Julia Margaret Cameron: Family

Figure 1.--The attached portrait is interesting as it show Julia with her sons, Charles and Henry. It was taken by Lewis Carroll in 1859 just after the Camerons had returned from India. Note the quill pen, presumably to stress her literary pretensions. The boys are wearing skirted garments, but it is unclear if they asre dresses, kilt suits, or tunics. seem to be wearing tunic suits. The older boy, Charles, has a marching cape. Also note the stripped stockings. 

Julia returned to India where she was born. While still in India she married Scottsman Charles Hay Cameron, a jurist and member of the Law Commission stationed in Calcutta (1838). He also had investments in Ceylon. She was still quite young, 23 years old. Cameron was was much older than Julia , but provided a comfortable life style for her. This was fairly common at the time. When her husband retired, they returned to England where they raised five children. A a sixth child was born in England (1857). They also adopted Mary Ryan. Julia's sister, Sarah Prinsep, help the Cameron's enter English society, especially the artistically and intelectually inclined. [Lukitsh, p. 286.] Sarah lived in London and hosted a salon frequented by smart artistic society. She lived at Little Holland House, the dower house of Holland House in Kensington. Popular artists and writers regularly visited. Thus when the Camerons returned to England, they had an easy entry into smart London society. It was here , Cameron met Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson. She also met eorge Frederic Watts. He invited them to his estate on the Isle of Wight. Julia was so taken with the location that she convinced her husband to purchased a nerarby property. They named it Dimbola Lodge after the their Ceylon coffee plantation. She also met Lewis Carol who photographed her and the family (1859). (Some sources date it a year or two earlier.) This probably raised her interest in photography. The portrait showa show Julia with her sons, Charles and Henry (figure 1). Charles went on to become a photographer.


Lukitsh, Joanne. "'Simply Pictures of Peasants': Artistry, Anthropology, and Ideology in Julia Margaret Cameron's Photography in Sri Lanka." The Yale Journal of Criticism Vol. 9, No. 2 (1996), pp. 283-308.


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Created: 7:28 PM 2/17/2011
Last updated: 7:28 PM 2/17/2011