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Part 3: The Correspondence and Literary Manuscripts of Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861)

from the Bodleian Library, Oxford

Chronology of Clough's Life and Times


  • Arthur Hugh Clough (ACH). Born on 1 January, second son of James Butler Clough, a cotton merchant, and Anne Perfect, a bankers daughter.

Keats, Hyperion (published 1856)
Byron begins Don Juan
George Eliot born (d.1880)
Victoria, future queen of England born (d.1901)
Peterloo Massacre, Manchester


  • ACH. Moves with family to Charleston, South Carolina.

Charlotte M Yonge born (d.1901)
Shelley dies (b.1792)
E T A Hoffman dies (b.1776)
Stendhal, De l’amour


  • ACH. October: Returns to England to attend school at Chester

Bulwer-Lytton, Pelham
Scott, Tales of a Grandfather and The Fair Maid of Perth
Margaret Oliphant born (d.1897)
Jules Verne born (d.1905)
Henry Ibsen born (d.1906)

  • ACH. Starts at Rugby School

Carlyle, Sartor Resartus
Lamb, Last Essays of Elia
Longfellow, Outre-Mer
Hannah More dies (b.1745)
Oxford Movement begins
Abolition of Slavery

  • ACH. November: Wins Balliol Scholarship

Charles Dickens, Sketches by Boz

  • ACH. October: Goes up to Balliol College, Oxford

Carlyle, French Revolution
Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist
Accession of Queen Victoria


  • ACH. June: Fails to achieve the expected first-class degree.

Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship
Emerson, Essays
Lord Melbourne, Prime Minister (Whig) resigns, succeeded by Sir Robert Peel (Tory)
Newman’s Tract 90 condemned

  • ACH. March: Elected Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. June: Death of Dr Thomas Arnold, Head Master of Rugby school, (b.1795)

Tennyson, Poems
Eugene Sue, The Mysteries of Paris
Longfellow, Poems of Slavery
Chartist riots in industrial areas of northern England

  • ACH. Death of Clough’s father

Disraeli, Coningsby
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Poems
Gerard Manley Hopkins born (d.1889)
Factory Act
Royal Health Commission


  • ACH. Wrote letters about political economy to The Balance

Brontës, Poems
Edward Lear, Book of Nonsense
Repeal of Corn Laws

  • ACH. November: Beginning of friendship with Ralph Waldo Emerson. Begins talks with Edward Hawkins, Provost of Oriel, about resigning his post.

Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Thackeray, Vanity Fair

  • ACH. February: Outbreak of French Revolution. May-June: Visit to Paris with Emerson witnesses the revolution at first-hand. October: Resigns Fellowship. November: The Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich is published in its first version.

Emily Brontë dies (b.1818)
Mrs (Elizabeth) Gaskell, Mary Barton
Newman, Loss and Gain
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood founded by Holman Hunt, Millais and D G Rossetti
Revolutions throughout Europe
Communist Manifesto issued by Marx and Engels

  • ACH. January: Publication of Ambarvalia, poems by Clough and Thomas Burbidge. April-August: Visits Italy during the siege and occupation of the Roman Republic by French Forces under General Oudinot. October: Takes up post as Principal of University Hall, London. November: First draft of Amours de Voyage sent to J C Shairp.

Charlotte Brontë, Shirley
James Anthony Froude, Nemesis of Faith
Matthew Arnold, The Strayed Reveller
Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
Christian Socialism of F D Maurice and Charles Kingsley

  • ACH. August-September: Visit to Venice, and writes the first draft of Dipsychus. December: Named Professor of English Language and Literature at University College, London.

Wordsworth, poet laureate, dies (b.1770), Prelude
Alfred Lord Tennyson, succeeds as new poet laureate, In Memoriam

  • ACH. June: Meets Blanche Smith, his future wife.

Ruskin, Stones of Venice
Longfellow, The Golden Legend
Great Exhibition, London

  • ACH. January: Resigns his post at University Hall.

Matthew Arnold, Empedocles on Etna
Dickens, Bleak House
Death of Wellington
Millais, Ophelia
Holman Hunt, The Light of the World


  • ACH. October-June: Visit to New England, stays with Emerson, then to Cambridge and Boston; works on revision of Dryden’s Plutarch.
  • ACH. July: Returns to England; starts work in the Education Office as an Examiner.

Matthew Arnold, Poems containing The Scholar-Gipsy
Charlotte Brontë, Villette
C M Yonge, The Heir of Redclyffe
Crimean War, 1853-6

  • ACH. June: Marries Blanche Smith.

Dickens, Hard Times
Tennyson, The Charge of the Light Brigade
Florence Nightingale at Scutari


  • ACH. Probable date of composition of only surviving complete draft of ‘Dipsychus and The Spirit.


Charlotte Brontë dies (b.1816)
Anthony Trollope, The Warden
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Longfellow, The Song of Hiawatha
Fall of Sebastopol.

  • ACH. Begins to undertake large volume of work assisting Florence Nightingale.

Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du mal
George Elliot, Scenes from Clerical Life
Dinah Mulock, John Halifax, Gentleman
Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown’s Schooldays
National Portrait Gallery opened


  • ACH. February-May: First publication of Amours de Voyage in the American magazine, Atlantic Monthly.

Carlyle, Frederick the Great
William Morris, The Defence of Guinevere
Indian Mutiny suppressed

Darwin, Origin of the Species, by Natural Selection
Nightingale, Notes on Hospitals
Franco-Austrian war

  • ACH. Death of Clough’s mother.

Burckhardt, Essays and Reviews
Italian Unification; first Italian convenes at Turin.
George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss
Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White

  • ACH. November: Death of Clough in Florence, following a lengthy period of ill health.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning dies (b.1806)
Matthew Arnold, On Translating Homer
Prince Albert, Consort, dies (b.1819)
American Civil War

  • Publication of Clough’s Poems in London and Boston.

Meredith, Modern Love
Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons
Colenso controversy

  • 1865 First publication of ‘Dipsychus and The Spirit’ (as Dipsychus)



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