19th Century Britain: A Selection

by johndavies007 | created - 26 Apr 2016 | updated - 21 Oct 2018 | Public

CHRONOLOGY, with films asterisked.

1800-25 Robert Owen (b.Newtown, Wales, 1771) takes over management of New Lanark mills, Scotland, establishes a model community, the first Infant School in the world, a creche for working mothers, free medical care, and a comprehensive education system for children, including evening classes for adults 1801 Acts of Union create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 1804 Trevithick's steam locomotive, the world's first, near Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. 1805 Horatio Nelson (b.1758) dies at the battle of Trafalgar: *That Hamilton Woman* 1806 Birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (died 1859), civil engineer : *Great (Isambard Kingdom Brunel)* 1807 The world's first passenger railway, Swansea to Mumbles, Wales Slave Trade act, following campaign to abolish slavery led by William Wilberforce 1808 William Blake's poem Jerusalem John Dalton's A New System of Chemical Philosophy 1809-10 The Lines of Torres Vedras, system of defensive forts, built in Portugal on Wellington's orders to repel the French in the Napoleonic wars 1811 Jane Austen's *Sense and Sensibility* 1813 Jane Austen's *Pride and Prejudice* 1815 The Battle of Waterloo: *Waterloo* Humphrey Davy invents the Miners' Safety lamp 1816 Jane Austen's *Emma* 1817 Jane Austen's *Persuasion* 1818 Mary Shelley's *Frankensten* 1819 The Peterloo Massacre, Manchester. 1820 Death of "mad" King George III: *The Madness of King George* 1821 John Keats dies: *Bright Star* John Constable's painting The Hay Wain 1823 Birth near Usk, Wales of Alfred Russel Wallace, father of bio-geography, social reformer, co-originator of theory of evolution by natural selection 1824 Lord George "mad, bad and dangerous to know" Byron (b.1788) dies fighting for Greek independence from Turkey William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, physicist, mathematician, engineer, born Belfast 1827-8 Burke and Hare serial murders, Edinburgh, Scotland, with corpses sold for dissection 1829 Sir Robert Peel establishes Metropolitan Police force George Stevenson's Rocket. "Captain Swing" riots 1830 Birth in England of Eadweard Muybridge, photographer and film pioneer in USA 1832 Death of Jemima Nicholas (b1755) who led the women of Pembrokeshire, Wales to capture the French in the last invasion of Britain, 1798. The Great Reform Act, giving more people the vote 1833 Slavery abolished throughout the British Empire 1834 The "Tolpuddle martyrs" convicted and transported to Australia: *Comrades* Poor Law Amendment Act 1837 Queen Victoria's long reign (to 1901) begins: *Victoria the Great*, *Mädchenjahre einer Königin* "The People's Charter", advocating working class votes, published. 1837-9 Charles Dickens' *Oliver Twist* 1838 Myall Creek massacre, Australia, is the first Aboriginal massacre (after many) for which British settlers were successfully convicted 1839 J.M.W. Turner's painting The Fighting Temeraire: *Mr.Turner* 1839-42 First Anglo-Chinese Opium War 1842 William Grove of Swansea, Wales, develops the first fuel cell Friedrich Engels meets Karl Marx in Manchester, where working conditions influence their thinking Law banning women and children from working in mines 1843 Charles Dickens' *A Christmas Carol* 1845 Elizabeth Barrett meets Robert Browning: *The Barretts of Wimpole Street* 1845-52 The Great Irish Potato Famine 1847 Charlotte Bronte's *Jane Eyre* Birth of Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish inventor of the telephone Emily Bronte's *Wuthering Heights* 1849-50 Charles Dickens' *David Copperfield* 1850 William Wordsworth dies, Alfred Lord Tennyson becomes Poet Laureate 1851 The Great Crystal Palace Exhibition 1853-6 The Crimean War: *The Charge of the Light Brigade* 1854 Birth of Oscar Wilde, Irish writer (died 1900): *Wilde*, *The Trials of Oscar Wilde* 1855 Birth of William Friese-Greene (died 1921), film pioneer: *The Magic Box* Ford Madox Brown's painting The Last of England 1855-57 Dickens' *Little Dorrit* 1856-60 Second Anglo-Chinese Opium War; China forced to continue tolerating British opium trade 1857 Indian Sepoy Rebellion suppressed, beginning of the Raj, rule of India taken