My Autobiography and Reminiscences

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The celebrated Victorian narrative painter William Powell Frith (1819-1909) was a born raconteur. His two-volume autobiography of 1887 ran to three editions in the same year. The third edition is reissued here, together with its supplementary volume of 1888. Frith was an ideal commentator on his age. He never lost his early interest in literary and historical subjects, and moved in the highest artistic and literary circles. Yet he also saw himself as a man of the people. His most famous works were his 'modern-life' panoramas, Ramsgate Sands (1854), Derby Day (1858) and The Railway Station (1862). Discussing such projects, he reflects on everything from costume to portraiture, art dealers to female artists, and even picture frames. Volume 1 covers his childhood, training, friendships with Dickens and others, and the phenomenal success of his first crowd scenes, up to and including The Marriage of the Prince of Wales (1865).