Something I want to get off my chest

Actually, right now, that would be the kitten – who is pretending to be a beard. I suppose, in times gone by, fair ground shows boasted something similar and labelled them The Bearded Lady, charging 2d to go and see such marvels.

More seriously, I do just want to say how immensely helpful I have found folk recently, in my search to find out more about a Victorian artist by the name of William Cave Thomas born 1820. I have been in touch with all sorts of people – some have been friends, some complete strangers – all have been as helpful as they possibly could be (except for one, who has obviously been too busy to respond to my email.)
WCT is an elusive fellow – he is also very interesting (at least, to me). Sadly, people of his time did not appreciate his style and so he probably ended his days in poverty – except I cannot find his death recorded anywhere … so maybe he lives on, wraith-like, turning out phantom paintings in an icy garret….

So, dear readers, if you should have a moment to consider my plight, and have any ideas where I might find out more about this shadowy man, please post me a comment or drop me an email. I have already tried the obvious places: RA, V&A, National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery, Tate Britain and so on. I have even delved into letters he wrote to Ford Maddox Brown and visited the British Library to read his writings on art and on education. What I really really want to find are some more images of his work and any information there might be about his life and friendships.

Just a small thing then – but I feel better now I have got it off my chest – oh, and the cat has just followed OV out of the room, so I can breathe freely, without fur up my nose. I might even manage to edit this before I publish, and correct the errors made through an inadequate view of the screen!


About apthomas

I love books, reading, writing, baking, chocolate, painting, sewing, people and fairtrade - not necessarily in that order. I am a lazy gardener - who loves the garden, and a lazy housewife who likes the place to be warm and welcoming. I live in beautiful Somerset - but have had to leave the countryside at a little distance, having moved into town.
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2 Responses to Something I want to get off my chest

  1. Susan in TX says:

    I would love to help you, but I’m afraid I’ve never heard of him. Out of curiosity, on a wild shot I typed his name into Wikipedia and found that he had given lessons to someone named Henry Holiday, but there isn’t an article on Thomas himself. (Of course, I realize Wikipedia could also be renamed “weak-apedia,” but it will occasionally provide a helpful tidbit. šŸ™‚ ) Best of luck in your search. Hopefully, you will have more helpful replies than mine.

  2. apthomas says:

    Thank you for trying Susan. Simon sent me something today which actually suggests WCT died in 1896 – a first, because everywhere else he only has a birth year cited!
    Maybe someone else will come up with something – who knows?

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