over by the Crown from the East India company 1857-8 Expedition of Sir Richard Burton and John Speke in East Africa in search of the source of the Nile: *Mountains of the Moon* Madeleine Smith is tried for poisoning her secret lover: *Madeleine* 1858 Robert Owen, socialist reformer, father of Cooperative movement, dies. Theory of evolution by natural selection outlined by Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin "The Great Stink": with London overwhelmed by an unbearable pong, Joseph Bazalgette starts to design the London sewerage system 1859 Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species Wilkie Collins' *The Woman in White* 1860-61 Charles Dickens' *Great Expectations* 1861 Prince Albert dies (John Brown becomes Queen Victoria's personal servant): *Mrs Brown* 1862 Birth of John Merrick, *The Elephant Man* 1863 Football Association formed in England 1865 Joseph Lister invents antiseptic surgery Michael Jones establishes a free Welsh settlement in Patagonia, Argentina 1868 William Gladstone becomes Liberal Prime Minister the first of record 4 times First Trade Union Congress 1870 Education Act, to provide state education for all 1871 Welsh-American explorer Henry Stanley meets Scottish explorer David Livingstone at Ujiji, Lake Tanganyika Bank Holiday Act provides workers with holidays 1872 World's first football international match, Scotland v England 1874 George Elliot's (née Mary Anne Evans), Middlemarch Thomas Hardy's *Far from the Madding Crowd* Major Walter Wingfield invents lawn tennis- which he named Sphairistikè (Greek for "ball games")- in Wales 1875 Captain Matthew Webb swims the English Channel/La Manche 1877 Trinity Church's lease of Manhattan land from Welsh buccaneer Robert Edwards expires, but his descendants still await their due 1879 Battle of Rorke's Drift in the Anglo-Zulu war : *Zulu* First electro-magnetic radio waves transmission by David Hughes, Welsh inventor, musician, well before Hertz and Marconi 1880-81 First (Anglo-) Boer war 1881-99 Anglo-Sudanese war: *The Four Feathers* 1882 England lose at home to Australia at cricket and "the Ashes" contest is born 1883 Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson's serialised Treasure Island published as book 1884 Representation of the People Act: male house owners given the vote, the poorest still denied (only in 1918 were all men given the right to vote. Contrary to current popular belief, rich and landowning women had previously been allowed to vote) 1884-5 Battle of Khartoum in Sudan : *Khartoum* 1885 Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado: *Topsy Turvy* 1886 Robert Louis Stevenson's *Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde* 1887 First Sherlock Holmes story (A Study in Scarlet), by Scottish writer, physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: *The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes* 1888 First films of Louis le Prince: *Roundhay Garden Scene*, *Crossing Leeds Bridge* Local Government Act: after decades of the cruel "Welsh Not", instruction in Welsh in elementary schools becomes the norm in Welsh-speaking areas 1889 Charlie Chaplin born 1890 Future Liberal Prime Minister David Lloyd George is elected to Parliament The Forth Rail bridge opens in Scotland The first electric underground trains in London 1891 Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles: *Tess* J.M.Barrie's *Little Minister* 1893 Eccentric Welsh physician William Price (b.1800) dies, is controversially cremated Cadbury model village for workers at Bournville. Birmingham 1895 Oscar Wilde's play *The Importance of being Earnest* Bill Frost's flying machine in Pembrokeshire, Wales 1896 Alexandre Promio films *Liverpool Scenes* 1897 Dracula published: *Bram Stoker's Dracula* Marconi sends the first wireless communication over open sea, transversing the Bristol Channel from Lavernock Point (South Wales) to Flat Holm Island 1898 Black composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's cantata Hiawatha's Wedding Feast 1898-1901 "Boxer" rebellion, China, against imperialists and opium traders 1899 Polish-Born Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (transposed as Apocalypse Now) Alfred Hitchcock born, London 1899-1902 Second Boer War (concentration camps set up by British)

