Lot 94 of 446:
With celebrated photogravure of Charles Darwin  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyer's Premium):$1,200
$2,000 - $3,000

Alfred, Lord Tennyson and His Friends. A Series of 24 Portraits and Frontispiece in Photogravure from the Negatives of Mrs. Julia Margaret Cameron and H.H.H. Cameron. Reminiscences by Anne Thackeray Ritchie

Ritchie, Anne Thackeray


T. Fisher Unwin



[2], 16 pp. Introduction by H. H. Hay Cameron. With frontispiece design by W.A. Smith & 25 photogravure plates from photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron and H.H.H. Cameron, most from life, a few of painted portraits or sculptures; printed tissue guards. 45.6x36 cm (18x14¾"), rebound with original gilt-decorated cloth laid down, fresh endpapers, presented in a cloth-backed clamshell box with paper spine label. No. 296 of 400 copies. First Edition.

Cameron knew Tennyson well and in 1860 had moved to Freshwater, Isle of Wight, to become his neighbor. After she took up photography in 1863, Tennyson, despite being described as "a reluctant model,” was persuaded to sit for her on many occasions. Cameron was later invited by the poet to illustrate his Idylls of the King (1874). This posthumous collection, a collaboration between Julia's youngest son Henry and the novelist Anne Thackeray Ritchie (1837–1919), includes four photogravures of Alfred Tennyson, including the 1865 photograph he is said to have liked best, dubbed “The Dirty Monk.” Other subjects include Tennyson's wife and sons, Julia Margaret Cameron herself, Anne Thackeray Ritchie, Robert Browning, and Charles Darwin. 

“Even allowing for slight movement as a positive attribute, posing for Cameron was no easy task. One of her models—or ‘victims' as Tennyson called them—left a vivid description of a photographic session with Cameron:  ‘The studio, I remember, was very untidy and very uncomfortable. Mrs. Cameron put a crown on my head and posed me as the heroic queen. … The exposure began. A minute went over and I felt as if I must scream, another minute and the sensation was as if my eyes were coming out of my head; a third, and the back of my neck appeared to be afflicted with palsy; a fourth, and the crown, which was too large, began to slip down my forehead; a fifth—but here I utterly broke down, for Mr. Cameron, who was very aged, and had unconquerable fits of hilarity which always came in the wrong places, began to laugh audibly, and this was too much for my self-possession, and I was obliged to join the dear old gentleman.’ “

Lot Amendments

Spine lettering faded slightly, a few scratches and some soiling to cloth; dampstaining to several leaves at lower left corner affecting a few images slightly at lower corner, some rippling to leaves, light foxing and soil; photographs very good; overall about very good or better.

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