Samuel Johnson The Rambler Essay 156

Samuel Johnson The Rambler Essay 156

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1878

PRELUDE

It was a gloomy beginning for the new French Republic’s first world’s fair. On opening day, May 1, 1878, dark clouds gathered over Paris. As President Marshall Macmahon’s cortège assembled for their festive march to the Exposition grounds, thunder rumbled and the rains rushed down. As the procession approached the fairgrounds, the downpour stopped and the sky lightened — but only for a few minutes. The rains began again, and thousands of umbrellas sprouted along the Champs Elysées.

But the ceremony maintained its dignity. The crowd cheered wildly to see the leaders of the Republic marching as regally as any Bourbon or Bonaparte. While the President and his party strode forward majestically, workers unrolled a rich red carpet all the way to the exposition grounds. The sight of the triumphal march of the President’s delegation was so impressive that only a few observers noticed, a hundred yards or so in advance of the party, another crew of workers frantically dumping barrels of gravel into the muddy roadway, so that the carpet and Monsieur le President would not sink into the mire on the way to the great ritual of Technological Progress.

In the broad esplanade of the Trocadero park, the orchestra played Charles Gounoud’s Vive la France. composed especially for the occasion. President Macmahon made a stirring speech; and just as he declared France’s third exposition universelle officially open, the rain ceased. As the heavens lightened over Paris, throngs of people cheered the President, the exposition commissioners, France, and themselves. Multicolored banners streamed from the windows all over the city. Traffic was jammed, unable to move; but nobody seemed to mind. “There was a block of carriages in all the principal thoroughfares,” wrote a British correspondent to the fair, “but the greatest content and hilarity prevailed. The weather had cleared, and the gay city of Paris once more justified its name.” 1

Seven years after “the terrible year”of 1870-71, France was ready to transcend the Franco-Prussian war and the Commune Revolt. To forget those tragic years would be impossible. But, to the leaders of the Third Republic, it was equally impossible for France to remain an object of pity and scorn, a has-been power with no sense of national purpose. The 1878 exposition universelle was a proclamation, to the nation and the world, that France was ready once again to assume her traditional role as a great civilizing force in human culture. “The time had come,” wrote Alfred Picard a decade after the event, “for France to lift the veil of sorrow and mourning, and to invite the world to a public festival.” 2

BETTER THAN THE EMPIRE

“The advocates of monarchy have always been boasting of the fetes of the Royalty and the Empire,” wrote the staunch republican Francisque Sarrey. “Well, here are the fetes of the Republic. Are they less worthy than the others?” 3 Throughout the journals and official reports of 1878, there runs a common theme: whatever the Empire did, the Republic can do better.

Had the 1867 Exposition covered the Champ de Mars, and set the precedent for holding every subsequent French exposition universelle in that field? Very well, then the 1878 Exposition would not only dominate the Champ de Mars: it would make over the Trocadero Hill (which had been a refuse dump for the 1867 exposition) into a glorious festival palace, thereby including the River Seine into the exposition grounds. For the designers and commissioners of the event, the very scale of the 1878 exposition called attention to the greater aspirations of the Third Republic.

Did the 1867 exposition invent a novel twofold classification system for all exhibits, dividing them by the nature of the products and the nation that made them? Very well, then the 1878 exposition would improve on that scheme, and give it a more efficient spatial arrangement by laying out the exhibits in a rectangular plan. The commissioners were willing to appreciate and adopt good ideas from the Second Empire. But even a good idea can be improved upon; and the rectangular organization of exhibit space proved to be much more realistic than the elliptical arrangements of the 1867 building.

Comparisons with the 1867 exposition were everywhere. Newspapers reported with pride that, in the first nine days of the 1867 exposition, there were 38,363 paid visitors. But after nine days of the 1878 exposition, 258,342 had paid to see the wonderworks of the Third Republic’s fair. Even when, at the close of the exposition, it became apparent that the event would lose money, most people and government officials agreed that the price paid for the confirmation of confidence in the new Republic was not excessive.

There were dissenting voices, however. Some critics cried out that the exposition was a monstrous extravagance that France could ill-afford at the time. The country had paid off its five-billion franc indemnity to Germany only a few years previously. The money, they argued, should not be gouged out of the French people just to prove that the Republic could outdo Napoleon III as an international host. France had lost money on the 1855 exposition, as had Austria in 1873 and Philadelphia in 1876. A substantial loss in 1878 could force the French government to cut essential services in order to pay off the debt of the exposition.

Members of the clergy also objected strongly to the exclusion of religious ceremonies from the exposition. The Empire expositions had always been opened with a religious ceremony. The Republic, taking its first steps to separate affairs of government from the power of the Church, pointedly refused to include any religious statement, implicit or explicit, in the opening ceremonies. Adrien de Valette, an able writer and defender of the prerogatives of the Church, excoriated the 1878 fair as “The Exposition without God.” In a widely-read pamphlet, Valette thundered against the Exposition Committee in tones worthy of Jeremiah:

When the hand of God is withdrawn from a nation, the decline of its power and prosperity naturally follows. The edifice of its past glory,constructed with many pains, crumbles away before the attacks of iconoclastic demagogues,before the efforts of the black band of materialists.4

Many parish priests told their congregation to stay away from this “atheist exposition” — a prohibition which perhaps contributed to the lower-than-expected final attendance figures and the financial loss suffered by the 1878 fair. The Church detected — rightly — that the removal of religious ceremonies from the functions of the exposition signified one more step in the assumption of religious status for industrial Progress. The interior spaces of the exposition buildings were called the “nave,” “transept,” “narthex” — terms exclusively associated with religious structures. The tone of the opening and closing ceremonies, and of the introductions to the official exposition catalogues, often appropriated religious terminology in the praise and blessing of the events. Now religion itself was banished — banished, at least, as an institution whose official blessings and sanction were an important part of the ideology of the expositions themselves. As we shall see, proponents of the Eiffel Tower were even more aggressive in banishing the voice of religion from the realm of Progress.

THE IRON HORSE AND THE GOLDEN CALF

If the 1878 Exposition Universelle was to be a success, then it would have to achieve its goals in spite of the sneers of royalists and the curses of priests. The exposition committee, though, had full confidence that the combined talents of French industrialists and artists, financiers and workmen, could make the event a triumph in spite of opposition. France had, after all, participated honorably in the Vienna Exhibition in 1873, and in the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. Here, on home ground and in the service of the new Republic, the talent of French art and science would once again dazzle the world.

In the 1878 fair, more than any previous exposition, engineering was married to art. Visitors who toured the exposition grounds before opening day were surprised to see a miniature railroad built underneath the Palace of Industry and the Trocadero Palace. These trains greatly accelerated both the building process and the removal of debris after the exhibition closed. Before the fair opened, the tracks and cars were covered over with planking. Visitors were amazed to learn that, wherever they went in the Palace of Industry, they were walking ten feet over a hidden railway.

But the greatest feat of engineering at the 1878 exposition universelle was the virtuoso control of water. Four gigantic hydraulic pumps fed the waters of the Seine through 23 miles of cast iron and lead pipe to all corners of the exposition. First the water surged up to the summit of Trocadero Hill and into the Palace towers, where it powered elevators so swift that speedometers were mounted on the walls to show astonished passengers the velocity of their ascent and descent. Some of the waters then flowed over the top of a pond that was elevated and supported by three arches in front of the Trocadero Palace, plunged down 29 feet into a fountain, then glided over terraced steps into a large basin. Another pipe carried water more swiftly beneath the earth, then launched towering, 62-foot high jets that flanked the central fountain like liquid pillars. Still another pipe carried water in a quiet, constant pulse to the aquarium in the Trocadero Park.

