Her Mistakes Were Her Successes
Mrs. Cameron…was the first person who had the wit to see her mistakes were her successes, and henceforward to make her portraits systematically out of focus.
Coventry Patmore, Macmillan’s Magazine, January 18661
Lack of sharp focus was a fundamental feature of Cameron’s photographs, and the subject of much comment among her contemporaries. In 1874 she gave her own, retrospective account of the discovery of her most noteworthy technique:
I believe that what my youngest boy, Henry Herschel…told me is quite true – that my first successes in my out-of-focus pictures were a fluke. That is to say, that when focusing and coming to something which to my eye, was very beautiful, I stopped there instead of screwing the lens to the more definite focus which all other photographers insist upon.2
Although Cameron stated that she began making ‘out-of-focus pictures’ as a ‘fluke’, she immediately contradicted herself with an account of her highly controlled process of focusing until the picture looked beautiful. On the one hand she seemed to deflect credit for the discovery, while on the other, she described a conscious rejection of ‘the more definite focus which all other photographers insist upon’ in favour of what she found beautiful.
The words ‘fluke’, ‘mistake’, ‘accident’ and ‘chance’ recur in the contemporary criticism of Cameron’s photographs. The meanings of the terms differ, but collectively they imply a lack of agency on Cameron’s part. This relates both to her status as a woman and to her technique, which was alternately praised for its artistry and attacked for its ‘slovenliness’. Like Cameron’s initial review, the first words of which were, ‘A lady’, many later notices mentioned Cameron’s sex, sometimes in passing, but frequently in patronising terms.3 Some authors thinly veiled their condescension with apologies including, ‘We are sorry to have to speak thus severely on the works of a lady…’4 or supposed self-restraint such as, ‘it would be ungallant to say more in this strain’.5 Others were more blatantly sexist; one critic wrote: ‘For Mrs. Cameron’s heads there must be some excuse made for their being the work of a woman; but even this does not necessitate such fearlessly bad manipulation.’6 Even when critics did not explicitly mention the fact that Cameron was a woman, their comments regarding her technical competence (or lack of it) carried gendered implications. The reference to her techniques as accidental – both by Cameron herself and her critics – perpetuated an image of a female practitioner who only managed to make good pictures by chance. The letters and photographs in the V&A’s Cameron collection, however, demonstrate that she was ambitious, hard working, discerning, and constantly striving to improve.
Supporters as well as detractors promoted the notion that Cameron’s distinctive style had been derived by mistake. Coventry Patmore was perhaps the first to suggest it, in 1866, when he declared that Cameron was ‘the first person who had the wit to see her mistakes were her successes, and henceforward to make her portraits systematically out of focus.’ The idea was repeated by a reviewer in The Times the following year:
Her process is stated to be the result of an accident. She happened to use a small lens to produce a large work. The result was that the hardness of outline for which most of our photographers are remarkable was effectually avoided. The lens could not do what the lady wanted it to do, and so produced an image with a blurred delineation; so she strives for this blurred effect, and in many cases succeeds in turning out a head with a good deal of power in it, and with a softness of outline which is in singular contrast to the ordinary style of photographs.7
Other admirers of Cameron’s work detected an appealing lack of literalism and certainty in the pictures themselves and praised ‘Mrs. Cameron’s mechanism’ for yielding ‘results that are at once beautiful and uncertain and which appeal to the imagination, for they are alive with a natural spirit of life and chance and grace and power’.8 A. H. Wall, on the other hand, used the concept of chance to undermine Cameron’s efforts, writing, ‘Some of Mrs. Cameron’s productions are undoubtedly beautiful; but if these were not obtained by chance, but by design, why are they not more common?’9
Few critics actually credited Cameron with mastery over the medium. The author of a review in The Morning Post did, enthusing:
Mrs. Cameron has carried the art of photography to a more poetic degree of perfection than any other photographer whose works have come under our notice. No other artist with whom we are acquainted has combined with such absolute mastery over the technic resources of the art so refined a taste and so large an amount of genuine artistic feeling.10
A review in The Standard also cited control rather than accident as the source of Cameron’s artistry:
The objectionable hardness common in photographs is entirely
unknown in the production of this lady, who has acquired a control over the lens which is very remarkable. Some of the impressions are little inferior to good mezzotint engravings after the original portraits of Sir Joshua Reynolds.11
The blurriness of Cameron’s photographs could be caused by the lens not being sharply focused or by the movement of the sitter during the relatively long exposure time (or both).12 Those who admired her work saw her use of soft focus as artistic and painterly, in contrast to the overly literal and mechanical results they perceived in other photographs. These supporters, writing mainly in the non-photographic press, praised Cameron for showing how artistic photography could be. They admired not only her photographs’ resemblance to paintings and drawings, but also that their haziness left aspects of the pictures to the imagination. Cameron’s good friend Annie Thackeray had eloquently described the virtues of Cameron’s technique in an unsigned article in the Pall Mall Gazette in 1865, contrasting it with the sharp precision that was the aim of the popular studio portraitist:
