[This represents a much revised and abbreviated version of material in Law & Taylor, E.S. Dallas in "The Times" (xxxv-xlv), where full details of sources are provided. - Graham Law]

1827(18 November) Born Eneas Sweetland Dallas, the first son of Scottish plantation owners on the British Caribbean island of Carriacou, a small dependency to the northeast of Grenada.
1829(8 February) Birth on Carriacou of his brother, William Dallas.
1831(20 March) Birth on Carriacou of his sister, Ann Dallas.
1831(3 December) Death on Carriacou from causes unknown of his father, John Dallas, member of the House of Assembly, Grenada, who had been baptised in Inverness in 1783. In all John Dallas seems to have possessed around 400 enslaved labourers, with control of five estates on Carriacou, altogether amounting to nearly 900 acres, making him the third largest landholder on the island.
1832-Brought up with his younger siblings by his mother, Eliza(beth) Baillie Dallas, nee Mackintosh (1804-70), in the predominantly Gaelic-speaking Scottish highland parish of Tain, Ross-shire, where her father Revd. Angus Mackintosh (1763-1831) had been Church of Scotland minister since 1797. Dallas's parents had been married at the Manse in Tain on 2 February 1826, while his maternal uncle, Revd. Charles Calder Mackintosh (1806-1868) succeeded in 1828 to the Tain ministry, which he retained until siding with the Free Church of Scotland at the schism of 1843.
1836His mother received a substantial share of the nearly 3,000 pounds sterling awarded by the British authorities as compensation for the emancipation of the 117 enslaved people bequeathed in her husband's will.
1838(July) In the annual examinations at the Tain Royal Academy, a small co-educational seminary founded in 1813, both Dallas and his brother won subject prizes as best scholars in their respective classes.
1840(August) In the annual examinations at Madras College, St Andrews, a flourishing co-educational seminary with around 800 pupils from all social classes, Dallas won prizes in Writing and "For Diligence and General Improvement".
1841(June) According to the decennial census, the thirteen-year-old Dallas was then living with his mother, brother and sister at St Andrews, Fife. The annual Madras College prize list also indicates that Dallas was still attending the school.
1842(August) In the annual examinations at Madras College, St Andrews, both Dallas and his brother William won prizes in their respective classes. Dallas seems to have been still at the school in spring 1845.
1845(September) Matriculated as a student in the Faculty of Arts at Edinburgh University. In addition to becoming intimate with the likes of Thomas Spencer Baynes and John Skelton, he studied Logic and Metaphysics under William Hamilton, Moral Philosophy under John Wilson, and Rhetoric and Belles Lettres under W.E. Aytoun. However, he completed only three of the four prescribed annual courses of study and left without taking a degree.
1850(August) Published his first article, in the North British Review, reviewing three books on the English language.
1851(March) According to the decennial census, the twenty-three-year-old Dallas was then working as a "Private Tutor" at Cringleford, Norfolk.
1852(November) Published his first book, Poetics, dedicated to William Hamilton, and described in the Introduction as a contribution to "the placing of criticism upon something like a scientific footing."
1853-54Engaged in literary journalism for the weekly Edinburgh Guardian, which began publication in the April, edited by Baynes, and with Skelton and Sidney Dobell among the contributors.
1853Married, under Scots law at a lodging house in Glasgow, the widowed Scottish Shakespearean actress known as Isabella Glyn.
1855(Spring) Dallas was introduced to the Edinburgh publisher John Blackwood, who in turn recommended him to John Thadeus Delane, editor of The Times, with whom Blackwood had shared lodgings when resident in London in the early 1840s. Soon Dallas moved to London with his wife and, on 12 July, married her a second time, now under English law, at St. George's, Hanover Square.
1855(August) Dallas wrote his initial literary review for The Times, of Tennyson's Maud, but was reprimanded when his authorship was revealed in the Scottish press. However, he was soon offered a year's engagement at 300 pounds sterling.
1856(February) Published "The Drama", the first of a dozen articles in Blackwood's Magazine (until 1861), while John Blackwood continued to act as his mentor during the early years of his career in London.
1857-Confirmed as a regular well-paid writer for The Times, with a fashionable residence in Hanover Square.