From the basin, the water flowed down again through the iron and lead pipes, surged beneath the Seine, then emerged quietly in peaceful ponds in the Champs de Mars. Other pipes carried water silently beneath the floorboards of the Palace of Industry, and kept the building several degrees cooler than the outside air, even on the warmest days. The harnessing of the Seine to elevators and fountains, aquarium and air conditioning, the orchestration of the force of water to unite the river with the Palace of Industry on the left bank and the Trocadero Palace on the right — this was the triumph of French engineering at the 1878 exposition universelle. Hydraulic engineering could be applied to the extension of the colonial empire (as with the Suez Canal), or to the refreshment of decorative ponds. The best technological innovations were those which had both heroic and domestic applications — the greatest good for the greatest number once again.

The dimensions of the Trocadero were conceived in such a way as to make it evident that modern technology could surpass the venerable monuments of traditional architecture, and that French builders could once again outdo the English. The dimensions of the main auditorium surpassed those of its English competitor, the Albert Hall. The dome of the Trocadero was some twenty-three feet higher than the dome of St. Peters, and the flanking towers overtopped the height of Notre dame’s tower by forty-five feet. This the beginning of the audacious humbling of great religious monuments — a movement that would culminate eleven years later in the Eiffel Tower.

In spite of its pretensions to grandeur, the building seemed cursed even before its completion. It was unfinished on the opening day of the exposition, even though over 800 workers labored diligently for a year on the building and its site. Even when the exterior was finished and the internal exhibits mounted, the opening day of the music festival had to be delayed because the grande salle des fêtes was still not finished in June. Then, less than a month after the concert hall was finished, a careless workman left a water tap running all night on one of the top floors of the building. The ceiling of the hall was damaged; and once again, the music festival had to be delayed.

When the difficulties were cleared up, however, the Trocadero quickly became a major center of cultural activity at the Exposition. The concert hall itself was glorious, even if the vast space became a sea of echoes during the performances. This was an epoch that loved the grand gesture in art and life; and the Trocadero auditorium was a fitting realization of the era’s delight in colossal effects. Concerts were held almost every night; and the main hall, which held 4,500 people, was usually filled to capacity. On the walls, 4,500 gaslights made every musical performance a visual spectacle as well. The sights and sounds of the International Choral Competition, in which thousands of singers at a time performed before thousands of spectators, were among the most overwhelming events of the entire exposition.

Trocadero Concert Hall (click the image for a larger view )

Taking up several other large rooms in the Trocadero was the retrospective exhibit. Here visitors could see choice works of decorative art culled from government and private collections all over France. Arms and armor, crowns, fans, metal and woodwork, Sèvres porcelain — over a thousand years of French craftsmanship was gathered into a single show, which continued for several months after the exposition itself was officially closed in November.

In other halls of the Trocadero Palace, members of the international conferences discussed a wide range of topics. The International Congress on the Rights of Women featured discussions and debates on the place and rights of women in all phases of society. There were technical conferences for engineers and psychologists; gatherings of Alpine climbers, meetings for “discharged prisoners’ friends,” sessions on gas-tar, a convocation of the International Peace Congress. One congress even had to take up a problem created by the world’s fairs themselves: how to deal with dishonest manufacturers who falsely advertised medals claimed to have been won at international exhibitions.

Some of the meetings had immediate and far-reaching results. Victor Hugo led the Congress for the Protection of Literary Property, which led to the eventual formulation of international copyright laws. Similar congresses dealt with the problems of protecting industrial property, and of governing the rights to reproductions of works of fine art. An international postal union was established, at a conference held in Paris while the exposition was taking place, to facilitate communication by letters among the nations of the world. The International Congress for the Amelioration of the Condition of Blind People led to the world-wide adoption of the Braille System of touch-reading. By incorporating these meetings into the official agenda of the exposition itself, the Commissioners were consciously attempting to offset the charges of frivolousness that had been leveled at the 1867 Exposition. In 1878, not only objects, but ideas themselves were on display. “There is a clear analogy,” said the official report of the congresses, “between the work of the congresses and that of international expositions themselves: in the latter, people exchange products; in the former, people exchange ideas.” 7 The congresses of the 1878 exposition continue and expand the work of its predecessors by giving international issues a focal place for people to meet and recognize the universal nature of their concerns. As long as, for example, women from France and women from America worked in isolation for the extension of the vote, there could be little or no sense of solidarity. Brought face to face with people from many nations, all of whom shared their concerns and their determination, women could return home with a renewed sense of the global (or, at least, Western cultural) scope of their beliefs.

THE TROCADERO PARK

Sloping down from the Trocadero Palace to the Seine was the Parc. Here visitors could find restaurants, an aquarium, and some of the foreign pavilions too large to fit into the Street of Nations inside the Palace of Industry. The Parc on Trocadero Hill was the 1878 exposition’s answer to the 1867 exposition’s open-air amusements and outdoor exhibits. At the 1878 exposition, any nation that felt it had been given too little space in their main exhibit off the Rue des Nations could construct a secondary structure here in the Trocadero Park. There were fewer such outlying buildings at the 1878 fair than in the 1867, since this time most nations were given space for their architectural statements on the Rue des Nations inside the Palace of Industry. But there was still the same arbitrary, scattered quality about the placement of structures on the grounds: a Japanese farm wedged incongruously between an Egyptian temple and a Spanish restaurant; a Norwegian clock tower striking the hour over potters in an Algerian village where women made pots using ancient Etruscan techniques. Here China and Sweden shared a common terrain, but little else.

The Park structures did have their pleasures and uses, however. The Japanese delegation, for example, used its “model farm” in the Park to host a dinner for the European commissioners. One British commentator treated the whole affair with the condescension befitting a man of empire. He scoffed at the “toy farm” with its “Lilliputian plates and saucers” and tea “drunk out of thimbles.” He concluded his review with the observation that “the Japanese seem to live upon about enough rice for a bird.” 8 But the Japanese went out of their way to be polite to foreigners. Chairs and forks were brought for the comfort of their European guests. One writer at the Exposition recalled a similar circumstance when a group of French officers had been feasted by the Chinese:

“I can’t tell what I’m eating, with all the bones taken out,” remarked a French officer at the table.

“Yes,” replied his host,”we do our butchering in the back room.”

A little later the same officer asked why the Chinese did not use knives and forks like all other people.

“We did,” replied the host,” before we were civilized.” 9

Crossing the Pont d’Iena from the Trocadero Park, the fairgoer confronted Léopold-Amédé Hardy’s impressive facade (constructed by Gustave Eiffel) of the main exposition building. The stark iron beams of the Palace of Industry were painted blue, and decorated with red and yellow lines. Ranged along the lower story of the entranceway and facing the Seine were twenty-two “Statues of the Powers” — allegorical sculptures that represented the twenty-two other nations that the French officially recognized as the significant forces in world affairs:

The Netherlands, Hungary, Portugal, Austria, Egypt, Spain, Persia, China, South America, Japan, Denmark, Italy, Greece, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Switzerland, The United States, Russia, Australia, England, British India

These statues signified more than complimentary bows towards sister nations: they were explicit statements of esteem by the French government. Several important features of French foreign policy can be detected at once: South America is treated as a single nation — presumably including Mexico and Central America; Canada does not appear, nor do many African and Asian nations; India is represented as “British India” — an avowal that, even for republican France, India was reckoned important only by virtue of its status as a British colony. Most significant of all is the absence of a statue representing Germany. France was not yet willing to forgive or forget the Franco-Prussian War. It would have been too painful for the French government to erect a statue to the nation’s bitterest enemy.

