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The Right Reverend Edward White Benson (1829-1896), Archbishop of Canterbury.
9.8 x 7 in (248 mm x 178 mm)
Paul Frecker provides the following comments:
"Edward White Benson was the first headmaster of Wellington College (1859-1868). In 1883 he became Archbishop of Canterbury and was responsible for the 'Lincoln Judgment' on questions of ritual in 1887.
While studying at Cambridge, he had an affair with the Bursar of Trinity College. He was also an enthusiastic flogger of schoolboys while headmaster at Wellington. After he died, his wife had a lesbian affair with the daughter of the previous Archbishop. His son Arthur wrote the words to 'Land of Hope and Glory', and had a love for athletic young men. His daughter, Maggie, tried to kill her mother, and died in an asylum. His son Hugh became a Catholic priest and wrote strong pro-Jesuitical novels, he was also secretary to Pope Pius X, and his hobby was embroidery. His most famous son was Edward Frederick Benson, creator of the Mapp and Lucia novels. All three sons wrote Victorian/Edwardian Gothic fiction. Archbishop Benson himself told a story (apparently true) to Henry James, and this formed the basis for the latter's novel, The Turn of the Screw. Henry James lived his later years at Lamb House, Rye, Sussex, and after his death, it became the home of Edward Frederick Benson."
Photographed by the society photographer Stanislaus Walery of 164, Regent Street, London, and published in 1888 as part of a series entitled Men and Women of the Day. Walery, a Polish count brought up in St. Petersburg, practised in Paris before moving to London to open a studio in Conduit Street in May 1883. He operated from this Regent Street address between 1887 and 1890.