Modern Literature Time Chart

A chart showing the publication dates of works of literature in the context of important historical, social, and cultural events

1914-1919  1920-1929  1930-1939  1940-1949  1950-1959  1960-1969  1970-1979  1980-1989  1990-1999  2000-2003

1920 - 1929


A selection of publications

Historic and political events

Social history


Sherwood Anderson: Poor White
Hart Crane: My Grandmother's Love Letters
F Scott Fitzgerald: This Side of Paradise
Robert Frost: Mountain Interval
Sinclair Lewis: Main Street
Katherine Mansfield: Bliss
Edna St. Vincent Millay: A Few Figs From Thistles
Eugene O'Neill: Beyond the Horizon
Wilfred Owen: Poems
Ezra Pound: Hugh Selwyn Mauberley
Carl Sandburg: Smoke and Steel
Sigfried Sassoon: Picture Show
H G Wells: The Outline of History
Edith Wharton: The Age of Innocence
W B Yeats: Michael Robartes and the Dancer

USA: President Wilson boycotts first meeting of League of Nations.
Germany: Adolph Hitler, spokesman of National Socialist German Workers Party publishes plan for Third German Reich, and campaign against Jews.
Ireland: Civil war.
India: National Congress adopts Gandhi's programme of non-co-operation.

UK: Miners' strike. First radio broadcast. USA: Start of prohibition. Women get vote. Ponzi swindle. Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle charged with murder. Art: Dadaist exhibitions throughout Europe: Marcel Duchamp, Tristan Tzara, Andre Breton, Paul Elouard, George Grosz, Max Ernst, Kurt Schwitters, Francis Picabia.


Agatha Christie: The Mysterious Affair at Styles
John Dos Passos: Three Soldiers
F Scott Fitzgerald: Flappers and Philosophers
D H Lawrence: Women in Love
Aldous Huxley: Crome Yellow
Walter de la Mare: The Veil
Marianne Moore: Poems
Eugene O'Neill: Anna Christie
Ezra Pound: Instigations
Lytton Strachey: Queen Victoria
W B Yeats: Four Plays for Dancers

USA: Warren Harding, Republican, becomes President, rejects League of Nations.
Ireland: Truce.
Russia: famine.
China: Communist Party formed.
India: All-India Congress party boycotts visit of Prince of Wales. Gandhi organises burning of foreign cloth.

Foundation of P.E.N. Technology: First helicopter flight. UK: Unemployment over one million. First birth control clinic. Classical music: Sibelius's Fifth Symphony performed in London. Cinema: Rudolph Valentino, The Sheik, Charlie Chaplin, The Kid.


Willa Cather: One of Ours
E E Cummings: The Enormous Room
T S Eliot: The Waste Land
William Faulkner: Light in August
F Scott Fitzgerald: Tales of the Jazz Age
James Joyce: Ulysses
D H Lawrence: Fantasia of the Unconscious
Sinclair Lewis: Babbitt
Katherine Mansfield: The Garden Party
W Somerset Maugham: On A Chinese Screen
Eugene O'Neill: The Hairy Ape
Virginia Woolf: Jacob's Room

Ireland: Eire formally gains independence. Irish Free State under Michael Collins. Ulster to remain British. Collins shot dead.
Russia: USSR proclaimed.
Italy: Fascist government under Mussolini.
India: Gandhi sentenced to six years in jail.

UK: BBC makes first broadcast. USA: Reader's Digest first published.Philosophy: Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. European influence: Bertold Brecht, Drums in the Night. Herman Hesse, Siddhartha.


Arnold Bennett: Riceyman Steps
Willa Cather: A Lost Lady
E E Cummings: Tulips and Chimneys
James Elroy Flecker: Hassan
Aldous Huxley: Antic Hay
Walter de la Mare: Come Hither
D H Lawrence: Birds, Beasts, and Flowers
Katherine Mansfield: The Doves’ Nest and Other Stories
John Masefield: Collected Poems
Sean O'Casey: The Shadow of a Gunman
Laura Salverson: The Viking Heart
Edith Sitwell: Façade
Wallace Stevens: Harmonium

UK: Stanley Baldwin becomes Prime Minister.
USA: Warren G Harding dies, Calvin Coolidge, Republican, becomes President. Ku Klux Klan claims million members.
Germany: First Nazi rally in Munich. Hitler jailed after abortive attempt to seize power.
India: Plan to restore salt tax.

Popular music: USA: Opening of Cotton Club. Craze for marathon dancing. Cinema: Harold Lloyd, Safety Last. USA: Time magazine founded.


Noel Coward: The Vortex
F Scott Fitzgerald: The Beautiful and Damned
Ford Madox Ford: Some Do Not
E M Forster: A Passage to India
Robert Frost: New Hampshire
Katherine Mansfield: Something Childish and Other Stories
John Masefield: Sard Harker
Herman Melville: Billy Budd, Foretopman
Sean O'Casey: Juno and the Paycock
George Bernard Shaw: St Joan
Mark Twain: Autobiography
Edith Wharton: The Old Maid
P G Wodehouse: The Inimitable Jeeves

UK: Feb: First Labour government under J Ramsay MacDonald. Nov: Stanley Baldwin becomes Prime Minister, with Winston Churchill Chancellor.
Russia: USSR Constituted. Death of Lenin, Stalin is effective leader.
India: Gandhi on hunger strike over Hindu-Moslem riots. Spread of plague