Europe (by Alexandre Schoenewerk) America (by Ernest-Eugène Hiolle) Africa(by Eugène Delaplanche)

The statues can be seen today on the parvis of the Orsay Museum in Paris

(photos by tofil44)

Once inside the Palace of Industry, the fairgoer would see a range of displays that had by now become familiar types in international exhibitions: huge machines, elaborately decorated furniture, works of fine art — everything from cut glass to corset stays. The exhibits were organized on a modified version of the 1867 system of classification: perpendicular to the Seine, products were ordered by their nature; parallel to the Seine, products were identified by their country of manufacture.

The exhibits and their arrangement at the 1878 exposition universelle were not just modifications of the earlier fair, however. Perhaps the most innovative and most widely admired feature of the fair was the Street of Nations. In the central courtyard of the Palace of Industry, each participating nation was invited to build an entranceway to its exhibits. The result was a splendid row of facades that announced, in architectural terms, the character and aesthetic values of every nation. The Street of Nations not only gave the visitors a prelude to the exhibits within the Palace. The whole ensemble taken together allowed fairgoers to see, at one glance, the eclectic nature of the world in 1878. What a lesson, to see the Slavic sumptuousness of the Russian facade — a model of the house where Peter the Great was born — close by the quiet geometry of the Japanese entranceway! Georges Berger, Director of the Foreign Sections, was universally applauded for the planning and execution of this “international boulevard.”

Japanese and Russian pavilions

Impressive as it was, the Rue des Nations would have been even more striking had the exposition commissioners been able to carry out their original plans to build a Street of France across the courtyard from the Street of Nations. Facing the foreign pavilions would have been facades from different periods of French architecture: Charlemagne, Henry II, Henry IV, Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI. The project would have involved an enormous expense, and would have involved delaying the opening of the Exposition by at least several weeks, so the idea was reluctantly abandoned. 10

In spite of their constant looks backwards top the expositions of the second Empire, the commissioners of the 1878 exposition did not include one element that was such a strong moral point of the previous two fair. In 1878, there was no special category for inexpensive goods. In this respect, the exposition of the Third Republic lacks something of the social idealism of its predecessors. The official reports make it clear that the goal of the exposition is more to advance technology than to propose social theories under the guise of Utilitarianism.

THE TRIUMPH OF AMERICA

An astute observer who had attended the 1867 exposition universelle might have detected some subtle but decisive changes in the nature of the exhibits. The steam engines and the decorative arts still dominated the 1878 exposition, as they had in all previous world’s fairs. But now there were a number of smaller machines whose ingenuity and potential for universal usefulness captured the imagination of the public even more than the metallic monsters that hummed and banged in the heavy machinery section. One booth featured the first personal printing machine: the typewriter. Another display featured a novelty that promised to make carriage rides more endurable: rubber tires. And in the American section, visitors could marvel at a staggering array of personal appliances.

In the arena where entrepreneurs sought to make small machines available to the widest possible audience, the Americans were clearly emerging as the leaders. Typical was the American dominance in the sewing machine business. The Wheeler and Wilson Sewing Machine Company repeated its performance at the 1867 exposition by winning the grand prize in its class, amidst universal praise of the fine workmanship and versatility of their products. The Singer Company was demonstrating its sewing machines for home use, and announcing its multinational distribution networks (over 280,000 machines had been sold in 1877). An American watchmaking assembly line demonstrated the virtues of standardized parts in mass production. Still another booth featured a semiautomatic bootmaking machine.

Some Europeans looked with condescension on American enterprise. All this scurrying about to produce heaps of articles — what was the point? 11 One English critic openly mocked “those bright devices our cousins across the Atlantic are throwing off one after another to save time, if it is only a second.” 12 Such writers could not foresee the tremendous impact that standardized parts and assembly line production would have on national and international economics. But they might have paused to reflect on the appropriateness of such a technology coming from a democracy that had pledged to give everyone a fair chance to acquire such products as would ease their labors.

The French leveled the same kind of complaint at the American pavilion on the Rue des nations. Here, remarked Paul Sedille after praising the British pavilion:

What a contrast with the pavilion of the United States! A railway station, a bathhouse, a police precinct? It is difficult to say just what it is. In any event this construction, fabricated out of wood, has no pretensions of solidity or monumental durability. It seems to offer merely a specimen of wooden skeletons quickly transported and put up like an instantaneous creation of some new villa by some unknown lakeshore. It is not even a scaffolding. It’s more like something a carpenter slapped up with the sole object of doing the job quickly and cheaply.”13

The American Fine Arts Commissioner, William W. Storey, sadly concurred. “We did save money; we did save time; but we lost credit. We went to a great international reception in our shirt-sleeves.” 14

American pavilion, 1878 exposition

But the hosts of this great reception found the American barbarity of taste redeemed by vigor of invention. The most dramatic embodiment — for Europeans, and especially for the French — of this quality of technological enterprise was Thomas Alva Edison. Edison was hailed as a universal talent who had grown up with no formal education, no advantages of aristocratic privilege or patronage. For the French people, who were still working through the first, tentative stages of their Third Republic, Edison symbolized the potential of human genius unhampered by artificial social constraints. Historian Raymond Isay has accurately assessed what Edison meant to the world in 1878:

Self-taught engineer, savant who remained a worker, the train-boy become a millionaire, Thomas Alva Edison. with him, a new ideal of civilization comes to the people; an ideal on which the three most powerful myths — mystiques! —of the modern age are based: the American myth, the myth of democracy, and the myth of science.15

For the hard-of-hearing, Edison had invented the megaphone. Fairgoers were astonished to hear how sound could be amplified with Edison’s device. “This instrument,” he told them, “can be placed on the knees of a deaf person in a theater, and the sounds can be intensified in the proportion of one to fifty, in the same manner as an opera glass intensifies the view.” 16

Even more acclaimed was the phonograph. The recording machine on display at the 1878 exposition was a simple mechanical device that used a mouthpiece for activating a notched disk which in turn made indentations for playback on tinfoil wrapped around a brass cylinder. First shown at the Philadelphia Exposition two years before, this device sent European journalists into ecstasies. In 1877, Edison showed his machine to British audiences, where they heard “God Save the Queen” sing forth from the strange device. One Parisian gazette even predicted — perhaps with malice. — that the phonograph would render useless the tenors of the opera. A. Bitard wrote that some people in the audience at the phonograph booth suspected a trick — ventriloquism. But when the skeptics were finally satisfied that the device was authentic, people enthusiastically predicted marvelous uses for the phonograph. It could be used to teach foreign languages, said Bitard, by having speakers record equivalent French and English phrases for learners to hear and master. Edison himself had wide ambitions for his brainchild:

Here, you see, is a book for the ignorant, who have never learned to read. It will be used to make toys talk. It will be used by actors to learn the right reading of passages. In fact,its utility will be endless.17

One writer for L’Exposition Universelle de 1878 summed up the potential impact of this machine by comparing it to the two other great advances in communication of his century:

If space has been conquered by the telephone — as it has already been conquered, in a different fashion, by the telegraph — it is time that is conquered by the phonograph.18

The Edison Phonograph listening room, 1878 exposition

Also on display was a telephone, invented by Alexander Graham Bell and improved by Edison. Though he was not the principal inventor of the telephone, Edison’s improvements so dramatically enhanced the performance of this revolutionary new communications device that one commentator termed the display “a glorious triumph for Edison.” It is a fair indicator of Edison’s prestige that, in spite of the fact that the telephone was not his invention, he shared almost equally in the glory of its presence at the exposition.

