Due: Wednesday, 26 April.

"And now for something completely different." Well, almost. During week nine we read, among other works, Thomas Carlyle's brilliant essay, "Signs of the Times" (text). Since it contains dozens of allusions to nineteenth-century and earlier people and events, modern readers find its satire and prophecy difficult. Therefore, each of you will choose two of the terms I've listed below (though if you find something I've missed that appeals to you, check it with me).

Each annotation, which will eventually appear online linked to the Carlyle text, has two parts: In the first, you identify some person, place, event, or movement, explaining its historical or other importance. In the second, you explain its function in "Signs of the Times." [See annotations of another work by Carlyle for examples; those for George the Fourth and Apollo Belvedere work well.]

Please let me know as soon as possible what two items you have chosen to annotate. I'll put your name next to them. The sooner you look at the list, the better chance you have to pick something of interest to you.

Why this assignment?

How does this relate to the question sets you have done in previous weeks? Remember, I devised the question-set assignment as a means of enabling you to develop skills involved in moving convincingly from a literary text (your data) to your argument (your thesis) and back again. Some of the questions concerned theme, some techniques, and some relations among the text in question and others we have read. Recently, I added questions on context — always particularly difficult to compose because they require very specific factual knowledge. This new assignment therefore emphasizes acquiring and presenting relevant facts and then relating them to an assigned text, here Carlyle's "Signs of the Times." In other words, you will move from the text to some broader context and then back again.

Where can I find the information I need?

You can use the Victorian Web, Wikipedia, and other web resources, but each annotation must cite at least one book or article from the Brown library system. In some cases you will find Victorian periodicals, including newspapers, handy; in others books on philosophy, religion, contemporary history, and so on will prove more useful.

Include all material you have read that proved relevant in a formal bibliography with the following house style:

Spurgeon, Charles. Sermons. London: Rivington, 1843. [single-volume book]

Ruskin, John. Works. 39 vols. Eds. E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn. London: Allen and Unwin, 1902-12.[book in multiple volumes]

Smith, James. "Tennyson's Heroines." Victoriana 3 (1996): 23-35. [Essay in periodical; once you have included author and essay title, essays in books follow bibliographical form for books.

Do not use footnotes. Instead use in-text citations keyed to a bibliography."

Words and Phrases requiring annotation in Carlyle "Signs of the Times"

[• = finished and online]
    1. Alba
    2. Argus eyes [Anna Vresilovic]
    3. Anabaptists
    4. Archimedes
    5. Bacon
    6. Bentham [Sarah Zweifach]
    7. bold scheme of the Nurembergers
    8. Birmingham Fire-king
    9. Carbonari rebellions [Abigail Chance]
    10. Castlereagh
    11. the Church is in danger
    12. Constant
    13. Cortes [Amanda Cole]
    14. Crusades took their rise in Religion
    15. dapperling
    16. Darwin [Rhianna Shaw]
    17. DeWitt
    18. Descartes [Henry Mattingly]
    19. The Dutch too have retained their old constitution
    20. Enthusiasm
    21. Epictetus
    22. Fenelon
    23. Even the horse is stripped of his harness, and finds a fleet fire-horse invoked in his stead [Katharine Khanna]
    24. Freemasons' Tavern
    25. King Frederick for his Voltaire [Jason Beckman]
    26. from the falling of an apple [Sarah Zweifach]
    27. Habeas-corpus act
      Heraclides [Kate Monks]
    1. Hume's [opinion]
    2. Inquisition [Lauren Hall]
    3. Knox
    4. Lancashire
    5. Las Casas
    6. Malebranche [Lauren Hall]
    7. Mécanique Céleste [Katharine Khanna]
    8. Mendicant Friars of old times
    9. mill-ponds [Anna Vresilovic]
    10. monitors
    11. Moral Sciences
    12. An Order of Ignatius Loyola
    13. Pelasgi [Jason Beckman]
    14. Philip II [Kate Monks]
    15. Philosophy of Mind [Henry Mattingly]
    16. Pizarro
    17. Political Economists
    18. popularis aura
    19. Purgatory-Society
    20. The Reformation [Amanda Cole]
    21. Reid
    22. Royal Academ[y] of Painting [Abigail Chance]
    23. Taylor
    24. Vauxhall [Rhianna Shaw]
    25. Vaucanson
    26. Watt
    27. Wickliffe
    28. Ximenes

    Last modified 6 March 2010