Cornhill Magazine,  7 (1863), 546–52.

On Alexandrines. A Letter to Some Country Cousins

[William M Thackeray]


Letter, Reportage, Drollery


Photography, Nationalism, Heredity

    Noting that 'a packet of Mayall's photographs' accompanies his letter describing the 'notable festivities of the past week' commemorating the royal wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the narrator informs his rustic relations that the newly-married princess is 'a lady of whose appearance the photographers will enable you to judge' (546). He then reflects, 'it would be interesting to know how many hundreds of thousands of photographs of the fair bright face have by this time made it beloved and familiar in British homes. Think of all the quiet country nooks from Land's End to Caithness, where kind eyes have glanced at it. The farmer brings it home from market; the curate from his visit to the Cathedral town; the rustic folk peer at it in the little village shop window; the squire's children gaze on it round the drawing-room table' (547). Also observes, 'as we trace in the young faces of his many children the father's features and likeness, what Englishman will not pray that they may have inherited also some of the great qualities which won for the Prince Consort the love and respect of our country?' (552).

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