Names and Faces

Here is a snapshot, taken from a time before the snap. It comes from the journal of William Allingham, in 1867:

Monday, June 10.—Fine, warm. To Brockenhurst by invitation to the Bowden Smiths, croquet, roses, hot sun. Field-path to station, red campions and kingcups. Down train comes in with Mrs. Cameron, queenly in a carriage by herself surrounded by photographs. We go to Lymington together, she talking all the time. “I want to do a large photograph of Tennyson, and he objects! Says I make bags under his eyes—and Carlyle refuses to give me a sitting, he says it’s a kind of Inferno! The greatest men of the age (with strong emphasis), Sir John Herschel, Henry Taylor, Watts, say I have immortalised them—and these other men object!! What is one to do—Hm?”
This is a kind of interrogative interjection she often uses, but seldom waits for a reply. I saw her off in the Steamer, talking to the last. Dine 7.30—Sit on doorstep and hear corncrake in the moonlight. Haymaking now.

If you wanted to distill the practices of mid-Victorian culture into a single day, you could hardly do better than that.


charles darwin


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