Bringing the past to life with colour

Authors

Hilaire Belloc

Hilaire Belloc portrait by E

Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc, portrait by Emil Otto Hoppé, vintage bromide print, 1915.

NPG x7930; Hilaire Belloc by Emil Otto ('E.O.') HoppÈ

Original B&W photo.


Beatrix Potter

beatrix-potter-with-her-pet-mouse-xarifa-1885

19 year old Beatrix Potter, of “Peter Rabbit” fame, in 1885, with one of the many pets she had over the years, this one a mouse called Xarifa.

 

beatrix-potter-with-her-pet-mouse-xarifa-1885

Original B&W photo.


Things to Come

things to come(1936)

A scene from the 1936 film “Things to Come”, written by H.G.Wells, and based on his 1933 novel “The Shape of Things to Come”, with Raymond Massey and Edward Chapman.

 

things to come(1936)

Original B&W screencap.


Edgar Rice Burroughs

burroughs

Edgar Rice Burroughs on location with his most famous creation, Tarzan, as portrayed by Johnny Weissmuller, along with his Jane, Maureen O’Sullivan, in the 1932 film “Tarzan the Ape Man“.

Also in this photo, years before Mr Spock’s famous false ears, is an Indian elephant made up as its African counterpart. All the elephants in the Weissmuller Tarzan films were Indian, with fake ears and tusks. The shape of the head, however, is a giveaway.

 

burroughs

Original B&W photo.


Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson, around 1880, a few years before he became the 1st Baron Tennyson. His best known work was “The Charge of the Light Brigade”, written about a quarter of a century before this photo was taken:

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wondered.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell.
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Original B&W photo.


J. M. Barrie

J._M._Barrie,_1892c
James Matthew Barrie in 1892, 10 years before he wrote about his most famous creation, Peter Pan.

J._M._Barrie,_1892

Original B&W photo.


Mark Twain on Vacation

Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, seen here on vacation in New Hampshire, in 1905.

 

Mark Twain

Original B&W photo.


Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel_Hawthorne_by_Brady,_1860-65
Nathaniel Hawthorne, in a Brady Studio photo from the early 1860s.

He was born Nathaniel Hathorne, but changed the spelling to distance himself from some of his ancestors. His great-great-great-grandfather was a notoriously harsh judge. His great-great-grandfather, John Hathorne, was one of the judges at the Salem witch trials.

Among his many writings was “The Scarlet Letter”.

Nathaniel_Hawthorne_by_Brady,_1860-65
Original B&W photo.


Thomas Hood

Thomas_Hood_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_16786
Thomas Hood, a British humorist and poet. One of his many poems concerned grave robbing and selling of corpses to anatomists, which was a common fear of his time:

Don’t go to weep upon my grave,
And think that there I be.
They haven’t left an atom there
Of my anatomie

Thomas_Hood_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_16786
Original engraving.


William Shakespeare

Shakespeare2
“The Bard”, William Shakespeare

Shakespeare
19th Century engraving, taken from the original “Chandos” portrait.

Shakespeare3
The “Chandos” portrait, believed to have been painted from life between 1600 and 1610, probably by a painter called John Taylor.


C. B. Fry

CB_Fry_batting
Charles Burgess Fry, in 1906. He’s probably best remembered for his career as a cricketer, but excelled at many sports, and was also a politician, diplomat, academic, teacher, writer, editor and publisher.

CB_Fry_batting
Original B&W photo.


Bertrand Russell

Young_Bertie
A childhood photo of Bertrand Russell, from the late 1870s.

Young_Bertie
Original B&W photo.


P G Wodehouse

P. G. Wodehouse
Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, probably best known for his “Jeeves and Wooster” books, outside Hunstanton Hall, Norfolk, the home of his friends the Lestrange family, in 1928.

