Due: March 30th or April 1st (no joke).

"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. vaticination (Kayla Smith)
  2. fatidical fury (vatidical fury?)
  3. Saul (Caitlin Trujillo)
  4. Aaron's-rod (Elizabeth Piette)
  5. burns witches (Jessica Deitcher)
  6. Titus Oates (Peter Tyson)
  7. Test Acts (Peter Tyson)
  8. Leviathan (Olivia Harding)
  9. jointure (Allison Leach)
  10. Millennarians (Brian Alexander)
  11. Millites (Allison Leach)
  12. Fifth-monarchy men (Glenda Shuying Tan)
  13. the last of the seals is to be opened (Theresa Lii)
  14. The school of Reid (Matthew Surka)
  15. Camoens (Adriana Isaza)
  16. Gamas (Ari Garber)
  17. •Lancastrian machines (Ari Garber)
  18. Hamiltonian machines
  19. •monitors
  20. Bible-Society (Kate-Lyn Scott)/li>
  21. Anabaptists (Kristina Acevedo)
  22. Queen Christina (Christina Santoro)
  23. King Frederick (Kristina Acevedo)
  24. Glyptothèques (Adriana Isaza)
  25. Cousins and Villemain (Kayla Smith)
  26. Professor Stewart (Kate-Lyn Scott)
  27. Hartley (Kyle Brine)
  28. Darwin [not Charles!]
  29. Priestley (Glenda Shuying Tan)
  30. Dr. Cabanis (Alessandra Woolner)
  31. Leuwenhoek (Theresa Lii)
  32. Martinus Scriblerus (Caitlin Trujillo)
  33. Laplace (Sonia Kim)
  34. Lagrange (Nathan Greenberg)
  35. De Lolme (Alessandra Woolner)
  36. Kepler (Christina Santoro)
  37. Smith (Matthew Surka)
  38. Sheridan Knowles (Zoe Weiss)
  39. Beau Brummel (Nathan Greenberg)
  40. William the Silent (Jessica Deitcher)
  41. Egmont
  42. DeWitt
  43. Euphuist (Christina De Cola)
  44. Sir Hudibras (Christina De Cola)
  45. the Memnon Statue (Olivia Harding)
  46. Siege of Leyden (Nathan Greenberg)
  47. Siege of Leyden (Brian Alexander)
  48. Burghley (Sonia Kim)
  49. Hooker (Kyle Brine)
  50. Las Casas (Elizabeth Piette)
  51. Taylor
  52. The shuttle drops from the fingers of the weaver, and falls into iron fingers that ply it faster (Zoe Weiss)

Last modified 2 April 2009