by John Kirkwood, published by William Curry Jr & Co, after Charles Grey etching, 1837 or after 8 3/8 in. x 5 3/8 in. (213 mm x 136 mm) paper size Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966 Reference Collection NPG D37807
The controversial monarch William IV dies of pneumonia in June leaving no legitimate heirs, and is succeeded to the throne by his niece Victoria, one month after her eighteenth birthday. The Registration Act of Births, Marriages and Deaths makes it compulsory for all births, marriages and deaths to be registered at a Registry Office.
Art and science
Dickens's second novel Oliver Twist is serialised in Bentley's Magazine. The story of the orphan Oliver is an attack on the Poor Law Amendment Acts (1834), a highly contentious piece of legislation which abolished outdoor relief, effectively increasing entry in the workhouse. The novel, famously made into a musical in 1968, marks Dickens as an outspoken social critic as well as a highly popular and commercial writer.
The Russian poet Aleksandr Pushkin is killed in a duel with Baron Georges d'Anthès. Considered the founder of modern Russian literature, Pushkin blended Old Slavonic with vernacular Russian and was the first Russian writer to use everyday speech in his poetry. His works include Eugene Onegin.