Speaking and listening at the telephone pavilion — stereophonic listening on the telephone would return with cel phones earbuds a century later

But for all Parisians and visitors to the fair, the most dazzling display of Edison’s genius came in June of 1878. Electric lighting had been installed all along the Avenue de l’Opera and the Place de l’Opera. And when the switch was thrown, flooding these famous places with a brilliance that no gaslight could achieve, Edison’s triumph was complete. The Wizard of Menlo Park had changed forever the very complexion of the night!

The three inventions associated with Edison — the phonograph, the electric light and, to a lesser extent, the telephone, all fulfilled what most fairgoers wanted from technology: sweeping, dramatic, and immediately useful improvements to their daily life. Hydraulic engineering for fountains or a canal was all very fine; but an invention that allowed them to capture and play back sound, to illuminate the streets and interiors of their houses, to speak with others across town or across the world — these made immediate sense to the millions who lined up to see and admire the work of the Wizard of Menlo Park.

VICTORY IN DEFEAT

Though the Trocadero Palace was the fine arts building of the fair, contemporary painting and sculpture were housed across the Seine in the Palace of Industry. In fact, the 1878 exposition universelle hosted two artistic competitions: the annual salon. where French artists competed for prizes; and the exposition salon. where international artists vied with each other for medals.

For most art historians today, the 1870s are known as the Impressionist Years, when the practitioners of the new style exhibited their works in defiance of reactionary academic tradition. But even “official art” at the Exposition showed a remarkable variety. Pierre Bonnat and Ernest Meissonier were the grand old men of the show, as Ingres and Delacroix had been in 1855. Each artist had a room in the fine arts section entirely devoted to his works. Meissonier in particular was at the height of his fame; and his clever genre scenes brought enormous prices. Adolphe Bouguereau’s exquisitely rendered religious and mythological scenes and Alexandre Cabanel’s “Death of Francesco da Rimini” were the rage of the day. Who would have predicted, in 1878, that after a hundred years, the names of these four most prominent French artists of the day would sink into obscurity?

But the greatest public outcry of the day was not created by the Impressionists or the accepted salon entries: it was the refusal by the Exposition Committee to allow any battle scenes that referred to the Franco-Prussian War. France, at that time, was the home of a number of talented painters of battle scenes. “The organizers of the 1878 Exposition,” wrote Edward Strahan,”seemed to these ambitious young painters to be pushing French politeness to the limits of the incredible when they invited the military artists to withdraw from the competition to which the rest of Europe was bidden.” 19

Though the German government was not invited to participate in the 1878 Exposition, German artists were allowed exhibition space. Exposition commissioners were understandably anxious to avoid an embarrassing incident that might arise from showing pictures in which French and German soldiers were shooting each other. Scenes from other French military engagements — even Waterloo — were allowed. But none of the spirited and patriotic canvasses of Alphonse de Neuville, Edouard Detaille, or several other young painters, was admitted to the Exposition salon .

Edouard Detaille, “Sale of the Hostages ” — French officials bargaining with Prussian officers for the return of wounded soldiers, 1878

The Goupil Gallery in the Rue Chaptal offered the young artists exhibition space. And what foreigners most often visited the gallery? The Germans, of course. One German artist commented that he saw nothing as good in the Champ de Mars as what he had encountered at Goupil’s Gallery. Strahan aptly sums up the symbolism of the entire episode:

It was not to be wondered at that the interdiction which came to upset the young French school of military art at the moment when it was putting on its armor for the tournament of the Champ de Mars, should have aroused lively revolts. A prompt feeling of resentment sprang up in the world of the studios, and the ardent hearts of the painters boiled over with what they considered patriotic ardor. Was it not a painful insult to exclude that graphic and youthful school, so popular and so French, which had found a way to extract a kind of victory out of defeat?20

The “Goupil Incident” shows in high relief the traditional attitude of the exposition commissioners. Art must be beautiful, not painful. Art must be moral; but it should take its lessons from classical sources, not from the oppressive reality of contemporary life. Artists can depict a sumptuous Venus or a Mary Magdalene, but not a Parisian prostitute or a mind-wrecked absinthe drinker. A canvas showing Alexander the Great defeating Darius of Persia could be noble and uplifting; but a canvas showing a handful of French troops barricaded in a village church and fighting the Prussians to the bitter end — this is bad taste.

At the 1878 exposition, though, it was not painting, but sculpture that most forcibly captured the public’s attention. Even some of the established graphic artists had turned to this medium. Jean-Leon Gérôme, one of the grand prize winners in 1867, exhibited some of his new mixed media sculptures at the exposition. Gustave Doré, well-known for his illustrations of Dante, Milton, and the Bible, exhibited several works, including the plaster cast of his eleven-foot high vase, “Poem of the Vine.” 21

Since the deaths of Carpeaux and Barye in 1875, the “throne of sculpture” had been vacant. The man who seemed destined to replace them was Marius Jean Antonin Mercié, the grand prize winner at the Exposition. His statue of Fame surmounted the Trocadero during the months of the Exposition. His Genie des Arts had already been picked to replace the statue of Napoleon III in the Louvre. But it was Mercié’s Gloria Victis (first exhibited in 1874) that emerged as the one of the most popular works at the fair, and one of the most revered sculptures of the whole decade.

Gloria Victis (“Glory to the Vanquished”) might serve as the theme sculpture of the entire exposition. It shows a strong yet graceful woman bearing the broken body of a fallen warrior. His sword is shattered, but his soul still raises his left arm in a final heroic gesture. The winged woman — the spirit of France — moves forward with a flying stride. Her whole countenance is firm with resignation. There is no melodramatic suffering, no whimpering at defeat. She bears her burden as she must, as France must. She is strong, and her spirit will endure. 22

Gloria Victis by Antonin Mercié at the 1878 exposition

This is the kind of statement about the Franco-Prussian War that the exposition commissioners were willing to honor: idealized, classical in its narrative references and modeling technique, designed to arouse a sentiment rather than to express an emotion. 22A Gloria Victis announces, in suitably symbolic terms, that France had accepted the burden of defeat, and was on the way to complete recovery. 23

THE COLOSSUS OF LIBERTY

The Exposition grounds abounded with works that were emblematic of a place, a mood, or a spirit. The upper level of the Trocadero fountain was adorned with statues representing the continents; the lower level, with gilded iron statues of a horse, a bull, an elephant and a rhinoceros. 24 In front of the Palace of Industry, the twenty two “Powers” stood sentinel. But in the garden of the Champ de Mars, visitors were astonished to find, not merely an oversize sculpture, but the head of a colossus that would rank as one of the wonders of the world: Bartholdi’s Liberty Enlightening the World.