It is, perhaps, no disparagement to Mrs. Cameron to say that she is not a popular artist… People like clear, hard, outlines, and have a fancy to see themselves and their friends as if through opera-glasses, all complete, with the buttons, &c., nicely defined. These things Mrs. Cameron’s public may not find, but in their stead are very wonderful and charming sights and suggestions… A well-known photographer said the other day, that hers was the real and artistic manner of working the camera; that he, too, had tried to photograph ‘out of focus’, as it has been called, but the public would not accept it, and he had therefore been obliged to give it up.13
Thackeray assumed that ‘the public’ would reject Cameron’s photo-graphs, but it was the photographic community that objected to them most vehemently. Cameron’s detractors detected in her work a basic misunderstanding of the medium of photography. They argued that the one thing photography could do that painting could not was render sharp, ‘truthful’ detail. To them, Cameron perverted the medium by disregarding this advantage. The Photo-graphic News took this position in an early review:
…as one of the special charms of photography consists in its completeness, details, and finish, we can scarcely commend works in which the aim appears to have been to avoid these qualities…whilst we condemn excessive sharpness we desire to see modelling and form, and not the confused image from considerable moving of the sitter, and complete absence of definition.14
Cameron’s strongest critics were galled not just by her rejection of photographic convention, but also by the praise her photographs attracted in non-photographic periodicals. The Photographic Society exhibition committee may have had Thackeray’s Pall Mall Gazette review in mind when it wrote a withering assessment that was reprinted in The British Journal of Photography:
Admiring the enthusiasm of Mrs. Cameron, the Committee much regret that they cannot concur with the lavish praise which has been bestowed upon her productions in the non-photographic press, feeling convinced that she will herself adopt an entirely different mode of representing her poetic ideas when she has made herself acquainted with the capabilities of the art – no sacrifices of pictorial beautify [sic] being demanded by nice attention to skilful manipulation and care in the selection of properly-adjusted optical instruments.15
Dismissing her as a novice, the committee seemed confident that once Cameron learned to use her camera correctly she would realise that beauty could in fact be rendered in sharp focus. A review published in the same journal shortly after conceded that Cameron arranged her photographs ‘very artistically, very gracefully indeed’ but objected to her ‘slovenliness of manipulation’, declaring: ‘It would have been well had the fair artist paid some attention to the mechanical portion of our art-science.’ The review even suggested that Cameron abandon the camera altogether and hire another photographer to realise her ideas. It stated that ‘it is a subject of regret that this lady does not secure the services of an efficient operator to enable her productions to be given to the public in a more presentable form’.16
Her ‘slovenliness of manipulation’ referred not only to her supposedly incompetent handling of the camera, but also to her carelessness during other steps of the photographic process, which caused various blemishes on her prints. It is these streaks, swirls, fingerprints and other marks that many critics today interpret as satisfying signs of Cameron’s process, and this aspect of her work is now widely appreciated.17 But in her own time it generally was not.
This type of criticism had begun almost as soon as Cameron started exhibiting her work. An 1865 review enumerated the ‘defects’ in Cameron’s photograph in evocative detail:
A piece of collodion torn off the shoulder of Agnes…a broad fringe of stain three inches in length over the arm of James Spedding; brilliant comets flashing across Alfred Tennyson; tears chasing each other not only down the cheeks, but the brows, the arms, the noses, and the backgrounds of many of her best-arranged subjects.18
The review may have been referring to one of Cameron’s earliest portraits of Tennyson, which was among the works she donated or sold to the South Kensington Museum in 1865 (fig. 1). The white specks on his right temple would have been caused by dust on the plate. Flaws such as torn collodion, which prints as a black patch, are apparent in other works the Museum acquired directly from Cameron, including Il Penseroso and Grace thro’ Love (figs. 2 & 3). The ‘tears’ the critic describes, which visibly streak two works the museum acquired later, were most likely the result of an uneven application of either developer or varnish. Stains and swirls feature in other works that came directly from Cameron – and therefore met with the approval of both photographer and Museum – such as Iolande and Floss and The Double Star (figs. 4 & 5). The photographic flaws in both pictures enhance their dreamy, ethereal qualities. In Iolande and Floss, the photographic swirls merge with the drapery of the two women posing as novice nuns in love with the same nobleman in Henry Taylor’s play St Clement’s Eve (1862). In The Double Star, the streaks, swirls and bubbles give the print a watery effect, and the two embracing sisters appear to be floating.
