I return to London — Searching for rooms — St John's Wood in the 'eighties — A bed-sitting room in Wellington Road — The buxom landlady — A tempting offer — A mysterious hat and stick — A little incident during the night — The defunct lodger, pathetic episode — In search of a studio — Rents in London as compared with Paris — I take a furnished studio — My landlady — "Dear Old Jeph"


My first experience of Bohemian life in London — Of living as compared with Paris — The saloon bars and the "shilling ordinary" — The London char-woman — Her French prototype — My first commission — A lady visitor — A delightful afternoon — Commencement of a little romance — Painting in my back garden — Sudden ending of the romance


My letter of introduction to Sir Frederick Leighton, P.R.A. — His house and studio in Holland Park Road — The artistic beauty of its interior — Impressions of my visit — Leighton's sympathetic personality — His wonderful charm of manner — His linguistic accomplishments — The secret of his great popularity — His Sunday receptions — Amusing anecdote of a Royal Academician — The fashionable crowd in the studio on Show Sunday — Story of the President and the model


St John's Wood in the mid 'eighties — Curious state of things — Art and gallantry — The fastest district of London — Distinguished men living there — The artist colony of St John's Wood as compared with Montmartre — The "Blenheim" — The "Eyre Arms" — Visits to friends' studios — An amusing incident — Unexpected visitors — The trick bell-cord — A determined guest — A plethora of jelly — Models persistency in calling — Families of models — Costume models — Models for the nude — "Showing" their figure — Different ways of undressing of the French and the Italian models — Amusing episode in the studio — The two girls, a shock for the gas inspector — A novel evening bodice


Models as a class — Love in the studio — An awkward contretemps — An amusing incident — Earnings of models — The temptation to go wrong — Black sheep — Artists marry models — Jealous wives — Some amusing incidents — Love resuscitated — The "engaged" couple — Amateur models — Chance acquaintances — Some amusing incidents — Risks one ran — An exciting adventure


My good luck in Marlboro' Hill — Commissions — Portraits — A beautiful sitter — Trying work — I fall in love — Symptoms of the disease — Keeping the postman busy — Top-hatted respectability — Bohemianism versus conventionality — "A talk with papa" — Ignominious retreat — I go to Gorleston — Painting en plein air — Tender recollections — I go to Paris to paint portrait — La vie du Grand Monde — Leaving Marlboro' Hill — Search for another studio — 10 Blenheim Place — The "Eyre Arms" and its habitués — The Belsize Boxing Club — The dances in the Assembly Rooms — The coffee room — The dignified waiter — The private bar — Pony Moore — Amusing episode — Practical joking in the Wood — I spend a weekend in a haunted house — The family ghost — Thrilling incident


My first visit to the office of the Illustrated London News — The office-boy and my drawing — Mr. Mason Jackson, the Art Editor — I meet Mr. William Ingram — His encouragement and acceptance of my drawing — A fateful morning for me — Engaging personality of Mr. William Ingram and his brother Mr. Charles Ingram — Their remarkable ability — Fascination of the office — A private club — Interesting men there — Lunching places in the neighborhood — Carr's — The Devereux — Wilkinson's à la mode beef shop — Illustrated journalism in those days — Drawing on the wood — The art of the wood engraver — The "special artist" — An amusing anecdote


Off to the South of France to finish portrait — Adventure en route — Mentone viá Elysium — On the Riviera — A funny incident on return journey — The Frenchman and the luggage — Painting at the docks, an episode — Curio hunting in the Wood — Tea-parties in studio — A good joke — The British workman — Re-arranging the drawing room — Summer in the Sicily Isles — A large painting


Unconventionality of Bohemianism — Evening dress — "Going to have a bloater for tea?" — A weekend visit to my friend's "cottage" — The impromptu fancy dress dinner party — The dénouement — Amusing story of a fancy dress ball — The story of the bugler and the barman —Bacchanalian entertainments — The mysterious drink — Stories of Bohemianism


