88 of 95 portraits of Charles Dickens
by Harry Furniss
pencil, pen and ink, 1880s-1900s
12 in. x 8 3/8 in. (306 mm x 215 mm)
Artistback to top
- Harry Furniss (1854-1925), Caricaturist. Artist associated with 435 portraits, Sitter in 13 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Robert Buss painted Dickens's Dream, a posthumous watercolour that showed the author asleep in his chair, the air alive with the vibrant characters emerging from his imagination that drain him in the process. Similarly inspired, Furniss, who never met the writer, produced this variation on the same theme, and like Buss, modelled his representation of Dickens on the photograph taken by the Watkins.
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Charles Dickens: Life and Legacy (24 October 2011 - 22 April 2012)
Events of 1880back to top
Current affairsThe Liberals defeat the Conservatives, and Gladstone becomes Prime Minister for the second time, taking over from Disraeli, who retires from politics.
The MP for Northampton and atheist Charles Bradlaugh, refuses to swear on the Bible and so forfeits his right to take his seat. Despite having the support of Gladstone and J.S Mill, it takes six years before he can take his seat, after which he pushes through a new Oaths Act (1888).
Art and scienceThomas Huxley delivers his address 'Science and Culture' at the opening of Josiah Mason's science college in Birmingham (published the following year). Huxley argues that the study of modern literature, combined with knowledge of science, should be promoted in education above classical literature, echoing the claim made by the poet and critic Matthew Arnold. Huxley, an early advocate of 'Darwinism', did much to popularise evolutionary theory.
InternationalBuenos Aires finally becomes the permanent capital of Argentina, following sixty years of political debates around the issue. The city was federalised, politically separated from the Buenos Aires Province, and placed under direct control of the national government.
Despite allegations of vote buying, Cecil Rhodes is elected member of parliament for Barkly West in the Cape Colony, marking the start of his political career in South Africa.