Thursday, April 30, 2009
Timeline of Historical Eras
As promised at RT, here's a brief time-line of major (British) historical eras, particularly the ones you find in historical fiction. Keep in mind that oftentimes the dates are a bit fluid with some eras, whereas others are more rigidly defined. Also, you'll notice that there's quite a bit of overlap.
Middle Ages (or Medieval period) -- generally from the fall of the western Roman Empire in the 5th century through the 16th century.
Renaissance -- generally 14th - 17th centuries. Considered a 'cultural movement' that began in Italy in the late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe.
Tudor era -- 1485-1603, spans the range of the Tudor dynasty, beginning with Henry VII and running through the reign of Elizabeth I (though Elizabeth's reign is also treated as a sub-era, the Elizabethan era, from 1558-1603).
Stuart period -- 1603-1714, coincides with the rule of the House of Stuart, beginning with James VI of Scotland and ended with Queen Anne. A period rife with internal and religious strife. The Restoration period took place during the Stuart era, beginning in 1660 when the English, Scottish, and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II.
Georgian era -- 1714-1830, coincides with the reigns of George I, II, III, and IV, and is sometimes extended to include the reign of William IV from 1830-1837. It was a period of cultural vibrancy and great social change. The Georgian era includes the sub-period of the Regency era, when George III took ill and England was ruled by the Regent, who became George IV after George III's death. The architecture style was mostly neo-classical. It was the day of Lord Byron, Jane Austen, William Wordsworth, and John Keats.
Victorian era -- 1837-1901, coincides with the rule of Queen Victoria. The Victorian era marked a long period of prosperity in England, and was characterized by a long period of peace only disrupted by the Crimean War. This was the period marked by industrialism, developments in science and photography. Gothic revival architecture became significant. It was the age of Dickens, and of Jack the Ripper.
Edwardian era -- 1901-1910, coinciding with the reign of Edward VII, though the 'extended' Edwardian era generally continues through to the beginning of WWI (The Great War, at the time), in 1914. Sometimes called the Belle Epoque, or the Gilded Age. The period was marked by an inherent imbalance in wealth and power. It's the day of E.M. Forster, Joseph Conrad, and H.G. Wells. There were motorcars, suffragists, and ocean liners (including the Titanic, which sunk in 1912). Art Nouveau took hold during this period.
Hope that helps--though I'm not promising it's perfect! If anyone sees any glaring errors, let me know!
Posted by Kristi Cook at 7:43 PM