A few of Cameron’s contemporaries were more accepting, if not quite appreciative, of these irregularities. An 1868 review in the Pall Mall Gazette noted that there are ‘imperfections here and there… But the imperfections are generous and undisguised, and the very inequalities seem to point out at times the special beauties of her workmanship’.19 The Jury of the Dublin Exhibition of 1865 also declared Cameron’s pictures ‘the works of a true artist’ while acknowledging their technical flaws. They warned against the tendency to dismiss them outright, recommending they be viewed repeatedly for a true understanding of their values:
There is no experienced judge who would not prefer these productions, with their manifest imperfections, to many of the best-manipulated photographic portraits which are to be seen in the Exhibition…The more Mrs. Cameron’s productions are examined, the more they are appreciated. At first sight they may be neglected and misunderstood, but at a second and a third visit her frames are those which at once attract attention.20
Five years later, a reviewer came to the opposite conclusion, strongly objecting to the glorification of Cameron’s technique:
Looked at en masse there is a sort of “glamour” about Mrs. Cameron’s productions that is decidedly pleasing, but at a closer examination is not nearly so satisfactory. There is a sort of feeling after art – a suggestiveness; but that is all…Art is not art because it is slovenly, and a good picture is not improved by having the film torn, of being in some parts a mere indistinguishable smudge.21
It impossible to know the extent to which Cameron embraced such irregularities, which other photographers at the time would have rejected as technical flaws, or whether she merely tolerated them. She sometimes sought to improve her negatives, and did so with the same frankness with which she seemed to accept the streaks and swirls. For instance, in La Madonna Vigilante/Watch without ceasing, which she sold to the Museum in June 1865, Cameron scratched the emulsion off the upper right of the glass plate, perhaps initially in an attempt to remove a flaw. The scratching creates a partial halo around the Madonna and also blatantly introduces the presence of Cameron’s hand in the picture.
Cameron also experimented with combination printing, by which multiple negatives are printed to form a single image. Gustave Le Gray pioneered the technique in France, combining different exposures of the sky and sea in his seascapes (fig. 6). In England, Henry Peach Robinson, who learned the technique from Rejlander, excelled at combination printing and used it to construct genre scenes such as When the Day’s Work is Done, which he composed from six separate negatives (fig. 7). Cameron’s use of the technique was much less subtle. While Le Gray used the horizon to disguise the split between his two negatives and Robinson employed darkroom trickery to join his multiple negatives, Cameron simply printed two negatives side-by-side, leaving the seam between the two entirely visible. For My Grandchild Archie son of Eugene Cameron R.A. aged 2 years & 3 months, Cameron combined the bottom half of a negative of her sleeping grandson with the top half of a negative of Mary Hillier. The South Kensington Museum acquired the resulting
print from her, along with a print of same image of the boy on his own. Such deliberate interventions were apparently accepted by both Cameron and Henry Cole, and critics did not comment on them specifically.
Other interventions, such as the combination print Daughters of Jerusalem and the hybrid photograph-drawing in which Cameron scratched a picture into the background of a pious portrait of her niece Julia Jackson, entered the V&A collection later. These are among the 67 photographs recently discovered to have once belonged to Cameron’s friend and mentor G. F. Watts.
