I came across this a few weeks ago and I thought it was very interesting. Google has place where you can see some of their experimentation with new search interfaces. In the Google search box enter the following: joseph conrad view:timeline and you will see a dateline version of the life of Joseph Conrad. It works for all kinds of things: Try replacing JC with Viet Nam War. If you play with this a little you will see that you can narrow down searches within years. As far as I can tell it doesn't do months.
Some of you will recall an interface that OCLC has worked on for authors that is similar. WorldCat Identities looks like this: Conrad
Fellow traveler, Peter Brantley reminded me of the Google interface by referring me to an article in Arstechnica.com. In this post they look at six of the experimental interfaces.
PS. Within three clicks on the Google I was reading a review/appreciation of The Red Badge of Courage written by Conrad himself. Again, yet another reason to want to be be a high school student today.