Bartholdi’s “Liberty” symbolizes the triumph of the colossal in French art. Prince Napoleon had warned, in his final report on the 1855 exposition universelle. that future expositions should beware of attempting to outshine their predecessors. But the urge to shine more brilliantly could not be denied to any artist or nation, especially in the peaceful arena of international expositions, and most especially to a reborn French nation. After all, the designer of the 1855 Exposition Palace of Industry made it a point of honor to build a taller and more spacious building than the Crystal Palace; and the 1878 Exposition had on virtually every score compared itself — favorably, in most cases — to the Empire exposition of 1867. This urge to go one up on one’s predecessors would climax in 1889 with the construction of the Eiffel Tower. And it was Gustave Eiffel himself who designed the internal metal supports for Bartholdi’s Liberty. The “bigger is better” — or, more accurately, “bigger is more magnificent” — philosophy permeates all phases of the exhibits and the exposition itself.

The head of Liberty at the 1878 exposition

Every day, visitors by the hundreds lined up to travel into the head of the Statue of Liberty. There were many ways to admire the work as it loomed over the gardens of the Champ de Mars: for the splendid view it afforded of the exposition grounds; for Eiffel’s ingenuity in accommodating the rigors of structural mechanics to the demands of art; for Bartholdi’s skill in modeling correct and noble proportions on a scale never before attempted in art (it is still the largest sculpture in the world). But in 1878, the deepest point to ponder was what the statue symbolized about the relation between the new republic of the old country of France and the century-old republic in the youthful country of America.

France had for some time felt affectionately towards the United States. French soldiers had aided the cause of American independence; and the Founding Fathers openly modeled much of their constitutional thinking on the works of the great French thinkers of the Enlightenment. When the Second Empire was overthrown, America was the first to grant official recognition to the new republic. And even in the darkest days of the siege and civil war of 1870-71, the American diplomat Elihu Benjamin Washburne was the only ambassador of a major power who stayed in Paris throughout the turmoil.

Bartholdi’s “Liberty,” though, is more than a monument to the maturing friendship between the nations of France and America. It was and remains a votive statue to democracy. It is an announcement that a republic can survive and thrive — heroically, on a superlative level — in a world encrusted with despotism. Here, “Liberty” merges with the more intensely national message of the 1878 Exposition. Just as America had shown in 1876 that it was once again a nation healed and whole, a country that had overcome the tragedy of civil war and emerged stronger than ever, so France proclaimed her recovery from the twofold disaster of military defeat and civil dissension. When the Exposition lights were extinguished on November 10, 1878, the streets of Paris blazed forth with fireworks, candles, gaslights and Edison’s electric bulbs. France was well.

1878 Exposition Medal by Eugène André Oudiné (click the image for a larger view )

ADDITIONAL IMAGES FROM THE 1878 EXPOSITION (in progress.. .)

The “Copper Pavilion”

The captive balloon

“The Last Hour of the Condemned Man”

Interior of the Japanese Pavilion

1 The Illustrated Paris Universal Exposition. May 7, 1878, page 3

2 A. Picard, L’Exposition Universelle Internationale de 1889 (Paris, 1891), Vol. I, page 235

3 The Illustrated Paris Universal Exposition. May 21, 1878, page 26

4 quoted in The Illustrated Paris Universal Exposition. June 29th, 1878, page 87

5 For a full account of this misadventure, see The Chefs-d’Oeuvre d’Art of the International Exposition, 1878. edited by Edward Strahan (Philadelphia: George Barrie, n.d.). The sculptor himself, far from being offended by the incident, referred to the scandal as “the highest compliment ever paid to my work.”

6 Strahan, writing in The Chefs-d’Oeuvre d’Art. simply said of the Trocadero: “It is not happy.” The passage of time did not improve public opinion of this unhappy edifice. For a vicious description of the old Trocadero in 1937, see Louis Gillet’s epithets in La Revue Musicale. June-July, 1937, page 99: “a fat, misshapen potbelly. a monstrous snail. a godawful amalgamation of crab, antelope, and turtle. a vacuous idiot with a pair of asses ears. “

7 Exposition Universelle Internationale de 1878, Paris. Rapports de Jury Internationale ; Jules Simon, general editor; (Paris, 1880), page 134. For a complete listing of all the congresses and their topics of discussion, see the United States Commissioners’ Report. Volume I, pages 455 ff.

8 The Illustrated Paris Universal Exposition. November 30, 1878, page 351

9 ibid.. page 351

10 This idea was brought to life in part at the 1900 exposition universelle. in the Vieux Paris section designed by the fantasy artist and writer Robida.

11 Reading through the various European descriptions of American culture present at the exposition, the reader begins to get a sensed of the emerging view of the United States as a country of great promise and barbaric excess. The bar, for example, with its profusion of exotic drinks — the “Brandy Smash” and “Mint Julip” — and raucous “superabundance of diabolic music — was the typical fairgoer’s encounter with popular American culture at the 1878 exposition. See the “Impressions d’un Flaneur,” published in L’Exposition Universelle de 1878, Journal Hebdomadaire. number 37, page 295.

12 The Illustrated Paris Universal Exposition. August 24, pages 185-186

13 Report of the United States Commisssioners to the Paris Universal Exposition, 1878 (Washington, D.C. 1880), Vol. II, page 156

15 Raymond Isay, Panorama des Expositions Universelles ; Paris: Gallimard; pages 150-151

16 Illustrated Paris Universal Exposition. Sept. 14, 1878, page 218

17 L’Exposition Universelle de Paris, Journal Hebdomadaire. Number 3, pages 23-24

18 Illustrated Paris Universal Exposition. October 5, page 263

19 The Chefs-d’Oeuvre d’Art. page 85

20 The Chefs-dOeuvre d’Art. page 86

21 For a full treatment of the story of this remarkable work and its passage from the 1878 exposition to the San Francisco Midwinter International exposition, and finally to the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, see my essay, “The Doré Vase,” in World’s Fair. Volume III, Number 2, 1983; also L’Exposition Universelle de 1878, Journal Hebdomadaire. number 40, page 314-315.

22 Today, this magnificent work graces the central foyer of the Petit Palais in Paris.

22A For a comparison with a very similar work, executed at the same time but in a very different spirit, see Rodin’s A Call to Arms

23 It should be noted that not all art critics were swept away by Mercié’s paean. William Storey, the U.S. Fine Arts Commissioner, found the work “full of flutter, display, and excess of action, and is deficient in sobriety, simplicity, and that self-restraint essential to a great work in sculpture.” (Report. II, p. 121)

24 The elephant, horse, and rhinoceros can be seen today outside the main entrance to the Orsay Museum. Across the terrace from these works are six statues from the 1878 exposition representing Europe, Asia, Africa, the Orient, North America and South America.

Postscript

British Literature

***1/20/16 NOTE: An error was brought to my attention for the grading for Vocabulary Quizzes beginning at Vocabulary Quiz #5. Be sure you have printed out updated grading sheets as of the noted date for Quarters 2-4 and transfer any grades previously noted. So sorry for the error!***

This course was created by Rebecca Epperly Wire. You can contact her through the Facebook community group with questions.

Please review the FAQs and contact us if you find a problem.

Recommended. 10th, 11th, 12th

Prerequisite: This follows Literature and Composition in the progression, but it can be taken without having completed the other.