The photographs were donated to the Museum in 1941 but were not formally accessioned at the time. They reappeared in the Museum’s crypt in the late 1960s, where a member of staff found them in a brown paper package marked ‘1941’. By then no record of the acquisition could be located and they were presumed to have been donated during World War II. The photographs were given museum accession numbers in 1969, 1981 and 1982 and were catalogued as either ‘undocumented gift found in Museum vault’ or of ‘unknown provenance’.22 They can now been identified – thanks to the recovery of the original acquisition file in the V&A Archive – as belonging to a group of photographs donated in 1941 by Mrs Margaret Southam, a great niece of Julia Margaret Cameron.23 In a letter accompanying the gift, Mrs Southam explained: ‘I bought them at the sale at Limnerslease [the home of G. F. Watts] after the death of Mrs G. F. Watts, so they are apparently studies that Mrs Cameron gave to Mr Watts, & indeed one is so inscribed.’24
Mrs Southam’s donation does include a photograph inscribed by Cameron: ‘The Idylls of the Village / or The Idols of the Village / The Marys at the Well / of Fresh Water / a Pastoral Gem / for the Signor’ (fig. 8). The ‘Signor’ was Cameron’s pet name for Watts. Although the handwriting is unmistakably Cameron’s, the authorship of the photograph is less certain. The sitters are two of Cameron’s domestic servants (and frequent models) Mary Ryan and Mary Kellaway. They pose by a well, play-acting at fetching water in a variation on scenes Rejlander photographed outside Cameron’s house during his Isle of Wight visit of the early 1860s.25 In this version, the building in the background is not the house, but rather appears to be the ‘glazed fowl-house’ that Cameron famously described transforming into her ‘glass house’ studio after receiving her first camera.26 It is possible that Cameron collaborated with Rejlander in making the photograph, or that she printed it, as she is known to have done with other Rejlander negatives from this time.27 The fact that she wrote a dedication to Watts on the print certainly suggests her involvement in its production, but a more definition attribution will require further research.
The presence in the Southam group of a previously untitled photograph, now identified as Diana2, that Watts sketched in an undated letter to Cameron, further supports the connection with Watts (fig. 9). Criticising the image, he wrote, ‘I can’t think you have taken a favourable view of the face of the young lady who posed for Diana’. He advised her not to ‘put young limbs into such positions as call forth muscular development’.28 She apparently made no further prints since this is the only known copy.
On another occasion, Watts wrote to Cameron:
Please do not send me valuable mounted copies…send me any…defective unmounted impressions, I shall be able to judge just as well & shall be just as much charmed with success & shall not feel that I am taking money from you.29
Watts’ request for ‘defective unmounted impressions’ explains why the Southam donation contains numerous examples of Cameron at her most experimental: figures stand out starkly against black backgrounds caused by missing collodion, faces swim in swirling chemical mists, or are framed by the lines of a cracked negative. Many are unique, which suggests that Cameron was not fully satisfied with them. Some may seem ‘defective’ but others – at least to contemporary eyes – are enhanced by their flaws, which show evidence of the artist’s touch and experimentation. A photograph in the National Media Museum inscribed by Cameron ‘Damaged copy – for the Signor’ confirms that she heeded his desire for imperfect prints.30
In another letter, however, Watts urged Cameron to be more careful, especially if she hoped to sell her photographs:
…for the interest of Art & also because I know you must turn your labour & expense into some pecuniary advantage I criticise & I am sure that you should now turn all your attention to the object of producing pictures free from those defects which are purely the result of careless, or imperfect manipulation, it is most especially with reference to the sale of your Photographs that this is so important. Artists & very great lovers of the highest qualities of Art may not & perhaps do not care. Though the greatest art is ever the most perfect throughout, but the public will not care for any thing [sic] that exhibits the sort of imperfection it can understand at a glance.31
Watts’ artistic and practical advice effectively amounted to a series of guidelines on how to be a professional artist, a path that Cameron’s letters to Cole show her attempting to forge.
Viewed alongside prints the South Kensington Museum acquired from Cameron, the photographs she sent to Watts reveal details of her process. For example, two variations on Paul and Virginia that she sent to Watts show her resolving the arrangement of figures, costume and background into the final version, which the Museum acquired in September 1865. The scene is from Jacques Henri Bernardin de Saint Pierre’s tragic romance Paul et Virginie (1787), a novel that tells of the ill-fated love of two children (here played by Freddy Gould and Elizabeth Keown) living on Mauritius. Cameron chose to depict the passage in which the two are caught in a storm. In the story they shelter under Virginie’s overskirt, but here they huddle under an umbrella. Between the first and second versions, Cameron reversed the position of the boy and girl and changed their drapery. She also extended the dark backdrop, but included the assistant’s hand holding it up. Cameron made multiple prints of the final version, so therefore seems to have been satisfied with it. Yet she still found fault with Paul’s feet, and scratched into the negative to make them appear slimmer.
