© National Portrait Gallery, London
Sir Henry Irving
by Phil May
6 in. x 7 3/4 in. (153 mm x 198 mm) overall
Given by Margaret Shields, 1949
These charming and informal drawings show Irving at his most private and relaxed. Irving and Phil May were close friends, and these sketches display a playfulness befitting for two old friends enjoying a cigar. The first drawing is inscribed 'Souvenir of Ramsgate Xmas 1899'.
George Nathaniel Curzon, Lord Curzon, is appointed Viceroy of India, pursuing a mixed policy of forceful control and conciliation. Curzon's inquiries into Indian administration result in legislation in areas including education, irrigation, and policing. The Board of Education is created to co-ordinate the work of higher grade elementary schools, county technical schools and endowed grammar schools, also setting up a register of teachers.
Art and science
The Italian Guglielmo Marconi transmits the first wireless telegraph, between France and England across the English Channel, a distance of 32 miles. Marconi's production of waves over long distances lays the foundations for the development of the radio. Later this year, Marconi demonstrates his invention in America, at the Cup yacht race, and for the American navy.
Outbreak of the second Boer war, fought between the British Empire and the two independent Boer Republics of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. Despite a disastrous start, Britain quickly won the war, although guerilla warfare continued until 1902, leading to the introduction of concentration camps by British commander Lord Kitchener, a measure which contributes to the British public's growing disillusionment with the campaign.