The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Mabel Grey

Mabel Grey

A carte-de-visite portrait of the celebrated courtesan Mabel Grey. In 1870 the American journalist Joseph Daniel Kirwan published his reminiscences of London in the 1860s, Palace and Hovel. Of Mabel Grey he wrote: ‘She rides every day in Rotten Row, the famous ride and fashionable drive in Hyde Park, and her skirts often touch the garments of the Princess of Wales as they pass each other in the crowded Row.' He also mentioned the photographic portraits of Mabel Grey that were widely available for public consumption: ‘In every shop window the features of Mabel Grey are flaunted at one along with the portraits of Nillson [sic], Patti, the Queen, the Princess of Wales, and other virtuous and good women.'

A journalist writing for Vanity Fair at the end of the 1860s asked: ‘Who on earth is Mabel Grey? […] it is clear that she must be somebody very remarkable for her photograph meets me in every shop window in every variety of pose.'

Photographed by Elliott and Fry of 55 Baker Street, London.


Code: 123590
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