In Paris again for the "Vernissage" — Amusing incident on return journey — Keeping a carriage to oneself — I meet Captain Hargreaves — The Mount, Bishopstoke — Delightful hospitality — His yacht lanira — A particularly pleasing souvenir — I join the "Artists'" Volunteers — Sir Frederick Leighton, Colonel the South London Brigade — The grey-uniformed regiments — Distinguished men amongst the officers of the corps — My first march out — Easter Review at Brighton — Fun out with the girls — A practical joke — Easter Monday Field Day — Leighton, an ideal Colonel — An instance of his indefatigability


"Show Sunday" — Then a great event — Importance of exhibiting at the Royal Academy — Not a hallmark of talent — Significance of Show Sunday — The dealers' visits — The social crowd — Critics — What the artist has to put up with — Doubtful praise — Success in art not judged by financial results — Show Sunday stories — I send in my large picture — Sir Frederick Leighton 's encouragement — I have no luck — Not hung "for want of space" — My dejection — Thoughts of enlisting — My girl pal — A real comforter — I gradually recover — Picture purchased by Walker Art Gallery — Katie's illness — Sad ending


My first campaign for the Illustrated London News — The Bechuanaland expedition — Its origin — I see Mr. Ingram and offer to go out for the News — He agrees — First impressions as an accredited representative of a paper — Interview with Colonel the Hon. Paul Methuen — The 1st Mounted Rifles, "Methuen's Horse" — The recruiting office — A bit of a set back — Sir Charles Warren and newspaper correspondents — Suggestion that I join "Methuen's," in dual capacity as artist and soldier — Mr. Ingram agrees — I pass medical examination — Sign on as trooper — Serious reflections — Enthusiasm prevails — Getting ready to leave England for a year — The departure of the Pembroke Castle for South Africa — Composition of the regiment and pay of troopers


I return to England from South Africa — The call of the wilds — Finding a new studio — 3 Blenheim Place — My cousin Harris — A sporting arrangement — Alone once more — The female element again — A pleasant adventure — My new friend — I restart painting — The demure Gaiety girl and the diaphanous drapery — Painting from the nude — Bad times — Living on the cheap — Sententious platitudes — The artists' money-lender — Cycling in those days — The Army Cycling Corps —-Our tricycle — Cycling Club costume — The "Spider," the "Kangaroo" — Ludicrous adventure — The new dollar piece — Cycling in France — Le Portel — The "Grosvenor" and Sir Coutts Lindsay — "Varnishing Day" at the Royal Academy — The "Private View" — London hosts and hostesses — Lady Seton — Social life — Card parties — Funny experience — Result of a foraging expedition — "When the moon," etc., curious sequel to the sale of a picture — Keeley Halswelle and the Sketching Club


Aventures in St John's Wood — A pleasant meeting at Marlboro' Road Station — My welcome visitor — Curious incident — A charming friendship — The end of the romance — An unexpected call — Painters idealizing their models — "Love's Golden Dream" — My search for an ideal — The stage door of Her Majesty's Theatre — The understudy — I paint the picture — Strange finale — I am introduced to my ideal — The "material" as against the "ideal" — The nun at the fancy dress ball — She comes to the studio — The story of the confessional


The "Grove of the Evangelists" — The "fastest" neighborhood in London — Mixture of the reputable and disreputable in the Wood — The two classes of "gay" women — Streets of particularly ill-fame — Hanover Gardens — Wilton Street — A famous house of assignation — Extraordinary state of affairs — The "fast" lodging houses — Money the fetish always — Extortionate prices — St John's Wood "pubs" as compared with Montmartre cafés — Rural quietude of certain streets — Sequestered gardens — Secluded villas — The hansom "cabbies" — Fancy boys — "Bruisers" — The "Judas" — The "best boy" — Signals to the "best boy" — The stamp paper — Beethoven's symphony — Luxury and sensuality — A masterpiece of voluptuousness — All sorts and conditions of tenants — An awkward embroglio — Liaisons — "Kept women" — Sordid arrangements — Calf love — Amusing incident — Story of a rich Frenchman and his mistress — The flashy, fair-haired houris of then — The "flapper" of today — Sunday tea parties — Drunkenness amongst women


