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William Henry Bartlett (1809-1854)


William Henry Bartlett (1809-1854)

William Henry Bartlett was a leading writer and illustrator of picturesque travel books during the early Victorian era, and ‘was perhaps rivalled only by Edward Lear in the range and frequency of his travels’ (Briony Llewellyn, 1996, page 292).

William Henry Bartlett was born at Bartholomew Place, Kentish Town, Middlesex, the second child and elder son of William and Ann Bartlett. He was educated – unhappily – at a local boarding school, between the ages of seven and twelve. In 1823, at the age of fourteen, he began a seven-year apprenticeship with the antiquary, John Britton, who sent him across Britain in order to make topographical drawings.

The results were included in such publications as
Cathedral Antiquities of England (1821-36) and Picturesque Antiquities of English Cities (1830). During the same period, he also painted copies of works by such artists as Cotman, Girtin and Turner.

On 6 July 1831, Bartlett married Susanna Moon, the niece of Francis Moon, a publisher and printseller. They honeymooned in Holland and Germany, and then settled at Bartholomew Place.

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