No. 36 Onslow Square

No. 36 Onslow Square by F. Hopkinson Smith. 1913. Photographic reproduction of charcoal on paper from In Thackeray's London, p. 71. Scanned image, formatting and text by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you credit and link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]

I wish I could have seen inside, for here it was that Thackeray lived from 1853 to 1861. "The den in which he wrote," says Mr. Crowe, "was very cheerful; its windows commanded a view of the old avenue of elm trees. The walls were decked with wonderful watercolour scenes by his favourite, Mr. Bennet, and quite in a central place was the beautiful mezzotint of Sir Joshua's 'Little Girl in the Snow,' a playful terrier and robin red- breast as her companions. As a change he would at times prefer the Sunflower room and dictate while lounging on an ottoman—too often battling with pain in later days. The little bronze statuette of George IV on the mantelpiece had the look of an ironical genius loci, when the work of hammering into the lectures of the Four Georges was on the anvil.

I could only look up at the windows, as many another pilgrim has done. But my imagination, at least, was not barred an entrance by their protective panes. On the other side of them the great man had written the closing chapters of "The Newcomes," all of "The Virginians," part of "Philip," "The Roundabout Papers," and "Four Georges." [69]


Smith, F. Hopkinson. & In Thackeray's London. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1916.

Last modified 9 July 2012