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1. Comrades (1986)

183 min | Drama, History

The story of "The Tolpuddle Martyrs". A group of nineteenth century English farm laborers who formed one of the first trade unions and started a campaign to receive fair wages.

Director: Bill Douglas | Stars: Keith Allen, Dave Atkins, Stephen Bateman, Katy Behean

Votes: 630

2. The Innocents (1961)

Not Rated | 100 min | Horror

88 Metascore

A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director: Jack Clayton | Stars: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins, Michael Redgrave

Votes: 24,648 | Gross: $2.62M

3. Pride and Prejudice (1995)

TV-PG | 327 min | Drama, Romance

While the arrival of wealthy gentlemen sends her marriage-minded mother into a frenzy, willful and opinionated Elizabeth Bennet matches wits with haughty Mr. Darcy.

Stars: Colin Firth, Jennifer Ehle, Susannah Harker, Julia Sawalha

Votes: 70,628

4. Great Expectations (1946)

Not Rated | 118 min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery

A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Director: David Lean | Stars: John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Tony Wager, Jean Simmons

Votes: 20,850

5. The Elephant Man (1980)

PG | 124 min | Biography, Drama

77 Metascore

A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of kindness, intelligence and sophistication.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud

Votes: 206,371

6. Topsy-Turvy (1999)

R | 160 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

90 Metascore

Set in the 1880s, the story of how, during a creative dry spell, the partnership of the legendary musical/theatrical writers Gilbert and Sullivan almost dissolves, before they turn it all around and write the Mikado.

Director: Mike Leigh | Stars: Jim Broadbent, Allan Corduner, Dexter Fletcher, Sukie Smith

Votes: 11,271 | Gross: $6.20M

7. David Copperfield (1935)

Passed | 130 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Freddie Bartholomew, Frank Lawton, Edna May Oliver, Elizabeth Allan

Votes: 3,519

8. Mr. Turner (2014)

R | 150 min | Biography, Drama, History

94 Metascore

An exploration of the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter J.M.W. Turner's life.

Director: Mike Leigh | Stars: Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey

Votes: 23,298 | Gross: $3.96M

9. Bright Star (2009)

PG | 119 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

81 Metascore

The three-year romance between 19th-century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne near the end of his life.

Director: Jane Campion | Stars: Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, Paul Schneider, Kerry Fox

Votes: 24,451 | Gross: $4.44M

10. Oliver Twist (1948)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama

An orphan named Oliver Twist meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Robert Newton, Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh, Francis L. Sullivan

Votes: 10,584

11. Little Dorrit (1987)

G | 357 min | Drama, Romance

Arthur Clennam returns to London after working abroad for many years with his now deceased father. Almost at once he becomes involved in the problems of his mother's seamstress Amy Dorrit ... See full summary »

Director: Christine Edzard | Stars: Derek Jacobi, Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Max Wall

Votes: 972 | Gross: $1.03M

12. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)

PG-13 | 125 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

When a bored Holmes eagerly takes the case of Gabrielle Valladon after an attempt on her life, the search for her missing husband leads to Loch Ness and the legendary monster.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Robert Stephens, Christopher Lee, Colin Blakely, Geneviève Page

Votes: 9,859 | Gross: $3.30M

13. Wuthering Heights (1939)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Romance

A servant in the house of Wuthering Heights tells a traveller the unfortunate tale of lovers Cathy and Heathcliff.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, David Niven, Flora Robson

Votes: 15,340

14. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984–1985)

TV-PG | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson solve the mysteries of copper beeches, a Greek interpreter, the Norwood builder, a resident patient, the red-headed league, and one final problem.

Stars: Jeremy Brett, David Burke, Rosalie Williams, Eric Porter

Votes: 18,549

15. Bleak House (2005)

TV-PG | 510 min | Drama

A suspenseful tale about the injustices of the 19th Century English legal system.

Stars: Anna Maxwell Martin, Denis Lawson, Carey Mulligan, Gillian Anderson

Votes: 8,164

16. Hobson's Choice (1954)

Not Rated | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Henry Hobson (Charles Laughton) is a successful bootmaker, a widower and a tyrannical father of three daughters. The girls each want to leave their father by getting married, but Henry refuses because marriage traditions require him to pay out settlements.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Charles Laughton, John Mills, Brenda de Banzie, Daphne Anderson

Votes: 6,088

17. Tess (1979)

PG | 170 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

A strong-willed young peasant girl attracts the affection of two men.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Nastassja Kinski, Peter Firth, Leigh Lawson, John Collin

Votes: 14,058

18. Frankenstein (1931)

Passed | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

91 Metascore

An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff, John Boles

Votes: 60,932

19. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson

Votes: 40,707 | Gross: $4.36M

21. Martin Chuzzlewit (1994)

385 min | Drama

Some very greedy and selfish relatives are all after the failing old Martin Chuzzlewit's (Paul Scofield's) money. He is surrounded by all these sycophantic relatives that he truly despises ... See full summary »

Stars: Emma Chambers, Julia Sawalha, Keith Allen, Philip Franks

Votes: 732

22. Sense and Sensibility (1995)

PG | 136 min | Drama, Romance

84 Metascore

Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are the titular opposites.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, James Fleet, Tom Wilkinson

Votes: 95,488 | Gross: $43.18M

23. The Woman in White (1982– )

55 min | Mystery, Thriller

In Victorian England, Laura and her half-sister Marian are entwined in a terrifying web of deceit. Laura's doppelganger, a mysterious woman dressed all in white, may hold the key to unlock the mystery.

