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A Victorian family history in watercolors and prints

One of our recent acquisitions is a scrapbook compiled by Edith Isabella Good (1849-1922), accompanied by a few loose leaves from a scrapbook begun by her brother Frederick. Their father, Clements Good, served as the Consul General for Denmark in Hull, England for fifty years from 1846 to 1896, and was also the principal partner of a shipping firm.

Edith was a talented artist whose work was included in juried group exhibitions in England and Ireland. Her scrapbook includes some beautiful watercolors, pen & ink drawings, and silhouettes. The art primarily consists of portraits of women and children from her family, but there are also a few landscapes and floral studies.

Landscape showing a cabin near the top of a mountain with a dusting of snow, more mountains visible in the distance and an eagle flying overhead. Two profile portraits of women wearing hats.

Page [4] of Edith’s scrapbook, with a landscape and two portraits.

Among the portraits are three of young women dressed to play lawn tennis, which was just becoming popular at the time. The portraits are noteworthy for depicting the costumes worn for playing tennis, including early tennis shoes with India rubber soles and tennis rackets.

Young woman in a blue calf-length dress with small bustle, wearing a straw sunhat and early tennis shoes, holding a tennis racket in her left hand.

Page [20] of Edith’s scrapbook, with a portrait of a young woman in a tennis outfit.

Also of interest is a watercolor image depicting the family’s two Bengali nannies with a group of six white children.

Watercolor portraits of the heads of 2 white boys and a group portrait, also in watercolor, of 2 Bengali nannies with 6 white children.

Page [24] of Edith’s scrapbook, showing the family’s Bengali nannies.

Edith’s brother Frederick de Coninck Good (1852-1887) was a graphic artist in addition to joining his father in the family businesses. He enjoyed creating print illustrations for family and local occasions. Sadly, Frederick died by suicide at the age of 34. The loose leaves of his scrapbook include Frederick’s own works as well as contributions from his sister, Edith, and their father, Clements.

Line drawing of the Royal Royal Danish Warship Heimdal, with a Danish Navy escort, coming into port in Hull.

Page [8] of Frederick’s scrapbook leaves, with an illustrated printed menu in honor of the July 1884 visit of Prince Carl of Denmark to Hull.

You can browse through these scrapbooks in the Digital Library. Also included is a PDF containing further biographical notes compiled by the seller and included when they sent us the scrapbooks.


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Last Modified: April 17, 2019