The Picture of Dorian Gray [Background] Glassonby

Oscar Wilde

Frances Richards, later of Glassonby Lodge, painted the portrait which may have inspired “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

William Edwin Rowley of Glassonby Lodge, near Penrith married Frances Richards, daughter of the last governor of British Columbia, in 1888. She had studied art and was a portrait painter of some repute, moving in social circles that included Oscar Wilde and Whistler; one of her portraits hangs in Parliament House in Ottawa and it has been suggested that her portrait of Oscar Wilde was the inspiration for his famous novel, ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’. She must have seemed quite exotic to the small township of Glassonby in the parish of Addingham.

Text by Lydia Gray

Image: Photo of Oscar Wilde:Public Domain: