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Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904), Poet and journalist

Sitter in 5 portraits
Best known as the author of The Light of Asia (1879), an epic poem that describes, through the mouth of an 'imaginary Buddhist votary', the life and teachings of the Buddha. After leaving Oxford University, Arnold was a schoolteacher in Birmingham before becoming principal of the British government college at Poona, India, in 1856. He returned to England in 1861 to join the staff of the Daily Telegraph, where he was chief editor from 1873 to 1889. He published several volumes of shorter poems as well as translations of Indian verse. His other epic poems, Pearls of the Faith(1883) on Islam, and The Light of the World (1891) on Christianity, were not as successful as The Light of Asia.

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Sir Edwin Arnold

by Alphaeus Philemon Cole
pencil, 1903
NPG 2455


Sir Edwin Arnold

by Henry Van der Weyde
albumen cabinet card, 1889
NPG x76511


Sir Edwin Arnold

by W. & D. Downey, published by Cassell & Company, Ltd
carbon print, published 1893
NPG Ax16173


Sir Edwin Arnold

by Francis Smyth Baden-Powell
silhouette, 1890s
NPG D419


Sir Edwin Arnold

by Moritz Klinkicht, probably after Henry Van der Weyde
wood engraving, published 2 April 1904
NPG D45897