Decorated initial J

ohn Pattinson’s ‘The Man Who Was Walter’ makes a convincing case for Walter’s identity as that of William Haywood (1821-1894), the eminent architect & designer of the Holborn Viaduct. Although Walter's identity still remains uncertain, he was not, as is the prevailing opinion, the erotic bibliophile Henry Spencer Ashbee, who was born a decade later than Walter. Nor, beyond shadow of doubt in my own view, is My Secret Life an apocryphal text. On the contrary, it is an intensely personal and at times painfully introspective and honest confessional.


Pattinson, J. P. (2002). “The man who was Walter.” Victorian Literature and Culture 30(1): 19-40.

Last modified 7 August 2017