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William Harrison Ainsworth

(1805-1882), Novelist

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 10 portraits
Ainsworth was an author of popular historical romances. He initially studied law but left it for literature, publishing his first novel anonymously in 1826. His first success came with Rookwood (1834), featuring the highwayman Dick Turpin, which led many reviewers to hail him as the successor to Sir Walter Scott. Jack Sheppard (1839), the story of an eighteenth-century burglar, was equally successful, but its supposed glamorisation of crime proved controversial. From then on Ainsworth switched to historical novels based on places rather than criminals, including The Tower of London (1840),Old St. Paul's, A Tale of the Plague and the Fire (1841), and The Lancashire Witches (1849)

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William Harrison Ainsworth, by Herbert Watkins - NPG P301(15)

William Harrison Ainsworth

by Herbert Watkins
albumen print, late 1850s
NPG P301(15)

William Harrison Ainsworth, by Elliott & Fry - NPG Ax18231

William Harrison Ainsworth

by Elliott & Fry
albumen carte-de-visite, 1860s
NPG Ax18231

William Harrison Ainsworth, by Hennah & Kent, for and published by  William Henry Mason - NPG x5151

William Harrison Ainsworth

by Hennah & Kent, for and published by William Henry Mason
albumen carte-de-visite, 1863
NPG x5151

William Harrison Ainsworth, by Southwell Brothers - NPG Ax7510

William Harrison Ainsworth

by Southwell Brothers
albumen carte-de-visite, 1863
NPG Ax7510

William Harrison Ainsworth, by London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company - NPG x20

William Harrison Ainsworth

by London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company
albumen carte-de-visite, 1870s
NPG x20

William Harrison Ainsworth, by Lock & Whitfield, published by  Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington - NPG Ax17628

William Harrison Ainsworth

by Lock & Whitfield, published by Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington
woodburytype, published 1881
NPG Ax17628

William Harrison Ainsworth, by Lock & Whitfield - NPG x19

William Harrison Ainsworth

by Lock & Whitfield
woodburytype on paper mount, 1881 or before
NPG x19

Various writers, historians and philanthropists, by and after Elliott & Fry - NPG Ax139908

Various writers, historians and philanthropists

by and after Elliott & Fry
bromide print, 1890s
NPG Ax139908

William Harrison Ainsworth, by William Greatbach, after  Richard James Lane - NPG D21947

William Harrison Ainsworth

by William Greatbach, after Richard James Lane
lithograph, circa 1825-1850
NPG D21947

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