Chronology of Mathilde Blind’s Life & Major Publications

1841    Birth of Mathilda Cohen, 21 March—daughter of Jacob Abraham and Friederike Cohen.

1847    Travels to Bavaria with her mother, brother Ferdinand (born 1834), and the revolutionary Karl Blind, who along with Friederike encourage workers to participate in the “bread and potato riots.”

1848    Father dies in October. Karl Blind becomes a leader of the Baden Uprising. Friederike moves to Belgium with Mathilde and Ferdinand. In August, Karl Blind, Karl Marx, and Sebastian Seiler, expelled from Germany, France, and Belgium for revolutionary activities, travel to London and are granted political asylum.

1849    Takes the last name of her stepfather, Karl Blind, after he and her mother marry.

1850    Stepbrother Rudolf is born to Karl and Friederike.

1851    Attends boarding school in Brussels.

1852    Writes the first of her surviving poems, a birthday ode to her mother in German, and the first document she signs “Mathilde.” Stepsister Ottilie is born. The family moves to London in the fall, settling in St. John’s Wood.

1855    Attends a day school on Adelaide Road: the Ladies’ Institute.

1857    Travels to Zurich, where her maternal uncle arranges for her to take private lessons in Gothic and Middle German and Latin from the renowned philosopher and Sanscrit scholar Kuno Fischer and his wife.

1859    Applies to the British Museum for a ticket to the Reading Room, 2 May.

1860    Undertakes a solitary walking tour through the Bernese Oberland. On return to London, begins rigorous program of self-education and becomes acquainted with foreign exiles like Louis Blanc, Giuseppe Garibaldi, and Giuseppe Mazzini, who frequented her parents’ house. Writes an English tragedy on Robespierre, praised by Louis Blanc, now lost.

1864    Engages in extensive discussions with Mazzini, a major influence on her literary and political views; spends part of the summer hiking in Wales with her friend Lily Wolfsohn.

1866    Goes into mourning after her brother Ferdinand commits suicide in prison following a failed attempt to assassinate Otto von Bismarck, president of Prussia.

1867    Publishes Poems under the pseudonym “Claude Lake.”

1868    Becomes friends with a group of artists and writers, including Algernon Charles Swinburne, William Michael Rossetti, and Catherine, Lucy, Emma, and Ford Madox Brown; regularly attends salons hosted by Brown.

1869    Spends considerable time at the British Museum Reading Room and in conversations about Percy Bysshe Shelley with Richard Garnett, William Michael Rossetti, and Algernon Charles Swinburne.

1870    Delivers lecture on Shelley, 9 January, as Mathilde Blind. Delivers a lecture on the Volsunga Saga, translated by William Morris and Eiríkr Magnússon, 25 May. Publishes “Shelley,” a review of The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley, with notes and a memoir by W. M. Rossetti, in the Westminster Review in July (unsigned).

1871    Moves out of her parents’ home. Contributes essays, poems, and a short story to the Dark Blue. Receives and rejects a marriage proposal from the American poet Joaquin Miller.

1872    Edits and writes the Introduction for A Selection from the Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Begins publishing reviews and poems in the Athenaeum, an association lasting until 1895.

1873    Publishes translation of The Old Faith and the New: A Confession, by David Friedrich Strauss.

1874    Publishes third English edition of The Old Faith and the New: A Confession, containing her biographical essay on Strauss.

1876    Publishes translation of Maxims and Reflections, from the German of Goethe,” Fraser’s Magazine, March.

1878    Publishes “Mary Wollstonecraft,” New Quarterly Magazine, July.

1881    Publishes The Prophecy of St. Oran and Other Poems.

1883    Publishes George Eliot, the first biography of the novelist.

1885    Publishes Tarantella: A Romance, her only novel.

1886    Publishes narrative poem The Heather on Fire: A Tale of the Highland Clearances, and  Madame Roland, her biography of the influential member of the Girondist faction during the French Revolution. Edits and writes the Introduction to a two-volume edition of The Poetical Works of Lord Byron for the Canterbury Poets series.

1887    Edits and writes the Introduction for a selection of The Letters of Lord Byron.

1888    Publishes widely-discussed profile “Marie Bakshirtseff, The Russian Painter” in the Woman’s World, the magazine edited by Oscar Wilde.

1889    Publishes verse volume The Ascent of Man; her rumination on evolutionary theory in the title poem generates critical discussion and acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic.

1890    Publishes translation of The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff, a seminal text in the New Woman debates of the fin de siècle.

1891    Publishes Dramas in Miniature, containing many of her most important dramatic monologues.

1892    Publishes the New-Woman themed short story “At Cross Purposes,” Black and White, 14 May.

1893    Publishes Songs and Sonnets. Elected president of the Women Writers Club.

1895    Publishes Birds of Passage: Songs of the Orient and Occident.

1896    Dies in London, 26 November.

1897    Publication of A Selection from the Poems of Mathilde Blind, edited by A. Symons.

1898    Unveiling of Mathilde Blind monument in St. Pancras cemetery, designed by French sculptor Edouard Lanteri.

1899    Publication of new edition of The Ascent of Man, with new “Introductory Note” by the evolutionary biologist Alfred R. Wallace.

1900    Publication of The Poetical Works of Mathilde Blind, edited by Arthur Symons, with a memoir by Richard Garnett.

1902    Publication of Shakespeare Sonnets, eight sonnets inspired by her September 1894 trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon. They were originally published in Birds of Passage: Songs of the Orient and Occident.