P. G. Wodehouse
Original B&W photo.


Aubrey Beardsley

Aubrey_Beardsley_by_Frederick_Hollyer,_1893b
Aubrey Vincent Beardsley, English illustrator and author, in 1893. He died of tuberculosis at 25, but made a huge contribution to the development Art Nouveau and the poster style, as seen below..

Beardsley-peacockskirt

The Peacock Skirt, by Beardsley, in the same year as the photo.

Aubrey_Beardsley_by_Frederick_Hollyer,_1893bOriginal B&W photo.


Virginia Woolf

virginia-woolf-1927
Virginia Woolf, pictured here in 1927. She is thought by some to have been antisemitic, but this is probably due to the general attitude, and the speech patterns, of the time. She was happily married to a Jewish man, and managed to upset the Nazis enough to make it onto their list, the Sonderfahndungsliste G.B., of Britons to be arrested immediately following a successful invasion of Britain.

VIRGINIA WOOLF
Original B&W photo.


Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens as a student at Balliol College, Oxford, around 1970.
Christopher Eric Hitchens, who died two years ago today (15th December), seen here around 1970, when he was a student at Balliol College, Oxford.

Christopher Hitchens as a student at Balliol College, Oxford, around 1970.
Original B&|W photo.


Karel Hynek Mácha

Jan_Vilímek_-_Karel_Hynek_Mácha
When I saw this drawing of the Czech romantic poet Karel Hynek Mácha, I was struck by how much it looked like a photograph, apart from the pencil lines. The artist, Jan Vilímek, wasn’t even born until nearly a quarter of a century after Mácha died, so how accurate it is I don’t know. Even so, it’s a superb and natural looking portrait. Doubtless some purists will object to my reworking of this drawing, but I think it only emphasises how good the original was, and the original still exists, so nothing is lost.

Jan_Vilímek_-_Karel_Hynek_Mácha

Original drawing.


C. S. Lewis

CS.Lewis
Another famous person to die on November 22nd 1963 was author and Christian apologist Clive Staples Lewis, most famous for his “Chronicles of Narnia”. This photo was from 1947, when Lewis was 50.

CS.Lewis
Original B&W photo.


Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley
The most famous death on the 22nd of November 1963 was undoubtedly that of John F. Kennedy, but the author of Brave New World, Aldous Leonard Huxley also died on this day.

Aldous Huxley
Original B&W photo.


G. K. Chesterton

Gilbert Keith Chesterton 1912
Gilbert Keith Chesterton in 1912. A prolific writer of around 80 books, hundreds of poems and short stories, thousands of essays, and several plays, Chesterton is probably best known today for his Father Brown stories.

NPG x6021; G.K. Chesterton by James Craig Annan
Original B&W photo.


Jules Verne

Jules_Verne_in_1892
Jules Verne in 1892. At this stage in his life, Verne was a politician, serving as a town councillor for Amiens.

Jules_Verne_in_1892
Original sepia photo.


Alfred Russel Wallace “The Other Darwin”

Alfred-Russel-Wallace-c1895
Alfred Russel Wallace, around 1895.

Charles Darwin is usually given sole credit for the Theory of Evolution, but it was a letter from Wallace, outlining very similar thought on the subject, that prompted Darwin to publish the manuscript that he had been too nervous for decades to allow the public to see.

It wasn’t Darwin’s fault that, until recently, history had largely forgotten about Wallace’s contribution. Indeed, Darwin and Wallace intended to make a joint presentation of their theory to the  Linnean Society, but Darwin was too distraught to attend after his baby son died from scarlet fever.

Darwin later campaigned, successfully, for Wallace to be awarded a government pension for his lifetime contributions to science.

 

Alfred-Russel-Wallace-c1895
Original B&W photo.


Mark Twain

MarkTwain

Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, in 1907

MarkTwain
Original B&W photo.


George Bernard Shaw

GBShaw_1909
George Bernard Shaw, in 1909.

GBShaw_1909
Original B&W photo.