© National Portrait Gallery, London
Alexander II, Emperor of Russia
by James Jacques Tissot Click on the links below to find out more
watercolour, published in Vanity Fair 16 October 1869
11 7/8 in. x 7 1/8 in. (301 mm x 181 mm)
Gladstone introduces the Irish Church Disestablishment Act, which disestablishes the Church of Ireland, disassociating it from the state and repealing the paying of tithes to the Anglican Church of Ireland. Girton College is founded in Cambridge by Barbara Bodichon and Emily Davies, the first residential college for women in England; women were granted full membership to the University in 1948.
Art and science
Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev invents the periodic table of elements, which arranges elements within a group in order of their atomic mass. The British scientist Mary Somerville publishes her last book On Molecular and Microscopic Science
. Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir paint together in the open air at La Grenouillère, developing the Impressionist style.
The Suez canal opens, linking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Suez with the Mediterranean Sea, and transforming trade routes between Europe and Asia as merchants no longer had to circumvent Africa. The canal was largely in British and French control until Egyptian nationalisation in 1956, which sparked off the international Suez crisis.Serialisation of Leo Tolstoy's epic novel of Russian society during the Napoleonic wars, War and Peace