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Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 14:27:18 -0700
text/plain (28 lines)
Friends of the Dickens Forum,

     Grahame Smith <[log in to unmask]>   has been alerted to "John 
Thomas Smith
and his Remarkable Beggars" by his daughter, and he thinks the drawings 
published in 1815
"just might be of interest" to us.   We found no working URL in 
Grahame's message, but
by calling up John Thomas Smith on Google, we found out what the Smiths 
had in mind.

     The drawings are remarkable.  Smith, a black artist, found 
eye-opening subjects and
then rendered them in a detailed but, we must say, somewhat unrealistic 
fashion.   His
people are not portrayed as down-and-out as we think they must have 
been.    Photographs
of a somewhat later period  show the begging poor to be sorry and 
touching, some, proud;
most, pitiable.   John Thomas Smith, for his part, gives his subjects  a 
certain achieved style and
remarkable picturesqueness.

     Dickens, of course, did not omit the ragged, sad, and hopeless.

P. McCarthy
UC Santa Barbara