Cathedral. In politics, he was a conservative, and in 1849 rejected the title of Emperor of the Germans offered by the Frankfurt Parliament as not the Parliament's to give. In 1857, he suffered a stroke and was left incapacitated until his death. His brother Wilhelm served as regent for the rest of his reign and then succeeded him as King.

Fritz Reuter Low German writer

Fritz Reuter was a novelist from Northern Germany who was a prominent contributor to Low German literature.

Dömitz Fortress was built between 1559 and 1565, to secure Mecklenburgs border

The Dömitz Fortress is a bastion fort in Dömitz, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It was built by John Albert I, Duke of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, between 1559 and 1565, to secure Mecklenburg's border. The fort saw use during the Thirty Years' War and the Napoleonic Wars, and it was decommissioned in 1894. The fort is now in good condition, and it has been a museum since 1953. It is one of the few well-preserved 16th-century flatland forts in Northern Europe.

New books

Fiction

<i>Guy Fawkes</i> (novel) novel by William Harrison Ainsworth

The novel Guy Fawkes first appeared as a serial in Bentley's Miscellany, between January and November 1840. It was subsequently published as a three-volume set in July 1841, with illustrations by George Cruikshank. The first of William Harrison Ainsworth's seven "Lancashire novels", the story is based on the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, an unsuccessful attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Ainsworth relied heavily on historical documents describing the trial and execution of the conspirators, of whom Fawkes was one, but he also embellished the known facts. He invented the character of Viviana Radcliffe, daughter of the prominent Radcliffe family of Ordsall Hall – who becomes Fawkes's wife – and introduced supernatural elements into the story, such as the ability of the alchemist, John Dee, to raise the spirits of the dead.

<i>The Tower of London</i> (novel) book by William Harrison Ainsworth

The Tower of London is a novel by William Harrison Ainsworth serially published in 1840. It is a historical romance that describes the history of Lady Jane Grey from her short-lived time as Queen of England to her execution.

Henry Cockton British writer

Henry Cockton was an English novelist, remembered primarily for The Life and Adventures of Valentine Vox, the Ventriloquist (1839–40).

Children

Esther Copley was an English religious tractarian and a prolific writer of didactic books for children.

Frederick Marryat British writer of sea stories, adventure novels for children; naval captain; magazine editor

Captain Frederick Marryat was a Royal Navy officer, a novelist, and an acquaintance of Charles Dickens. He is noted today as an early pioneer of the sea story, particularly for his semi-autobiographical novel Mr Midshipman Easy (1836), for his children's novel The Children of the New Forest (1847), and for a widely used system of maritime flag signalling known as Marryat's Code.

<i>Poor Jack</i> book by Frederick Marryat

Poor Jack is a novel by the English author Frederick Marryat, published in 1840.

Drama

<i>Kanjinchō</i> Kabuki play

Kanjinchō is a kabuki dance-drama by Namiki Gohei III, based on the Noh play Ataka. It is one of the most popular plays in the modern kabuki repertory.

Judith is a play written in 1840 by the German dramatist Friedrich Hebbel.

Andreas Munch Norwegian writer

Andreas Munch was a Norwegian poet, novelist, playwright and newspaper editor. He was the first person to be granted a poet's pension by the Parliament of Norway.

Poetry

Victor Hugo 19th-century French poet, novelist, and dramatist

Victor Marie Hugo was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. Hugo is considered to be one of the greatest and best-known French writers. Outside France, his most famous works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, 1831. In France, Hugo is known primarily for his poetry collections, such as Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles.

Les Rayons et les Ombres is a collection of forty-four poems by Victor Hugo, the last collection to be published before his exile, and containing most of his poems from between 1837 and 1840.

Mikhail Lermontov Russian writer, poet and painter

Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov was a Russian Romantic writer, poet and painter, sometimes called "the poet of the Caucasus", the most important Russian poet after Alexander Pushkin's death in 1837 and the greatest figure in Russian Romanticism. His influence on later Russian literature is still felt in modern times, not only through his poetry, but also through his prose, which founded the tradition of the Russian psychological novel.

Non-fiction

Births

Deaths

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Catherine: A Story was the first full-length work of fiction produced by William Makepeace Thackeray. It first appeared in serialized installments in Fraser's Magazine between May 1839 and February 1840, credited to "Ikey Solomons, Esq. Junior". Thackeray's original intention in writing it was to criticize the Newgate school of crime fiction, exemplified by Bulwer-Lytton and Harrison Ainsworth, whose works Thackeray felt glorified criminals. Thackeray even included Dickens in this criticism for his portrayal of the good-hearted streetwalker Nancy and the charming pickpocket, the Artful Dodger, in Oliver Twist.

The Newgate novels were novels published in England from the late 1820s until the 1840s that were thought to glamorise the lives of the criminals they portrayed. Most drew their inspiration from the Newgate Calendar, a biography of famous criminals published at various times during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, but usually rearranged or embellished the original tale for melodramatic effect. The novels caused great controversy and notably drew criticism from William Makepeace Thackeray, who satirised them in several of his novels and attacked the authors openly.

References

  1. Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Reuter, Fritz"  . Encyclopedia Americana .
  2. Sutherland, John (2012). The Dickens Dictionary. London: Icon. pp. 67–71. ISBN   978-184831-391-0. Thackeray writes the experience up as "Going to See a Man Hanged" in this month's issue of Fraser's Magazine (22: 150-158; repr. in The Works of William Makepeace Thackeray (1869) (London: Smith, Elder & Co.) 15:386); Dickens in The Daily News in February 1846.
  3. Klinefelter, Walter (1942). The Fortsas Bibliohoax. New York: Press of the Woolly Whale.
  4. Smith, George Gregory (1893). "Martin, William (1801-1867)"  . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography . 36. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 302.
  5. Hauge, Ingard (1975). "Poetisk realisme og nasjonalromantikk". In Beyer, Edvard (ed.). Norges Litteraturhistorie (in Norwegian). 2. Oslo: Cappelen. pp. 318–325.