Course Description: Students will receive an overview of British literature from early Anglo-Saxon to Modern. Literary study will be infused with historical applications for a better understanding of the social and historical context of the readings. Literary terms and elements of poetry will be discussed throughout this course. The study of grammar and mechanics of writing will continue with a focus on reviewing concepts and avoiding common errors. Students will further improve their writing through the study of problem areas as well as regular use of response journals. Spelling and Vocabulary will largely come from literary terminology, but will also include the study of root words and affixes in preparation for college entrance examinations. Additionally, SAT prep will be included as part of this course. Writing assignments will include Responses to Literature journal entries for each work read, a literary and narrative essay of 500-700 words in length, a research paper of 3-5 pages, and a final literary analysis paper of 5-7 pages. Students will have unit tests at the end of each unit. The final exam will not be cumulative.

*Here is an Assignment Descriptions sheet with details about each assignment. Refer to this often as you work through the course.

Poetry: Caedmon’s Hymn; The Dream of the Rood; The Wanderer; The Seafarer; Sir Gawain and The Green Knight; One Day I Wrote Her Name Upon the Strand; Amoretti XV; Death Be Not Proud (Holy Sonnet 10); Hymn to God, my God, in My Sickness; Sonnet XVIII; Sonnet XXIX; Sonnet 30; Sonnet CXVI; Easter Wings; An Hymn On The Nativity Of My Savior; On My First Son; An Essay on Criticism; The Lamb; Holy Thursday ; The Tyger; Augeries of Innocence; There is a Pleasure in the Pathless Woods; She Walks in Beauty; To Autumn; Ode on A Grecian Urn; When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be; Daffodils; The World Is Too Much With Us; She Dwelt Among The Untrodden Ways; The Rime of the Ancient Mariner; Lift not the painted veil which those who live; The Cloud; The Lady of Shalott; The Charge of the Light Brigade; The Pied Piper of Hamelin; If thou must love me… (Sonnet 14); How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43); Dover Beach; When You Are Old; A Prayer for my daughter; Sailing to Byzantium; Do not go gentle into that good night

Plays: Hamlet; A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Books: Robinson Crusoe; The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne; Sense and Sensibility

Selected Readings from: Beowulf; The Canterbury Tales; Le Morte D’Arthur; Tyndale’s New Testament; Utopia; Paradise Lost; Frankenstein; Ivanhoe; Oliver Twist; Mere Christianity

Unit: Anglo-Saxon/Old English

1. (*)Print out your grading sheet for the first quarter or use the Excel version.

1. Keep a vocabulary notebook and/or notecards for terms you will be learning about. You will have vocabulary quizzes throughout the course and vocabulary words will appear on your unit tests.
2. You will be identifying the significance of terms over the course of several related lessons. Copy the following terms into your vocabulary notebook: wyrd. comitatus. scops. mead-hall. lord. thane

