Bringing the past to life with colour

Authors

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.