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Florence Harrison (1877-1955)


Florence Susan Harrison (1877-1955)

While the late Pre-Raphaelite illustrations of Florence Harrison have always stood out from those of her contemporaries, too little has been known of her life, and much of that inaccurate. In the light of new research, which has been aided by members of her family, it is now possible to present an improved biography of the artist.

Florence Harrison was born on board the Windsor Castle, a ship bound from London to Brisbane, Australia, on 2 November 1877. She was the second daughter of Norwood Harrison, the ship’s captain, and his wife, Lucy. Though her father retired from active duties in 1882, Florence seems to have had a fairly peripatetic childhood. According to the official censuses: in 1881, she was staying at Rockhill House, Folkestone, Kent, a girls’ school run by Elizabeth Harrison, her maiden great-aunt; while, in 1901, she and her family – including two younger brothers – were living at 29 Colworth Road, Leyton, Essex.

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