by Herbert Watkins
albumen print, arched top, late 1850s
7 5/8 in. x 5 7/8 in. (194 mm x 150 mm)
Artistback to top
- (George) Herbert Watkins (1828-1916), Photographer. Artist associated with 260 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
As 'Patty' Oliver, Martha Cranmer Oliver was one of the stars of the Victorian comic theatre. She is seen here in costume as Maggy Macfarlane, the Newhaven fish wife who was the heroine of The Bonny Fishwife. This musical farce by Charles Selby premiered at the Strand Theatre on 20th September 1858. Oliver played both 'The Bonny Fishwife' and the character of Miss Thistledown, 'a romantic young lady'.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 467
Events of 1857back to top
Current affairsPalmerston passes the Matrimonial Causes Act in the face of parliamentary opposition. The act establishes divorce courts, although women, unlike men, are not allowed to sue for divorce on the grounds of adultery.
The Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition is held, a follow-up to the Great Exhibition of 1851, although highlighting Britain's private art collections rather than industry and technology. More than 1.3 million people visit the event.
Art and scienceElizabeth Gaskell publishes The Life of Charlotte Brontë, a year after the author's death. The controversial biography consolidates the myth of the Brontë sisters as isolated geniuses living in remote Yorkshire.
Illustrator George Scharf becomes the first Secretary of the National Portrait Gallery, overseeing the collection's growth and its several moves around London before a permanent home is established in 1896, the year after Scharf's death.