The photographs that came from Watts’ collection contribute to our understanding of Cameron’s working process and the photo-graphs that did meet her standards. The discovery of the provenance casts new light on dozens of the photographs in the V&A collection, which were previously indistinguishable from the rest of her œuvre and would therefore have been interpreted by anyone viewing the V&A collection as examples of Cameron’s apparently low standards. Now these prints can be distinguished from those Cameron implicitly approved by offer to the Museum. They can instead be understood as unfinished sketches that she sent to Watts for comment as part of her process. The very ‘defectiveness’ of these prints shows Cameron to be a more discerning artist than assumed by critics both in her own time and after.
Cameron also shared her technical concerns with Henry Cole. In a letter of 12 June 1869 she complained to him about the problem of a ‘honey comb crack’ covering the surface of her negatives, which even the members of the Photographic Society had been unable to resolve. She wrote:
45 of my most precious negatives this year have perished thro the fault of Collodion or Varnish supplied: both or either destroy the film that holds the picture – you will see in the Dream the commencement of this cruel calamity – also in the Guardian Angel – which has over taken 45 of my Gems – a honey comb crack extending over the picture appearing at any moment & beyond any power to arrest32
The network of cracks is apparent on the prints of The Guardian Angel and The Dream that Cameron enclosed in the letter, both of which Alan Cole donated to the Museum in 1913. The inspiration for The Dream was John Milton’s poem, On his deceased Wife (c. 1658), which tells of a fleeting vision of his beloved returning to life in a dream. Cameron included G. F. Watts’ assessment, ‘quite divine’, on the mount of the print she sent to Cole. Although she was distraught by the cracking that befell the surface of the negative, she seemed not to be bothered by the two smudged fingerprints in the lower right, which form a kind of inadvertent signature. Cameron blamed her ‘fatally perishable’ photographic chemicals for the cracks, while members of the Photographic Society suspected the damp climate of the Isle of Wight.33 Today’s theory is that failure to sufficiently wash the negatives after fixing them caused the problem.34
Two other photographs accompanied the letter: a portrait of Tennyson – ‘my last portrait of Alfred Tennyson (not yet published) which I think you will agree with me in feeling is a National Treasure of immense value’35 – and a portrait of Austen Henry Layard, a founder of the Arundel Society. By sending two of her latest achievements and two of her ‘gems’ that had been damaged by cracks, Cameron was illustrating the urgency of printing her best pictures as soon as possible. She explained her strategy to Cole, and asked for his help with her reproductions:
I see two grand things to remember now First to print as actively as I can whilst my precious negative is yet good Secondly to try to get the Portraits I have taken of our greatest men engraved Mr. Layard promised enthusiastically to help on my cause & my friends in Photography Think with a kind generous head, what you can do for me – & will you? Are there no Schools of art for which you can now send me orders – Is there no corner of the S.[outh] K[ensington] Museum where you can install me.36
Cameron did not commission engravings after her photographs, but instead had carbon prints made by the Autotype Company of some of the pictures she considered her most important and most valuable, including her portrait of Darwin, which she had taken during his stay in Freshwater in 1868. The letter demonstrates, however, Cameron’s struggle to improve in the face of technical challenges as well as her continued concern about earning money from her photographs.
'Her Mistakes Were Her Successes' by Marta Weiss, from Julia Margaret Cameron by Marta Weiss, published April 2015.
1 Coventry Patmore, ‘Mrs Cameron’s photographs’, Macmillan’s Magazine (January 1866), no. xiii, p. 230.
2 Cameron, Annals, in Hamilton 1996, p. 12.
3 The Photographic News (3 June 1864), p. 266.
4 The Photographic Journal (15 Feb 1865), p. 196.
5 The British Journal of Photography (22 July 1864), p. 260.
6 The British Journal of Photography (25 July 1873), p. 351.
7 ‘The Great French Exhibition’, The Times (30 September 1867), p. 8.
8 ‘Mrs. Cameron’s Photographs’, Pall Mall Gazette (29 January 1868), p. 394.
9 A.H. Wall, ‘Practical Art Hints: A Critical Review of Artistic Progress in the Domain of Photographic Portraiture’, The British Journal of Photography (3 November, 1865), p. 558.
10 ‘Mrs Cameron’s Photographs’, The Morning Post (23 December 1865), p. 5.