Stars: Diana Quick, Ian Richardson, John Shrapnel, Jenny Seagrove

Votes: 180

24. Our Mutual Friend (1976)

50 min | Drama

Based on the Dickens novel, tells the story of a young man who's inherited fortune hangs on his marriage to a woman he's never met. But many have their eyes on his fortune and scheme to ... See full summary »

Stars: Lesley Dunlop, John McEnery, Nicholas Jones, Leo McKern

Votes: 88

25. Pride & Prejudice (2005)

PG | 129 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome his or her own pride and prejudice?

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland

Votes: 237,585 | Gross: $38.41M

26. Far from the Madding Crowd (1967)

PG | 168 min | Drama, History, Romance

55 Metascore

Bathsheba Everdene, a willful, flirtatious, young woman, unexpectedly inherits a large farm and is romantically pursued by three very different men.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Julie Christie, Peter Finch, Alan Bates, Terence Stamp

Votes: 4,904

27. The Great Train Robbery (1978)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

68 Metascore

In Victorian England, a master criminal makes elaborate plans to steal a shipment of gold from a moving train.

Director: Michael Crichton | Stars: Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down, Alan Webb

Votes: 14,814 | Gross: $13.03M

28. The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)

Passed | 109 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning.

Director: Sidney Franklin | Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Sullivan

Votes: 1,490

29. That Hamilton Woman (1941)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama, History, Romance

The story of courtesan and dance-hall girl Emma Hamilton, including her relationships with Sir William Hamilton and Admiral Horatio Nelson and her rise and fall, set during the Napoleonic Wars.

Director: Alexander Korda | Stars: Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Alan Mowbray, Sara Allgood

Votes: 3,754

30. Gone to Earth (1950)

Not Rated | 82 min | Drama, Romance

A beautiful, superstitious, animal-loving Gypsy is hotly desired by a fox-hunting squire even after she marries a clergyman.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Jennifer Jones, David Farrar, Cyril Cusack, Sybil Thorndike

Votes: 956

31. Wuthering Heights (2011)

Not Rated | 129 min | Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

A poor boy of unknown origins is rescued from poverty and taken in by the Earnshaw family where he develops an intense relationship with his young foster sister, Cathy.

Director: Andrea Arnold | Stars: Kaya Scodelario, James Howson, Solomon Glave, Shannon Beer

Votes: 8,771 | Gross: $0.10M

32. A Christmas Carol (1951)

TV-PG | 86 min | Drama, Fantasy

Old bitter miser Ebenezer Scrooge (Alastair Sim) is given a chance for redemption when he is haunted by three ghosts on Christmas Eve.

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst | Stars: Alastair Sim, Jack Warner, Kathleen Harrison, Mervyn Johns

Votes: 18,998

33. Wilde (1997)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

The turmoil in poet/playwright Oscar Wilde's life after he discovers his homosexuality.

Director: Brian Gilbert | Stars: Stephen Fry, Jude Law, Vanessa Redgrave, Jennifer Ehle

Votes: 14,036 | Gross: $2.16M

34. Gaslight (1940)

Not Rated | 84 min | Thriller

Twenty years after the murder of Alice Barlow, her house is finally occupied again. However, the husband from the couple who have moved in has a secret which he will do anything to keep hidden.

Director: Thorold Dickinson | Stars: Anton Walbrook, Diana Wynyard, Frank Pettingell, Cathleen Cordell

Votes: 3,498

35. Mrs Brown (1997)

PG | 101 min | Biography, Drama, History

71 Metascore

When Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert dies, she finds solace in her trusted servant, Mr. John Brown, but their relationship also brings scandal and turmoil.

Director: John Madden | Stars: Judi Dench, Billy Connolly, Geoffrey Palmer, Antony Sher

Votes: 12,808 | Gross: $9.22M

36. Alice in Wonderland (1951)

G | 75 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

68 Metascore

Alice stumbles into the world of Wonderland. Will she get home? Not if the Queen of Hearts has her way.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske | Stars: Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn, Sterling Holloway

Votes: 120,955

37. By Our Selves (2015)

83 min | Drama

Focuses on two figures, sometimes Andrew Kötting, sometimes Toby Jones as the middle-aged John Clare. As they channel, in their own fashion, the psychic wound exposed by Clare.

Director: Andrew Kotting | Stars: David Aylward, Freddie Jones, Toby Jones, Eden Kotting

Votes: 67



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