  1. You are going to be learning about The Anglo-Saxons as you study literature from their time period. As you read, take notes and save your document to continue to add to it. You will be using these notes to write journal entries and essays. Be sure to mark down the source this information comes from as you take notes. You always want to credit your sources properly.
  2. Read this page about wyrd and summarize its meaning in your notes.
  3. Read about The Anglo-Saxons here and here. Take notes about their way of life, focusing on the other five terms. In the second link it says “St. Augustine,” but it was really just someone named Augustine, not who we know as St. Augustine.
  1. Complete this tutorial on plagiarism. This is referencing college work, but it is important to understand and apply these concepts now.
  2. Explain to someone what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.
  1. You are going to be doing some SAT prep daily. You may choose to create an account with Khan Academy to keep track of your progress.
  2. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete every other day.
  1. This year we will be studying word roots and affixes. Understanding the meanings of these can help you with quickly identifying definitions of new words as well as prepare you for the vocabulary requirements of college entrance exams.
  2. Set up a page in your Vocabulary Notebook as follows: Create columns labeled “Word Part”, “Meaning”, and “Examples”. When you write down “Examples” be sure you understand their definitions to help you make the connection between the “Word Part” and the “Meanings”.
  1. Another term used to describe the Anglo-Saxon period is Old English. Before we begin reading some Old English poetry, we will look at some of its elements and related terminology.
  2. Record the following terms in the same place as yesterday’s Anglo-Saxon notes: epithet . lyric poem . epic song (elegy ). kenning . caesura . alliteration. Click on each term and summarize its definition so you have a clear understanding of its meaning. You can revisit this page on Anglo-Saxons to add more to some of these definitions.
  1. Watch this vidcast on MLA formatting basics .
  2. Open your word processing software to go through the instructions from the video for a hypothetical writing assignment.
  1. Read about affixes .
  2. Copy the following into your vocabulary notebook. List the prefixes under the “Word Part” and its definition under “Meaning”:
    anti-: against
    de-: opposite
    dis-:
    not; opposite of
    en-, em-: cause to
    fore-: before; front of
  3. Fill in one or two examples for each prefix. If you’re having trouble, use a dictionary to find words that contain the prefix and have a definition that fits with its meaning.
  1. Listen to a recording of Caedmon’s Hymn in the original language. You can read through the text and the translation while listening.
  2. Read about Caedmon and take notes on what you learn.
  3. What is unusual but significant about Caedmon? (answer: He was not a poet. He was a cowherd. He also didn’t participate in the usual way of sharing stories and poems which was singing. )
  1. Watch this vidcast on MLA Formatting: List of Works Cited .
  2. How would you properly cite the recording of Caedmon’s Hymn in MLA?
  3. Scroll down to “Sound Recording” on this MLA Citation Guide and write the citation for Caedmon’s Hymn in your notes.
  4. Write a Response to Literature for Caedmon’s Hymn. Follow the directions for your journal entries as found in your assignment descriptions. Record your grade out of 30 using the Writing Rubric: Writing a Response to Literature here. It is pages 6-7 of PDF (or pages 4-5 of the document itself).
  1. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete.
  1. Copy the following into your vocabulary notebook. List the prefixes under the “Word Part” and its definition under “Meaning”:
    in-, im-: in
    in-, im-, il-, ir-: not
    inter-: between; among
    mid-: middle
    mis-: wrongly
  2. Fill in one or two examples for each prefix. If you’re having trouble, use a dictionary to find words that contain the prefix and have a definition that fits with its meaning.
  1. Add key information to your Anglo-Saxon notes as you look over today’s information.
  2. Read about the Venerable Bede .
  3. Read about his life and death .
  4. Watch this two minute video about the Bede’s work, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People .
  5. Who was the Venerable Bede? What were his great accomplishments?
  1. *When working with independent and dependent clauses, be careful about comma splices and fused sentences. Complete this comma splices and fused sentences exercise. Print off the handout to record your answers for grading purposes.
  1. Copy the following into your vocabulary notebook. List the prefixes under the “Word Part” and its definition under “Meaning”:
    non-: not
    over-: over; too much
    pre-: before
    re-: again
    semi-: half; partly; not fully
  2. Fill in one or two examples for each prefix. If you’re having trouble, use a dictionary to find words that contain the prefix and have a definition that fits with its meaning.
  1. Read about using commas properly with independent clauses. Read #4 and #5 on the page.
  1. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete.
  1. Look over your growing list of affixes.
  2. Pick 10 of them and write down another example for each of them.
  3. Use a dictionary if needed. Be sure the definition fits what you know the word part means.
  1. Read some history about the poem, The Dream of the Rood .
  2. Read about the Ruthwell Cross .
  3. Now read the poem itself.
  4. Who is the speaker in this poem? (answer: the tree/cross )
  5. How is Christ portrayed? (answer: brave and strong; like a warrior )
  1. Read through this Introduction to Writing about Literature .
  2. Write a Response to Literature for The Dream of the Rood. Follow the directions for your journal entries as found in your assignment descriptions. Record your grade out of 30 using the Writing Rubric: Writing a Response to Literature here. It is pages 6-7 of PDF (or pages 4-5 of the document itself).
  1. Read the Anglo-Saxon poem, “The Wanderer”.
  2. Does “The Wanderer” fit the elegy genre? If so, why? (answers: Yes, “The Wanderer” is an epic song or elegy. This genre mourns the loss of things or persons. The speaker is mourning the loss of his fellow warriors, his lord, and his comfort in the mead-hall. Everything has changed for him. )
  3. Did you notice the word translation on the last line before the first break? Do you remember what “wyrd” meant for Anglo-Saxons?
  4. Tell someone about one example each of kenning, caesura, and alliteration in “The Wanderer”.
  1. Read about Literature Topics and Research .
  2. Write a Response to Literature for The Wanderer. Follow the directions for your journal entries as found in your assignment descriptions. Record your grade out of 30 using the Writing Rubric: Writing a Response to Literature here. It is pages 6-7 of PDF (or pages 4-5 of the document itself).
  1. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete.
  1. Copy the following into your vocabulary notebook. List the prefixes under the “Word Part” and its definition under “Meaning”:
    sub-: under
    super-: above; beyond
    trans-: across
    un-: not; opposite of
    under-: under; too little
  2. Fill in one or two examples for each prefix. If you’re having trouble, use a dictionary to find words that contain the prefix and have a definition that fits with its meaning.
  1. Play this interactive game about Anglo-Saxon village life. Click around and follow the directions.
  2. Read the poem, The Seafarer . What poetic techniques can you identify from the list we’ve previously discussed (alliteration, caesura, kennings)?
  1. Review MLA Formatting .
  2. Write a Response to Literature for The Seafarer. Follow the directions for your journal entries as found in your assignment descriptions. Record your grade out of 30 using the Writing Rubric: Writing a Response to Literature here. It is pages 6-7 of PDF (or pages 4-5 of the document itself).
  1. Review your vocabulary from the past two weeks for your quiz tomorrow.
  1. Watch this video about The Ruthwell Cross with a section of The Dream of the Rood being read.
  2. Read this historical overview of the Anglo-Saxons.
  1. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete.
  1. *Take Vocabulary Quiz #1. Grade it by using the answers on the final page. Record your grade out of 11, not 12. This gives you a potential for extra credit.
  2. Complete the Greek and Latin Word Root Practice Exercise in your Vocabulary Notebook by filling in your Word Parts, Meaning, and Example columns for each of the exercises listed.
  3. Grade your answers by scrolling to the bottom. Record your grade out of 9, not 10. This gives you a potential for extra credit. Make any corrections in your notebook.
  1. Let’s review some important terms for our Anglo-Saxon study. Continue to add to your notes as needed.
    alliteration: the repeating of similar sounds, the initial consonant usually
    kenning: a metaphorical two-word description of something
    scop: traveling composer and poet serving as paid entertainment usually
    comitatus: We’ve learned this refers to the group of warriors with loyalty to a lord, but a deeper definition is that this is the code of loyalty itself. This was a mutual code between the thanes and their lord. The thanes swore protection and loyalty to their king/lord. In turn, the lord swore protection and generosity to his thanes.
  1. For our next reading, we will be studying some of the epic poem, Beowulf. Read this article about epic poetry .
  2. Visit this Beowulf Interactive and read through each of the tabs. Take notes as you read. (Make sure you have Flash enabled for the interactive to work.)
  3. Like all Anglo-Saxon literature, different translations are available for the modern rendition of Beowulf. We will be listening to some portions of Beowulf as translated and read by Seamus Heaney. Portions we will read and listen to are from the translation done by Francis Barton Gummere.
  4. Listen to the Prologue from Beowulf (lines 1-98) as translated by Seamus Heaney.
  1. Review some Literary Terms. Familiarize yourself with their meanings.
  1. We are going to be looking at some commonly confused or misused words.
  2. Read the difference between accept/except .
  3. Read about affect/effect. Take this quiz. Record your grade out of 4, not 5. This gives you a potential for extra credit.
  1. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete.
  1. Read about the themes in Beowulf.
  2. Read through and listen to Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 from Francis Barton Gummere’s translation.
  3. Why does Grendel attack Herot?
  1. Write a Response to Literature entry for what you’ve read in Beowulf yesterday and today. Follow the directions for your journal entries as found in your assignment descriptions. Record your grade out of 30 using the Writing Rubric: Writing a Response to Literature here. It is pages 6-7 of PDF (or pages 4-5 of the document itself).
  1. Read about allusion vs. illusion. Please stay focused, and safe, and do not click on other links on the sites you are using.
  2. Read complement vs. compliment .
  1. Read this article about Denotations and Connotations. (This is a reminder to not click on other links on a web page. Stay focused-and safe!)
  2. Complete the denotations and connotations exercise.
  1. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete.
  1. Copy the following into your vocabulary notebook. List the suffixes under the “Word Part” and its definition under “Meaning”:
    -able, -ible : is; can be
    -al, -ial : having characteristics of
    -ed : past tense verbs; adjectives
    –en : made of
    -er, -or: one who; person connected with
  2. Fill in one or two examples for each suffix. If you’re having trouble, use a dictionary to find words that contain the suffix and have a definition that fits with its meaning.
  1. Read this plot summary of Beowulf.
  2. Listen to and read along with Chapters 19-23 .
  3. Why does Grendel’s mother attack Herot? What does she take with her?
  1. Read “Ten Tips for Finding the Right Words” about revising writing for better word choice.
  2. Write a Response to Literature entry for what you’ve read in Beowulf yesterday and today. Follow the directions for your journal entries as found in your assignment descriptions. Record your grade out of 30 using the Writing Rubric: Writing a Response to Literature here. It is pages 6-7 of PDF (or pages 4-5 of the document itself).
  1. Copy the following into your vocabulary notebook. List the suffixes under the “Word Part” and its definition under “Meaning”:
    –er: more
    –est: the most
    –ful: full of
    –ic: having characteristics of
    –ing: verb forms; present participles
  2. Fill in one or two examples for each suffix. If you’re having trouble, use a dictionary to find words that contain the suffix and have a definition that fits with its meaning.
  1. Read about word choice with avoiding repetition and constructing transitions.
  1. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete.
  1. Copy the following into your vocabulary notebook. List the suffixes under the “Word Part” and its definition under “Meaning”:
    -ion, -tion, -ation, -ition: act; process
    -ity, -ty: state of
    -ive, -ative, -itive: adjective form of noun
    -less: without
    -ly: how something is
  2. Fill in one or two examples for each suffix. If you’re having trouble, use a dictionary to find words that contain the suffix and have a definition that fits with its meaning.
  1. Write a Response to Literature entry for what you’ve read in Beowulf yesterday and today. Follow the directions for your journal entries as found in your assignment descriptions. Record your grade out of 30 using the Writing Rubric: Writing a Response to Literature here. It is pages 6-7 of PDF (or pages 4-5 of the document itself).
  1. *Print off and complete this quiz on Easily Confused Words .
  2. Check your answers here. Record your grade out of 19, not 20. This gives you a potential for extra credit.
  1. Copy the following into your vocabulary notebook. List the suffixes under the “Word Part” and its definition under “Meaning”:
    -ment: state of being; act of
    -ness: state of; condition of
    -ous, -eous, -ious: having qualities of
    -s, -es: more than one
    -y: characterized by
  2. Fill in one or two examples for each suffix. If you’re having trouble, use a dictionary to find words that contain the suffix and have a definition that fits with its meaning.
  1. Listen to and read along with Chapter 41 .
  2. Listen to “Beowulf’s Funeral” from Beowulf as translated by Seamus Heaney.
  3. Why wasn’t Beowulf afraid of the dragon?
  4. What is the significance of the last words exchanged between Wiglaf and Beowulf? What is the significance of what Wiglaf tells the rest of the men?
  1. Write a Response to Literature entry for what you’ve read in Beowulf today. Follow the directions for your journal entries as found in your assignment descriptions. Record your grade out of 30 using the Writing Rubric: Writing a Response to Literature here. It is pages 6-7 of PDF (or pages 4-5 of the document itself).
  1. Read about commas vs. semi-colons .
  2. Complete the commas vs. semi-colons exercise. Check your answers. Record your grade out of 39, not 40. This gives you a potential for extra credit.
  1. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete.
  1. *Review prefixes and suffixes with this Vocabulary Prefixes, Roots, and Suffixes for the SAT Guide. (I linked the printable version to avoid the ads. Print this and keep it for study purposes.)
  2. *Complete the Prefix, Root Word, and Suffix Study Sheet. If you do not know the definition, look the word up at a site like dictionary.com.
  1. Click around and read items on the interactive “Ages of English Timeline”. Stop after Act 3 (The Norman Conquest). This requires Flash in order to work. Or you can use the non-Flash version .
  1. Review your Vocabulary from Day 10 until now. You will have a quiz tomorrow.
  1. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete.
  1. *Take Vocabulary Quiz #2. Grade it by using the answers on the final page. Record your grade out of 11, not 12. This gives you a potential for extra credit.
  2. *Print this word part chart and complete it by following the directions. (Below are the links to use.) Add it to your vocabulary notebook.
    • Root words, Prefixes, Suffixes
    • Suffixes
    • Prefixes
  1. Read about the Norman conquest and the end of the Anglo-Saxons.
  1. You need to begin working on your first essay due on Day 45. Keep in mind you will also have a Unit Test on that day, so pace yourself with the writing. (Bonus: You can use your Responses to Literature journal entries to help you on the “open book” Unit Tests!)
  2. Look over the essay assignment description again: Essays are to be 500-700 words long. The student may choose to write a literary analysis exploring an aspect of a chosen work(s) such as character, setting, mood, theme, etc. You can find a Writing Rubric: Writing a Literary Analysis on page 14 & 15 of this PDF
  3. We will be studying elements of writing an essay to help you prepare.
  4. Begin thinking about which text(s) we’ve read that you may want to write about. You may choose from any poems, plays, novels, etc. that we read this quarter.

