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The death of William Huskisson, first casualty of a railroad accident  

Thomas Creevey

Although William Huskisson (1770–1830) was a prominent member of the British Parliament and a cabinet member in several governments, he is more famous for the circumstances of his death in ... More

Narrative of the British ship Nemesis during the First Opium War  

W. H. Bernard and W. D. Hall

When hostilities broke out between China and Britain in 1839, the British fleet was the most powerful in the world and in a high state of readiness. The Chinese had no real naval forces to ... More

“On Extinct Quadrupeds,” Principles of Geology  

Charles Lyell

Sir Charles Lyell (1797–1875), a friend of Charles Darwin, was a Scottish geologist who was so notable that to this day, in his honor, a crater on the moon and a type of armored fish both ... More

“On Sociability,” The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, 1871  

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin (1809–1882), a British naturalist, propounded the theory of evolution in his famous work On the Origin of Species (1859). With this theory, Darwin launched a massive debate ... More

The Philosophy of Manufactures  

Andrew Ure

Despite the well-publicized and scandalous reports of the reformers, there remained many supporters of unregulated factory labor among British liberals. One of the most influential was ... More

Reed Chart from the Marshall Islands, South Pacific  

Anonymous

Traditional Micronesian and Polynesian maps of the Pacific, such as this example from the Marshall Islands, from about 1880, show sea lanes across the ocean in the form of reeds that link ... More

Secret Memorandum on Industrialization  

Sergei Witte

The prime architect of Russia’s railroad and industrial expansion in the late nineteenth century was Sergei Witte (1849–1915). Witte traced his ancestry on his father’s side to Dutch ... More

Testimony of Matthew Crabtree from the Sadler Committee Report  

Sadler Committee

Michael Sadler (1780–1835) was raised in an affluent and prominent English family, and after a brief stint in the family import-export business (for which he had no liking), he was elected ... More

“The Painter of Modern Life”  

Charles Baudelaire

In his essay The Painter of Modern Life, the French poet Baudelaire (1821–1867) lays out his vision of modernism, which became perhaps the closest thing to a “manifesto” the movement had. ... More

“The Soul of Man under Socialism”  

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde, an Irish poet and writer, became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the 1890s. Trained as a classicist in Dublin, then at Oxford, Wilde became a journalist in London ... More

Young miners testify to the Ashley Commission  

British Parliament

The British Parliament took on a series of initiatives to investigate the lives of women and children in the mid-nineteenth century, and the resulting testimonies, presented by workers to ... More

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