1859Published a four-part series of articles in Blackwood's Magazine on "Popular Literature", his most important contribution to the discussion of contemporary developments in communications media.
1860(March) Published "Student Life in Scotland", the first of half-a-dozen articles in the https://victorianweb.org/periodicals/cornhill/index.htmlCornhill.
1860sBecame acquainted with celebrated literary and artistic figures - including Dickens, Thackeray, Trollope, the Rossetti brothers, Ruskin and Millais, as well as John Leech and Shirley Brooks of the Punch set - many of whom he met socially as a member of the Garrick Club which he joined in 1862.
1861(April) According to the decennial census, Dallas was still resident at 6, Hanover Square, with his profession entered as "Journalist".
1861(December) Given the sensitivity of the task of writing the brief life of Albert, the Prince Consort, on his death at the age of only 42, Dallas had clearly reached the pinnacle of prestige as a journalist for The Times.
1863(April-May) Served briefly as editor of The Mirror: A Weekly Newspaper and Review, a new independent sixpenny London journal. The venture folded after only the fourth issue had appeared on 16 May.
1865(August) Unsuccessfully recommended for the Chair of Rhetoric at Edinburgh University (in place of W.E. Aytoun) by Dickens, who described Dallas as "the writer of the best critical pieces in The Times."
1866(January) Befriended the recently widowed Lady Emma Caroline Wood (1802-79), of Rivenhall Place, outside Witham, Essex. Thereafter, Dallas long carried out an intimate correspondence with her, visiting her with some regularity at her country house.
1866(December) Belatedly published his second book on pleasure as the primary aim of art, The Gay Science, whose preface described it as "an attempt to settle the first principles of Criticism", promising two further volumes, which in the event never appeared.
1867(Spring) Separated from his wife (who remained at 6, Hanover Square, and resumed her acting career), before travelling to Paris to serve as special correspondent for The Times during the Great French Exhibition.
1868-(January) Served as editor of the literary journal Once a Week (to July 1869).
1868(September) Edited an abridged version of Samuel Richardson's long epistolary novel Clarissa.
1869-His assignments at The Times rapidly dwindling, Dallas entered a period of financial and personal difficulties, often living in cheap lodgings and experiencing poor health; he resigned from the Garrick Club early in 1870.
1870sThough there seems to be no documentary evidence concerning what and when, after parting company with The Times, Dallas seems to have worked as a reviewer for both the weekly Saturday Review and the evening daily Pall Mall Gazette.
1870(August) Dallas headed Paris to work as correspondent for two London daily newspapers, while a couple of weeks later his estranged wife left for New York to begin an extended theatrical tour of America and Australia.
1870-71In Paris during the Franco-Prussian war, acting as special correspondent for the Daily News and occasional correspondent for The Times, his final contribution to the latter appearing during the siege on 9 February 1871. Dallas remained in Paris throughout the Commune and beyond, sending regular reports to the Daily News until late September.
1874(10 February) Called as a witness during the successful action of Stefan Poles against The Times, regarding a libellous letter published concerning the young Polish exile's actions during and after the Paris Commune while serving as Dallas's assistant.
1874(10 May) Divorced at the petition of his wife on the grounds of desertion and adultery.
1875Published a number of articles on culinary topics in The World, edited by Edmund Yates.
1876(June) A Chancery suit to recover personal property from his ex-wife resulted in her ten-day imprisonment for contempt of court. Around this time, his health seems to have deteriorated further and he may have begun to use opium to relieve the pain.
1877(January) Published the unsigned volume Kettner's Book of the Table: A Manual of Cookery (Dulau), incorporating the recipes of the proprietor of the Soho restaurant.
1879 (6pm, 17 January) After starting to haemorrhage a couple of days earlier, Dallas died at his lodgings at 88, Newman Street, off Oxford Street, from disease of the liver, aged 51. He was buried with few followers at Kensal Green Cemetery on the afternoon of the following Friday (24 January).


Dallas, Eneas Sweetland. The Gay Science. Edited by Graham Law and Jenny Bourne Taylor, Ebook in PDF format published January 2024. URL: https://glaw.w.waseda.jp/ESD-GS/ESD-GS.pdf.

Law, Graham & Taylor, Jenny Bourne, eds. E.S. Dallas in "The Times". London: Routledge, 2024.

Created 2 February 2024