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Smiles and Tears, or, Burman Cassin Goes Down to Kent

A while ago I published two articles on the London Overlooked website in which an important character was a fellow by the name of Hoppety Bob.  The first of these articles, which can be accessed by following this link, introduced the kind-hearted toymaker who was good to the neighbourhood children of the London slum in which he lived, teaching them …

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Lottie Stafford, Artist’s Model of Paradise Walk in Chelsea: Part Three

At the beginning of 1904 Mrs Charlotte Stafford—usually known as Lottie—was a young mother of two daughters, Elizabeth, who was two years old, and Florence, who was three months old.  Like many of her female neighbours in Paradise Walk, she was said to be a laundress, and, unlike her neighbours, she had come to the attention of the artist William …

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Lottie Stafford, Artist’s Model of Paradise Walk in Chelsea: Part Two

In the first part of this story we left Lottie and John Christopher Stafford with Elizabeth, their baby daughter.  Early in their married life, in about 1901, the young couple moved to Paradise Walk, where John’s family were long term residents, and where Lottie and John would remain for the next thirty-five years.  Let us look at this location in …

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Lottie Stafford, Artist’s Model of Paradise Walk in Chelsea: Part One

This story starts with a painting called Lotty and a Lady in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.  It was painted in London in 1906 by the Australian artist George Washington Lambert, and it depicts two women—a servant and an elegantly dressed “lady”— sitting in a kitchen.  Initially I assumed that the same woman had modelled for both figures—they …

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The Murderer’s Wife: Part Two

If you read Part One of the story of the murderer’s wife, which I published on the London Overlooked website last week, and which can be accessed by following this link, you will remember that the murderer of the title was a man by the name of Alfred Eldridge, and that in 1863 he was accused of a heinous crime …

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The Murderer’s Wife: Part One

If you read my recent article on Joseph Rogers, of which the first part can be accessed on the London Overlooked website by following this link, you will no doubt have formed a very favourable impression of the man.  He was a doctor, and, as well as campaigning for improvements in public health provision, he worked as medical officer in …

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A Wife on Both Sides of the River, or, A Brush with a Bigamist

Regular readers of London Overlooked will recall our tribute to the “German siffleur”, the remarkable whistler who entertained certain quarters of nineteenth-century London with his imitations of birds and animals.  He was of, course, the celebrated David von Joel.  And it will be remembered that London could not quite decide what to make of him.  The reviews that he received …

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A Vision of Beauty, or, William Henry Hudson in Kensington Gardens

One of the earliest articles I published on the London Overlooked website, back in 2018, had as its subject the rather remarkable pairing of a Victorian writer and his pet bird.  The bird in question was a raven by the name of Grip.  Strictly speaking, “a raven” should read “ravens”, for there were no fewer than three Grips, the second …

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The Shoemaker’s Son: Part Three

If you have been following the story of Robert Collier on the London Overlooked website, you will remember that Part One explored his difficult life as a poor boy from the slums of St Pancras, while Part Two investigated his fraught relationship with his father.  You will also remember that he was encouraged to make something of himself by Martin …

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The Shoemaker’s Son: Part Two

If you read Part One of the story of the shoemaker’s son, which can be accessed the London Overlooked website by following this link, you will remember that the central character is a boy by the name of Robert Collier.  We can discover a great deal about Robert through the journals of Martin Ware, a teacher at the Brunswick Street …