11 The Standard (9 January 1869), p. 2.
12 Cameron also printed certain negatives in reverse, which placed the emulsion side of the negative further from the paper and thereby increased the softness of the image. See Wolf 1998, pp. 70–4. For further discussion of Cameron’s out-of-focus techniques see Brusius 2010 and Smith 1998, pp. 24–7 and 35–51.
13 [Anne Isabella Thackeray], ‘A Book of Photographs’, Pall Mall Gazette (10 April 1865), p. 550.
14 The Photographic News (15 July 1864), p. 340.
15 The British Journal of Photography (12 May 1865), p. 249.
16 ‘The Photographic Society’s Exhibition’, The British Journal of Photography (19 May 1865), p. 267.
17 See, in particular, Armstrong 1996 and Mavor 1995, especially pp. 44–64. Both authors link the tactile nature of Cameron’s photographs to her maternal experience.
18 ‘The Photographic Society’s Exhibition’, The British Journal of Photography (19 May 1865), p. 267.
19 ‘Mrs. Cameron’s Photographs’, Pall Mall Gazette (29 January 1868), p. 394.
20 ‘Dublin Exhibition: Report of the Jury, and the List of Awards’, The Photographic Journal (16 October 1865), p. 165.
21 Benjn. Wyles, ‘Impressions of the Photographic Exhibition’, The British Journal of Photography (9 December 1870), p. 578.
22 The photographs accessioned in 1981 were noted to have been ‘found in the Crypt by Mr Peter Castle during the late 1960s in a brown paper package marked “1941”’. Photographs Acquisition Register, 1981, Word & Image Department, V&A. It is now evident that the Cameron photographs accessioned in 1969, 1981 and 1982 were from the same 1941 donation, even though the note about their discovery in the crypt appears only in the 1981 acquisition record.
23 I am grateful to Erika Lederman and James Sutton for locating the original acquisition file.
24 V&A Archive, MA/37/1/219, Library Administration File VAL (G)16/125. The Limnerslease sale was held 13–15 March 1939. The gift included the photograph by Rejlander that Cameron printed surrounded by fern leaves (p. 132), as well as three other portraits of women previously attributed to Cameron, but apparently by Rejlander and possibly printed by Cameron (Museum numbers PH.358–1981, PH.259–1982 and PH.260–1982). Two of these (PH.259–1982 and PH.358–1981, printed in reverse) are included in the album Cameron inscribed ‘photographs of my own printing’ for her sister Virginia Somers-Cocks in December 1863.
25 Two photographs from the same sitting are in the ‘Mia’ album, which Cameron gave to her sister, Maria Jackson. See Ovenden 1975, plates 29 and 88 and Mulligan et al. 1994 pp. 47 and 60.
26 Cameron, Annals, in Hamilton 1996, p. 12.
27 See Lukitsh in Cox and Ford 2003, pp. 95–105.
28 Undated letter from G.F. Watts to Julia Margaret Cameron, Heinz Archive and Library, National Portrait Gallery, NPG P125 (2a/2b).
29 Undated letter from G.F. Watts to Julia Margaret Cameron, Heinz Archive and Library, National Portrait Gallery, NPG P215 (1a/1b/1c).
30 Cox and Ford 2003, cat. no. 874.
31 Undated letter from G.F. Watts to Julia Margaret Cameron, Heinz Archive and Library, National Portrait Gallery, NPG P125 (3a/3b/3c/3d).
32 Julia Margaret Cameron to Henry Cole, 12 June 1869, National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, MSL/1934/3537/8/2/1/4.
33 Cameron brought her problem to the Photographic Society in May 1869. See ‘Cracking of Collodion Negatives’, The British Journal of Photography (14 May 1869), p. 229 and ‘London Photographic Society’, The British Journal of Photography (14 May 1869), p. 234. The following month, an item in the same journal noted: ‘when Mrs. Cameron made her plaint respecting the cracking of her negatives, the members came forward in a gallant manner to rescue their self-possessed sister’. ‘A Peripatetic Photographer’, ‘Notes on Passing Events’, The British Journal of Photography (4 June 1869), p. 268.
34 See Cox in Cox and Ford 2003, p. 48 and p. 74, note 48.
35 She also enclosed a copy for Annie and Minnie Thackeray, and asked Cole to pass it on to them.
36 Julia Margaret Cameron to Henry Cole, 12 June 1869, National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, MSL/1934/3537/8/2/1/4.