'Mr. Henry Irving', 1893.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A photographic portrait of Henry Irving (1838-1905), taken by W & D Downey. Irving's Shakespearean performances in the 1870s established him as the greatest English actor of his time. In 1878 Irving became manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London and in 1895, the first actor in British history to receive a knighthood. This photograph appears in 'The Cabinet Portrait Gallery' series of celebrity portraits and biographies published in the 1890s. The series includes royalty, actors, academics and authors.