We like to think of the Isle of Wight as quaintly fifty years behind the times, but one hundred and fifty years ago, Hester Fuller, William Thackeray’s granddaughter, declared Freshwater was equivalent to the Golden Age of Athens under Pericles. The analogy does not hold up as Pericles was involved in the Peloponnesian Wars, whereas Freshwater’s Golden Age was roughly coterminous with Queen Victoria’s reign, the period known as Pax Brittanica.
Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) was the facilitator of the Freshwater intellectual powerhouse. Her house, Dimbola, became the site of an artistic Salon from 1860 onwards. Alfred Tennyson, the poet laureate, lived nearby at Farringford and was a regular visitor, as was G F Watts, the artist with his child bride, Ellen Terry, actress. Members of the pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood – Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt were also visitors. [Read more…] about Photography on the Isle of Wight