Swinburne and His Sisters by George Richmond, RA (1809-1896). 1843. Watercolour. © National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG 1762). As a child, Swinburne was delicate and pretty, and had his mother's features, a very pale complexion and unruly red hair. Here, he seems to be more warmly dressed than his sisters. Edmund Gosse writes in his biography of him, "He was, from the first, nervous and fragile in appearance, but underneath his sprite-like slenderness there lurked a wiry persistency of constitution" (6). Gosse used a reproduction of this painting (though not in colour) as the frontispiece to the biography.

Formatting and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Related Material


Gosse, Edmund. The Life of Algernon Charles Swinburne. New York: Macmillan, 1917. Internet Archive. Digitizing sponsor, Google. Web. 28 February 2016.

Created 28 February 2016