© National Portrait Gallery, London
Sir Henry Irving
by Lock & Whitfield Click on the links below to find out more
woodburytype on card mount, circa early 1870s
3 3/8 in. x 2 1/4 in. (87 mm x 57 mm) image size
Given by Arthur Myers Smith, 1931
Shows Irving at the beginning of his London career after spending a decade in stock companies in the provinces. He made his professional debut at the Lyceum Theatre, Sunderland in 1856, fifteen years before making his name at the Lyceum Theatre, London. The photograph is the earliest likeness of Irving in the Gallery's collection.
William Edward Forster's Education Act is passed, making provisions for education for all under-13s. It demonstrated the balance in Gladstone's first ministry between progressive reform and conservativism by spreading literacy, whilst maintaining the status of Church schools. The Married Women's Property Act gives wives rights over their own earnings.
Art and science
The Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's fantasy-overture Romeo and Juliet
, based on Shakespeare's play and written with the aid of composer Mily Balakirev, debuts in Moscow, conducted by Nikolai Rubenstein. W. G. Grace becomes cricket captain of Gloucestershire, marking the start of a successful decade for the club in which they won three 'Champion County' titles.
Isaac Butt, an Irish MP at Westminster, forms the Home Rule Association.The Franco-Prussian war breaks out between France and a coalition of German states led by Prussia. Provoked by the candidacy of German Prince Leopold Hohenzollen-Sigmaringen for the Spanish throne, France declared war in July after Bismark published the deliberately provocative Ems telegraph, in which the French were represented in an offensive light on the issue.