Heavy drinking amongst women (continued)— A terrible scene in my studio — A midnight visitor — A fortunate interruption — My friend the doctor — Extraordinary dénouement — Effect of drink on different women — A curious incident — The bell on the leg of the table


I take up caricaturing — Sir Frederick Leighton introduces me to W. Q. Orchardson, R.A. — His kindly reception of me — Difficulties the cartoonist has to contend with — Human weaknesses — Amusing incidents — The Frenchman's tooth — The caricature on the table top — A shirt-front souvenir —Sketching for the paper — The "Unemployed" Riots — Trafalgar Square on Sunday afternoons — Sir Charles Warren and the police — Mr. Hyndman — An unforgettable experience — The "Special Constables" — I join and am sworn in — The Socialists outwitted — Sir Charles Warren's clever stratagem — Funny incident — "A perfect lidy" — My first literary work for a daily paper — My meeting with Mr. W. T. Stead — I go over to Paris for the Illustrated and the Pall Mall Gazette to interview and sketch President Carnot, General Boulanger, and others — My impression of the President of the Republic — An invitation to a reception at the Elysee — Joke of my pals — The scene at the reception — My interview with General Boulanger Monsieur de Blowitz, Monsieur Eiffel, Campbell Clarke, and Caran d'Ache — Satisfactory results of my Paris visit — Mr Stead's facetious remark


Artists' rendezvous in the Wood — Cheap restaurants in the West End — Soho in those days — Pagani's — Pellegrini and the Artists' Room — Veglio's — Reggiori's, Gatti's — The Monico — Its curious history — The cheapest dinner in London — The Café Royal — Verrey's — French and English billiards in Windmill Street — Music halls — Our Saturday night's dissipation — "Adventures" with the girls — Mad pranks — The baked potato merchant — An amusing joke — The bewildered girls — A curious bet — The wealthy waiter — "The Maiden's Prayer" — "Regulars" — The "street walker" of those days — Extraordinary sights in the West End — An amusing skit — John Hollingshead's wit — Foreign women in Regent Street — The "last" 'bus — I make a conquest — Facetious 'bus-drivers — Liquid refreshment — Story of a "rum and milk" — Week-end boating — Painting at Cookham — Flirtation on the Bridge — The boastful Don Juan and the mysterious female — A splendid "spoof" — A delightful adventure — The launch party — Curious denouement — Another adventure — Missing the last train — The good Samaritans — L'incroyable


Uneventful times in the studio — "Black and white" artists and "stock" drawings — My fondness for France — Le Guilvinec — I paint a religious subject — Cheapness of living in the village — Ending of my Bohemian days — What brought about the change — The Wiggins Expedition to Northern Siberia — Mr. Ingram suggests my accompanying it as his "special artist" — Sir Frederick Leighton's friendship — Mr. Ingram's generous policy — I start on my big journey through the Arctic regions — Siberia, Mongolia, and China — My eighteen months' absence from England — I return to London — Enough of "roughing it" for the time — I move from St John's Wood into the West End


The Author

She had my favorite color hair — auburn

The delightful dwelling-place of a very erudite and sympathetic artist

— his splendid moustache and his martial bearing

Shabby individuals of uncertain age, who looked like broken-down actors

With a sort of self-consciousness

The child was just what the artist wanted for his picture

I worked from my models out on the old pier with the very background and composition I wanted

He was supposed to be in love with her, and carried out the idea so conscientiously

The very embodiment of all that was sweet and human and sensible

The picture which had caused me so much heartburning was eventually purchased for the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool


The deck of one of the old Woolwich steamers

I got a flower-girl to come to the studio

Was, at the time, "at the Gaiety"

Once she had overcome her scruples

Hung in the Royal Academy the following year

She looked very beautiful lying back in a deck-chair

"Love's Golden Dream"

Made a black and white drawing of her as a ballet girl instead

W. Q. Orchardson, R.A.

Sir Charles Warren was the head of the police

"You will have to catch me as well as you can"

Perhaps it was the pretty barmaid over there —

A real river girl, the sort to make you fall madly in love with in a few hours

We were very great pals

I painted a religious subject there called "The Viatigue"



The Author

Return To Home Page