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Henry Lucy At Boodles

Cloister (Sir Charles Garden Duff) (1852-1914)


Signed with initials, inscribed 'Harry' and dated 1899

Watercolour and bodycolour on tinted paper

9 ½ x 8 ½ inches

The John Franks Collection

Chris Beetles & Alexander Beetles (eds.) Portraits of Vanity Fair: The Charles Sigety Collection, London: Chris Beetles Ltd, 2023, page 207

'Portraits of Vanity Fair: The Charles Sigety Collection', Chris Beetles Gallery, London, October-November 2023, no 106

Sir Henry Lucy (1843-1924) was one of the leading journalists of his day, particularly famous as the writer of Punch’s ‘Essence of parliament’ from 1881 to 1916 under the pseudonym ‘Toby MP’. He was briefly a sub-editor of the Pall Mall Gazette in early 1870, before becoming a regular contributor to London’s Daily News from 1872. He became the paper’s editor briefly in 1885 and in 1897 refused the editorship of Punch out of loyalty to Francis Cowley Burnand, the editor at the time. Lucy’s writing for Punch was compiled into numerous volumes: A Diary of Two Parliaments (2 vols., 1885–6); A Diary of the Salisbury Parliament, 1886–1892 (1892); A Diary of the Home Rule Parliament, 1892–1895 (1896); A Diary of the Unionist Parliament, 1895–1900 (1901); and The Balfourian Parliament, 1900–1905 (1906).

In his autobiography Forty Years of Spy, Leslie Ward makes reference to meeting the Reverend R J Campbell (whose portrait by Spy appeared in Vanity Fair on 24 November 1904) at ‘one of Sir Henry Lucy’s delightful luncheon parties’ (Forty Years of Spy, page 229).

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