Unit: Middle Ages

  1. Read about allegory and define it in your notes.
  2. Read this document describing the relationship between allegory and symbolism . Make sure you have a sufficient understanding marked in your notes for both terms.
  3. Define archetype in your notes.
  1. View this power point presentation on Literary Analysis. You may want to refer to this often as you work on this essay and future essays in this course.
  2. If the viewer does not work for you, try this direct link using Microsoft PowerPoint.
  1. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete.
  1. Read about the differences between direct and indirect characterization . Read the first two pages. Be sure you have a clear definition of both direct and indirect characterization in your notes.
  1. We are going to be reading some of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer was writing about different types of people and shared their deeds (both right and wrong). Some of the tales might not be very appropriate to read, so we will just be reading certain selections from translations (or adaptations) of The Canterbury Tales .
  2. Read about Geoffrey Chaucer. Take notes as you usually do.
  3. Watch this music video about The Canterbury Tales .
  1. Read about paraphrasing when writing about literature.
  1. Read about Chaucer and the Birth of English Literature .
  2. Click on the sound clip of the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales on that same page. Bring up the window showing the transcription and the translation to follow along with the audio.
  1. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete.
  1. Read about description .
  2. Take this quiz on paraphrase, summary, and description. Try the 10 question option and see how well you can do. Record your grade out of 9, not 10. This gives you a potential for extra credit.
  1. You are going to define some new words. Some of them will be from different translations of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and some will be common to The Middle Ages. Add these to your notes: abate , acquiescence . affectation , amenable . assay
  1. Today you are going to begin reading “The Knight’s Tale” from The Canterbury Tales .
  2. “The Knight’s Tale” begins on page 39. Read until the bottom of page 48.
  3. Take notes as you read. You will be writing a Response to Literature journal entry soon.
  1. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete.
  1. Continue reading “The Knight’s Tale” starting at the end of page 48. Stop at the end of page 58.
  1. Continue reading “The Knight’s Tale” starting at page 59. Stop at the bottom of page 68.
  2. Write a Response to Literature journal entry for what you’ve read of The Canterbury Tales so far. Follow the directions for your journal entries as found in your assignment descriptions. Record your grade out of 30 using the Writing Rubric: Writing a Response to Literature here. It is pages 6-7 of PDF (or pages 4-5 of the document itself).
  1. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete.
  1. Continue reading “The Knight’s Tale” starting at the bottom of page 68. Stop at the end of page 78.
  1. Review your vocabulary from Day 20 until now for tomorrow’s quiz.
  1. Continue reading “The Knight’s Tale” starting where you left off at page 78. The story ends at page 85.
  1. Write a Response to Literature journal entry for the last two sections of your reading from “The Knight’s Tale”. Follow the directions for your journal entries as found in your assignment descriptions. Record your grade out of 30 using the Writing Rubric: Writing a Response to Literature here. It is pages 6-7 of PDF (or pages 4-5 of the document itself).
  1. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete.
  1. *Take Vocabulary Quiz #3. Grade it by using the answers on the final page. Record your grade out of 11, not 12. This gives you a potential for extra credit.
  2. Add these terms and their meanings to your notes: diurnal, divest, ecclesiastic. emolument. engender
  1. Click around and read items on Act 4 “The Resurgence of English” in the interactive “Ages of English Timeline”. This requires Flash in order to work. Or you can use the non-Flash version .
  1. We are going to read another part from The Canterbury Tales. Begin reading “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale” starting on page 109. Stop at the end of page 116.
  1. Choose one activity from Reading or Writing to complete.
  1. Read about Evidence in essay writing.
  2. Write a Response to Literature journal entry for “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale”. Follow the directions for your journal entries as found in your assignment descriptions. Record your grade out of 30 using the Writing Rubric: Writing a Response to Literature here. It is pages 6-7 of PDF (or pages 4-5 of the document itself).

Welcome Fortune City Customers

Fortune City is now Dotster. With this change, you now have 24×7 support. Don’t hesitate to call our Support team toll free at 800-401-5250 whenever you need us. We on the Dotster team look forward to serving you. To access your account, log in here .

An exclusive
Fortune City offer

  • Drag and Drop Site Builder
  • Personalized web address & email
  • Everything you need to get your site online

Get your site online in 3 easy steps

  1. Find a domain name
  2. Choose a design
  3. Customize & Publish

*Promotional price is for the first term only. Plans renew at $2.95/month thereafter.