UK: Empire Exhibition. Imperial Airways formed. Technology: wireless communication between UK and Australia. Classical music: George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue. Sir Edward Elgar made 'Master of the King's Musick'. Cinema: First Disney cartoon


Willa Cather: The Professor's House
Noel Coward: Hay Fever
John Dos Passos: Manhattan Transfer
Theodore Dreiser: An American Tragedy
F Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
Ford Madox Ford: No More Parades
Ernest Hemingway: In Our Time
C Day-Lewis: Beechen Virgil
Sinclair Lewis: Arrowsmith
Amy Lowell: What's O'clock
Thomas Mofolo: Chaka
Ezra Pound: A Draft of XVI Cantos
Ben Travers: A Cuckoo in the Nest
William Carlos Williams: In the American Grain
Virginia Woolf: Mrs Dalloway
W B Yeats: A Vision

USA: State of Tennessee bans teaching of evolution, 'Monkey trial' case.
USSR: Stalin ousts Trotsky from leadership.
South Africa: Law banning blacks from skilled jobs.
Germany: Hitler publishes Mein Kamph.
Shanghai: Riots against British Imperialism.

Art: First Surrealist exhibition in Paris. Jacob Epstein Risen Christ.Beginning of Art Deco. European influence: Franz Kafka, The Trial. Popular music: Charleston dance craze comes to UK from USA. Cinema: Eisenstein, Battleship Potemkin, Charlie Chaplin, The Gold Rush.


Willa Cather: My Mortal Enemy
Ford Madox Ford: A Man Could Stand Up
Ernest Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises
Langston Hughes: The Weary Blues
T E Lawrence: Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Hugh MacDiarmid: A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle
Archibald MacLeish: Streets in the Moon
Sean O'Casey: The Plough and the Stars
William Plomer: Turbott Wolfe
Ezra Pound: Personae

UK: Commonwealth of Nations established, reduction of Empire.
Ireland: Foundation of Fianna Fail.
India: Severe rioting between Hindus and Moslems.

UK: General strike. Technology: Logie Baird demonstrates first TV system. Plans for electric trains to replace steam trains. First rocket propelled by liquid fuel. Cinema: Fritz Lang, Metropolis.


Willa Cather: Death Comes for the Archbishop
E M Forster: Aspects of the Novel
Ernest Hemingway: Hills Like White Elephants
James Joyce: Poems Pennyeach
Jean Rhys: The Left Bank and Other Stories
Thornton Wilder: The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Virginia Woolf: To the Lighthouse
W B Yeats: October Blast

Ireland: Kevin O'Higgins, vice-president or Irish Free State, shot.
USSR: Stalin ousts Trotsky from Communist party.

Technology: First solo flight across Atlantic. Science: Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle. Philosophy: Heidegger, Being and Time. Classical music: Yehudi Menuhin, ten years old, performs in Paris. Cinema: First 'talkie' The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson.


W H Auden: Paid On Both Sides
Ford Madox Ford: Last Post
E M Forster: The Eternal Moment and Other Stories
Aldous Huxley: Point Counterpoint
Christopher Isherwood: All the Conspirators
D H Lawrence: Lady Chatterley's Lover
Compton Mackenzie: Extraordinary Women
W Somerset Maugham: Ashenden
Anthony Powell: The Barnard Letters
Siegfried Sassoon: Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man
R C Sherriff: Journey's End
Allen Tate: Mr Pope and Other Poems
Evelyn Waugh: Decline and Fall
Virginia Woolf: Orlando
W B Yeats: The Tower

USA: Herbert Clark Hoover, Republican, becomes President. Wall Street share prices plunging.

UK: Women over 21 get vote. Thames floods, killing 14 and damaging pictures at Tate. Start of Flying Scotsman rail service between Edinburgh and London. Technology: Logie Baird demonstrates first colour TV system. Science: Discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming. Cinema: First moving pictures in colour. Disney: Mickey Mouse, Steamboat Willie.


Robert Bridges: The Testament of Beauty
G K Chesterton: Everlasting Man
C Day-Lewis: Transitional Poem
William Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury
Robert Graves, Goodbye to All That
Ernest Hemingway: A Farewell to Arms
Richard Hughes: A High Wind in Jamaica
Sinclair Lewis: Dodsworth
Louis MacNeice: Blind Fireworks
Sean O'Casey: The Silver Tassie
Rebecca West: Harriet Hume: A London Fantasy
Thomas Wolfe: Look Homeward, Angel
Virginia Woolf: A Room of One's Own
W B Yeats: The Winding Stair

USA: Wall Street Crash, 'Black Thursday'. St. Valentine's Day massacre by Al Capone's gang. Capone jailed.
South Africa: Term Apartheid (separate development) first used.
Italy: Fascists 'win' single party election.
Yugoslavia formed.
India: Continuing riots between Hindus and Moslems.

UK: Margaret Bonfield first Cabinet minister. Police seize nude paintings by D H Lawrence. USA: Academy Awards started. Death of Wyatt Earp. Science: 'Big bang' theory put forward. Art: Second Surrealist Manifesto, Dali joins group. Opening of Museum of Modern Art, New York. European influence: Jean Cocteau, Les Enfants Terribles.

1914-1919  1920-1929  1930-1939  1940-1949  1950-1959  1960-1969  1970-1979  1980-1989  1990-1999  2000-2003

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