Bringing the past to life with colour


Thomas Hood

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

Original engraving.


William Shakespeare

“The Bard”, William Shakespeare

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

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

C. B. Fry

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.

Original B&W photo.

Bertrand Russell

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

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 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..


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, 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.

Original B&W photo.